Perched high in the Swiss Alps, The Lodge (Sir Richard Branson’s Verbier retreat) is in prime position in one of Europe’s hottest and most exclusive ski spots. Perfectly placed for the slopes and Verbier’s legendary après ski scene, The Lodge is set back from the road, just in front of returning pistes for easy ski in ski out, and comes complete with heated indoor pool, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, a gym with every conceivable piece of equipment and steam room. There are also three private chefs, serving up a mixture of Swiss and international dishes, and a spa therapist for soothing any aching muscles post-piste.

The seven bedrooms, two master suites and bunk room, which sleeps six, make The Lodge the perfect place to escape with friends or en famille. All bedrooms are uniquely designed and come equipped with luxurious double beds. The larger bedrooms have king size beds, which can be made into twins; large bathrooms; and balconies offering views across the mountains. The Master Suites are set on the top floor, and can be interconnected by a secret door in the bookcases (we won't tell if you don't). They come with private balconies perfect for dinner à deux, centrepiece fireplaces and sofas, perfect for warming up after a day on the slopes. They also boast bathrooms with rainforest showers and enormous soaking bathtubs. All of the bathrooms are replete with Cowshed goodies. The bunk room is perfect for children and teenagers alike with three sets of bunk beds, a shower room and plasma screen TV with DVD player and games console, ideal for midnight film sessions and feasts away from the grown-ups.

If you can tear yourself away from the Lodge, there is plenty on offer in the world-renowned Four Valleys area and in Verbier itself for skiers and non-skiers alike. From heli-skiing and the 'stairway to heaven' run on Mont Fort to snow shoeing and shopping in the resort's many high end boutiques, there is plenty to keep everyone busy between breakfast and the après ski entertainment post dinner, where you can take advantage of the Lodge's party room, extensive wine cellar and collection of beers and spirits.

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Harriet is our 'The Lodge Verbier' expert and as a seasoned traveller has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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