12, March 2015: Renowned hostel network, Hostelling International, has applauded a world first, with the opening of the Saas-Fee wellnessHostel4000. The Valais village is now home to the first hostel in the world with its own wellness and fitness space.

The only global network of Youth Hostel Associations, Hostelling International is also a great supporter of this kind of innovation and development. Established as a result of an exceptional public / private partnership linking the civic community of Saas-Fee and Swiss Youth Hostels, the opening of the hostel was held simultaneously with the inauguration of the public wellness and fitness centre, Aqua Allalin.

Innovative, attractive and relaxed

The newest of the Swiss Youth Hostels combines, for the first time, the typically laid back ambience and low prices of the non-profit organization with an offer of wellness and fitness services. The wellnessHostel4000 offers guests 168 beds in 51 rooms, with two to six beds in each. Of these, 45 have their own bathroom and over half of the hostels beds are wheelchair accessible. One night in a four-bed room with shower / WC, access to wellness, fitness and indoor swimming pool costs around £70.40, with breakfast, linen and taxes included in this cost.

Aqua Allalin is directly accessible by guests of the hostel and is also open to the public. With about 1,900 m2 of space, visitors will find a comprehensive range of services including steam bath, Finnish sauna, soft bio sauna, hot tub, hot stone, sensory showers, Kneipp system, terrace, views of the Fee Gorge, rest rooms, massage and gym. There is also a 25-metre covered pool, a hot tub, a slide and a children’s pool. The hostel and the wellness centre are connected to the bistro4000. This tapas bar is the heart of the building and enjoys a relaxed atmosphere.

Fredi Gmur, CEO of Swiss Youth Hostels sais, “We are very excited about this new presence in Saas-Fee, which was only made possible by the foresight of all parties involved.” The unique project has been possible through a public/private partnership in the village of Upper Valais through collaboration of the Swiss Youth Hostels and the civic community of Saas-Fee, who jointly planned and carried out the construction.

The construction of the accommodation was in the hands of the Swiss Foundation for Social Tourism, (responsible for the construction and maintenance of the hostels in Switzerland), while the wellness and fitness centre was the responsibility of the civic community of Saas-Fee. Both units are managed by Swiss Youth Hostels. Roger Kalbermatten, president of the municipality of Saas-Fee said: “This partnership has enabled a unique project where both the local population and visitors benefit.”

When construction began in April 2013, the philosophy of Swiss Youth Hostels was critical, and special attention was paid to ecological aspects. The building therefore meets the standard Minergie- ECO and is largely made of spruce of European origin. Nearly a third of the power consumption of the hostel is covered by the photovoltaic system on its roof.

The plans of the wellnessHostel4000 were drawn up by architects Steinmann & Schmid Architekten, who were able to integrate the new building into its surrounds. “The building fits seamlessly into the architectural style of the village while meeting the requirements of modern business methods stipulated by Swiss Youth Hostels,” said Herbert Schmid, owner of Steinmann & Schmid Architekten.

A representative from Hostelling International says that as part of the national project “Accessible holidays to all,” which aims to promote travel without barriers, the new hostel is fully accessible to the disabled. All fees and additional planning related to the construction were supported financially by the Denk an mich Foundation, and supported by the expertise of the Swiss Centre for Building for the Handicapped and the Federal Office for Equality for People.

Creating value for the Saas-Fee tourist destination the wellnessHostel4000 aims to sell nearly 32,000 room nights per year, which translates to an annual value of CHF 6.4 million. “We are pleased to have this new option and the offer of wellness and fitness centre to make Saas-Fee an even more attractive destination for holidays,” said Pascal Schär, director of Saas Valley Marketing AG. In addition to attracting more visitors the construction of wellnessHostel4000 has also had a positive effect on employment, with the operation requiring 18 full-time positions.

Hostelling International, the network of which the new hostel is a part, is renowned for its support of new concepts and innovations in the hostelling industry.

About Hostelling International:

Hostelling International (HI) is the only global network of Youth Hostel Associations. Located in some of the world’s most inspiring locations, the HI network offers 4,000 unique hostels in 91 countries worldwide. HI is a non-profit membership organisation, with a proud history and a relevant philosophy. All hostels meet assured standards, guaranteeing a range of good quality safe accommodation, in friendly surroundings at affordable prices. Find out more at the website: https://www.hihostels.com/

For Media Contact:
Hostelling International
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Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL8 6RD, England
Tel: +44 (0) 1707 324170
Fax: +44 (0) 1707 323980
Email: [email protected]