The world is in deep transition, so take the time find your Nature to create a positive future.
Our aim has always been to provide a highly enjoyable experience for our guests.
Whether spending precious time alone, with friends, family or your company, celebrating a special occasion, organising training courses, developing strategies, learning, sharing or seeking inspiration, Commeire is the ideal location. The peace and quiet, the authentic and beautiful surroundings, will unleash positive emotions and strengthen relationships. You will leave the village full of inspiration and happiness!
Connecting with nature is a powerful tool to develop self-awareness, inspiration and become a conscious actor for creating a better world. Our passionate team is on hand to help make your stay a complete success.
Montagne Alternative has been developed following certain principles that naturally arise in all professional sectors.
The economy has become more local, circular, based on usage rather than ownership, and therefore, better integrated into the environment and communities.
As an entrepreneur, I firmly believe that businesses can be a force for good when driven by innovation and the idea to create value for society in general.
New business models, which consist of integrating all the stakeholders of the company into the business equation, are spreading. At Montagne Alternative, we try our best to respect these models, which has resulted in us becoming the first B Corporation in Switzerland www.bcorporation.eu.
We continue to develop this approach through the architectural design and refurbishment of our lodges, various hotel services, the catering, the vegetable garden, the activities, the workshops and themed events organised at Commeire.
Co-founder and CEO
According to the architect Patrick Devanthéry
Our project brings back life to a village nestled on the mountain side, facing the sun. A new network of footpaths and things to discover weaves between the buildings and open spaces, leading away out of sight. Beautiful barns, which have been carefully renovated, open up to the landscapes and invite nature inside. Here, all the senses are awakened and the architecture inspires them.
The village and the barns
First and foremost, there is the silence. At the end of the road, the beauty of a traditional village, perched on the slopes, and always sunny. Only the footsteps of man passes by, an echo of the cows of yesteryear.
Then there is the blue sky cut by the green peaks and eternally white summits. They can be seen from the large windows in the barns, which have inspired their names: Six-Blanc, Barbey, Crêta Vela and Rogneux.
Next the colours, yet again. Those of the natural stone and timbers, some black, some red or gray, depending on the rays of light they have received over time. The shades of lichen, green or red, that slowly cover the rock.
Finally, the material: beautiful, strong, weathered and with purified layers.
Stone can withstand the weight of the slope and water, the wooden sections are cleverly interwoven to support the shingle rooftops. The proportions, depending on the original size of the trees, are inspired by what nature does so well.
To conserve the beauty of the barns in ruin, which so fascinated us, the architectural intervention has been considerable. How did we manage to keep everything that is beautiful and make it such a comfortable place to live?
By restoring the stone bases, draining them and strengthening them. Straightening the timber walls, rebuilding the roof structure, cleaning all the wood, sanding down and polishing all the floors. We were able to create more space by using the basements for storage space. The rest has retained its original dimensions, despite the new thick insulation, is spite of human nature’s wish to always want to have more space.
Only wood and stone were conserved from the original constructions. Glass has been added, in the form of large, square panes, which are in harmony with the framed timbers. In these latter, slits were cut to make it easier to see the structure of wood, to diffuse light, for ventilation purposes, or to make a summit or view of the village more visible. From the windows you can sees the whole mountain range and the valley. However, the frames are invisible, only their protection against wind and cold is noticeable. A falcon suddenly flies into view, a deer ventures out of wood. The entire panorama enters the room. A place for restful and peaceful meditation.
The quality and authenticity of natural materials combined with just enough technology to make your stay comfortable. We use solar heating that is efficient due to the plentiful and strong sun, as well as wood burning fireplaces with a high heat recuperation capacity.
Having become self-sufficient in energy again, these barns are authentic. They are now filled with light and the scenery and are protected from wearing over time. They offer you a comfortable and modern space where you can find peace and happiness.
WHY: To contribute to a better world by helping our guests reconnect to the basic essentials of peace and nature.
HOW: By generating positive emotions in a natural and pure environment.
We offer our guests the beauty of our old farm buildings converted into modern living areas with a timeless feel about them, in the heart of a small well-preserved mediaeval village.
With passion, dedication, modesty and openness, we are here to welcome you and participate with you in activities that integrate harmoniously with nature and the local traditions.
We strive to develop and maintain honest and lasting relations with all our partners, both for the renovation of the buildings and for the running of our project.
FOR THE PLANET AS A WHOLE
To build lasting relationships with the inhabitants of the village and the region, respecting their traditions, culture and alpine heritage..
To preserve the ecosystem through the use of existing and/or local materials.
To use the best innovations for insulating buildings and producing natural energy.
We would like to grow our business on a profitable basis, maintaining the balance between the expectations of our customers, employees, suppliers and shareholders, in order to make a positive contribution to the wider society in which we live.
We are committed to this charter in our every day actions. We try to use it in the best possible way as a unifying tool for our company.
The Garden of Montagne Alternative has for objective to give more depth to the customer experience by illustrating in a concrete way the direct link between the field and the plate, the nature and the body. Fruits and vegetables as well as a part of the aromatic plants are directly used in our restaurant Arpalle. Other plants are cultivated to make syrups, herb teas and cosmetics, the whole realized within 50km.
This soft approach allows Montagne Alternative to strengthen its autonomy and to collaborate with organic certified local developers. It so contributes to promote the know-how of the Country of St-Bernard and de facto participate to value the mountain agriculture and to maintain the quality of the landscape.
Our Garden, cultivated in a soft and integrated way, allows us to offer you high-quality completely natural and biological products while controlling our environmental, social and economic impact.
Our hotel is located in the Swiss Alps and more exactly in The Pays du Grand Saint-Bernard
Sharing a border with Italy, this area is famous for its pass, its hospice and its Saint-Bernard dogs.
Discover environmentally friendly, authentic tourism that enables frequent contact with nature, fauna and flora which reveal all their charm from the time they blossom in Spring through to autumn’s splendid colour display. Hikes for every level, mountain bike trails, museums, botanical gardens and events: in summer, the mountains open their hearts to you.
In winter, the charming resorts of La Fouly, Champex-Lac and Vichères / Liddes invite you to hit the slopes far from the madding crowd confronted by a spectacular panorama.
Away from the groomed ski runs, ski mountaineering routes lead you to enchanted places where the snow transforms nature into a veritable painting. Snowshoe trails, cross country ski trails, skating on natural lakes and winter hikes complete the winter offering.
Pays du St-Bernard – www.saint-bernard.ch
The residents of Commeire, like all Valais villages, lived in complete autonomy with no money, until after the Second World War, which meant they produced all their own food, except for coffee, salt, sugar, etc.
Each family cultivated their own land with a mule and planted potatoes, cabbages, and especially cereals, rye and wheat, to make bread every two months in the village oven. The fields were mowed using a scythe and the grass was taken back to the barn by mule to feed the livestock during the winter.
Apart from the mule which was essential for daily work, each family had three to four cows and calves of the Hérens race for cheese and meat, two pigs for meat, a few sheep, some chickens for eggs and a goat for milk in the simmer while the cows were in pasture for three months.
Each family also owned vineyards at Fully near Martigny, to make their own wine with a small cottage they called a Mazot, where they could stay for two months a year to work in the vineyards, pick the grapes and ferment the wine which they then brought to Commeire in barrels by horse cart to Orsières and then by mule to Commeire because the road was only built in 1938.
Each family also owned a “Mayen” at 1,800 metres altitude (a small rustic timber house of typical Valais construction) to graze cattle in the spring before the climb to the alpine pastures and the return trip in autumn.
Thus every family owned five properties;
- The main family house built in stone with a room heated by a Bieudron stone heating stove
- The Mazot-style stone cottage at Fully with a room heated by a Bieudron stone heating stove
- The small “Mayen” house made from timber
- The barn with its stables in timber and beams used for livestock and hay
- The timber shed used to store grain and fight against pests during the winter
As you probably guessed, every man was a jack of all trades: Farmer, Lumberjack, Carpenter, Roofer, Cheese maker, Butcher, Baker, Winemaker, etc., and they all gave a helping hand to each other for the construction of a building or to replace someone in case of illness. After World War II, thanks to growing strawberries and raspberries, families began to earn enough money to be able to improve their homes and install running water, electricity and eventually to buy a washing machine, freezer etc.
A resident of Commeire