Ski Lodge Engelberg
Long road trips can be great for randomly revisiting the past and telling stories about life before your kids were born or were too young to remember. Somewhere on the road between Cambridge and Lucerne and after listening to “Old Town Road” for the millionth time, the topic of ski photography came up with my oldest daughter who was struggling with what to study at University.
The outcome of the conversation ended with me messaging an old friend who happens to be one of the best professional ski photographers in the world, to see if he still lived in Engelberg, Switzerland. While I waited for a message back from Oskar Enander, I reminded my kids that at times throughout my career, I was lucky enough to work in the ski industry and have gotten to work with many talented professionals that my kids now find slightly impressive. My wife even told the story about the time we were in Vail and Lindsey Vonn came up to us in a bar and gave me a kiss on the cheek (long story, but true).
After touring a design university in Lucerne, I got a message from Oskar inviting us to meet up in Engelberg to discuss life as a professional photographer and to catch up after 10+ years of life passed us by. I hadn’t seen Oskar in person since 2006, when we worked together on The Powder Road (a coffee table book and website about friends who travel in search of deep-powder skiing in Alaska and elsewhere- another story).
Oskar suggested that we meet up at Ski Lodge Engelberg, grab a beer or few, exchange stories, and if rooms were available he recommended staying the lodge. Luckily for us, we were able to meet with Oskar and experience Ski Lodge Engelberg for ourselves. Whether Oskar influenced my daughter to be a professional ski photographer or not is yet another topic of discussion for another story.
The village of Engelberg is a cozy mountain hamlet surrounded by majestic peaks in all directions and well known by the skiers who frequent Mount Titlis, which can have snow all year, but we arrived in August and our mission was not skiing, unfortunately. Set in the heart of Engelberg, just across from the train station, is Oskar’s recommended accommodation- the boutique hotel Ski Lodge Engelberg.
Founded in 2008 by a pair of Swedes who fell in love with Engelberg, Ski Lodge is frequented by passionate mountain lovers from all over the globe, including this American family who lives in the south of France. The owners, who are self-professed “world-traveling ski fanatics” wanted to create a meeting spot for all of us who love mountains.
As soon as you step into the Ski Lodge, you can feel the authentic passion for mountain travel mixed with a touch of Scandinavia. The Lodge is stylishly filled with vintage ski posters, coffee table books, antique skis, magazines, and amazing ski photography (courtesy of Oskar). Ski Lodge feels cozy, but hip and you get a sense that it is a place where the in-crowd hangs out after a great day on the mountains.
The 39 rooms are far from basic and offer a comfortable experience surrounded by a fabulous view of the Alps. The rooms are simple with ensuite bathrooms sporting white modern tile and the comfy beds have crisp white sheets. Amongst the wooden skis and mountain photography on the walls, there are a multitude of hooks for hanging gear and adequate power outlets for charging all your gadgets.
Although the Ski Lodge’s restaurant, Brasserie Konrad was closed the night we were there, it gets rave reviews and requires advanced bookings on most nights. We were served a generous breakfast the next morning in the sunny conservatory and were disappointed not to be able to stay longer.
I hope we will return to Ski Lodge soon, not only to experience Engelberg in the winter but also to continue our conversations with Oskar and his family. Next time, I will remember to bring brownies.