At Hidden Dragon we celebrate the mind, body and the good life! Mind, body and spirit are nurtured to imbue our guests with a heightened sense of calm, increased vitality and improved health. When combined, we aim to deliver an enhanced feeling of happiness and wellbeing so you can return home feeling totally renewed.
Inspired by a passion for food, wine and hospitality, Hidden Dragon was established to celebrate the good life, holistic health, optimal wellness, bon vivants and the art of gastronomy in an invigorating, enchanting, magical alpine wonderland.
Hidden Dragon was created with escape in mind. Our natural setting is the perfect remedy for the stress of everyday life, providing a serene and restorative environment to soothe the senses. Ashlee designed Hidden Dragon by incorporating Shinto Buddhist and feng shui principles to ensure a unity with nature and the environment. The perfect place for healing and transformation. We hope your experience at Hidden Dragon is a holistic one where you return home feeling relaxed, soothed, pampered, re-energized both physically and mentally!
Holism holds that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. At Hidden Dragon, therefore, we focus on treating the whole person rather than one specific area, and believe physical, emotional, social, environmental, and spiritual factors all impact a person's happiness.
The plot of Hidden Dragon was selected due to its auspicious feng shui location: a mountain at its rear to offer protection and timeless support, and a meandering river to its front to ensure the essential flow of cosmic Qi. This ideal site revealed one of its celestial guardians, a hidden dragon disguised as a large grey rock with moss covered spines, assuring the plot’s good fortune.
Hidden Dragon is the remedy for the stress of everyday life, providing a serene and energizing environment to restore the senses. Created with escape in mind, Hidden Dragon was designed incorporating Shinto traditions and feng shui principles to ensure a unity with nature and the environment. The perfect chalet to enhance wellbeing, relax and unwind.
Hidden Dragon’s plot was prepared with Shinto rituals to cleanse the earth and appease the mountain spirits. Shinto is an animist faith which considers all nature to be sacred and imbued with a spiritual essence known as kami. It was essential to create unity with the mountain kami to ensure a lifelong harmonious existence, living side-by-side in peace.
Hidden Dragon was built with great love and reverence for its surroundings and the 5 essential elements: wood, fire, metal, earth, water. Like Shinto’s fundamental philosophy, Hidden Dragon seeks a simple and harmonious life between nature and people.
Our guests leave urban stresses at the door and immerse themselves in the serenity of our unique location, unconsciously absorbing the positive energy around them. Combining the internal feng shui design with the innate healing energy of the outdoor environment, Hidden Dragon is the perfect place to retreat, re-energize and hideaway so that you can disconnect from the chaos of daily life and reconnect with nature and ultimately yourself.
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese system of aesthetics believed to utilize the laws of both Heaven (astronomy) and Earth (geography) to help one improve life by receiving positive Qi.
The term feng shui literally translates as "wind-water" in English. This is a cultural shorthand taken from the following passage of the Zhangshu (Book of Burial) by Guo Pu of the Jin Dynasty:
Traditional feng shui practice always requires an extremely accurate Chinese compass, or luo pan, in order to determine the directions in finding any auspicious sector in a desired location.
At Hidden Dragon, we believe the old adage "You are what you eat". And we also believe that eating good food is one of the greatest pleasures on earth! Therefore, our cooking is nutritious, energizing, healthy AND delicious. Our menus are created with your optimal health in mind and are, of course, personalised to any specific dietary requirements you may have - we respect the bioindividuality of our guests, knowing one size does not fit all. Ashlee is a holistic health coach and passionate foodie so she has designed balanced meal programs which fuel, nourish and heal the body while ensuring easy digestion and improved restorative sleep.
Hidden Dragon’s gourmet chef mindfully prepares all your meals with love, using only the finest ingredients and superfoods to tantalise your palate and satisfy the hungriest of appetites! We don't believe in whacky diets or starving the body of calories or pleasure! Our food philosophy is centred on balancing flavours, textures and food groups while incorporating the innate healing qualities of nutrient-rich wholefoods for long-term, sustainable health and vitality.
During our Summer of Wellness Festival "Summertime Samadhi", we have weightloss and fitness programs where we will be offering healthy cookery workshops and nutrition guidance. You can learn about the difference between juicing and smoothies and will discover the health benefits of maca, chia, cacao, spirulina and more.
We can cater to any dietary requirement so please don't hesitate to tell us what you can and can't eat, what you love and what you don't.... We will happily prepare you gourmet feasts, cosy family-style relaxed suppers, outdoor bbqs, homemade pizza nights with the kids helping in the kitchen as our Pizziaolos or even movie night "TV dinners" in your private cinema!
As food is one of our favourite subjects, and in order to ensure the most contented of stomachs, menus will be discussed with you pre-holiday. And of course, Chef will be checking in throughout the week with you to make sure you are fully satiated or want him to whip up something extra special during your stay with us.
Hidden Dragon has a state of the art glass-fronted wine cellar boasting a magnificent privately-owned collection of fine wines for guests to enjoy. There is an emphasis on the great chateaux from France’s Bordeaux and Burgundy regions. However, there is a wide variety of wines from both the old and new world, in a variety of colours and a variety of sizes, to delight the most discerning oenophile’s palate.
Our cellar includes wines from: Latour, Palmer, Lynch Bages, Mouton Rothschild, Montrose, Lafite Rothschild, Leoville Las Cases, Pichon Lalande, Pichon Baron, Pontet Canet, Ducru Beaucaillou, Yquem, La Tour Blanche, Romanee Conti... to name just a few of our favourites!
Great news! The medical profession has recognized the healthful and nutritive properties of wine for thousands of years. Hippocrates recommended specific wines to purge fever, disinfect and dress wounds, as diuretics, or for nutritional supplements, around 450 B.C! Modern evidence advocates moderate consumption of red wine on a regular basis as a preventative against coronary disease due to the presence of anti-oxidant flavenoids in tannins, and resveratrol and quercetin in grapes. Santé!
Although a delicious selection of complimentary wines will be offered nightly throughout the week, guests are also welcome and encouraged to handpick alternative bottles to accompany their evening feasts.
If there is something extra special you would like to drink on your holidays at Hidden Dragon, we will be delighted to have our wine suppliers fulfil your request.
An emphasis is placed on using the finest produce, and where possible using seasonal ingredients sourced from ethical and local suppliers. Luckily, the Valais canton in Switzerland is famed for its array of exceptional dairy produce, cured meats, fruit trees, vineyards, and highly prized Val d’Herens beef. Spring provides us with incredible white and green asparagus, Summer launches the apricot and raspberry harvest, Autumn is famous for La Chasse (the hunting season) where local game is a delicacy served alongside local chestnuts for the brisolée feast, and Winter is a superb season for molten cheese fondue and raclette to warm you up on the slopes!
Porcini, chanterelles and pleurot black venere risotto with truffles
Roast loin of venison glazed with honey and soy served with spiced local apricots and sautéed purple sprouted broccoli
Basil and Valaisan raspberry granita to cleanse the palate
A selection of local cheeses served with Chef's rosemary grissini accompanied by mixed berry compote
Chocolate fondant and homemade vanilla dairy-free ice cream (cacao is a superfood - hurrah!)
Chef's salted caramel truffles served with espresso
Hidden Dragon believes in a holistic approach to achieving optimal health and wellness. Our spa menu offers a myriad of complementary therapies, inspired by diverse healing traditions and modalities from around the world. Our programs are designed to nourish the mind, body and spirit, helping our guests to restore their natural balance, replenish depleted energy levels and boost the immune system.
Outdoor hot tub, hammam, sauna, meditation room, yoga deck, hydrotherapy, naturopathy, body work, energy treatments and beauty therapy are all on offer to enhance your wellbeing and happiness.
Our Summer of Wellness Festival "Summertime Samadhi" offers a variety of inspirational programs to restore you to full health and vitality.
Historically yoga was a way of life: a lifestyle culture that surpassed meditation techniques and physical asanas to include a positive holistic approach to one’s health, happiness, community, humanity, career and moral code. The Eastern practice of yoga has become a modern-day Western symbol of peace, serenity and well-being. The word "yoga" derives from the Sanskrit root yuj “to yoke/join/ unite" and the physical practice of yoga can be understood as a reconnection and awakening to our true nature, our divinity, through the integration of body, mind, and spirit. This increasingly popular mind-body practice is applauded for its ability to reduce stress, lower anxiety and boost well-being while offering a wide-range of physical health benefits. Yoga increases flexibility, lubricates the joints, ligaments and tendons of the body, massages the internal physical organs, aids detoxification, and improves balance and muscle tone by increasing strength. Consistent practice rejuvenates, energises, heals and restores balance in our body, mind, heart and soul.
Ashlee is Hidden Dragon’s resident Hatha slow-mo-yo-ga Teacher (500 YTT Santosha, Yandara and Jivani Yoga Schools) and believes yoga is for EVERYONE.
Sweat your way to radiant health and vitality! Dating back over 2000 years, Finns used this dry heat bath to cleanse the mind, rejuvenate and refresh the spirit. Their old saying goes: “If booze, tar, or the sauna won't help, the illness is fatal!” Sauna enthusiasts laud the health benefits of "sweat baths," attributing them with healing, preventative, and cleansing properties. The soothing heat from the sauna relaxes the body's muscles, improves circulation and stimulates the release of feel-good endorphins providing you with an attractive "after sauna glow.” Sauna-use can improve respiration, revive aching muscles, detoxify the body, increase metabolism, boost the circulatory system, alleviate insomnia, heighten tactile sensitivity and sharpen the senses whilst providing a sense of psychological peace, contentment and physical rejuvenation. And like many of our guests, after your treatment, you may like to dive in to the invigorating mountain air or make snow angels if you’re feeling very brave, to close the pores post detoxification to further boost your immune system!
For centuries, people have recognized the rejuvenating, healing powers of warm water. Hydrotherapy relaxes muscles and joints, relieves pressure on nerves, reduces the effects of stress, boosts circulation, and accelerates the body's natural healing process. Strategically placed massage jets, advanced heating systems, and ergonomically correct seating are combined in our hot tub to ensure less physical stress, improved circulation, better sleep, and fewer symptoms of arthritis and back pain. After a long day on the mountain, your aching limbs will rejoice as you slip into the restorative, warm, bubbling water as your whole body is gently soothed and rejuvenated. Truly therapeutic when combined with a holistic program which incorporates the use of the hammam or sauna and one of our signature massage or bodywork treatments. What better excuse do you need to dip into our outdoor Jacuzzi, with an uninterrupted magical view over the Rhone Valley, listening to the calming sounds of birdsong and cowbells, under a moonlit, starry sky? True serenity in the Swiss Alps!
“Hammam” is an Arabic word meaning “spreader of warmth” and its medical benefits date back to 200BC. This soothing and deeply therapeutic hot steam treatment, where temperatures rise to 102 degrees, relaxes tight muscles and relieves tension in the body. Eucalyptus Oil is diffused during the session to aid respiratory health through its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and decongesting properties whilst its mood-enhancing qualities alleviates mental sluggishness. Immersed in the heat, the body is encouraged to sweat allowing pores to open which releases toxins through the outer skin. The benefits of hammam include pain relief, muscle and joint relaxation, respiratory benefits, detoxification, improved circulation and metabolism, and a more refined skin texture. This gentle and purifying steam treatment cleanses your skin and eliminates toxins, while revitalizing and energizing your body. Wonderful when combined with our signature body scrubs, wraps and/or massage for further exfoliation of the surface layer of the skin to give you a radiant, beautiful and nourishing glow.
The term massage is derived from the Arabic word Mas’h - meaning to knead and to press softly. The first descriptions of massage can be traced back to 3000BC, where its use was documented by the Chinese to harmonise mind, body and spirit. Hidden Dragon’s Spa offers a myriad of holistic bodywork treatments inspired by therapeutic teachings from all around the globe, from East to West, from ancient to modern influences, to balance, realign and heal the body. Massage calms the nervous system and promotes a deep sense of relaxation by reducing muscle tension, lowering blood pressure, reducing stress and anxiety and aiding more restorative sleep. It can also help with pain management in conditions such as arthritis, sciatica, and muscle spasms while improving mobility, flexibility and posture. By improving blood circulation, for better delivery of oxygen and nutrients to cells, and by stimulating the lymphatic system, massage strengthens the immune system, balances the digestive system, and helps remove lactic acid and toxins. And most importantly, all our massages will flood your body with feel good endorphins and leave you floating on cloud 9.
You don’t need to wear flowing robes, sit in lotus position, chant or retreat to a cave to meditate (although that can be nice too!) Though meditation is usually recognized as a largely spiritual practice, it can be incorporated into our modern lives with the simple purpose of quieting the endless chatter in our monkey minds to bring us more peace and rest. When Buddha was asked what he gained from meditation, he replied, ‘Nothing! Instead, let me tell you what I lost: Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Insecurity, Fear of old age and Death.’ Meditation has many proven health benefits: lowering of oxygen consumption, decreasing respiratory rate, increasing blood flow, slowing heart rate, and reducing blood pressure - this all creates an improved sense of wellbeing. Meditation can also increase levels of serotonin which influences mood and behaviour, relieves stress, reduces anxiety, and creates a deep level of profound relaxation and peace.
Ashlee (Universal Healing Tao, Associate Teacher, student of Mantak Chia) teaches many different meditation techniques from ancient Eastern to modern Western practices, including pranayama, breathwork, Taoist healing, visualisation, mantra, vipassana, Transcendental (Vedic) Meditation and more.
We all deserve a little pampering from time to time. From manis to pedis to facials to body wraps and scrubs, please let us know what you require and our talented and attentive Spa Therapist will be ready to pamper and preen you to perfection in the tranquility of our in-house spa situated on the garden level of the lodge. You will float back upstairs to join your friends in a wonderful dreamy haze of total relaxation and aromatic essential oils.
Life force energy, also known as chi or prana, exists in everything. This subtle yet pervasive energy is the foundation of all matter and creation, both physical and non-physical. This energy flows in, through, and around the body, forming vibrant and cohesive living systems in endless forms. Many traditions, ancient and modern, believe that a steady supply of chi is essential to sustain all living beings. By understanding the rhythm, flow, and the qualities of chi, a variety of healing practices are used to improve health, vitality, and longevity. These practices span across many Eastern and Western cultures including Reiki, Qi Gong, Pranic Healing, Acupuncture, Theta Healing, Matrix Energetics and many more. When the flow of chi is disrupted, weakened or blocked, emotional or health problems occur. Imbalances can be caused from many life situations: emotional or physical trauma, injury, negative thoughts, including fear, worry, doubt, anger, toxicity, nutritional depletion, destructive lifestyle and relationships, neglect of self, lack of love, and unexpressed emotions. At Hidden Dragon, we believe that in order to be healthy and happy, our chi must be strong and flowing and thus we use energy work in all our treatments to enhance the healing of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual issues.
Naturopathy, or Nature Cure, is underpinned by a fundamental principle – vis medicatrix naturae – the healing power of nature. Hippocrates in 400BC said “Health is the expression of a harmonious balance between various components of man’s nature, the environment and ways of life – nature is the physician of disease.”
Man is a part of nature and the universe, and optimal health is achieved by living in accordance with this principle. Man is seen as a whole: a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual being and all these aspects must be nourished for Man to not just survive, but thrive in Life. Harmony is achieved through the balance of proper nutrition, movement, rest, sunshine and happiness. The same vital force or chi that sustains the universe and nature also flows through man, and it is his misalignment from this source energy that causes illness: dis-ease in the body. Early Naturopaths realised that if you could restore the vital force to the patient, the body would naturally heal itself. At Hidden Dragon we incorporate aromatherapy, bodywork, reflexology, lymphatic drainage, energy medicine, herbalism, exercise and nutrition for a natural holistic approach to transformation and healing.
Hidden Dragon seeks to empower you to live your healthiest and happiest life. Being healthy means so much more than how you feel on a physical level or what you consume on your plate. Your emotional, mental and spiritual happiness, and the ways you nourish yourself in all aspects of your life, is crucial to achieving a rich, wholesome, fulfilling and delicious life. Our health coaching offers a holistic approach to attaining optimal health and vitality in mind, body and soul. Treating you as a whole, we employ an integrative, preventative healthcare model to assist you with healthy eating and lifestyle choices and together, we will set and develop achievable goals, and integrate them into your routine for long-term sustainable change. By providing you with wellness and nutrition information, options, recommendations, guidance, motivation, skills and tools, we will help you establish a healthier lifestyle routine for a balanced life filled with increased wellbeing, energy, enthusiasm, vibrancy and passion. Ensuring a holistic lifestyle transformation, get ready to say Hello to a happier and healthier YOU!
Ashlee is a Holistic Health and Happiness Coach (Institute of Integrative Nutrition, The Coaching Academy, NLP Practitioner, student of Richard Bandler).
concealed; out of sight; designed to elude detection; secret; difficult to find; obscure
benevolent mythical creature in eastern culture; inhabits auspicious lands; protector of the world and overcomer of obstacles; represents happiness, immortality, procreation and fertility; water diety: rain, snow, river, sea, ocean
Ashlee Benis is the owner of Hidden Dragon. She is half Japanese and half Polish/American, educated in the UK - a living example of East meets West! She embodies the mantra: love the life you live and live the life you love. Dedicated to her guests' happiness and their experience at Hidden Dragon, she is always on-site to ensure you have the holiday of a lifetime with memories that outlast your stay with her.
Influenced by a love for food and wine and having a natural inclination for hospitality, Hidden Dragon was founded to celebrate the Good Life and the art of gastronomy in a glorious alpine back-to-nature setting.
Ashlee is a qualified yogini (500+ RYT), meditation teacher (Universal Healing Tao), Reiki practitioner and alternative therapist, Holistic Health and Lifestyle Coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York, Junior Great Britain alpine ski racer (Kandahar Ski Club), passionate foodie and self-confessed bon vivant! She believes in a holistic approach to Life in order to achieve optimal health and vibrant wellbeing, and encourages a healthful balance of mind, body and spirit to truly be the happiest versions of ourselves.
Inspired by the need for balance in life, a yin to one's yang, Hidden Dragon encourages spiritual and physical health through mindfulness, nutrition, exercise and wellbeing.
Motivated to study alternative health modalities after a family trauma, Ashlee became passionate about nutrition as medicine, the mind-body connection, the innate healing potential of the body and a holistic approach to conscious living. Hidden Dragon is a celebration of her family, of friendship, of Life, of Love.. and was a heartfelt creative project intended to share happiness, kindness, empathy and compassion with others.
The founders' passion for architecture, art and design is evident in Hidden Dragon. Clearly a creative project nurtured with love: a stunning depository for multiple textures, organic materials and earth tones and soothing colours which subtly showcases their Shinto beliefs and Eurasian heritage. Hidden Dragon's stunning interiors have been featured in international architectural and design publications, magazines and coffee table books. We are often featured in writers' Top 10 Best Luxe Chalet Lists and were delighted to scoop World's Sexiest Chalet by the Travel Channel!