The name of the village of La Sage, comes from sage, the aromatic plant which can be found in abundance in the area.
It was in the middle of the 18th century that Valais first became known due to the widespread romantic stereotypes about the mountain and its summits, such as the Cervin, the Grand Combin and the Dent Blanche in the region of Evolène, where the first hotel opened in 1858. English mountaineers were the real pioneers of Alpine tourism in Evolène, as in Arolla. They were often the first to scale the summits: the Dent d'Hérens in 1863, Mont Collon in 1867 by Foster, and the Dent Blanche in 1862 by Kennedy and Wigram. It was in the latter half of the 19th century that tourism really took off. In those days, tourists only came in summer. The season lasted from May 15th to September 30th, when the hotels were open. The establishment at the Dent Blanche was the first constructed in Evolène, in 1858. It had fifty rooms and the hotel itself offered guides, porters and mules. The small hotel of Col d’Hérens opened in the valley of Ferpècle in 1881. This was followed in 1890 by the Grand Hotel d'Evolène, built by Jean Anzévui, with its sixty rooms and salons, smoking rooms, bathrooms and… the telegraph. It also offered guides, porters and mules. In Les Haudères, the end of the roadway until 1964, the first hotel, offering 40 beds, was built in 1885, just before the construction of the Grand Hotel de la Sage (1890) with its panoramic dining room, its lounge and smoking room, and its terraces, soon followed by the Hotel Kurhaus (1897) in Arolla.
"The very name of Evolène is enchanting. But what can one say about the freshness of its green fields, the purity of its forest air, the beauty of its great woods, the magnificence of its glaciers, and the stately allure of its formidable peaks! It is simply enchanting and perhaps nowhere else is Alpine nature more grandiose and more moving." (Solandieu, 1900, 39).
"In the east, the spring flowers, in the south the fruits of autumn, in the north the winter ice: they brought together all the seasons in the same instant, all climates in the same place, opposite terrains on the same ground and created a harmony, unknown elsewhere, of products of the plains and of the Alps."
St. Preux, in La Nouvelle Héloise (J.J. Rousseau)