Two hours from Zurich and 1,800 metres above sea level, you’ll find an oasis of five- star luxury - the Tschuggen Grand in Arosa, Switzerland. Now that’s our type of winter wonderland...
The hotel If I had the money, I’d pack my bags and live forever in the Tschuggen Grand. It’s only a couple of hours on the train from Zurich and also one of the most picturesque journeys I’ve ever had – I couldn’t stop gawping in awe at the lush green mountains dotted with chocolate-box style Swiss houses.
I had been invited to the hotel in late September to take part in the hotel’s Indian summer activity programme (think mountain-top yoga, bike rides and hiking) to discover that the night before we arrived it had started snowing unexpectedly. And heavily. But from the minute I was ushered into my luxurious suite, I kind of hoped we’d get snowed in and I’d have to stay for at least a week.
My room (and, in fact, the whole hotel) is chalet-chic-meets-sophisticate. Despite the fact you’re in super-luxe surroundings, the hotel’s interior has been cleverly designed by Carlo Rampazzi to make you feel immediately at home rather than intimidated. And the cheerful, mostly young, staff help add to the home-away-from-home vibe.
Above my king size bed was a huge tapestry-style masterpiece, and to the right was my own lounge area with stylish, modern burnt orange sofas, plus a desk in front of a huge window for working (as if!). And in case I got bored there was a table and chairs - complete with chess set - facing the hotel’s very own mountain railway (a world first) - the Tschuggen Express. I even had my own private, wooden balcony overlooking the impressive Graubünden mountain - by now totally covered in snow.
What to do Whatever your winter pleasure, the Tschuggen will sort it out for you. Skiing, long winter walks, horse-drawn sleigh rides, tobogganing or even paragliding – to name a handful. And of course, if you’re lazy (like me) you don’t even have to leave the hotel. That’s why God created the Spa...
The spa The Tschuggen’s Bergoase SPA was my favourite hangout in the two days I was at the hotel. From the sauna to the steam room, splashing around in the heated indoor hydrotherapy pool, or reading my favourite book whilst reclining in my cosy bathrobe on a comfy lounger, I was in heaven. Somehow I found the time in my extremely busy relaxation schedule for a divine Oriental Ritual Massage and a much-needed Classic Facial (using Clarins products.) But my highlight was swimming outside in the spa’s heated pool, snowflakes gently falling on my face while floating on my back gazing at the white-covered mountain tops. Sigh.
Dining You don’t even need to leave the hotel for food. There are five restaurants catering for all moods and tastes - ranging from the La Vetta for a more informal experience; the Grand Restaurant (which, like its name suggests is a more swanky “statement” dining experience if you want to dress up a little); La Provence (where I had the most amazing salad buffet – and in the summer you can eat out on the balcony facing the mountain); the Bündnerstube (where you can get traditional Swiss dishes like fondue – and the restaurant even has its own teeny bowling alley!); then of course there’s the healthy Spa Lounge restaurant, with its healthy selection of light bites.
Details Prices for 7 nights b&b including flights with Swiss International Air Lines start from £1,011 per person. To book contact Kuoni www.kuoni.co.uk
Tschuggen Grand Hotel, Sonnenbergstrasse, CH-7050 Arosa, Switzerland. Tel: +41 81 378 9999
By Danielle Hine