In the Graubünden Mountains of Switzerland, the scent of pine hangs thick and sweet in the air, as summer fades to autumn. The screech of tires on tar while old-fashioned automobiles propel up the mountain in the Arosa Classic Car, dulls to a distant memory. Carp anglers who summer in the Swiss Alps flick their final lines into the undisturbed calm, fly-fishing the crystal clear waters of Lake Schwesilee one last time, then disperse.
Horses stomp in their stables at Fuhrhalterei, sensing the change in the season. Gardens of vegetables, herbs and wildflowers give way to the cold creeping over the peaks. Above the pistes, unpolluted precipitation patiently awaits the perfect moment to gently lay blankets of white over 140 miles of adjoined slopes in Arosa and Lenzerheide, bringing forth yet another season of unparalleled downhill and cross country skiing. It’s here, in the sleepy village of Arosa, that luxury travelers can uncover multiple hidden gems.
New in 2018 is the Valsana, a sporting hotel for backpackers and skiers seeking value accommodations opening December 7. Its sister property is the Tschuggen Grand Hotel, a whimsical five star property operated by the Tschuggen Hotel Group, showcasing Swiss hospitality at its finest. This season, two new suites will be launched, offering the absolute best views and a spacious home away from home.
Exploring its halls, whispers of the past echo through the corridors of this property that was once a renowned health sanatorium in the 1800’s. Today, the hotel honors this history, with the promise of wellness from cuisine to spa. 100% clean eating and local sourcing for guests extends to all 6 dining venues, including its Michelin starred La Vetta restaurant.
Offsite, Alpenblick is another must-visit; in the evenings, roasting rabbits, Swiss wines and cheeses are served in a rustic-chic setting. For early risers, their farmhouse breakfast is also an unbelievably savory and sumptuous affair, in walkabl distance from the hotel.
For die-hard sporting enthusiasts, the hotel’s private Tschuggen Express lift allows for limited waits to hit the slopes. Renovated in the summer of 2017, each trip to the top is now more efficient and luxurious. At day’s end, skiing in and dining at The Basement is a perfect high-end comfort food option, surrounded by minimalist décor, soft lighting and rich wood furnishings.
The final gem, sparkling against the snow at sundown, is the hotel’s own Tschuggen Bergoase Spa; its glass exterior appears as galactic sails of a space ship, emerging from the foot of the mountain into which it is built. Inside its walls, constructed of Duke White granite stone from the Alps, Arosa rock, and Canadian Maple, eyes lift to take in all four flours of this unique retreat. Visitors will appreciate its rock grotto, bio sauna, private spa suites, Kneipp trails, and more. There’s no better way to relax weary bones after days spent on the slopes than inside this unique wellness haven, which hearkens to the destinations origins. Wish you were here!
Tschuggen Grand Hotel’s winter season is from November 30, 2017 – April 8, 2018.