When a friend asks, “Do any of my friends want to fly to Italy and celebrate my 35th birthday at the ski resort in Switzerland….” obviously you answer yes.
After checking to see how serious she was and how responsive said resort might be I had a ticket booked to go a few weeks later. We drove from her home near Venice to the small city of Arosa, Switzerland high up in the Swiss Alps for a stay at the Tschuggen Grand Hotel.
The drive was of course beautiful but didn't even begin to prepare me for the utterly amazing view we had out our window. No, that's not me outside in bare feet, the glass was so transparent it looked like you were sitting outside. Not a terrible view to wake up to. It was evident right away that this was a special place but unlike many luxury hotels it doesn't try too hard. I mean that in the best possible way.
The furnishings were lovely but not over the top. Small details really made us feel welcome and special. From the welcome snack waiting, to the drinks brought cold (or hot) as soon as we arrived and of course the uber-comfortable bed, everything was excellent.
I've been in some luxury hotels where it felt like you simply didn't want to touch anything, that it's just too valuable to feel comfortable. The same can be said for guests in some luxury hotels. I hate feeling out of place, but it's hard to know how to dress when you've never been somewhere. That wasn't the case here. While everything was luxurious, I felt completely at home and in place. It was casual luxury and I loved every second!
The resort is popular in winter for the wonderful ski hills but also in summer for hiking. The Tschuggen Grand has it's own private mountain train. It operates simply by pressing a call button – no humans needed! From here you can take the hill down to the gondolas and other lifts going further up the mountain. Or just take a ride. If you don't ski, pick up one of the complimentary sleds and go down the sled hills instead – but take care they're not straight down, you'll need some steering control.
When it's time to warm up, jump into the indoor-outdoor heated pool or saunas. Get a massage or body treatment. If you want to burn off some more calories there is an impressive gym, meditation room, and workout studio. But the most important thing for me? The food of course!
Dining on site is plentiful and excellent. There are three on-site restaurants; La Vetta, Grand Restaurant, La Collina, and Bundnerstube. What's served ranges from Michelin star fine dining to traditional Swiss fare. I wish my food pictures were a bit better but with the low light and environment, it wasn't really appropriate to take pictures. This was one course of the four course dinner we enjoyed our first night. The courses I enjoyed were;
- Beef carpaccio with mustard sauce, cheese and rocket
- Fried Quail with Barley Risotto (shown)
- Lamb Chops with Potatos
- Cheesecake with raspberry sorbet
Each one as delicious as the next and the perfect portion. The resort has an expansive wine list but is more than accommodating if you don't drink wine. I asked specifically if they're able to make arrangements for special dining, such as halal meat and the answer was an overwhelming yes without blinking an eye. They have plenty of experience with tailoring menus for an Islamic diet, and I am certain this extends to others as well.
For our second night we had Swiss fondue with truffles at Bundnerstube. It was so good but also very rich. I suggest if fondue is on your mind, go easy and see how your body responds. Oh and the coolest part of this restaurant? There's a functioning, vintage bowling alley inside!
This truly was one of the best hotel experiences I've had and highly recommend this resort for couples or families. You'll feel like royalty and be treated like it as well.
Accessible via car or train from Geneva