- Day Spa
- Medi Spa
- Personal training
- Pool – Indoor
- Pool – Outdoor
Perched 1800m above sea level in the small ski resort town of Arosa, The Tschuggen Grand doesn’t immediately scream ‘Alpine’.
A multi-storey block, rebuilt in the 1960s, it actually houses 128 rooms and suites, four restaurants, a bar, a 5,000m2 spa, and most importantly for winter visitors, has its own ski hire store, as well as its own miniature railway, the Tschuggen Express, which chugs you up to the slopes.
The Tschuggen Bergoase
The Tschuggen Bergoase – which means ‘mountain oasis’ – was designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, and covers 5000 square-metres. Accessed by a small glass bridge connecting it to the main building, it spans four floors and features 13 spa treatment rooms, as well as a hairdressing salon, and mani-pedi area, sauna and steam rooms, an outdoor pool and a vast indoor pool.
A range of international treatments are on offer from brands including Dermalogica, Cellcosmet, Clarins, O.P.I and Sensai.
- Steam room
- Hairdressing salon
- Indoor and outdoor pools
- Gym and fitness centre
Set over several floors, the hotel offers 128 comfortable rooms, in a range of different categories, including 21 junior suites, 8 South Facing suites, 2 two-floor loft suites, and the biggest, the Tschuggen Suite. Many have mountain views.
There are four restaurants: The Grand, which is more formal, with white tablecloths and candles, and which serves high-end Swiss food; La Vetta, which is Michelin-starred, and offers a set, five-course menu; La Collina, for casual dining, and The Basement, which also does casual food, with hearty, Swiss ingredients.
Facilities and Activities
- Personal Training
- Hot air ballooning
For the Kids
The hotel’s team of qualified professionals is on hand to look after all small guests aged 3 and over, and also have programmes aimed at those aged 12 and over.
During the Winter season, the supervised Junior Club is open seven days a week, offering activities such as ice-skating, sledging, and snowshoeing. In Summer (by prior arrangement) they can offer trips to the open-air swimming pool, hiking tours, pedalo trips and cinema evenings.
First, fly to Zurich; from then you take a train to Chur, then change to a Rhutische train up the hills to Arosa.
From Zurich airport you take a train to Chur, then change to a Rhutische train up the hills to Arosa.
Perched 1800m above sea level in the small ski resort town of Arosa, The Tschuggen Grand doesn’t immediately scream ‘Alpine’. In fact, it’s a rather modern multi-storey block, which was built in the 1960s after the original building unfortunately burned down. However, it couldn’t be more perfectly located for the slopes, as most of their visitors come in the winter.
Inside, the decor – by rather flamboyant Swiss-Italian architect and designer Carlo Rampazzi – is an interesting blend of 80s maximalism and Swiss tradition. The lobby features customised, handmade furniture, the type you would call a conversation point (one Hermes chaise longue is upholstered in fabric patterned with jockeys; another sofa is lacquered in shiny emerald green), as well as modern artworks. In the corridors, there are traditional touches; walls and room doors are handpainted with differently coloured abstract designs that nonetheless reference edelweiss, that plucky little Swiss flower which grows at extraordinary altitudes.
The building houses 128 rooms and suites, four restaurants, a bar, a 5000 square-metre spa, and, most importantly for skiers, it has its own ski hire store, as well as its own miniature railway, the Tschuggen Express, which chugs you smoothly up to the slopes. Surrounded by mountains, the views are what really count, and here you’ve got plenty.
The Tschuggen Bergoase
The Tschuggen Bergoase – which means ‘mountain oasis’ – is rightly the jewel in the property’s crown. Designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, it opened in 2006, and covers 5000 square-metres. Accessed by a small glass bridge connecting it to the main building, it spans four floors and features distinctive glass ‘sails’, which look as if they are growing out of the ground. These flood the spa with light, and at night are illuminated in different colours (perfect for Instagram…).
Made of granite, glass and steel, it feels modern and airy. The ground floor is home to the gym and fitness centre, the first floor houses the 13 spa treatment rooms, as well as a hairdressing salon, and mani-pedi area. There are also two private spa suites. On the third floor are the sauna and steam rooms, while the fourth-floor houses a vast indoor pool, as well as – for the brave – an outdoor one, both heated.
They use a range of international brands, including Dermalogica, Cellcosmet, Clarins, O.P.I and Sensai, and have just started to offer yoga retreats. A couple of shops highlight Swiss independent designers, while a seasonal pop up showcases international ones -when I visited, it was home to Tateossian.
I indulge in the Aroma Oil massage, which starts with Petra, my therapist, offering me nine different oils to choose from, each of which have different properties. Some are to relax, some to revive, and the selection includes rosemary, thyme, lavender, peppermint and lemon.
I choose lemon; after a somewhat morning on the slopes, I want to feel re-energised, and even a quick sniff perks me up. Petra massages my back, shoulders, my legs on both sides, and focuses specifically on kneading out various sore knots and points, but also uses lots of long, sweeping strokes. It’s relaxing, as well as leaving me feel alert and soothed.
They offer a range of treatments, from facials to body wraps, as well as body contouring and firming, reflexology, lymphatic drainage, a ‘skier’s massage’, physiotherapy, hot stone and Ayurveda techniques.
In their Medical Wellness Centre, they offer individual programmes for aesthetic dermatology, laser medicine and anti-ageing which help to promote and maintain health and beauty into old age.
I’m staying in a double deluxe room, which has a balcony overlooking the mountains; I can see plenty of forest, jagged peaks, and chalets, which makes me feel like I’m definitely in Switzerland. My double bed has a padded headboard; these vary in design, and while I’m not overly fond of my plastic-looking blue and green tartan affair, I fall in love with the cosy-looking beige, woollen bedspread embroidered with huge white edelweiss (sadly not for sale in the hotel shop!).
There’s a sizeable workspace by the window with plenty of powerpoints, two Chesterfield-style leather chairs, and a big grey and white marble bathroom with Molton Brown toiletries, two sinks, a bath and shower stall, with a brilliantly powerful rainforest showerhead. After my bags have been delivered, I’m offered a homemade iced tea, made with local mountain herbs.
Breakfast at The Grand is buffet-style, with a huge spread of pastries, charcuterie and cheeses, and the option to order egg dishes, while dinner at The Basement, decorated like a cosy Swiss chalet is a fun affair. I had a delicious steak tartare, followed by a hearty rosti burger, served on a pretzel bun, with porcini may and fried mushrooms. Their Arosa cheesecake is a creamy, melt-in-the-mouth delight.
My final meal, at La Vetta, is Michelin-starred heaven. This particular evening – the menu changes regularly – involved several amuse-bouches, warm home-made bread with several accompaniments (from pickled broccoli to beetroot salt), seared Chianina beef with corn and mole, pike with black pudding and potato cake, and a trio of inventive desserts, including rice pudding with mandarin. Everything is prepared to a very high standard, whether you’re dining formally or casually, and served unstuffily, with warmth and friendliness.
Facilities and Activities
Since it was winter, I was there to ski. Or rather, learn to ski, as I’d never done it before. The hotel kindly arranged a private lesson (it can also arrange lessons with groups), and my instructor, Hampe, was incredibly patient as I tramped up slopes sideways dozens of times, and demonstrated wobbly snowploughs. The weather was glorious, bright sunshine and blue skies, which helped with my confidence, and by the end of three hours, I even managed to sail down a blue run (almost) unaided.
Don’t miss a trip to the top of the Weisshorn for Sunrise Skiing; you’ll get there by cable car just as the sun rises, have a hearty breakfast at 2600m, then you can ski all the way down to the middle ski station. I did it (without the skiing-back-down bit), and the views were phenomenal, the sky tinged pink and blue, the mountains radiant.