The wintersports season may feel a long way away, but you need to book now to get a room at a top hotel for peak season. Arosa is a lesser-known gem of the Alps, and, in the Tschuggen Grand, has a ski-in, ski-out hotel-resort worthy of a princess, as 13-year-old Laetitia Sanai discovers
When we arrived in Arosa, I was initially expecting another Alpine resort with those familiar never-ending queues at chairlifts and the sickly smell of burning rubber in the ski room. Instead, in our hotel, we found ourselves swathed in rich carpeting as we were relieved of the ominous snow now pounding against the windows. Arosa the resort is set upon a valley – not too high but still high enough to be able to receive more than enough snow. The well known pistes of Lenzerheide in the next door valley are shared with the now growing capacity of the skiers in Arosa and there are many to choose from, believe me.
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What struck me as interesting was that when staying at the Tschuggen Grand, there was much more available than just skiing facilities. I realised that you didn’t necessarily need to go there for a skiing holiday. You could do numerous other things and enjoy yourself just as much. Want to experience a rather spacious heated outdoor swimming pool whilst the snow is sprinkling (and jump into it from a pile of snow on the side)? Go to the Tschuggen Bergoase, a spa created by world-famous architect Mario Botta. Want to get to the slopes quickly, with no fuss? Take the private Tschuggen Express– a two minute funicular ride to the slopes, only for hotel guests. Want to have a bite to eat? No problem, go to one of the hotel’s six culinary adventures, ranging from the ultra-healthy spa menu, to the Michelin starred La Vetta. And then of course, there’s the skiing.
225 kilometres of skiing is in addition to the Lenzerheide pistes which are connected via a cable car. The Tschuggen also boasts a private toboggan run easily accessible by the private funicular mentioned earlier. A series of slopes, dips and curves make up this kilometre-long ride, in which you find yourself almost riding the wind, as you watch the sun go down from the top of a mountain.
And then, (if you’re me) you manage to do just fine on the steering front until you come to the penultimate curve, where you abruptly come to a rather undignified halt as you crash into the side of a snowdrift. There are mountain restaurants dotted across the hillsides, and I remember that satisfying feeling of clipping yourself into your skis and pushing off after consuming an alarming amount of truffle chips and spaghetti bolognese.
The tranquility you feel as you get lifted up into the sky in a chairlift, only the whirring sound of the cords above you and the clacking sound as you shake the snow off your skis. That feeling when you rise above a hilltop and examine in awe the trees, thickly laden with snow and the miniature skiers gliding seamlessly down the mountain far, far below. Arosa offers all of these experiences, and even more, and certainly made it a skiing holiday to remember. tschuggen.ch