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Swiss Alps

Accomodation

Giardino Mountain Hotel St. Moritz

My personal highlight: Staying in the Engadine in luxury and informal surrounding offering the best comfort you need for body & soul

Here is where you find a tranquil & intimate winter escape only a five-minute stroll away from St. Moritz. Welcome to Champfèr close to nature and far away from everyday life. Giardino Mountain is a modern luxury hotel with a homely touch. The architecture is traditional from Engadine, the sgraffitos (typical wall painting from Engadine) on the walls made by the local artist Steivan Könz combined with wood elements add a particular romantic touch! It has undergone an extensive transformation, preserving the local Engadine charm and fusing it with clean interior design.

Why to choose 5 Star Hotel Giardino Mountain for your trip

Staying at Giardino Mountain feels like visiting a friends chalet with a luxury touch and excellent service. The interior design is modern, colorful and arty. The view from the balcony over the Engadine Mountain is giving you the needed portion of tranquility every time you slide the curtain!

Walking through the corridors you notice vibrant fuchsia and lime velvets that brings to mind a huge bouquet of wild flowers cascading down a snowy mountain. I absolutely love the wall of roses on the way to the fine dining restaurant Ecco by Chef Rolf Fliegauf.

Accommodation

The rooms are decorated with warm colors and delicate fabrics and provide soul-nourishing spaces, including a restful state-of-the-art wellness spa. I really loved the earthy tones that give to the 78 rooms and suites a feeling of warmth and pure coziness.
The size of the rooms starts from 18-square-meter Double Room Small to 60-square-meter Mountain Suite, each of the 78 rooms offers mountain views and either a king-size bed or twin beds. All rooms offer a shower or a bathtub—apart from the 32-square-meter Small Suite South, the 50-square-meter Suite, and the 60-square-meter Mountain Suite, which offer both—while some also boast a lounge or balcony.
The Mountain Suite also plays host to a wonderful fireplace to enjoy the best post-piste relaxation moment. Check their actual rates here.

Wellness & SPA, Gym or Yoga

Discover the brand “dipiù” – a declaration of love of Ticino’s nature and its efficacy at Giardino Mountain. Choose the program of ayurveda or beauty you need out of their offer here. For all yoga lovers: go for the weekly yoga sessions! They help to relax and let go! The sauna world offers  various dry and steam saunas. Use the indoor pool for some swimming and don’t miss their modern gym equipment from Technogym for your training practice.

Are you into a short getaways in St. Moritz: choose the day pass to the dipiù Spa at the Hotel Giardino Mountain, there’s no need to be a hotel guest to enjoy a short relaxing break. Whether it’s summer or winter, spend a restorative day of wellness in the pool and sauna area of Switzerland’s largest dipiù Spa.
One treatment, such as a massage, is included. Including 60 min. treatment – CHF 220 p.p., Including 90 min. treatment – CHF 260 p.p.

Restaurants

The hotel features 4 restaurants. Restaurant Hide & Seek and the Stüva provide culinary delights throughout the year. Ecco Restaurant is probably the best 2 star Michelin rated restaurant in the Engadine run by Chef Rolf Fliegauf. They prepare amazing dishes with regional products combined with flair and imagination. I had the opportunity to experience the Menu prepared with the Guest Chef Renu Homsombat from Bangkok during the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival. Go for a romantic Fondue & Champagne in their new pop-up restaurant RSRV (pronounced “reservé”) on the hotel terrace. It’s a transparent dome, for an outdoor feeling with an indoor temperature! Get more here! Prices are from CHF 85 (with the Engadine fondue), CHF 96 (with the truffle fondue) to CHF 116 (with the champagne fondue).
The pop-up restaurant will be open from 20 December 2019 to 8 March 2020.

Note: From May 29 to November 1, 2020, when many Alpine hotels close down, Giardino Mountain transforms into a casual bed-and-breakfast, offering its normal five-star ambience, but without its restaurant and spa—perfect for those who seek a high-style luxury setting in the Alps during summer.

A warm thank you goes to all of the Giardino Mountain Staff and Woehrle Pirola AG that made this press trip possible.www.giardinohotels.ch/

Address: Hotel Giardino Mountain – Via alla Maistra 3 – 7512 Champfèr-St. Moritz – Schweiz

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Accomodation

Valsana Hotel & Appartements Arosa

My personal highlight: Discovering the most charming and sustainable Hotel of Switzerland in Arosa

Welcome to the hidden gem Arosa is located in the region of Graubünden in Switzerland about 2 h train ride from Zurich. This blog story shares with you a travel experience suitable for a weekend trip or week holiday in the Swiss Alps. No matter if you choose to travel in summer, autumn or winter, Arosa offers outdoor activities and best cultural or wellness all year round. Get more on the destination here.
I had my friend Annasole with me for the weekend and guess what, it’s the perfect spot to just relax your soul and have fun together in the snow!

Why to choose 4* Valsana Hotel & Appartements for your trip

The interior design is characterised by the eccentric designer Carlo Rampazzi and makes it easy for every guest to feel at home either in the “living room” area, at the restaurant, on the beautiful outdoor terrace and especially in the hotel room. The warm colours of the furniture and materials used with their partly natural shapes create a mix of alpine and oriental homy atmosphere. In the decoration, nostalgic elements catch the eye: absolutely play a song on the vintage turntable with some vinyls of Frank Sinatra!

Every room has different interiors: My favorite one is the sofa a colorful vibrant flower imprint.

The 115-year-old hotel was completely demolished in 2015 and reopened in December 2017 as a new three-part, modern hotel with 40 spacious rooms and junior suites and 9 apartments. The hotel belongs to the Tschuggen Hotel Group and has been renovated with a budget of ca. 50 Mio. Why so much you think? Because the owner’s approach was to create an innovative and avantgard surrounding where to support a clear conscience for every visitor!

Guests are given the opportunity to offset the emissions generated by their journeys! Several sustainable projects in cooperation with myclimate are available, check them out!

The food concept at Valsana is clean, healthy and where ever possible regional and local, this is why for example you find only European wines on the menu and meat from free-range animals or certified fishing operations. The SPA features different fair cosmetic brands, just to name some of their environment-friendly projects!

Accommodation

Find 40 double rooms and junior suites between 33 and 52 m2 and 9 apartments with hotel service between 79 and 86 m2. In Winter double rooms are available from CHF 357 incl. breakfast buffet per day, in summer from CHF 227 incl. breakfast buffet per day. Appartements start as of CHF 557 for 2 person /day (winter) and in summer as of CHF 427 for 2 person /day. Book your room here.

Wellness, Gym, Yoga & SPA

Enjoy your Yoga lesson in the morning held by Instructor Julian or a guided snowshoe hiking adventure or just some relax in the 800 square meters of their wellness oasis. There is a pool facing the majestic alps, steam bath and saunas. I absolutely recommend also their massages after a fun afternoon in the snow! If time permits, book a personal training from the program R1: The “Athlete of Life” offer, conceived in cooperation with the Munich R1 Sports Club, not only builds on strength training, but also pursues a holistic approach with work-life and energy balance, mindfulness, nutrition and exercise! Get a full picture of all of their Sport & Spa services here.

Restaurant & Drinks

The hotel restaurant TWIST is the casual way to enjoy healthy food. The cuisine designed by Chef Marco Campaneella is particularly versatile and offers something for gourmets, fans of vegetarian and vegan cuisine as well as conscious gourmets. Find mostly regional products as for example the salmon Lostallo from the company Swiss Lachs. I absolutely recommend to share plates, as this is the best way to taste a bit everything from their menu. My absolute favorite dish was the barley risotto with mushrooms, dried tomatoes, leek and basil.
Enjoy a drink at the bar where you can find a variety of Swiss spirits including extraordinary Gins!

Why using the latest technological innovations minimises the hotel’s impact on the environment!

What happens in the cellar of the hotel is something I’ve never seen before! The entire Valsana complex is heated using geothermal probes and by capturing and reusing waste heat from other appliances that are ordinarily lost to the surroundings. This waste heat is stored in a large tank or ice battery, essentially a large water tank housing a 400m pipe register of 1.5 m high pipes.  Hotel Valsana is probably the greenest hotel in Switzerland.

Thanks to its energy concept, it uses virtually no fossil fuels.

Want to know more about this fantastic concept: get it here!

A warm thank you goes to all of the Valsana Staff that is incredibly hearty and always helpful; and to Stephanie und Michael Lehnort and Rahel Rohner, PR Manager that made this press trip possible.

www.valsana.ch

Address: Valsana Hotel & Appartements, Oberseepromenade 2, 7050 Arosa, Phone: +41 81 378 63 63, info@valsana.ch

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STORIES

Golden Autumn in the Swiss Alps – Discover Flims / Graubünden

My personal highlight: spending time walking through nature is the BEST way to connect and experience a destination.

Ever heard about the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tectonic Arena Sardona or the Rhine gorge? Or the two jewel alpine lakes named Cauma and Cresta?
Welcome to the Swiss alps in Graubünden, the home of giant peaks, vibrant forests and flowery mountain meadows!

This article shall inspire you for the perfect Alpine weekend trip! Flims offers all you want from the perfect autumn hide away. Get there in only 1.45 minutes by train from Zurich. By car in even 1.15 hours.

Must do on your trip: Relaxing walk to Caumasee & Crestasee

Caumasee is one of the most breathtaking mountain lakes in Switzerland, they call it the pearl of Flims. Experience this with your own eyes, pictures alone won’t make it. This lake is not that secret anymore, so make sure to get there early!

Embedded in a forest you find turquoise blue and crystal clear waters. Water temperature in summer is at an average of 21 Celsius, with a maximum around 24 Celsius. Around the lake you have spots to relax, you can even rent inflatable boat or bring your unicorn! The entrance fee from May – September is 12 CHF (adults),  6 CHF (kids). Find different areas for barbecue or just enjoy their restaurant for drinks & food. The car parking is close (15 min).

How to get there: You can walk (ca 45 min) or bike (ca. 15 min) from Flims Dorf or take a local bus (ca. 15 min,)

My insider tip: Crestasee. This lake is small and yet undiscovered from tourists. Stay here for a pick-nick or a BBQ at the fireplace close by. Go for a swim in summer! Entrance fee in summer is 7 CHF for adults and 3 CHF for kids.

Once in Crestasee plan some time to walk up to the observation deck called “Il Spir” (takes you about 4o min.). Enjoy a 180° view over the famous Rhine gorge also called  ‘Swiss Grand Canyon’. The platform was designed by the local architect Corinna Menn. Once up at Il Spir enjoy a lunch or dessert at the Restaurant Conn.  From here you have the choice to continue your hike to various destination, if you’re in the mood to stroll back to Flims Dorf  by horse and carriage, this is the spot where to do it. Book your ticket at the restaurant (20 CHF for adults 1 way, 13 CHF for kids, 1 way).

Suggested walk for a 2.30 hours , ca. 10 km trip departing from Flims Waldhhaus:

Trin-Mulin – Crestasee – Caumasee – Flims – Felsbachschlucht – Trin-Mulin

In the mood of some alpine action?

Experience pure adrenalin in the wild gorges while river rafting or take a hike along the craggy rock formations. An easily accessible hiking trail and several biking trails along the Rhine also present excellent opportunities to have a barbecue, create stone mounds or dip your feet in the water.

More into an active train ride through the Rhine Gorge?

The bizarre geological formations surrounded by old pine trees fascinate train passengers, hikers and river rafters from around the world. Experience the Rhine gorge from very close every Sunday. The adventure train, with its open observation carriages, takes a leisurely ride along the side of the river, amidst striking rock formations. Get your ticket and all details here. Tickets start from 24 CHF for adults and 12 CHF for kids.

Find more inspiration on activities on the website of Flims/Laax/Falera!

For your comfort and cozy stay I absolutely recommend “The Hide Hotel” in Flims located directly at the bus station and close to the slopes in winter! Get my full article here!

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AccomodationGUIDES

Badrutt’s Palace Hotel St. Moritz

My personal highlight: Admiring the wooden wall shelves with books from 120 years of Badrutt’s Palace-history & the unique Sistine Madonna from the easel of the famous Raphael took my breath away!

Badrutt’s Palace is located in the beautiful upper Engadine. Experience an authentic and calming vibe from the moment you enter the Hotel. Dive into a space where you get surrounded by high quality service and an ambience that relaxes your senses. The kindness of the staff is the first thing I noticed and appreciated every moment of my stay. They read every wish from your lips and make a guest feel comfortable in every situation.

The authentic and historical heritage goes back to 1856 when the family Badrutt started this project. Johannes Badrutt bought a small guesthouse in St. Moritz and gave birth to that fairytale that is still alive today. During my stay I had the pleasure to be guided through the house and understand much about the values and thoughts that the family Badrutt put into this pearl. It’s the perfect hideaway for families and couples that appreciate high luxury and aim to discover the upper Engadine Alps in Winter or autumn for skiing, hiking or simply enjoy time off.

The view to the lake of St. Moritz is the cherry on the top. 

The dedicated staff lead by Richard Leuenberger makes Badrutt’s Palace Hotel be part of the „Swiss Deluxe Hotels“. The label stands for premium quality and extraordinary service lead on a heritage of tradition and experience.

Accommodation

Badrutt’s Palace has 157 rooms including 37 suites with a view of the alps. The rooms offer elegance,  class and high comfort. Experience a symbiosis of luxury furnishings, timeless elegance and modern technology.

The popular 280 m² large Hans Badrutt suite completed in 2003 together with the 250 m² large Helen Badrutt suite have a marble bathroom. The Helene Badrutt’s Suite reflects very nice how elegant and classy they have been thought already back in time. It is decorated with unique pieces of art that belong to the family. For the interior sophisticated premium textiles are chosen added with modern technical equipment. The hotel is carefully refurbished in keeping the historical foundations.

Get more information on all activities of the winter and summer destination of St. Moritz here. If you are a food lover it’s an absolute must to visit St. Moritz during the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival in January! Read more about my personal experience here.

Gourmet Highlights at Badrutt’s Palace – Kitchen Party & more

I had the great chance to experience their excellent cuisine during the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival. An absolute highlight offers the kitchen party. Get to feel from very close, how the Chefs prepare any food variation live and make you feel part of the team. You smell, taste and feel real food passion here.

Explore different restaurant that belong to the Hotel: The “Le Restaurant” serves French and international cuisine, the restaurant “La Diala” offers a light Mediterranean cuisine, the Le Coupole – Matsuhisa Japanese-Peruvian cuisine by celebrity chef Nobu in the former first tennis hall in Europe, The Patrizier Stuben offers Swiss specialities in the oldest farmhouse in St. Moritz,  The Pizzeria Heuboden is one of the most popular restaurants in St. Moritz you should absolutely try!  Grill Chadafö is known for its fine grill specialties. The Le Relais is the Noon counterpart to Le Restaurant.

IGNIV by Andreas Caminada

CIGNIV by Andreas Caminada at Badrutt’s Palace is the place where your valuable time gets enriched by enjoyment and culinary temptations.. Get surprised and seduced by the charm of the new IGNIV.
kitchen chef is Marcel Skibba. He was Sous-Chef at the Schauenstein Schlossrestaurant Hotel and will be in charge of IGNIV at Badrutt’s Palace during the winter months.

Chocolate Cult at Badrutt’s Palace with Confiserie Spruengli

If your heart beats faster when you’re surrounded by delicate Swiss Chocolate and creative dessert a must book during your stay at Badrutt’s Palace is the Chocolate Cult event taking place during the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival. Find pure chocolate art paired with experience and passion from Chef-Patissier Stefan Gerber and his staff. Delicious fresh made pralines, tarts, creams and pastries. Only tasting can explain!

Wellness & Beauty

Explore the wellness area at Badrutt’s Palace with endless time. Find a multifaceted centre to enhance the state of wellbeing. You enjoy a high class service from a lovely staff that feels what you need. Overlooking the snowy landscape while swimming in the heated outdoor pool (Winter 38 °C / Summer 37°C) is absolute relaxation.

Find an Aroma Steam Room 45°C / 100%, a Salt Steam Room with Himalayan salt 40°C / 100% f

My personal highlights

The kitchen party at Badrutt’s Palace is legendary. The explosion of different flavors and sounds around the stoves is a memorable moment I take home.

Get fascinated by the history at Badrutt’s. The warm infrastructure including lot of wood and sooting colors reminds me a bit to a sacrosanct place. It’s a place I recommend to escape to feel complete tranquility with high class service.

www.badruttspalace.com

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STORIESZurich Blogging

St. Moritz Gourmet Festival 2018 – Experiencing a legendary Gourmet Safari & Kitchen Party

My personal highlight: Sitting in the car with an icon of Swiss Cuisine during the Gourmet Safari and learning at first hand about the history of the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival

Participating at an event like the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival is full of surprises. It’s the format that is unique. I can’t think of a better environment as a kitchen to feel and understand the passion and ability of a experienced Master Chefs. It was a privilege to stand close around the Festival Chefs. Perceive the heat of the stove, smell all possible flavors that were created at once. Welcome to the 25th edition of the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival where high class international Chefs met you, individuals and food lovers.

Why you should visit a Kitchen party once in your life

People told me, you need to visit a Kitchen Party. Well, I asked myself why? I imagined it to be loud, busy and chaotic. How can it be fun to be squeezed with 250 people in kitchen?

The magic thing of the Kitchen Party I experienced during the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival is the class and easiness all Chefs put on the table. The Kitchen Party took place at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel in their perfect equipped kitchen. This kitchen is not small at all. Although it got very narrow for all of us. This setup made the atmosphere adorable. Live music pimped up the party to its best.

For some Chefs the noise and chaos was no obstacle at all. Observing Chef Ray Adriansyah I felt complete tranquility.

I was fascinated by the way he immersed into the preparation of the suckling pig. In their restaurant in Ubud Bali called Locavore Chef Ray and his partner Eelke Plasmeijer focus on nose to tail plates and only local products. The pork and the sausages made out of the offal (everything is used to avoid food waste!) with typical Indonesian spiced vegetables evolved to one highlight of the food program. The Vegetarian highlight for me was the mushroom raviolo with a light and aromatic pesto sauce prepared by Chef Jacob Jan Boerma. An esthetic appealing dish 100% vegetarian creating an explosion in my palate. One bite bite only to scarf it! I completely ignored the mass of people around me, the heat created by all ongoing fire stations and the drops of steam dropping down to my head. Surrounded by excellent food and a magic party atmosphere, everything around me disappeared. The cherry on the top built the dessert room. A room full of delights created by Chef Patissier Chef Stephan Gerber from Badrutt’s Palace and Spruengli. Fancy smoothies as a chilly mango lassi or a traditional grand cru praline ended the Epicurean experience with excellence.

For those needing a digestion dance, the after-party continued at the King’s Club. Perfect timing to shake the hips till early in the morning. That is where I met Chef Ana Roš and Chef Dominique Crenn on the dance floor and felt their viral and humble vibes again.

The legendary Kitchen Party at the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel brought together local and international guests and all 9 international Master Chefs and the local Executive Chefs. Absolutely recommend this event !

The 2018 Festival Master Chefs

East or west of St. Moritz? A ranger and 19 food lovers on their way to explore a 5 course menu, one course at every stop in an excellent Engadine Hotel – Let’s call it a Gourmet Safari

After the unforgettable experience of the Kitchen Party my palate was ready for more food excitement to be explored.

What does your mind think of, when it hears the word Gourmet Safari?

Being at an Event as the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival it’s obvious that you are surrounded by best Master Chefs, quality food and creative techniques. All of that in a stylish and classy hotel atmosphere. The Gourmet Safari is the perfect event to experience several Chefs and locations in ca. 4 hours and one evening! Some of the dishes are served directly at the so-called Chef’s Tables in the kitchen that makes the event even more intimate and authentic.

My personal highlight on the trip: Sharing my ride in a comfy BMW in snowy St. Moritz with the opportunity to take seat with an icon of Swiss Cuisine. Roland Jöhri, Chef and Manager of the restaurant Talvo in Champfèr for almost 20 years. Talvo is one of the most accredited restaurants in the Engadine region. Roland shared stories about food, cooking and the region of St. Moritz I could not have find in any book or google research.

What I loved most is the story about the first years of the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival back in the 90’s. These editions took place on the lake of St. Moritz, huge tents with all kitchen equipment placed on the ice!

An other story making me understand how passioned Roland recounted about his cooking books aged over hundreds of years. Pages all hand written! I was amused by the fact that he recognized immediately the original recipe of the dessert called île flottante that Dominique Crenn prepared for us at the Gourmet Safari. It consists in a foaming meringue floating in a crème anglaise (custard) sprinkled with caramel/sugar on top and it disappears in the mouth like a cloud! Chef Dominique revealed that it was the favorite dessert her grandmother prepared to her when she was a kid. Getting to hear such stories made me extremely happy and thankful. What a memorable time in St. Moritz.

Every course came paired with a selected wine. With this dessert a sweet and fruity Beerenauslese 2015 from Austria.

The Gourmet Safari menu at a glance

  • Zander with saffron celery  (IGNIV by Andreas Caminada), black cod NY Style (Matsuhisa)
  • Coffee cured trout, kecap creme, ginger gel, pickled pumpkin, wild leaves – Locavore Ubud Bali / Nira Alpina
  • Wasabi rock Lobster, Mango & Nuc Mam Sauce (Tim Raue) Vietnamese Nuc Mam Chilli Sauce with garlic – Kulm Hotel
  • Veal shank with a juniper coat, Shiso potato purée, purple carrot – Stucki Basel/Grand Hotel Kronenhof
  • Grains and Seeds 2.0, île flottante, Atelier Crenn/Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains

With these two events in my pocket and and a memorable stay at the Hotel Badrutt’s Palace that makes every guest feel like living a fairy tale with its class, style and courtesy. I like to take the opportunity to thank the agency Woehrle Pirola, Events & Public Relations for the perfect organization of the whole St. Moritz Gourmet Festival.

Get all impression and highlight about my experience at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel soon in a separate story!

Abou the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival

Every year several International Master Chefs are invited to St. Moritz for sharing culinary experiences with local Chefs of their partner hotels. Together they enthrall the festival guests with culinary delicacies. This years event took place 9 days. Tickets are available online through the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival for everybody. Additional special events as the Kitchenparty, the Chocolate Cult at Badrutt’s Palace or Gourmet Dinners and special additional events take place during the festival. The festival is a perfect combination with a ski holiday in St. Moritz, since most of the event are taking place in the evening, so you have the change to go skiing during the day. Consider it in 2019!

Interested to know more about Lovefoodish’s experience at St. Moritz Gourmet Festival last year? Find more on the 2017 article here.

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AccomodationEuropeGUIDESTravel

Hotel & Restorant Lej da Staz Celerina

My personal highlight: Waking up early in the morning at Lake Staz observing the mist moving mystical & magical around me – This is a must experience hideaway in the Engadine

When it comes to travel to the Swiss Alps, Engadine is the destination of my choice. This region is not only famous for its Swiss Indian Summer in autumn. Here you enjoy hospitality on a phenomenal and very personal level.
On top, the food and dishes you get are of excellent quality. Coming here during autumn you encounter colorful pine and larch trees that are unique in Switzerland.

What to expect at Lej da Staz

The surrounding is unique at Hotel & Restorant Lej da Staz. The house is embedded in a protected natural area not accessible by car (7 minutes by car from St. Moritz main station) directly at the Lake of Staz. Enjoy absolute privacy and tranquility in the middle of a forest surrounded by the alps. The peak you admire from the terrace is the Mountain Piz Julier (3380 m). The hotel is managed by Anja & Hans-Jörg Zingg and a lovely super friendly staff.

Use Promocode Lovefoodish to get a delicious Engadine Appetizer plate with your booking!

Accommodation

The hotel offers 10 cozy bed rooms. All rooms are decorated with an authentic alpine style and offer good standard comfort. Obviously the room facing the Lake is the first choice of the house, book it if you have the chance! The view over the lake brings you to a fairy tale you have never been before.

Walking inside and outside the house you recognize that there has been put a lot of attention to details. The surrounding is maintained with love and make you feel like home. Take the advantage of being out in the middle of the nature, stroll through the forest and observe the squirrels swing from one tree branch to the other.

Getting spoiled at Lej da Staz Hotel

  • The staff is there to spoil you with attention. Use the included transfer that picks you up in St. Moritz.
  • Use their e-bikes or mountain bikes to discover the fabulous woods.
  • Are you planning a seminar or a family party for a weekend? Rent the whole house and have it all on your own. They have special rates. Get in contact with the hotel or visit their website here to find out more about.
  • A cozy sauna house  just a few steps distant from the Lake is a must when you stay there.
  • The terrace invites to relax. Lean back in one of their sun basket and enjoy the sun going down after your  hike or bike day.
  • Get special rates when the weather is cloudy or rainy, find more about these special rates, here.
  • The hotel offers a big play ground for kids and is vey family friendly. Special spectacles and entertaining programs are available. On the stage kids can listen to fairy tales.
  • Are you planning a hike to the alp and want to see more of the Engadine? Absolutely stop by at El Paradiso alp restaurant. This restaurant belongs to the same management and offers exceptional alpine atmosphere up at 2181 meters. Their food choice is excellent, try the Paradiso Cremeschnitte! A dream all made of vanilla cream and puff pastry. They’re baked fresh every day!

Food at Lej da Staz

Great local and home made prepared food choices are available at Lej da Staz. Choose out of three food places: The restorant, the Stazer Club Stubä ( a cozy private room) or the Take away kiosk Quickquito located outside (available during sunny days).

Enjoy local hand made dried Engadine meat specialities or goat cheese specialities from their local cheesemaker.
I absolutely recommend their risotto. It comes with fresh mushrooms and local alp cheese that makes its taste intense and creamy.
The cheesecake is a must try and signature dish on the menu, it’s made of goat cheese. Their Saazer Moorechopf – sticky sweet chocolate marshmallow kisses are finger licking.

Want to spent more time in the Engadine?

Explore the region for great hikes, biking, sailing or skiing in winter.
A must do to get the whole picture of the Engadine Lakes is to visit Muottas Muragl. The view up here is astonishing, you can reach it by cable car or hike up/down.

Find more information and travel suggestions on this region on the site of St Moritz Tourism www.stmoritz.ch. Or get inspired in an other blog story of mine discovering the region by mini cabrio.

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Accomodation

Maiensässhotel Guardaval Lenzerheide

Explore old traditions of the Maiensäss at the Hotel Guardaval

In this story I share with you the history of the Maiensäss hotel located in Sporz, a hamlet directly above Lenzerheide in the canton of Graubünden/Switzerland and how these houses have been turned into a unique romantic luxury alp hotel.

Here is the link to the promotion offer:

Special Package for LOVEFOODISH Guests

With the Lovefoodish Promocode you will get an additional Apéro Plate to start your romantic weekend of 2 nights.

What means Maiensäss?

The word ‘Maiensäss‘ derives from the month of May (Mai in German), when the cattle were raised for the first time in the year. It is also a special form of an Alm/Alp that is a cleared area with huts and stables. The houses are 300 years old and rich of history and traditions.
In 2009 the Hotel Guardaval was built on fabulous preconditions to offer a place where the beauty of the nature, local traditions and luxury alpine design melt together.

Find 11 Maiensäss huts and barns located 1600 meters above sea level. Some of the houses have maintained their original facade. Fantasize what happened behind these facades years ago!
The Hotel is managed by Ralph Treuthardt, an experienced Hotel Manager and Chef. Ralph’s and the staff’s mission at Hotel Guardaval is to show you the secrets of the Maiensäss, to lead you to precious moments of peace, serenity, consciousness.

Accommodation

Find 50 retreats with different arrangements and categories available. Get a chic double room in the authentic Maiensäss style or the private chalet with an own sauna, whirlpool and hay bed. Every room differentiates from each other. Be prepared for a unique experience. In the SPA Guarda Sana your body and soul get spoiled and energized with lots of attentions. Get a massage to relax your muscles and prepare the senses for a mouthwatering dinner. Find all booking details here.

Seminars & incentives

People looking for a calm and inspiring place with space for creative ideas fare away from the busy city should try this surrounding. It makes an ideal venue for inspiring exchanges. Everything you need is available: modern equipment, brights rooms and space.

Food & 1 Michelin star

Choose from two restaurants. The Crap Naros serves Local dishes and cheese fondue. The fondue is one of the best you can find in that area! Don’t miss that. The spacious outdoor terrace is great in summer, if you are lucky you got the chance to meet Roger Federer having a beer, since he lives in Lenzerheide.

For dinner choose the restaurant Guarda Val. Chef Thomas Walz and his team are amazing. The ambience is elegant and warm. The menus vary. I love the symbiosis of modern and ancient that merge together. The plates are mouth-watering, colorful, delicate and prepared with love.

Secret hint – Wine and Cheese!

If you got the chance let Ralph Treuthardt guide you through the wine cellar that owns over 300 different wines and great sorts of cheese. There is a wide selection of local wines. I love the fact that he knows the suppliers personally, supports their local business and has the background of every ingredient used in the hotel.

Don’t miss the wine & Dine events at Hotel Guardaval, where you got the chance to be introduced to their excellent quality products.

Leisure time! Feel the old traditions during your stay

Hotel guests get the opportunity to experience nice packages during their stay. Milk a cow to get fresh milk for breakfast or visit local farms to experience real farm work. If you are in the mood of hiking, this place is just great or try the great biking trails.
In winter go for a sledge ride or snow walking. Use the hotel transportation service that brings you to the close by skiing slopes or picks you up at the bus station.

My personal highlights

The Maiensäss houses are indefinable calming and charming. Hearing the wind rustling is a precious way to fall asleep for me. Taking a bath looking up at the sky and watching the stars is the cherry on the cake.

I  experienced the staff being very helpful. Their happy smiling faces made me understand, that working in such an idyllic and natural ambience must be energy charging. Having personal chats exchanging stories of immigrants was touching and threw me back into my own life as the kid of an immigrant.
Hearing the Wurlitzer Jukebox playing Elvis and the Beatles gave that additional feeling of jumping back in the years. Everything matches perfectly here. I absolutely recommend a stay at Hotel Guardaval. You will be inspired.

Thank you for using the Lovefoodish accommodation guide.

www.hotelguardaval.ch

 

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EuropeTravel

Iglu Dorf Davos Klosters

Loving challenges, I thought: why not sleeping 2600 m above sea level in an Igloo?

It’s the first time I overnight in the middle of a Swiss Mountain, in winter, in an Igloo. Can you imagine how you feel lying in a 42 ° hot Jacuzzi and admiring a sky full of stars before cuddling yourself in a warm sleeping bag? I was speechless. Only trying it by yourself can make you such this experience richer! You even have electricity and no minus temperatures! I finally had a cheese fondue in the ideal setting!

Igloo Village Davos Klosters

I love skiing in Davos Klosters and you pass by at the Igloo Village coming down from the mountain Weissfluhjoch. I always saw that snow houses but could never imagine what a stylish and well-equipped Winter Hotel is hidden underneath. Every angle of the Igloo Village is built with love and on purpose. A tunnel system connects the igloos to each other. You feel the passion put in this project when you talk either to the Village Manager in Davos Elias Torgler or the guide Adrian. But also once standing in the middle of the bar or in the Igloo rooms with open eyes and mouth.

Igloo Villages around Switzerland and the world

Amongst breath-taking mountain scenery, wonderful snow palaces emerge every winter at seven locations to include Davos KlostersGstaadEngelbergStockhorn and Zermatt in Switzerland, the Zugspitze in Germany and one in Andorra/Pyrenees.

Every Igloo village has its only design concept, a Village Manager and an own staff with dedicated guides. The construction and maintenance of these villages need time, power and exceptional efforts. The guides are often included in the construction phase taking about 3 weeks. They work day and night even during snowstorms and at very low temperatures to make this project happen. The igloo is open for daily visits and overnights in winter season.

This is real snow art!

Each room features a different design. International artists decorate the interior spaces of the Igloo-Villages with careful attention to detail, creating enchanting fantasy worlds in snow and ice art. It takes up to 15 h per room to create this incredible characters and artwork. They carve large and small ice sculptures by hand and transform rooms into glittering fantasy worlds.

Accommodation Igloo Village Davos Klosters

There are 14 sleeping rooms available of different categories. You find suitesstandard rooms or group rooms for example. The rates start at 159 CHF and include food, breakfast and hot tea, no alcoholic drinks. Some rooms have an own Jacuzzi and toilet. All other rooms have toilets to share. Some rooms do even have a power station to recharge your phone. Ask for the special package including outdoor adventure programs, too. Get more details or your reservation here. This Igloo Village can host up to 120 persons.

Food, Drinks & more

Take an aperitivo in a stylish ice bar. For dinner there are ice dining rooms where you get cheese fondue or pasta. A warm blanket to keep you warm is included. Wine and drinks are available, too.

An absolute must is the wellness area. The Jacuzzi overlooks the mountains. There is a wooden stone sauna, too here in Davos Klosters.

A cozy Swedish Cottage with a chimney that is used to warm you up with a coffee or wine before going to sleep is the best place to end your day. The space is ideal for group events, too.

The overnight includes a snowshoe walk after dinner, the super warm sleeping bag and snowshoes if needed.

My personal highlights

Staying over night at the Igloo hotel is an adventure. It’s the whole program setup that makes this stay unforgettable.

  • Meeting new people and sharing most of my Igloo moments together.
  • Getting an aperitivo surrounded by stylish ice sculptures and great music.
  • Gourmandizing a delicious fondue having a warm blanket on my legs
  • Enjoying a homemade cinnamon bun for dessert that got warmed directly on the fire in the Swedish cottage Kota.
  • Taking a bath in the 42 ° Jacuzzi under a sky of shining stars in the plain nature and the 35° wood sauna.
  • Waking up early morning, admire the distinctive Engadine Blue sky and be the first skiing on the untouched slopes.

Why building an Igloo village back in 1995?

The main reason why this idea came up to the founder of Iglu-Dorf (Igloo Villages) Adrian Günter in is because he loves snowboarding on untouched, fresh prepared slopes. How can I be the first early in the morning to touch the snow? By sleeping up in the mountain, he thought. That is how the first igloo ever built was a simple hand shovelled one only to host a few of his friends. Out of this idea the future business offering a real Igloo Village originated. Iglu-Dorf has been building hotels out of snow and ice for 20 years.

How to build an igloo

I have this image of stacking snow cubes, but I have been taught different. Usually around beginning of December when the first snow falls and the slopes are ready the local mountain railways furnish the Igloo Village with technical snow from the snow cannon. Technical snow has perfect properties for the igloo construction since it is compact and resistant.

A big air blown balloon made of a resistant canvas is used to create the dome shape. After only few hours the balloon is destroyed and the ideal shape for the igloo remains. Now the hard handwork begins. All the superfluous snow is shovelled away to the final needed size and shape of the igloo. Tons of snow is used. Hundreds of meters of wire providing electricity inside and around the igloo. Electricity is needed for various stations as the kitchen or the rooms.
Some of you may have seen the Igloo Sport Studio built in St. Moritz for the Ski World cup 2017. Thanks to Iglu Dorf this unique sport studio came to reality!

Watch here how this Igloo got built! 

Thank you for getting inspired by the Lovefoodish accommodation guide.

www.iglu-dorf.com

 

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EuropeTravel

Lovefoodish in Wonderland at St. Moritz Gourmet Festival 2017

Why I had one of the best food blogger experiences enriching my view and knowledge about farm to table cuisine

St. Moritz Gourmet Festival has it all

Where to begin to summarize this unique experience in the Swiss Alps. My journey started in a cute village close to St. Moritz called Celerina. Here the Hotel Chesa Rosatsch is located with 3 different restaurants. A detailed review is available here. The rest of my time was dedicated to the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival.

What happens at the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival?

10 American Master Chefs are invited to St. Moritz for sharing culinary experiences with local Chefs of their partner hotels. Together they enthrall the festival guests with culinary delicacies one week long. Tickets are available online through the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival for everybody. Additional special events as the Kitchenparty or the Chocolate Cult at Badrutt’s Palace take place during the week. Due to my interest in the farm to table concept my choice fell for Chef Melissa Kelly located at the wonderful Nira Alpina Hotel in Silvaplana.

Sweet sensations at the Chocolate Cult, Badrutt’s Palace

My festival visit starts with a glamorous chocolate afternoon. The legendary Chocolate Cult at the Badrutt’s Palace. Can you imagine what chocolate lovers feel when entering the elegant corridor of this beautiful classy hotel? And that smell of real pure chocolate? You find chocolate art paired with lots of experience and passion. Delicious fresh made pralines, tarts, creams and pastries. Only tasting can explain!

Why Chef Melissa Kelly gathered all of my attention at NIRA Alpina in Silvaplana

The farm to table philosophy is something that surrounds me since my childhood. The idea of having an experienced Women Chef in Switzerland to share her life and cooking philosophy was reason enough for me to attend the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival. The fact that she has Italian roots was very exciting to me, too.

Melissa Kelly started cooking with the age of 5 in her grandmother’s kitchen. Her Italian roots are from the beautiful city of Bologna. It’s the one and only place where real good and traditional pasta comes from. This explains the exquisite homemade linguine she prepared for us. Her Signature dish is the Nonno Primo’s Pork Saltimbocca named by her grandfather Primo was the absolute highlight.

Chef Florian Mainzger, the home Chef at Hotel NIRA Alpina had a challenging task to gather all of the ordered ingredients to follow Chef Melissa’s farm to table “religion”.  He did a great job she compliments. There is a lot of planning and communication between the two Chefs beforehand, plus cooking on altitude is an additional challenge, confirms Chef Melissa. She brought some special herbs and even pork products all the way from the US to prepare the dishes as authentic as possible. The staff at NIRA Alpina made this unique event possible. The cozy and warm ambience in the Trattoria matched perfectly to the dinner setup. Hotel NIRA Alpina offers an outstanding service. I appreciated their help and kind availability for example by always offering me help for transfer when needed to St. Moritz.
Gioannis from Nira Alpina told me, that he drives every morning to get some fresh goat milk for one of his guests. Absolute lovely!

Diving into the 5 course dinner prepared by Chef Melissa and the team

The courses taste puristic and very fresh. Her creativity is very healthy! She integrates a variety of vegetables that make the courses light and colorful for the eyes. I love the Mediterranean flavors and Italian touch she combines in all courses.

The starter is a fig stuffed with Marcona almond and candled orange. It comes wrapped in pancetta with local chicories. The Gorgonzola filling of the fig is a real surprise.

The next plate is a perfectly spiced Brittany Scallop with a cauliflower panna cotta, caviar and a very light herb spuma.

Hand made Squid ink linguine with a spicy tomato sugo are served next with a Broccoli crema and calamari a la Plancha.

The last course is a pork saltimbocca with roasted garlic potato purée, spinach, prosciutto and a wild mushroom Madeira sauce.

My absolute preferred desert as of now is the Butterscotch budino with salted caramel and rosemary shortbread. This combination gave me such a happy belly feeling, really mouth-watering.

The micro gap still available in my belly got filled by a south Italian traditional sweet! What a surprise! Super soft and fluffy fried Zeppole. I love this fried dough turned in sugar and cinnamon. It reminds me home! In Italy you get them especially at Saint Joseph’s day that is celebrated in March.

Living farm to table as a life philosophy

“Eating and cooking healthy is not a lifestyle, it’s a life philosophy”, says Chef Melissa. This explains why she is running Restaurant Primo in Rockland, Maine since more than 18 years. Living on a farm is the way she grew up. Primo’s staff is involved in the whole gardening and farming activities. There is a lot to do on a 4 acre property. This involvement is necessary to make her life philosophy completely understandable. This is how 400 pounds of garlic come together for example. By not using chemicals and pesticides, their flowers and produce are helping to maintain rich soil without depletion and degrade for generations to come.
They frequently teach kids about farming and healthy food. I liked the story from Melissa about the kids asking if the plant is the place where the chicken come from.

Chef Melissa is as a very authentic and approachable personality. This explains the happy and relaxed faces enjoying their time in the kitchen. Chef Jenna reveals that they feel like a little family. Well done, I really like the group spirit!

Nose to tail for everybody in Rockland , Maine – Annual Pig Day extravaganza

I am happy to see how Melissa offers this tradition to her guests at Primo Restaurant. During the month of November the Pig Day extravaganza takes place at Primo restaurant. Last year more than 180 people spent their day with processing the just-slaughtered pigs raised on the Primo farm. After working everybody eats the food. 4,200 pounds of pork were processed into prosciutto or pates. It’s a unique way to feel Chef Melissa Kelly’s philosophy. Primo’s Pig Day is a focal point of the restaurant since 2009.  Special seven courses nose-to-tail tasting menu are available with exotic delicacies as pig’s ears, pig’s tails, trotters and headcheese.

Where to find Nose to tail in Switzerland

Luckily I discovered the Hotel Rosatsch and their food philosophy. They offer these delicacies, too. You do not need to travel that far! Visit the beautiful Engadine and make a stop at Restaurant Stüva Rosatsch. Try their Slowfood or Nose to tail menu!

Around Zurich you can get in touch with Slowfoodyouth. Their activities published online include interesting projects with special excursion to farms. Join their eat in every first Wednesday of the month to get in contact with local nutrition aware foodies. Or just check online and let me know by email if you find interesting places!

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