Brits may have left the EU, but it doesn’t mean we have lost our lustre for Europe, and what better place than Switzerland to enjoy a welcome wellness break in the shadows of the Pizol Mountains, which in winter are brought to life with snow, and in summer offer idyllic hiking opportunities.
Anticipation builds as the train glides past Heidi-esque villages (which is in fact where Johanna Spyri wrote the novel way back in 1880 and haven’t changed; the postcard worthy countryside continues to the final destination, which is the former farming village of Ragaz, home of the infamous Palais Hof Ragaz, which was going to be my playground for the new couple of days.
Straddling the neighbouring Liechtenstein, the town is the home of the world-famous Tamina Gorge: the local hot springs that ooze fresh, thermal water, and the hotel was constructed in the mid 19th century transforming the sleepy town into a cosmopolitan playground complete with health resort.
Nowadays, the Grand Hotel has grown and consists of two five-star establishments, the Grand Hotel Quellenhof & Spa Suites and the Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz, as well as the Palais Bad Ragaz. Each boasting their own character. I stayed in Hof Ragaz, which was established in 1868, and although traditional, I arrived after a recent complete refurb by architect Claudio Carbone. I was intrigued to see how the contemporary would blend with the classic and the result is traditional luxury with a vibrant, yet tasteful nod to modernity, mirrored with a host of eclectic artwork which adds to the relaxed, unpretentious vibe.
These interconnected hotels share the same reception, and guests have access to all of the facilities which include seven restaurants, with a total of 75 GaultMillau points between them, 6 Michelin stars and 1 Green Michelin, so you’re in for a treat at the award winners: Verve brasserie, Sven Wasser’s Memories restaurant and IGNIV by Andreas Caminada; additionally, there’s a bistro, healthy café and sushi bar. You can also partake in two golf courses, weekly activities, water tasting and a Casino.
Most visitors to the Resort come to immerse themselves in the healing water that bubbles up from the nearby Tamina gorge Pfäfers; discovered in 1242, it is filtered into every aspect of the resort. With a state of the art thermal spa and Tamina Therme Spa it would be rude not to! With the stunning 19th century Roman-style high-roofed Helena bath taking pride of place, I couldn’t help but feel relaxed. There are eight different kinds of saunas from Finnish or healing infrared, plus a guest only and public outdoor pool that looks out towards the snow-capped mountains.
There is also an internationally renowned Medical Health Centre and a Swiss Olympic Medical Centre, so you may find yourself in the hot tub with athletes, Roger Federer or, erm, Justin Bieber who has also booked in for a retreat. A plastic surgeon visits a few days each month, and the centre has its own operating theatre for minor procedures- or you can get a discreet Botox jab during your vacay.
Boasting an innovative NEWYOU Method®, wellness is at the forefront for every visitor if they wish to explore. Programmes focus on weight loss, microbiome health, detox and health cleansing, yoga, smart ageing, sports rehabilitation (excellent for post-injury), power, and endurance training. Each segment centres around lifestyle elements designed to get you back on track by the time you leave, covering food, physical fitness, mental health, beauty and relaxation. The focus is always on your individual goals and sustainable success, encouraging ways to live and stay healthy.
Other aspects of the programme range from Finding Harmony, which encourages visitors to slow down and calm the body, mind and soul via yoga and relaxation techniques; and you can learn how to feel beautiful from the inside in the Feel Beauty programme, which focuses on being at one with inner vitality and outer appearance, and joy at your own body. Whilst, Rediscover Yourself offers tailored treatments devised as a result of state-of-the-art analysis which are designed to strengthen your immune system and bring you back into balance. Moving Consciously offers a bespoke programme of conscious movement to enhance vitality and energy; and Power Source Nature brings together sessions to highlight the positive influence of nature on physical and mental health.
Of course, you don’t have to renew yourself at all; you can just enjoy the stunning rooms, beautiful scenery and mystical thermal spring. Or you could come for the Michelin starred restaurants and art!
Grand Resort Bad Ragaz
7310 Bad Ragaz
+41 81 303 30 30