Travel blog on one-of-a-kind travel experiences

A jewel in wood: the IN LAIN Hotel Cadonau in the Engadine


Converted from an over 450-year old house in Brail, the “IN LAIN Hotel Cadonau” is a jewel of a hotel that is also the life’s work for many generations of a family whose talents have complemented each other in ideal fashion.

A brief history

“IN LAIN” is the brand backed by the Engadine Cadonau family. The 450-year old Engadine house, in the family for many generations, housed a small eatery in the 1960s that had to close eventually when the grandmother took ill. Grandson Dario from early on felt at home in the kitchen and even in his youth nurtured the vision of bringing the shuttered restaurant back to life
A vision that became reality!

Main entrance to the In Lain Hotel Cadonau

Main entrance: here begins the In Lain experience

No expense was spared in renovating the stately old house with great care and in fitting style until it opened in early 2011 as the IN LAIN Hotel Cadonau. Not long after that it joined the exclusive “Relais & Châteaux hotel consortium“.

Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef Dario Cadonau

Dario Cadonau is a Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef.

From the first design sketch to the place settings, everything – planning, design, and execution – shows the flawless Cadonau family touch.

Dario’s brother Marco is a carpenter and CEO of IN LAIN Wood Works, which specializes in handmade and custom interior furnishings and furniture of all kinds. The “in Lain” term incidentally comes from the Romansch and means “wooden“. That wood plays a central role in the Hotel Cadonau is therefore no coincidence…

Wooden heart in the In Lain Hotel Cadonau

Hospitality and warmth in one

The two brothers formed a symbiosis of hotel culture and wood working. The result: a marvelous boutique hotel with a great deal of wood and atmosphere.

Absolutely first rate!

IN LAIN Hotel Cadonau

Wood is cozy” was an advertising slogan that I often heard during my childhood as a carpenter’s daughter. Many childhood memories surfaced as I stepped inside the IN LAIN Hotel and into the unforgettable fragrance of Swiss pine. I suddenly realized that there was a great deal of truth in that advertising jingle. And cozy, natural, and welcoming is precisely the effect of the hotel atmosphere.

Reception with carved wood by In Lain Wood Works

Reception desk with artful carvings

Located in the main house you will find the lobby, three restaurants, and three junior suites. Available in the new hotel annex is the fireplace lounge with bar and an additional 11 upscale suites.

Bar and lounge of the In Lain Hotel Cadonau

Lounge with bar

A beautiful garden comes with favorite amenities like the bio pool sauna as well as sun terrace. Here guests can simply let the soul meander while enjoying the matchless mountain scenery. Or they can indulge in a bath in the wooden bathtub with pine scented water heated to 38° by pine logs. The ultimate in relaxation is assured!

Bio-sauna und pine tub in the garden of the In Lain Hotel Cadonau

Bio-sauna and pine tub in the garden

For those who like it a bit cooler, there is the bio swimming pool for doing laps. The water comes from the hotel’s own natural spring. It simply can’t get more natural (or fresher) than this…

Garden with bio pool at the In Lain Hotel Cadonau

Getting away from it all in the alpine world of the Engadine

Managing the hotel are Tamara and Dario Cadonau. The young, friendly pair personally hosts guests with warmth that makes you feel instantly at home.

Dario and Tamara Cadonau

Dario und Tamara Cadonau
Foto © IN LAIN Hotel Cadonau

But let’s be fair to their staff and add that their cordiality, too, is without equal. ;-)

Message of welcome to the In Lain Hotel Cadonau

I mean, how could you not feel welcome here…?

The rooms and suites

Spacious and inviting: this is how the suites present themselves. Natural materials and the finest linen and natural fibers plus the lovingly designed furnishings create a comfortable, warm atmosphere.

Deck Suite in the In Lain Hotel Cadonau

The spacious and light-filled Deck Suite

The suites, too, bear the signature of the IN LAIN Wood Works. Besides the beautiful Swiss pine parquet floor that feels velvety soft (!) and the elegant wood furniture, you notice the many details made of wood. So, for example, the key hook naturally is made of wood, while a carving of a moon outside on the door signals when the guest does not wish to be disturbed…

In the bath it is quickly apparent that a woodworker has been busy here, too: trash can, Kleenex box and the ledge for soap and shampoo – of course, everything is made of… wood!

Deck Suite bathroom - In Lain Hotel Cadonau

Bathroom with a view

The deck affords a glorious view of the Engadine alpine scenery, which, incidentally, can also be seen from the bathtub in the capacious bathroom!

Interested in a sauna, a steam shower with light therapy, a whirlpool tub and lots of elbow room? We recommend the exclusive 85 m2 SPA Suite. It is a private wellness oasis where couples can while away blissful hours undisturbed.

Should you, too, want to savor the IN LAIN Hotel Cadonau, you will find all the information you need right here.

Fine dining at the IN LAIN

IN LAIN guests can let themselves be wined and dined in three different restaurants: there is the intimate, premium Gourmet Restaurant VIVANDA in its exclusive vaulted cellar richly appointed in wood that creates a very special, sensual ambiance, not least thanks to the candlelight and softly crackling fireplace.

Restaurant Vivanda in the In Lain Hotel Cadonau

Harmonious ambiance of the Restaurant Vivanda

For fine Engadine specialties served à la carte, we recommend Restaurant La Stüvetta. And on the menu in what formerly was the Cowshed, also used on some evenings as a demonstration cheesery, you will find a large assortment of homemade fondue variations as well as native meat and fish dishes.

Restaurant Stüvetta at the In Lain Hotel Cadonau

Cozy room in La Stüvetta

Even if you chose not to stay in the hotel (a regrettable lapse, of course), a visit to the IN LAIN would be worthwhile just because of this man – host and top chef Dario Cadonau. A member of «Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe en Suisse» and a Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef, he cooks at the highest level for his guests. With this holder of 15 Gault-Millau points and one Michelin star, supreme culinary feats are guaranteed!

Alpine salmon: Warm Arctic char with absinthe ice cream

Alpine salmon: Warm Arctic char with absinthe ice cream

Our stay at the IN LAIN happened to coincide with the Relais & Châteaux Gourmet Festival. We previously reported on the event on our German blog in word and image.

Recreation and activities in the Engadine

The authentic hamlet of Brail sits in the heart of the Engadine, at the entrance to the Swiss National Park and it is a lovely area for outings and recreational activities . The Engadine is a hiking, climbing, riding or fishing paradise. Golfers also get their money’s worth: Engadine golf courses come with a glorious 360 degree panorama.

We gave the Zuoz golf course a try for the first time and were delighted by the freshly mowed meadows. Aficionados will know what we mean…

5th hole, Zuoz Golf Course

5th hole, Zuoz Golf Course


Warm thanks to Tamara und Dario Cadonau for the generous invitation and to the entire team for the warm hospitality!

Many thanks also to Sabine Biedermann of PrimCom for coordinating our stay.


About Author

Katja is’s destination research and booking expert. She always has the upper hand on itineraries and travel details. When not on the road Katja is a corporate communications and events manager.


Leave A Reply

You're currently offline