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Valsana Hotel – a new bijou at the entrance to Arosa

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Arosa has a new landmark! With the Valsana Hotel & Apartments, a new bijou hotel stands out as you enter this resort village. Here is what to expect:

Lower entrance to the hotel

Lower entrance to the hotel

Wall clock and chandelier

One of the remarkable wall clocks and chandelier near the entrance

When the Tschuggen Hotel Group shells out 50 million and more, get ready for some fireworks.

Besides the  Eden Roc in Ascona and the Carlton in St. Moritz, the Tschuggen Grand Hotel Arosa as well as the former Sporthotel Valsana Arosa belonged to multi-billionaire Karl-Heinz Kipp’s hotel group.

The latter, the “ugly duckling” of the hotel group, managed to survive as part of Kipp’s empire mostly thanks to its tennis court. The 115-year old hotel was torn down in 2015 and resurrected in December 2017, reopening as a three-part, modern new hotel with 40 generous-sized rooms and junior suites.

Valsana Hotel in Arosa

The newly opened Valsana Hotel & Apartments

Also very popular already are the nine integrated family apartments, which are connected to the hotel facility including its 800-square meter spa and wellness oasis,  among other features.

One of those is the hotel’s atmospheric lounge, which they call “Arosa’s Living Room”.

Valsana hotel loungers

Snug living room aka lounge in the Valsana Arosa

Valsana – feelgood hotel architecture

The three new building cubes with their filigreed facades create a striking eye-catcher at the Arosa village entrance. They were designed by Mooser Lauber Stucky Architects of Zermatt.

The hotel buildings rest as raised ground floors on the cube-like foundation, which houses other services, like a medical clinic, sport shop, or co-op supermarket. Very useful for guests like Katja who simply forget to pack the tooth paste.

From the generous-sized restaurant terrace you have a view of the Obersee lake and Arosa with its surrounding mountains.

Valsana hotel in Arosa

Striking eye catcher by the Arosa village entrance

The interior design, which bears the imprint of Ascona’s eccentric designer Carlo Rampazzi, makes it easy for the visitor to feel instantly at home in the “living room.” With their warm color hues and partly natural forms, the furnishings really create a cozy atmosphere; you almost feel like you’re stepping into your second home. Or close to it…

Lounge table and fireplace

Lounge with fireplace

I waste no time treating myself to a Swiss gin and tonic as apéro in an easy chair. Almost like at home.

Hotel bar

The bar in Restaurant Twist

Designer seating and table

Designer seating next to the bar

Grisons gin and tonic

Grisons gin and tonic

Hotel rooms for relaxing – frog-green couch and all

The hotel rooms are generously dimensioned, once again with a harmonious color scheme. Except perhaps for the frog-green leather sofa. My eyes respond to it as a provocation.

Hotel room with green leather sofa

Stylish appointments with – green! leather sofa

But that is how designer Carlo Rampazzi likes it, and obviously he was able to convince Kipp grandson and building owner Dr. Götz Bechtolsheimer to have this jolt to the visual nerve as part of the effect.

You just need to know that Rampazzi is the proud owner of a bright green leather jacket and that he drives a lime-green Bentley, to let it dawn on you that he kept himself in check somewhat when it came to the color green.

Designer and architect Carlo Rampazzi wearing a green leather jacket

Designer architect Carlo Rampazzi sporting his favorite green leather jacket.

Host Renate Blaser tells us that this was the subject of lively discussions between designer and owner. The result:  the hallway carpeting as well as the room doors also wound up green.

Bed and bedside lamp

Bedroom with noble materials like satinized bedding

Stylish lamp and decorative herb picture

Stylish lamp and decorative herb picture

But, back to the hotel room. I think that’s where I got sidetracked…

In addition to the coordinated color ensemble with the green leather exclamation point, the decor plays on all sorts of nostalgic elements: against the wall, there is a small book credenza with a vintage phonograph. We are talking vinyl and tone arm here, for those who remember.

Vintage phonograph with vinyl and tone arm

Who still knows what these are?

Marvin Gaye LP and phonograph

And their vinyl LPs? For our younger readers: “LP” stands for “long play” in contrast to the “singles” with just one tune each on front- and backside

Chalkboard welcome note

Katja is welcomed via chalkboard

The room key, too, is in the shape of a retro tape cassette. Again, for those who remember when.

Millenials who have no use for any of this can get their hotel information via tablet. The tablet is stored in the lower compartment of a desktop “bed” custom-made for Valsana, on whose upper level, complete with pillow and blanket, rests the smartphone while charging via USB.

Also included are satinized bed linens on the highly comfortable nature bed into which we let ourselves fall later.

Valsana tablet and smartphone rest station

Even smartphones and hotel tablets rest in comfort at the Valsana

Wellness on two floors

800 square meters of wellness oasis may sound like a lot, but it’s actually not the biggest in the world. But, recall that you are staying in a “mere” 4-star hotel and suddenly the relaxation pool on the raised ground floor and saunas and steam bath on the first upper floor are huge.

Valsana spa pool

Quiet pool for relaxing. Even here, time does not stop, thanks to the wall clock.

It may come as a surprise, but the saunas can compete with the big guys when it comes to size. Add to that the sweeping view of the bordering Arosa pine forest that they offer.

So, there we sit in the bio sauna with sweat pouring down our faces, watch the fire as the boiling water “perks” and listen for the forest sounds and the occasional car making its way through the pines along Maraner Street.

Katja at the Valsana spa

Katja enjoys the spa while I’m freezing my feet off in the Kneipp bath

As it should be, the Finnish sauna is a bit drier, and because of that, the reddish cedar wood smells especially good here!

Finnish sauna with reddish cedar wood

Finnish sauna of pleasant smelling cedar wood.

Anyone too tuckered out from all the exertion to make it back into the relaxation pool, can let him- or herself fall, as Katja does, into one of the wicker rocking chairs and calm the pulse by watching the fireplace.

Rocker in Valsana spa

Rocker in the spa’s relaxation room

Those with residual strength and energy can strut into the fully glassed-in gym. Not only is it chock full of fitness equipment; if you really want to get a workout, book the Personal Trainer by R1: this “Athlete for Life” program, conceived in cooperation with Munich’s R1 Sports Club, builds on strength training, but also takes a holistic approach by combining it with work-life and energy balance, mindfulness, nutrition and movement.

Full-fledged gym

Gym with view of the Arosa forest

Valsana guests looking for another especially diverting environment can enjoy another wellness oasis conceived by architect Mario Botta. This one is a bit farther up in Arosa at the Tschuggen Grand Hotel.

“Food that puts you in a good mood“ in Restaurant TWIST

I mean, really, whenever I get something to eat, my mood meter needle swings to good almost automatically ;-)

But, I suppose that is not what they mean by this slogan. What they really want to convey in the TWIST is the informal way of enjoying healthy cuisine. Because this kitchen is particularly versatile and offers plenty for the gourmand, the fan of vegetarian and vegan cuisine as well as the deliberate connoisseur.

Twist restaurant setting

Restaurant Twist in Valsana Arosa

Restaurant Twist tables

Table setting in the snowed-in Restaurant Twist

As in many other restaurants, here, too, they take up the cause of sustainable production and regional suppliers. They are especially proud of the large selection of bowls — from soup bowls to salad bowls to the traditional bowls in which they prepare many-faceted dishes individually.

Just how closely they define “regional suppliers,” in fact, I did not get into too deeply and instead had them prepare a salmon dish for me.

Carrot pumpkin terrine appetizer in Twist restaurant

Carrot pumpkin terrine appetizer

Salmon medallion poached in herb oil with kohlrabi, buckwheat crepes and Pernod mousse at Valsana Twist restaurant

Salmon medallion poached in herb oil with kohlrabi, buckwheat crepes and Pernod mousse

Restaurant Twist lamps

Stylish ambiance in Restaurant Twist

Long community table in Twist restaurant

For solo travelers: supping at the long community table

It goes without saying, but the ambiance is extremely stylish here, too.

Those so inclined will transfer seamlessly into the lounge after finishing their meal and pour themselves a drink from the automated liquor cabinet. And, once more, let themselves fall, this time into one of Rampazzi’s maximalist wingback chairs.

"Self-service bar" with single malts

“Self-service bar” with single malts

Lounge sofa for lingering in 'living room'

Lounge sofa for lingering

So, it seems that in the Valsana you can let yourself fall back whatever your condition may be and enjoy the downtime to the hilt!

Our thanks go to…

… Evelyn Gorgos, Director of Marketing for the Tschuggen Hotel Group, for arranging and organizing our stay. Sincere thanks also to Valsana hostess Renate Blaser for the invite and the pleasant guided tour of the hotel.

Renate Blaser and Evelyn Gorgos in the Arosa living room

Renate Blaser (left), hotel host, and Evelyn Gorgos, Director of Marketing, Tschuggen Hotel Group

Address

Valsana Hotel & Appartements
Oberseepromenade 2
CH-7050 Arosa
+41 81 378 63 63
info@valsana.ch
valsana.ch

Webcam:
Arosa: Train station and view of Obersee, Valsana Hotel and Tijerfluh mountain

Note that the room prices vary with supply and demand, i.e., the daily rates are dynamic.

The hotel is open for the winter season from 7 December 2017 to 8 April 2018 and from June to mid-September 2018 for the next summer season.

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About Author

Walter Schaerer’s extensive background in the travel industry, passionate enthusiasm for photography and a firm belief that luxury destinations can also be affordable; were some of the main factors that motivated him to create the travel blog travelmemo.com. In his day job Walter is an online marketing manager based out of Zurich, Switzerland.

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