Seemingly dropped in to a bowl, Arosa is a postcard-perfect Swiss village with dazzling 360-degree views of the Graubünden mountains. Arosa isn’t a mega-resort – you know, the ones with hundreds of kilometers of pistes – and that’s perfect for me as I’m here to attempt to learn to snowboard. There are still a great mix of challenging runs for more advanced skiers like Tim. And more importantly, as least for a beginner snowboarder like me who can only manage a few hours of lessons before shaky legs and sheer exhaustion sets in, there are plenty of non-ski activities to enjoy. That the exclusive Tschuggen Grand Hotel is my Arosa ski getaway home during our stay is just an added bonus of one of my new favorite Swiss villages.
Tschuggen Grand Hotel
Not only do I have a new favorite Swiss village, I have a new favorite hotel. I would seriously move in permanently if they’d let me! And some guests do just that, for the season anyway. Many of the Tschuggen Grand Hotel’s guests are repeat visitors to Arosa, coming several times throughout the ski season. Instead of lugging all that stuff you need for skiing back and forth on planes and trains, the resort stores guests belongings, launders any clothing, and carefully places it all back in to the rows of closets in guests’ rooms just in time for their next arrival.
The rooms are so comfortable and homey, I hardly wanted to leave. Each is uniquely decorated and has a color theme that coincides with the different color themes of each floor. We stayed on the red floor and had a lovely sitting area with red leather chairs I’d comfortably curl up in with a book for a bit each afternoon. With the sun shining, it was even warm enough to enjoy the sun loungers on our balcony.
I’m seriously the Goldi Locks of hotel beds and the Tschuggen Grand’s were just right. Not to mention the absolutely stellar view of the mountains I didn’t even have to get out of bed to stare at. If the mountains weren’t calling our names, we could have stayed cocooned in that bed for days.
I have to mention how fabulous the bathroom is with its heated floors, a fabulous separate rain shower, double sinks and a bath big enough to take a swim in. Candles are around the bath, perfect for a relaxing evening or maybe some romance.
It’s worth spending time each day in Tschuggen Grand Hotel’s award-winning Bergoase Spa, which is spread over four floors, each day. The pool can really only be described as a water world, with indoor and outdoor areas. You can swim right from indoor to outdoor, so you never even have to get out of the warm water if you don’t want to. Be sure to explore the pool, because are various massaging features that definitely soothed my sore body from all the inevitable falling down you do when learning to snowboard.
There are also saunas (even a separate ladies only sauna), various steam baths and massaging showers. I enjoyed relaxing on the comfy sun loungers in the solarium, though there are also fireplaces to curl up in front of and are exactly where I would have been had the sun not been shining. What I also loved it that I found both bottled water and a selection of fruit infused water in the relaxation areas, which was complimentary.
You can get a variety of spa treatments including various massages, facials, manicures, pedicures and various beauty treatments. For a bit of privacy, reserve one of the two spa suites located in the glass sails, complete with your own private jacuzzi, sauna, treatment and relaxation areas. And if you haven’t worked off all the delicious cheese while skiing, walking or swimming, there is a well-equipped gym.
Arosa has many adorable restaurants serving up Swiss specialties, but we didn’t even have to leave the hotel to find a variety of dining options. Tschuggen Grand Hotel is home to Arosa’s best restaurant, the Michelin-starred La Vetta. It’s closed Mondays in winter and we sadly didn’t get to try it on this visit. Next time.
The Grand Restaurant’s menu changes nightly and both a 4-course fixed menu or a la carte options are offered. The Grand Restaurant is a bit more upscale at dinner and jackets are required for men. We mixed and matched our 4-course menu from the vegetarian and non-vegetarian options and the portions were just the right size so that we didn’t feel like we were so stuffed that we couldn’t move.
But my favorite restaurant was the Bünderstube, which serves traditional Swiss dishes. I simply couldn’t pass up having fondue – and not just any fondue. The champagne truffle fondue is to die for! It’s rich, so the burlap sack of boiled raclette potatoes that is served with it is the perfect pairing. Try it with a local white wine from the Obrecht vineyard. I swear this meal alone is reason enough for a return trip to Arosa.
We don’t have kids, but we have to admit that the kids club is pretty awesome. There’s a play area for smaller children and a pool table, foosball and game system hooked up to a massive screen for older kids to keep busy while mom and dad enjoy a kid-free meal together.
There’s even a bowling alley. Yes, a BOWLING ALLEY, right in the hotel. Is there anything you can’t do at the Tschuggen Grand? It opens after 9pm and is complimentary for guests.
It was all the little things that really made Tschuggen Grand Hotel an experience, not just a hotel stay. I honestly can’t remember staying at another hotel that had as many complimentary drinks and snacks as we found here. From stepping in to the lobby where there was always a refreshing pitcher of mint-infused water and fruit shots, to the organic apples for guests in the lobby of each floor, the hotel ensures guests never go hungry or thirsty. We were even given a snack bag upon departure with chocolates, apples, water and a little bag of lavender bath salts to take a little of Tschuggen home with us.
Perhaps the coolest hotel amenity is Tschuggen Grand Hotel’s very own private mountain railway. It’s completely automated and complimentary for guests. You simply take your card and swipe it to “call” the train. In just a few minutes, the 12-seater mountain railway is opening its doors for you to board, and with the push of a button, whisks you up to the ski area.
The hotel also has complimentary toboggans and you can ski or toboggan right back down for a ski-in, ski-out experience.
Arosa is serviced by 13 lifts and has 70 kilometers of pistes. It’s also connected to the Lenzerheide ski area, where you’ll find an additional 155 kilometers of pistes. In Arosa, there’s a great mix of blues and reds so that works great if your group is of mixed abilities like Tim and I.
I had one previous snowboard lesson at Lake Annecy Ski Resorts in France just a few weeks before. In that lesson, I managed finding balance and turning. So when I met up with my instructor from the Skischule Arosa, we reviewed what I already knew. Not much, by my standards. But this time I wouldn’t be confined to the flat kids area.
We went right for a blue run and thankfully it wasn’t too busy during the week (otherwise known as not too many for me to take out on my tumbles). Learning to snowboard is hard! But for every fall (there were at least 20 of them), I got right back up and tried again. As I was sitting to recuperate for a minute and appreciate the views, another girl learning to snowboard came tumbling down the same run I’d just managed to not-so-gracefully fall down. We caught each other’s eye and had a good laugh. There’s camaraderie when massively bruising your dignity…and your bum.
The instructors seriously have the patience of saints. I know I was no easy student, but by the end of my lesson my instructor had me feeling more confident and I’d learned how to better control my board. Most importantly, I learned how to stop without just throwing myself down because I was feeling out of control.
Private snowboard lessons with Skischule Arosa start from 145 CHF and meet at the Innerarosa Office just five minutes from Tschuggen Grand Hotel.
The mountain hut Tschugeenhütte is easily accessible from the Tschuggen Grand Hotel via the Tschuggen Express or ski in if you’re already on the slopes. Believe me, the scents of the grilled sausages wafting up the mountain at lunchtime will be too much to resist. There is a sit down restaurant where you can try local specialties like Arosa sausages with a side of rösti. The staff will probably also recommend their coffee with caramel liqueur, and if you’re like me, it won’t take much for them to twist your arm to try it. Delicious!
If you want a quicker snack so you can get back on the slopes, there is also a snack bar on the other side of the Tschugeenhütte. The walk-up window has sausages served with a roll, burgers and fries.
Since I’m just learning to snowboard myself, I know that one of the most important things for a ski holiday that everyone enjoys is that there are plenty of things to do for the non-skiers. Arosa definitely has both skiers and non-skiers covered. Not only does the Tschuggen Grand Hotel have a variety of daily activities offered that includes everything from Thai yoga to wine tastings, but you can find a plethora of activities in and around Lake Obersee.
Ice Skating on Lake Obersee
From mid-November to mid-April Lake Obersee becomes a frozen paradise where professional and hobby ice skaters take to the ice alike. There is also an artificial ice skating rink near the lake and some skating sessions are open to the public. Check with the concierge at Tschuggen Grand Hotel to find out when the evening ice skating is or to book an ice skating instructor.
Curling is a huge sport in Europe and you can try your hand at it in Arosa. Stop by the Arosa Tourismus office to arrange a private or small group lesson to learn all the ins and outs of the sport.
Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides
I think horse drawn sleigh rides are romantic and if you’re visiting with family, kids will delight in riding around in a sleigh. The sleighs congregate around the train station like taxis and you can hire them for on or off mountain rides.
Hot Air Ballooning
Since we were married in a hot air balloon, they always hold a special place in our hearts. And we think ballooning over the Swiss Alps is one of the most beautiful places in the world to take to the skies. You can balloon around Lake Obersee from December through March and Arosa even hosts a 5-day balloon festival each winter. Contact Walter Vollenweider at +41 044 391 37 14 to inquire about prices and to make a reservation.
I look at paragliding as ballooning for the more adventurous and Arosa would be a stunning place to try it out! You can book tandem flights with an instructor. Contact +41 (0) 79 449 88 13 for prices and to make a reservation.
Our trip was provided by Tschuggen Grand Hotel with the support of Arosa Tourismus in order to bring you this story. However, Luxe Adventure Traveler maintains full editorial control of the content published on this site. As always, all thoughts, opinions, and enthusiasm for travel are entirely our own. This article contains affiliate links. When you book on Booking.com through our affiliate site, we earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. It just helps us keep things running here at Luxe Adventure Traveler!