As a Switzerland-based company VISIONAPARTMENTS has always had a close connection to mountains. Mountainous landscape and wooden cottages have inspired our alpine-chic living concept “St.Moritz” which enjoys great popularity among our guests in Berlin and Zurich, and features many decorative items available in our Lifestyle Shop, like paintings and sturdy wooden furniture. Winter is the perfect time to enjoy mountain landscape first-hand and actively – either skiing or walking the streets of picturesque mountain villages. At VISIONAPARTMENTS we have some true skiing experts on board and asked them to prepare their subjective list of best ski resorts to visit in 2017. Some of the hotspots are already well-known, but conceal hidden gems that are yet to be discovered by the masses. Read our insider tips to get to know them.
Arosa Lenzerheide Ski Resort
Arosa and Lenzerheide ski resorts have been connected only since a few years but have already gained prominence thanks to a total of 225 km ski slopes with different levels of difficulty and guaranteed snow more than 1500 meters above the sea level. Long slopes make the region an attractive destination also in the summer, perfect for extended hiking tours and admiring the landscape. Besides skiing and snowboarding, Arosa is also famous for snow walking (in the deep snow or on prepared trekking ways). Visitors can enjoy 103 km of cross-country skiing trails in 4 terrain parks. We recommend the way to Ochsenalp in Arosa due to its challenging route and pristine natural environment – if you are lucky you can even encounter deers there. Arosa has a long tradition as a tourist destination with first resorts opened already at the end of XIX century. This led to a well-developed tourist infrastructure today, including long cable car lines, hotels, restaurants and ski schools as well as events, like the recent Humor Festival. After an exhausting day on the slopes, it’s time to restore energy. In Arosa, try a cheese fondue in the Restaurant Buurestübli and sledge down to the village on the illuminated tracks. The place to stay in Lenzerheide is definitely Guarda Val – a premium hotel with modern interior design inspired by alpine huts and barns. If you would rather stay in Arosa, we recommend the hotels Sonnenhalde, Belarosa, Hof Maran, Arosa Kulm Hotel and the Mario Botta spa in the Tschuggen Grand Hotel.
Davos Ski Resort
Davos is renowned for its modern Conference Centre where every year World Economic Forum, an annual meeting of global political and business elites, takes place. Situated at altitudes between 1124 and 2844 m, this true Winter Wonderland features 300 km of slopes, 75 km of cross-country ski tracks, two artificial ice-skating rinks and Europe’s largest natural ice rink and the list of attractions doesn’t end here. Ice hockey, skating, curling, half-pipe skiing – basically all winter sports you can think of can be found in Davos. Davos also excels in après-ski relaxation options. You can catch a breath as you take a ride by horse-drawn sledge into the snowy valleys, or enjoy a snow-shoe walk along one of many prepared footpaths. The walking paths in Davos are an all-year attraction. They have various levels of difficulty and sometimes also different themes, such as The Sculpture Path, dotted with stone installations and tree carvings by local Swiss artists or Thomas Mann way that follows the main points included in the author’s famous novel The Magic Mountain. The nightlife in Davos could serve as a subject for a separate blog post. The city is full of venues offering a wide variety of entertainment options. Lines always form in front of the Pöstli Club in Hotel Morosani. It’s well-known as a celebrities’ favorite and bouncers at the door make sure that only the well-dressed and well-off get inside. On the other hand, the Ex-Bar will greet you with arms wide open and let you stay until the early morning. The bar offers live music, food and drinks from early afternoon throughout the night. Another classic venue is Casa Antica which gathers those thirsty for a good party and drinks already since 1959. Other classics include Piano Bar Tonic in Hotel Europe, Bolgenschanze or Davos Casino. For a perfect accommodation in Swiss Alps, we recommend our partner in Davos: Solaria. The residence makes a perfect starting point for skiers as several cable car stations operate nearby and also the center of Davos can be reached by bus that stops right in front of the house.
Ischgl/Samnaun Ski Resort
This grand ski resort lies astride Austria (Tyrol) and Switzerland (Samnaun). It’s famous not only for state-of-the-art skiing infrastructure but also for lively après-ski parties and wild nightlife. It also hosts the annual Top of The Mountain concert with every year a different world-class artist performing at the open air stage at 2320 m altitude. Needless to say, that with a village located 1400 m above the sea level, snow is guaranteed from the end of November until the beginning of May, and even though, thanks to Ischgl’s advanced snowmaking system, the resort could almost dispense with nature altogether and the skiers wouldn’t spot much difference. Ample snow in Ischgl/Samnaun makes it a perfect place for the international “Shapes in White” competition. Every January artists have 4 days to create up to 10 m high sculptures that will be then distributed throughout the ski area and will stay there till the end of March. At the foot of the slopes, the Ischgl/Samnaun area is dotted with hotels and restaurants and everybody will find an accommodation that suites their taste and wallet. Out of many options, we recommend Hotel Garni Valülla, Seespitz, Solaria and Brigitte.
St. Moritz Ski Resort
In February 2017 the entire world of winter sports will look to St. Moritz where the Alpine World Ski Championship will take place for the fifth time already. A world record, no other destination has held the Alpine World Ski Championships as often as St. Moritz. The venue attributes its popularity to technical specifications, great tourist and ski infrastructure as well as high attractiveness for all fans of skiing – here they can follow the world’s best ski athletes from start to finish along the entire contest track and ski in one of the biggest ski areas, called Corviglia/Marguns, connecting St. Moritz and Celerina. Another attractive ski area is Corvatsch, especially on Friday when you can ski at night. St. Moritz also provides an attractive offer for sledging enthusiasts. One very steep slope for adrenaline junkies would be Muottas Muragl or the longest sledging slope of Europe, from Preda to Bergün. You sledge down a pass road, in the winter closed specially for sledging. It takes about 40 minutes for one round. An insider’s tip: it’s also open at night and nice to combine with a fondue at one of the restaurants in Bergün. Talking of food, the offer in St. Moritz is rich and versatile so we will mention only the personal favorites of our VISIONAPARTMENTS insider. For lunch on the slopes we recommend El Paradiso, where you can enjoy a breathtaking view over the lakes and mountains. A bit cheaper option is Alpina Hütte, which features a snow bar, live music and the best Spaghetti al Peperoncino. On Wednesdays and Fridays, don’t miss “Piöda” at Restaurant Hauser. It’s a kind of a hot stone grill where you can choose between over 20 different sorts of meat, fish and vegetables with different sauces and supplements. For a night out, we recommend “La Baracca”. It’s really an old shack that has been transformed into a restaurant. It’s very small and you have to reserve a table long in advance, but the food and the atmosphere is worth it. At 10 pm they turn up the volume of the music and everybody starts to dance on the tables until early in the morning. With a bit of luck you might also spot one or the other celebrity here. For a laid-back drink before or after dinner, visit Bamyan in the heart of St. Moritz. During the winter season the clubhouse of the Afghan Ski Club transforms into an oriental bar with cool drinks, culinary delights and fancy music – all revenues will be donated.