Arriving at the Hotel Paradies I was not initially impressed at the hotel's exterior as it felt quietly unobtrusive. I later learned to love this discreet, understated look as you began to feel like a honored guest in someone's luxurious hideway. Upon check in, the staff offered a tour of the property telling us a little about each restaurant, the spa, library, lounge, artwork and even the aromatic woods used in the hotel.
My husband and I, along with our little white dog, stayed in a junior suite. Two oversized picture windows looked out onto breathtaking scenery. The balcony was long and narrow, perfect for the 2 chairs and side table with a lantern which was lit each evening. The rusitc chic bedroom seating area had 2 comfortable chairs and ottoman plus a small built in table and benches, which we used as a desk for two. Complimentary tea arrived in the late afternoons with homemade biscuits and a gorgeous pot of delicious jam or vanilla cream to dip into. The bed was comfortable and the quietness of the surroundings made for a perfect night's sleep. I loved the walk in closet with fragrant pine wood panelling, and our dog had her own bed and water bowl too so she definitely felt right at home.
The spa is small and well equipped. My husband enjoyed his massage...not the best he'd ever had but fine. We rented the hotel's ebikes during our stay and had a blast. It was a great way to see the neighboring villages, enjoy some exercise and feel like a professional cyclist climbing up the steep alp roads. I also took part in a baking class in the Paradies cooking hut, 2,200 metres above sea level...the highest altitude baking class in Europe! We took a ski lift half way and hiked an additional 1 1/2 hours to reach the hut spending the afternoon making cherry dumplings with cream, fruit tarts, drinking hot coffee from an old wood burning stove and enjoying the rustic surroundings. A once and a life time experience!
The cocktail bar/lounge was a perfect spot to unwind, at anytime of day. Its a large area, surrounded by glass to take in the gorgeous scenery, with oversized sofas arranged into separate seating areas. There's a large deck area just off the lounge to enjoy drinks and even breakfast, with massive umbrellas to shade you from the morning rays. A gorgeous fireplace separates the lounge from the small bar area. We could just envision cold winter evenings with the fire crackling in the background.
The restaurants were all of a very high standard. We ventured out one night and were disappointed we did. First, breakfast offered an array of homemade fare, from the yoghurts, breads, freshly squeezed juices and local eggs to gorgeous dried meats from the neighboring salumerias. Dinner in the Stueva was delightful. An intimate, wood panelled room serving traditional foods and always a specialty for the evening. The Michelin starred L'Autezza was a highlight for my us. Every course was exquisite, with such care and preparation going into each dish. I won't be surprised to hear that L'Autezza receives a 2nd star soon!
All these compliments to the property could not be given without a huge kudos to the staff. From the moment I booked my reservations online and began corresponding with the hotel, to the front desk staff who also babysat our dog during dinners, to the waitstaff especially the sommelier (from the Netherlands) who was also, I believe, the restaurants' manager. His knowledge of the wines and foods is outstanding, and he was such a pleasure to chat with everyday. Ms. Bambach, the property manager, was always available, dealing with daily matters but still having the time to answer clients' questions and even helping to serve in the restaurants when necessary. Her presence was always felt even when she was no where to be seen! A perfect hostess!
Will we visit the Hotel Paradies again? A most definite yes!! Yes, it is expensive but the quiet, elegant atmosphere makes The Paradies a perfect spot to relax and unwind. If you're expecting flash, nightlife and entertainment then head to St. Moritz but for us the Hotel Paradies could become a home away from home.
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