When it comes to ski resorts, there is the notion of Ski-in/ Ski-out. In other words the ski slopes are very close and easily accessible from the hotel or resort. This is a very sought after attribute when searching for ski resorts. During our stay at Arosa Kulm Hotel and Alpin Spa we lived the winter experience fully and enlarged this attribute into a broader one: The “Snow out & Spa in” combination!
Although this might seem as a simplification of our stay in Arosa, yet it can sum up in a memorable way our experiences in the winter wonderland of Arosa. When we say “Snow out”, we mean winter sports & outdoor activities. That is Swiss skiing, sledging, snow walking, winter hiking and even chasing the squirrels. When we say “Spa in” we mean completely indulging in a wellness and alpine resort. Alpine cuisine, breathtaking views from terrace, and heartwarming Christmas mood that accompanied our memorable stay in one of the best SPA hotels in Switzerland.
The journey to Arosa ski resort is as beautiful as the destination
Arosa is a true winter wonderland. This reality started to unfold as we took the train from Chur, the capital of Graubünden (Grisons) canton. As we moved, the scenes of the surrounding valley unfolded In a beautiful sequence through the windows of the train. Smoothly the white cover started to take over the colourful trees of the forests and valley. By the time we got closer to Arosa, the whole valley was covered with a thick snow layer and everything was in bright white. It was such a wonderful view that we didn’t really notice how cold it was outside. We just couldn’t take off our eyes as the train snaked beautifully throughout the forest and valley. As tip to fully live the experience, it’s better to stay in the last carriage of the train. From there you can best watch how the whole train carves in front of you with every corner and how it disappears into each tunnel. Also we recommend that you use the entrance compartment between the carriages and open the window. Over there you don’t annoy other passengers and you can also enjoy all the view on your own. Stay careful as the train passes through tunnels from time to time so safety always come first!
Watching the ski slopes from the terrace of Arosa Kulm Hotel
The first pleasant surprise as we arrived and checked in, was the amazing panorama suite-actually called “Penthouse”-that our host, Arosa Kulm Hotel & Alpin SPA, offered us. It’s so spacey with a separate bedroom, a salon and even a working desk! I wish I could work from there for a month or so!
The real breathtaking thing was the terrace! It surrounds the suite from 3 sides allowing an almost 360 panoramic view. From one side you can see the ski slopes just beneath you. Actually the FIS Ski Cross World Cup Arosa, one of the notable Swiss skiing tournaments, was held during our stay. We could watch the participants practice their ski jumps just beneath us. Our best companion was a cup of coffee and a mug of tea. Although the weather was really cold (like -15 degrees at night), we were not willing to let go of such a beautiful space especially when the sun took over the sky.
Another brilliant surprise that made us feel really at home and enjoy further the Christmas mood was the Christmas tree in our suite. The hotel provided us with a big box of balls and ornaments for us to decorate the tree according to our style. One of our favourite Christmas activities is installing the Christmas tree and it was such a lovely gesture that we had the chance to do it a second time this year.
The best of Swiss skiing: Ski-in / Ski-out
Although when it comes to Swiss skiing resorts, Arosa is less known than some other winter resorts, yet it is a very distinctive ski resort. The ski slopes are numerous and they suit every level from beginners to professionals. For ski lovers and winter sports enthusiasts this is your heaven! There are ski schools for kids and for adults who want to learn a new sport or improve their level. Part of the ski slopes pass through the village. It’s really a fantastic sight as you can see the skiers and snowboarders coming down with the background of small wooden houses and snow-covered roofs with chimneys.
Arosa Kulm Hotel & Alpin Spa, one of the best Spa hotels in Switzerland, is few steps away from the ski lifts for the way up. On the descent you can literally ski down to the doorsteps of this Spa hotel ! Moreover, the hotel is a key enabler as it helps to store the ski equipment and saves the hassle managing them. We loved the fact that the boots are kept warm for the next day. In Arosa, we wanted also to try something different than ski so we borrowed sledges from the hotel and went to try our new experience! At the reception they have sledges for all family members, and if you want some for children, you just need to ask a bit ahead so they adapt them for you.
Apparently sledging is fun and easy to learn! Some sledging paths in Arosa are also squirrels paths! So our furry friends where wondering around, jumping the trees or waiting for the smell and crack of nuts to approach closer to us. In winter it’s much easier to spot the squirrels as the whole surrounding is covered with bright white snow.
Winter outdoor activities beyond skiing and sledging
Snow activities in Arosa are not just limited to skiing and sledging. To round our Arosa winter experience, we also did a winter hike to Schwellisee. We already visited that mountain lake in summer and the transformation between summer and winter is simply mind blowing! (Check our video!) The mountain lake was completely frozen and the whole surrounding mountains and water streams were covered in one colour- plain white and nothing else! We really had to refer to our photo archives to check how this marvellous place looked like in summer. It became unrecognisable at the moment! It’s worth saying that both times were stunning and that Arosa had two beautiful faces to show a summer heaven and a winter wonderland. The hike & snow walk to Schwellisee this time was not as smooth as it was in summer yet still doable. The snow covered most of the path near the lake, so we had to be careful not to get too close to the edge. With such peaceful and inspiring environment, it was time to try another new experience – winter picnic! We got with us a thermos of very hot tea, and couple of croissants and treats. We found a nice wooden bench and the experience was as simple and as heavenly as it can get. All in white, all stunning!
The Alpine culinary experience at the hotel restaurants
From simple winter picnic we went to experience more hearty alpine cuisine at the hotel. Arosa Kulm Hotel is not only one of the best SPA hotels in Switzerland. It also has 5 different restaurants to pick from. Our daily lunch spot was at “Muntanella”. The restaurant has a nice casual atmosphere and the menu is very diverse from burgers to the yummy rösti. On the other side, “Piz Kulm”, has a very cosy and Swiss authentic setting. It stands as a chalet on a small hill, steps from the Spa hotel. It’s the smallest fondue restaurant in Arosa as it takes only 20 people, but never the less one of the most delicious ones. The fondue here is made of a mix of 6 local cheeses and is delicious!
From the “Taverne”, another of the hotel restaurants, our favourite was the meat cuts on hot stone! The kitchen is open and you can see the meat grilled on a flame fire before being served.
For an international twist, we tried the “Ahaan Thai”, quite different than the other hotel restaurants! The shrimp lemon grass soup was a real remedy for the cold weather and super delicious. We loved the noddles and the chicken cashew was a classic!
That was not all for culinary! The breakfast at Arosa Kulm Hotel is impressive. A very rich and generous display of various delights. From Swiss cheeses to smoked salmon and fish, and from cold cuts to eggs and sausages station. All of this with THE view that you might have seen in one of our videos 😉
One of the best wellness and Spa hotels in Switzerland
The hotel’s Alpin Spa was our favourite spot and our destination for relaxing after every day out in the snow and cold. The Spa is brilliantly designed such that you can relax inside and indulge in the surrounding nature simultaneously. Its so close to the Alpine nature such that you can stretch your hand and reach the surrounding mountains. Such a relaxing experience watching the snow fall like a shower of cotton, while you are still in the warmth of the hotel’s Spa. The pool gives the notion of an infinity pool, as if the water is overflowing directly into the valley. The reflection of the snow white mountains on the surface of the water is so eye catchy. You just want to chill in the jacuzzi while the surface of the water calms into a mirror reflecting the images of the Alps. Such an amazing Spa makes Arosa Kulm Hotel one of the best Spa hotels and wellness resorts in Switzerland!
So this is how the “Snow-out & Spa-in” created unforgettable winter memories and added to our lovely green summer experience in Arosa. On the way back, the awe effect was still there from the stunning scenery and amazing stay. Yet this time we knew that both the journey and the destination were as wonderful.