Switzerland, a country renown for its amazing landscapes and breathtaking scenery, can be found on many a bucket list these days, and for good reason! When my husband and I decided to take a European roadtrip this past summer, we knew that Switzerland was a must on the itinerary.
It was our first time visiting, and we decided that seeing a city and a mountain resort area would be a good way to balance our time and give us a good introduction to the country. So when Giardino Hotel Group invited us to visit their properties in Zurich and Chamfer, it was a no-brainer! Our stay at the Atlantis by Giardino in Zurich was such a great time (you can read more about it here), that the kids couldn’t get in the car fast enough to head to the next Giardino property…and this one they knew had a kids’ club!
The Giardino Mountain Resort is located in the Upper Engadine area, just a short 2.5-hour drive southeast of Zurich. Boasting some of the most beautiful vistas I have ever seen, the Engadine is nothing short of breathtaking. It is home to the famous St Moritz resort area, one of the oldest ski resorts in the world, and is blessed with over 300 days of sunshine per year. This Alpine area is posh and luxurious. With its world-class hotels and restaurants, its chic boutiques, and its accessibility to a myriad of both summer and winter activities, the area is known to be a playground for celebrities from around the world. And the Giardino Mountain Resort, is perfectly situated to partake in all that the area has to offer.
A Perfect Home Base in the Engadine
Formerly a girls’ boarding school, the Giardino Mountain Resort was extensively remodeled to represent the best of the area’s heritage, balanced with a modern, luxurious, family-friendly feel. The exterior of the property is beautifully detailed with sgraffito, a decorative engraving technique carved into plaster walls that is unique to the Engadine. The interior showcases clean lines with a spectacular use of materials—sophisticated neutral tones and warm, earthy wood elements, highlighted by textured fabrics and pops of color. One of my favorite aspects of the property’s interior design is their ability to bring the feel of the outdoors inside. The stairwell has an entire wall covered in roses, and the common areas are accessed through the flower walkway, with floral bouquets suspended from the ceiling.
The 78 guestrooms and suites range in size from 193 sq. ft. to 646 sq. ft. They are cozy and comfortable, offering stunning mountain views and Alpine chic decor. The property offers interconnecting rooms for larger groups or families. Children up to the age of 12 can stay with their parents free of charge, and a complimentary room is offered for children ages 6 and up with stays of five or more nights. And with cribs upon request, it doesn’t get any easier to travel with the little ones.
Fun for the Entire Family
Not only are the accommodations perfect for a family stay, but the Giardino Mountain Resort offers activities that will delight even the tiniest of travelers. Within a short distance from the property, one can access hiking, biking, boating, swimming, and more in the summertime, and skiing in the wintertime.
We chose to take the funicular up to Muottas Muragl, where we found a large playground for the kids, easy hiking trails, and a restaurant for lunch, not to mention jaw-dropping views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. I highly recommend it, with or without little ones.
If you choose to go exploring offsite without the kids, Giardino Mountain has a complimentary kids’ club for ages 2 and up, and a Freestyle Academy for ages 8 and up. Our kids absolutely loved the kids club, complete with ball pit, dress up costumes, and arts and crafts supplies. They were instantly drawn to the sweet staff members that run the kids’ program, and they begged to spend time there. We easily fell into a routine, where we would spend the day together as a family, and then take the kids to the kids club in the late afternoon. The kids would have dinner with their new friends, while my husband and I were able to enjoy a quiet dinner and quality time together. After dinner, the kids delighted in crafts and movie nights with popcorn. The most difficult part of our visit was telling the kids when it was time to leave. We have stayed at many hotels with kids clubs and other child-friendly facilities, but I’ve never seen our kids so distraught to leave before!
Dining on Property
The people of the Engadine seem to hold steadfast to their traditions, their cuisine, and even their own language, Romansch, which is one of the four official languages of Switzerland, along with German, French, and Italian. And the Giardino Mountain Resort does an excellent job of retaining the cultural feel of the area and introducing its guests to the local customs, particularly through their culinary offerings. We were lucky enough to visit during a cheese event that took place at one of the three restaurants on property, Stuva. With its traditional Swiss cottage-style decor, Stuva serves local Alpine dishes with an authentic Engadine experience. During the cheese event, we learned about traditional Swiss fondue and Raclette, a dish that consists of a large block of cheese that is roasted under a special heating element. The melted cheese is then scraped onto a plate and served with potatoes, cornichons, and other sides. It is a cheese lover’s heaven on earth!
For more contemporary dishes, you can dine at Hide & Seek St Moritz, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It offers seasonal dishes, with both local and international inspiration. Their breakfast buffet offers a lovely spread of mostly cold dishes, with their hot dishes made to order. They have vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, with many of their dishes drawing on Ayurvedic principles.
If it’s fine dining you crave, then look no further than the award-winning Ecco St Moritz. With two Michelin stars and 17 Gault Millau points, you are bound to be seduced by the “purist aroma cuisine” of founder and executive chef Rolf Fliegauf.
Other than the three restaurants on property, there is also a bar-lounge area, where they often have live music, and a cigar lounge. The gym and spa are not to be missed. The gym is equipped with cardio equipment, free weights and strength training equipment. The spa is in one word—indulgent. Although I did not have a treatment during our stay, I used the variety of saunas and steam rooms, which were simply fabulous. With the attention to detail that can be found throughout the resort and specifically in their spa facilities, I can only imagine the treatments would be heavenly. The indoor pool is an impressive 807 sq. ft., with lounging areas and a jacuzzi.
Giardino Mountain Resort calls itself a “Power Retreat,” and this title couldn’t be more accurate. It has all of the luxury comforts and facilities for a getaway that leaves you feeling refreshed and revitalized. What’s more, your children will enjoy it as much as you will.
Although a large majority of tourists visiting Switzerland choose to explore the Jungfrau and Lucerne regions because of their proximity to Zurich and Geneva, those who venture just a couple of hours east, will be wonderfully rewarded. The Engadine area has so much to offer, and Giardino Mountain Resort is an ideal place to call home while you’re there.
For more information, visit giardinohotels.ch/en/st-moritz.