Deep into the snow covered Alps is the mystical castle-like Waldhaus Hotel. Five generations of the same family have run this fairy tale hotel. Over the years it has seen and survived two World Wars and a Great Depression. Everything about the place is suggestive of an old romantic novel, it doesn’t feel quite real but a stay here allows you to be a part of its story.
The atmosphere of the Waldhaus is hinged on aristocratic nostalgia. One could easily imagine decades of Europe’s well-to-do escaping to this mountain retreat in the depths of winter. Yet it was not stuffy or pretentious, in fact quiet the opposite; the old worldly elegance came with a remarkable homey feel that made us wish we could linger on for days, if not weeks.
The Waldhaus is located in Sils Maria in the famous Engadine Valley. Sils Maria is most well known for being the summer home to German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The Waldhaus provides guests with a free bus ticket during their stay so they can travel to different parts of the valley for skiing. The ultra glamorous town of St. Moritz is 10 kilometers away.
The Waldhaus was designed so that all rooms offer views of the Swiss Alps. There are a variety of sizes and styles for guests to choose from, some of the rooms have even been restored with their original 1908 furniture. We stayed in a modern junior suite. The space was ample and the décor fresh and simple. The room was bare from works of art or glittering chandeliers but what it lacked in decadence it made up for with stunning mountain views.
Dinner at the Waldhaus was a true highlight of the stay. A 5-course menu is prepared daily with the majority of ingredients being locally sourced. Guests are treated to a full silver service beneath the chandeliers of the main dining room. One may also opt for a la carte at the Waldhaus’s fine dining restaurant. In the morning, the dining room has terrific views of the Alps making it a lovely place to sip coffee and nibble on croissants.
The Waldhaus has an indoor heated swimming pool and a small gym. The spa is currently being built and is set to open in December 2016.
I truly enjoyed my time at the Waldhaus. The hotel is not typical of other luxury hotels as the interior is by no means opulent, but the atmosphere is wonderfully comforting and friendly, and the sense of history was very special. If you appreciate classical grandeur and quirkiness then this is the place for you! I would easily go back to the Waldhaus as the dining was exceptional and I loved the sleepy village of Sils Maria.