The last time I’ve visited Davos was about 20 years ago, as far as I remember. My grandpa used to be there a lot so we went up in the mountains to visit him. Even if I actually have great memories of that period, I didn’t take the chance to go back. True, living in south Italy during my teenage years didn’t really enforce my love for ice skating, skiing or snowboarding, since a temperature of 10 degrees celsius is already freezing for us.
I always wondered though, how things have changed up there, and if it’s really only about winter sports. Wrong thought. Davos can be a great place to retreat, spending a weekend between great landscapes and enjoying a bunch of good events. In my case, what brought me up in town in December, was the opening of the Songbird Festival, as you might know from my two previous posts, which hosts big names of the Swiss music scene, and still runs until December 20th, 2014. As the musicfreak as I am, I had to pack my suitcase and go.
I didn’t have a big clue anymore, of what this gorgeous town looked like, despite of where to stay. Finally, I opted for the Panorama Hotel, a cozy three star complex located in Davos Platz, a couple of minutes of walk from the Train Station.
The Hotel offers three types of suites, depending on the number of guests and, of course, your own needs. Me and my friend Paulo got one of the Grand Suites, that comprends two master bedrooms, a wide livingroom with kitchenette and two balconies overlooking the gorgeous mountains surrounding Davos. I don’t have any necessity to live in a five star Boudoir when I’m on vacation, it feels too much sometimes, I don’t require a porcelain doll treatment. Plus: you know, I’m more the one in for a joke than playing princess, I have to feel comfy. So, that’s why these apartment-styled suites felt totally like home to me, I had everything I needed. The owner, Ralph-Marc Diebhold and his staff are very welcoming, competent about the whole area and always there for questions. Little yorkshire Balù says “Hi” everytime you enter the door, I loved it, I seriously wanted to take this sweetheart home. The Hotel has ist own bus stop just at the entrance, a bus pass for the complete stay is provided, which made it pretty easy for us to move around the different concert locations between Davos Platz and Davos Dorf.
|Photo: Panorama Hotel Davos|
|One of the master bedrooms|
|Terrace with a view|
That’s actually not all. Once you’re away from home for a weekend, you should treat yourself well, right? Let’s start with one of the most important things (at least for me): Food! Places like Davos are amazing to taste the old good Swiss cuisine, and the Panorama Hotel provides you already with two Restaurants for the good start.
The Panorama Restaurant offers an à la carte menu that includes different fish, meat and vegetarian dishes. Taking a drink in the piano bar nearby is also always a good idea to start a long evening. During the day you can enjoy a spectacular view on the surrounding mountains and by good weather it’s quite advisable to have your coffee on the terrace. An online reservation is possible and you can find the whole menu here.
During my stay at the Panorama I chose to try some traditional Swiss Fondue in the other restaurant of the hotel: the legendary Stüvetta! This inviting place was built back in 1892 in the town of Arosa, also a well known mountain destination. In 2002 the restaurant was shut and rebuilt in original state in the hotel itself. The location is small and cozy, so a reservation is more than required. We went obviously for the classic homemade cheese fondue and a glass of white wine, always the best choice if you’re not used to this type of kitchen. If you have any struggles into what kind of fondue to choose (cheese or chinoise, a fondue type including different kinds of meat), just ask the attentive waiters: they’re more than glad to help. Have a menu overlook here.
|Eating Cheese Fondue at Stüvetta|
If you’ll find yourself outside the hotel wanting to have lunch or dinner, there are loads of restaurants to choose in and around Davos. We opted to go to Pulsa once for dinner, located inside Hotel Grischa, which has five different restaurant, so you won’t be disappointed. For lunch we headed twice to one of the most famous cafés in town: KaffeeKlatsch. Especially during the weekend they have a prolongued brunch, also on a Swiss cuisine base. I had a plate of “Rösti” with bacon and scrambled eggs. You’ll get generous portions so you won’t definetly leave this place hungry. You’ll might have to wait for a table here, the two floors get packed pretty fast.
You’ll might take long walks in Davos, maybe by taking the Jakobsbahn and going up on a height over 2500 meters on the peak of the Jakobshorn, for example. Or just by spending the nights out in the different bars and going home late. So I can imagine that the best recovery would be a couple of hours of wellness; that’s also a thing we did, in between our concert visits. The Panorama Hotel has its own little wellness complex, which comprends pool, whirlpool and sauna. It’s a little oasis to chill out and enjoy some silence for a couple of hours, finding energy for new trips around Davos. If you feel to go on a longer swim, need different types of saunas or maybe need something more kids friendly, there’s the waterworld Eau-la-la located a few steps from the hotel.
|Wellness area at Panorama Hotel|
For those interested in sports, staying at the Panorama gives you the confort to live just very close to the Vaillant Arena, that hosts all the Ice Hockey games or famous shows like the Art On Ice coming up in February 2015. Otherwise, if you’re passionate about museum visits and arts, the Kirchner Museum is also easy reachable by walk. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner used to live 20 years in Davos and inspired his colorful paintings on the town he used to stay until his death.
|Balù is obviously the king of the entire hotel 🙂|
These are surely just a little few tips I can give according to my own short visit to Davos. However, you won’t get bored in a place like this, it doesen’t really matter if you’re a winter sport lover or not. I experienced on my own self and can’t actually wait to go back… I had the time of my life. You’ll have a lot of storys to tell.