Hailed as one of Europe’s leading wellbeing and medical health resorts, those in search of some proper rest and relaxation should head in the direction of Grand Hotel Bad Ragaz.
Framed by the Alps and endless vineyards, the resorts two hotels-Grand Hotel Quellenhof & Spa Suites and Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz-are just a short train ride away from Zurich. Restorative mountain air and local tipples aside, it is the site’s proximity to the Tamina Gorge that really places Bad Ragaz ahead of the competition. Recognised for its therapeutic qualities for centuries, today water from the gorge is piped directly into the resort and it’s twelve thousand, eight hundred square-metre spa through four kilometers of specially designed piping.
We spent an arduous afternoon hopping between the 10 pools before settling on the attractive, outdoor garden one, mild enough to be enjoyed well into September. The Tamina Therme-a vast oasis of ecclesiastical architecture and various bathing areas open to the public-is also well worth a visit. It is free for guests of the hotel and there are four therapeutic bathing programmes, incorporating the three sauna-and-steam bath zones, which can be tailored to individual requirements.
If you can bear to leave such comfort, spend an afternoon exploring the gorge or ask the concierge to book a private tour of the local vineyards and wine tasting experience with Wine Tours Switzerland. Our guide, tour founder and local Gian Carlo, was met with little resistance as he plied us with homemade chutney and charcuterie, delicious wines straight from private cellars, and an impressive amount of knowledge.
With newfound energy, we rose early the next morning and hiked up into the surrounding mountains, just in time to watch the sun appear over the peaks and ridges. Our efforts-the incline was somewhat steeper than expected-were rewarded with a sumptuous buffet breakfast at Olives d’or, one of the resorts six restaurants, where we valiantly ignored the resorts Cuisine Équilibrée menu, formulated by the resorts medical health centre and nutritionists to help those determined to count calories, in favour of creamy hot chocolate, Swiss cheese and pastries.
Double rooms at Grand Resort Bad Ragaz from CHF 245/£167 per person. Rates include breakfast, welcome aperitif, use of the 36.5° Wellbeing & Thermal Spa area and Tamina Therme, fresh fruit and Ragaz water each day and daily fitness and relaxation lessons as well as VAT.
Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) offer flights from the UK and Ireland to Switzerland starting from £38 one-way including taxes