March 18, 2013

Family duties brought me back to my native Switzerland as well as the invitation to attend the wedding of friend of almost 30 years. Not only did his wedding renew my belief in the importance of love in everybody's life. Love that enables the sharing of the joys and burdens of life. But on a more mundane level the wedding’s venue introduced me to a part of my home country that could easily be an off-shoot of paradise.

Paradies – German spelling of the word Paradise – is the name of the Hotel where the ceremony took place and where I got to spend a few days. Located in Ftan, a village perched on the mountainside of the Engadine Valley, the same valley that also hosts the better known Saint Moritz, Paradies is a boutique hotel that combines the distinctive old traditions of that region with modern, sophisticated touches.

This is reflected for example in the use of the wood of the Alpine pine tree that only grows at this altitude of 4900 feet and above. The architectural style as well as the décor is mainly contemporary peppered with some antiques from the Engadine Valley. The entire hotel is as it should be set up in order to take full advantage of the breathtaking views of the surrounding, snow covered mountains and the deep valley at the bottom. While minimalist interior design runs the risk of taking away the coziness and expected warmth of a mountain cabin, Hotel Paradies strikes a good balance. The attentive, friendly staff ensures that every guest is at ease and won’t forget to take in the peace of the serene mountains.

Simple room design with furniture made in Alpine Pine wood. Similar to cedar the Alpine Pine is very aromatic filling the room with natural scent.


The lobby lounge provides almost panoramic view of the surrounding mountains. 


One of the two dining rooms has been moved from an old building in a neighboring village and transplanted into the hotel. This reflects the traditional, local decorating style with wood paneled walls and ceiling as well as the furniture once again made from Alpine pine.


The study or library which also doubles as business center with all state of the art equipment is also set in a more traditional style.


The Spa loung in a more contemporary setting.


A small detail that adds to the overall feel of the place: Hollow tree branches are used throughout the hotel as decorative yet functional detail.


What would a retreat be like without a mediation and yoga room?


The breakfast buffet featuring hollow branches and tree trunks again. Another characteristic of the hotel is that the food offered are specialties of the Engadine Valley sourced from nearby farmers and producers. Needless to say that every type of food being served is organic.


Antique buffet cabinet is repurposed as the yoghurt and musli bar.


The main street of the charming village of Ftan featuring 300 – 400 year old houses typical for this region.  


Part of the traditional houses are their large portals. The size served the purpose of letting all the livestock into the stable that was typically located right behind. The living quarters were on the 2nd and higher floors.



Written by Patrice Gerber, Co-Owner

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