I’ve had the opportunity to experience some of the best hotels in the world. Renowned hotels such as St.Regis Singapore, Fairmont Baku, Le Meridien Nice, Westin Hong Kong and many more. Don’t judge. A couple months ago, I was invited by Graubünden tourist board to visit Davos and St.Moritz and stay in a youth hostel. I haven’t stayed in a youth hostel since primary school days, I didn’t enjoy the experience. I was willing to give it a go. This hostel experience would serve a valuable purpose and enhance your travel experience for budget travellers.
A scenic train journey from Zurich towards Graubünden, eastern region of Switzerland. A dramatic change of scenery from city to rural town, led me to a wonderful sensory experience. A boom of colour gradient from 50 shades of granitic sandstones to 50 shades of tranquil greens. Davos an awfully long way from the city but there’s a catch, it’s a perfect weekend getaway to refresh your mind from work and hectic lifestyle. Davos and St.Moritz provides a money-saving schemes to tourists who are staying at youth hostels or holiday apartments for more than 1 night, a Davos Klosters guest card and a St.Moritz guest card allows you to access to discount on admissions, unlimited free rides on all cable car rides and public transport. I will explain about this amazing benefit later on, but first things first, here are the highlights of my trip to Graubünden. First stop is Davos, home to the World Economic Forum (WEF) and ski resorts.
|| Adventure Park Davos Färich ||
The Adventure Park Davos Färich* is situated at the foot of Färich mountain pass, a short walking distance from the youth hotel and right to the newly-built shimmering egg-like Intercontinental hotel. A fun outdoor adventure activities combining a bike park and high wire park, explore the forest canopy through suspended obstacles, swings and zip lines, with fully trained equipped staff to guide you through the course, suitable for children of all ages and abilities. A great way to explore nature and unleash your inner Tarzan – all with an incredible view. As for me I’m scared of heights, I’m happy to be scaredy Jane.
As a lover of all things meaty juicy sausages. You can’t leave the adventure park without sampling Chalet Velo’s grilled cervelat, a type of Swiss sausage similar to frankfurter but smokier, they contain a mixture of beef, bacon, and pork rind. They’re referred to as summer sausage or blockwurst. I had mine served with sides – colourful salad and a generous amount of fries seasoned with their secret herbs. It was de-li-cious!
Flüelastrasse 27, 7260 Davos, Switzerland.
|| Hiking in the Sertig Valley ||
A 15 minute bus ride* to Davos Glaris and a cablecar* ride up to Mount Rinerhorn upper terminus. An ideal starting point for hikers and beginners alike, perhaps start with a pre-hike picnic before descending into enchanting pine forest to the Sertig Valley. A 2 hour hike depending on your stride with or without hiking poles, plenty of beautiful spots for photography opportunity – waterfalls, beautiful flowers, panoramic views of snowcapped mountains, and you may spot a herd of cows with grazing on the hillside or lazing in the shade.
|| Schatzalp ||
Schatzalp*, a beautiful Art Nouveau style resort hotel built in the late 1890s, located on a sloped mountain 300 metres above Davos. It was what used to be a luxury sanatorium back in the early days to treat patients with tuberculosis, it was later converted into a resort hotel in the 1950s. Even today, the beautiful time warp hotel captivate with mixture of nostalgic ambience and unique charm. Inside it features the stunning stained glass windows, mint green colour wall in the corridors, retro 1950s furnishings, old fashioned hotel room keys, the original interiors and architecture design were largely preserved and partially restored. Very Wes Anderson-like film set. Facing south, you have a spectacular panoramic views of Davos.
Berghotel Schalzalp, 7270 Davos Platz.
|| Davosersee ||
You can’t leave Davos without a quick visit to Lake Davos or Davosersee in German. It’s a small natural lake with a swimming area and sailing centre, as well as a cosy indoors restaurant. The stunning views of the tranquil lake, nestled between the grassy hills, forest, valley and traditional houses. Perfect for a leisure stroll or jogging round the lake and catch the early morning glow.
Bachi’s Strandbad Davos, Stillistrasse 7, 7260 Davos.
|| Where I stayed ||
A 2 night stay at the former sanatorium, Davos YouthPalace (associated with Swiss Youth Hotel). It was built in 1913, during the height of Belle Eloque and the golden age of refined tourism in Davos. Today, Youthpalace is located, quite literally a stone throw away from the Parsennbahn funicular (accessing vast skiing and hiking areas), Lake Davos, and points of interest.
The laid-back youth hostel has relaxed rooms (with mix of double rooms and dorm-style rooms with bunk beds) equipped with shower/WC and most of them have a private furnished balcony. There are no in-room entertainment such as tv and access to wifi. There are free wifi access on the ground floor to the first floor. Amenities include a complimentary breakfast buffet (incl.) and a spacious casual restaurant, various lounges and seminar rooms, tv room, children’s play area, ski and bike rooms, games room and many more. Packed lunch available on request.
I had my own private room. I was lucky enough to have non-disruptive sleep during my stay at the youth hostel all thanks to the packed itinerary and shattered legs from endless walks, no noises heard from school children screaming nor running in the corridors in the late evenings. Dinner was lovely and comforting despite the high content of sodium, hey it’s a Swiss thing, washing it down with fruit pudding and water did the trick. It was my first experience staying in a youth hostel and I can say it was a great experience!
Stay tuned for the upcoming post on St.Moritiz.
* All hotel guests receive a free Davos guest card to enjoy some benefits in duration of your stay in Davos, the guest card covers unlimited free cable car rides and public transport, discount on admissions – adventure park, outdoor sport facilities, bike and boat rental, golf and many more. Davos guest card is available to guests who stay at least one night in commercially rented accommodations in Davos. Prices and conditions on enquiry, and benefits differs season to season. Check out the official website for more detailed information about the Davos guest card, and terms and conditions.
Kit Lee was a guest of Graubünden tourist board.