If tasked with finding someone who loves Switzerland more than our Editor in Chief does, you’d be searching for quite a while. With 12 visits to the country already, Laura Bartlett’s passion for exploring Switzerland shows no signs of waning. Each visit presents something new, and her latest adventure was no exception. During her three-day stay at Hotel Adula in Flims, Laax, Laura immersed herself in a magical experience, solidifying Switzerland’s position as her top favourite destination. Here’s her lowdown…

Each time I board a flight bound for Switzerland, I find myself contemplating whether it might be my final visit to the country. I question whether my love affair with Switzerland might eventually fade, if I’ll reach a point where I feel I’ve explored all it has to offer. 

Yet, the moment the plane touches down on the runway, with the majestic view of the Swiss Alps surrounding me, I quickly dismiss those ludicrous thoughts. It becomes clear to me that this could never be the end of my journey here. There is something that lures me back time and time again and honestly, I’m not mad about it!

Touching down at Zurich airport, I embarked on a journey that always manages to take my breath away. Jumping aboard a couple of seamless trains, I ventured through the picturesque Swiss countryside, bound for Chur because it really is about the journey and not just the destination. 

While some folks swear by therapy, for me, Switzerland is my ultimate soul-soother. There’s something about the crisp mountain air and the serene beauty of the landscape that instantly hits the reset button on my soul. And let me tell you, this trip promised to be no exception to the rule.

Checking in

This time, I found myself headed back to the enchanting area of Flims, Laax – a place that seems to beckon me with its irresistible charm every time. Checking in to Hotel Adula, I was all set in my oasis of wellbeing in the heart of Flims ready for three days to disconnect from the world, unplug from technology and reconnect with myself and nature. Aka, pure bliss. 

Ah, Hotel Adula, where history meets hospitality in the heart of the Grisons mountain landscape! As someone who never quite fancied themselves a history buff, I was unexpectedly captivated by the rich tapestry woven into the very walls of this 140-year-old gem.

Nestled on the sunny (or snowy) slope of Flims, this charming establishment has been extending its warm Swiss welcome for over a century. With 93 spacious rooms and suites, 2 tantalising restaurants (I’ll get to them later), a lounge and bar beckoning with tales of laughter and camaraderie, and not to forget, their weekly DJ who offers nothing but good vibes and great beats. 

Where it all began 

But let’s rewind to where it all began, shall we?

In the quaint year of 1890, the Kurhaus Adula, as it was then known, opened its doors to the first wave of curious travellers seeking respite in the summer months. Back then, it was all about basking in the warmth of the season. But oh, how swiftly the tides of demand changed with the advent of winter sports and the lure of adventure! Soon, the clinking of skis and the laughter of snow enthusiasts echoed through the corridors.

Fast forward to 1939, and guests were still being whisked up the mountain on transport sledges. Can you imagine the thrill of that journey? By 1945, the pioneering spirit of the region reached new heights with the inauguration of the first detachable chairlift from Flims to Foppa – a game-changer in the world of alpine exploration.

But the Hotel Adula didn’t just witness history; it played an integral role in shaping it. With each passing year, the main building expanded, evolving to meet the ever-growing demands of its discerning guests. 

Right up to this very moment, the Hotel Adula has stood as an emblem of enduring grace and unmatched quality. With their most recent refurbishment sparking whispers of further enhancements on the horizon, it’s clear that they’re not just keeping up with the times but setting the pace in their industry.

The Rooms 

My first two nights were spent in the cosy comfort of a Lodge Room, which was already magical enough. However, it was my final night in the 1001 Steilas suite that truly stole the show, transforming this already stellar 4-star hotel into a celestial oasis. This truly takes glamping to a whole new level.

As I awoke from a night of blissful slumber, with a gentle tug on the canopy, I pulled it back, revealing a sight that left me breathless.

Before me stretched an awe-inspiring panorama of mountains bathed in the soft hues of dawn. The sun, a golden orb rising majestically over the horizon, cast its radiant glow upon the snow-capped peaks, painting the sky with a palette of colours so vivid and vibrant that it seemed almost surreal.

In that moment, as I stood transfixed by the sheer magnificence of nature’s canvas unfolding before me, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude and awe wash over me. It was a sunrise unlike any I had ever witnessed before – a dance of light and colour that seemed to tip toe across the sky, filling me with a profound sense of wonder and reverence for the world around me.

As I lingered there, basking in the warmth of the morning sun and drinking in the breathtaking beauty of the mountains, I knew that this was a moment I would carry with me always. It was a reminder of the incredible power and majesty of the natural world, and a testament to the transformative magic of Hotel Adula’s 1001 Steilas suite. Gosh, let me tell you, it was an experience that went way beyond the usual hotel stay and etched itself right into my heart and soul.

Where to eat 

At Hotel Adula, dining isn’t just about filling your belly – it’s a journey for your taste buds that spans continents! With two exquisite restaurants to choose from, you’ll embark on a culinary adventure that will leave you craving more.

As someone who was dining solo, I was enthralled by the endless books on the shelves throughout Adula Kitchen and bar, giving me something to read in between my moments of people watching. The restaurant gives off a ‘home away from home’ vibe and you can’t help but relax like you’re in the comfort of your own living room. The only thing missing were my slippers! 

(Top tip, order the affogato. It’s not officially on the menu but if you ask the team nicely they will whisk up their own concoction of my favourite dessert. Thank me later.)

Now, let’s shift our focus to La Muña – a place where Japanese and Peruvian cuisine come together in a delightful fusion of flavours. Prepare your taste buds for a mouthwatering journey like no other as diverse ingredients from Europe meld seamlessly with Japanese and Peruvian techniques. 

From delicate ceviche to mouthwatering teriyaki beef tenderloin infused with truffles, each dish is a work of art designed for sharing (whatever sharing means). And the name? It’s inspired by a Peruvian plant known for alleviating altitude sickness – a fitting tribute to the adventurous spirit that permeates every bite.

Nab the table near the crackling open fire, and you’re all set for a delightfully cosy evening, with prime viewing of the chef in action in the open kitchen. Witness with awe as the chef works his culinary sorcery, turning basic ingredients into gastronomic masterpieces right before your very eyes.

Location, location, location 

Hotel Adula could not have a better location if they tried. Flims is like Mother Nature’s treasure chest, bursting with wonders waiting to be discovered and everything is within walking distance from the hotel. One of the wonders is Lake Caumasee, the crown jewel of Flims, also known as ‘Lag la Cauma’ in the charming Romansh tongue, which translates to the whimsical ‘lake siesta’. 

Whether you’re up for a splash, a chill-out session, or catching some rays, this stunning lake has got you covered! If you’re strolling on foot or pedalling away on your bike, a pit stop at this majestic oasis is an absolute must for your itinerary. The lake is surrounded by lush forest on three sides, with a cosy wooded island smack bang in the middle, where tranquility reigns supreme.

During my evening meal on my final night, one of the staff members, Branko Čavić, regaled me with tales of early morning swims in the pristine lake. His enthusiasm was contagious, and despite the chilly prospect of snow, I found myself agreeing to the adventure. The next morning, as the sun timidly peeked over the horizon, I plunged into the icy waters, the snowflakes dancing around me like delicate ballerinas. It was a surreal moment, one that will stay with me forever. 

Branko’s infectious spirit and his insistence on seizing the moment turned an ordinary day into an extraordinary adventure, reminding me of the magic that happens when we embrace the unexpected. 

It also reiterated my love for travel, knowing that exploring new destinations opens up the possibility to meet people from all walks of life, fostering connections and enriching experiences that I wouldn’t have encountered otherwise.

So ‘proscht’ to Branko, the unsung hero of my Swiss escapade, for making my visit truly special and unforgettable.

What I experienced in my three days at Hotel Adula was more than just a fleeting moment – it’s a testament to the enduring allure of this remarkable hotel. And as I bid adieu to this slice of heaven on earth, I knew one thing for sure: my love affair with the Hotel Adula had only just begun.

Where to book 

Book at adula.ch

Address: Via Sorts Sut 3, 7018 Flims-Waldhaus, Switzerland

Rates 

Winter rates from 310 CHF B&B / Summer rates from 250 CHF B&B.

Memories at Hotel Adula = Priceless.

Before you fly

Holiday Extras is the market leader in UK airport parking, hotels, lounges, and transfers – and last year most of their customers saved at least £100 on their airport parking vs the price they’d have paid on the gate.

Booking Mid Stay parking means you can enjoy more holiday with less hassle. Plus with Flextras, if you need to cancel or amend you can without charge. Three nights airport parking at Mid Stay Manchester T1 costs £75.99 based on start date from 14th March 2024.

For more information and to book, HolidayExtras.com or call 0800 316 5678.

Author

Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.

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