I discovered this gem in the Engadin mountains during the third week of June 2012 (I stayed three nights). Imagine someone who has a flair (and prescient taste) for art and hospitality and relaxation, and who designs a hotel around these themes. Perched up on a hill in Zuoz (and built I think 10 years ago from a castle-like structure), it offers views of the Engadin alps (I had a balcony), fresh air, quiet and the best water I ever tried (seriously, I could not believe it, it is the softest water I ever had).
My room was a chic modern room, spacious, double twin bed was super comfortable and as I said breath taking view. No air conditioning, AC is very rare in Switzerland (I did write that a fan should be available to AC spoiled Americans :D)
They put out a bottle of that Zuoz water and I thought, OK, water .. then I tried it. I drank that 0.7l bottle in 10 minutes. I continued to drink massive amounts of that Zuoz water while I was there. If you like Evian, and water that has been char-coaled filtered, you will love this water.
The spa, a Turkish Hamam, was a revelation to me. You are not fully naked, but get a thin towel and aluminum bowls, beautiful olive soap (sooo smooth) and walk through 7 stations: Different types of steam rooms (eukalyptus, other herbs), crystal-clear small relaxation pool, showers;it's sort of a meandering through water in various forms to relax, takes about 1-2h. I did not want to leave.
I was immediately struck at how happy the attendant, Ralph, looked. Turns out he came to Zuoz for a couple of months from Germany and then stayed 5+ years. The guys just exudes relaxation and happiness, he clearly loves his job. He explained the steps to me and my wife, and after doing the tour (and continuing to drink that water), I relaxed in the chill out room while Ralph brought me dates and nuts and tea. I really did not want to get up.
On Ralph's recommendation, I had a 45 minute Hawaiian massage called lomi lomi nui. It's an all around oily massage that really was worth the extra cost. I should add that the massage staff is Swiss-licensed (stringent education and hands-on training) and, like all staff I encountered (about 8 people incl cleaning and restaurant) across the board highly educated and happy.
Breakfast was bountiful, just enough variety, very high quality ingredients - bread was to die for, as well as the eggs from the region (in general, try the regional products, and you will know the difference between food that is generated for people by people who care, and that which isn't when you get back to the US). Try the vitamin juice, it's freshly made.
In sum: The hotel's stylish yet relaxed ambiance and the staff's disposition and competence reinforce one another; as a guest this is a fortuitous and welcome combination. I really enjoyed my stay and recommended it to my sister who will be staying in August. I'll be back for sure for a longer stay with my wife and children. I wish I were there right now!
p.s To top it all off: I fancied a 1920s poster of Zuoz near the Hamam and inquired at the desk whether there was a way for me to get hold of a facsimile near the end of my stay. Sadly, the poster was not produced anymore. The Castell director, Mr Silvan Auf der Maur, not 5 hours after I had left, took the initiative to investigate: The originals were indeed not sold anymore (he checked in St Moritz), but he went on to two vintage poster sites and presented me with links enabling me to order that poster.
If there is one thing professionals can recognize, it is other dedicated professionals. One hallmark of this is how the staff made us feel while we were there, the other was this going the extra mile. People matter the most.
p.p.s Be sure to eat at Restaurant Dorta down the hill, the Barley soup is the best I ever had and they put special herbs in their home made grappa.
- Also Known As:
- Castell Hotel Zuoz
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Priceline, Hotels.com, Tingo, Otel, TripOnline SA, Travelocity, Orbitz and Venere so you can book your Hotel Castell reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.