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“Friendly, Professional : Loved it”
Review of Hotel Privata

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Hotel Privata
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Sils im Engadin
UAE
Level 5 Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Friendly, Professional : Loved it”
Reviewed September 25, 2011

We had booked our room directly with the hotel ; the Engadine Inclusive Pass (free bus / train / cable car for all places between Scuol and Alp Grum) was part of our offer.

When we checked in, we were greeted by a sunny friendly young lady, Corina, who spoke perfect English – which laid to rest our faint apprehensions about our ability to communicate in the largely Romansch / German speaking area.

The hotel is tastefully furnished with a few antiques and local art d objects, without being overly cluttered. On the top floor, there is a shelf of French and German books. We had asked for a mountain facing room with a balcony and were given one on the top (third) floor. While there is no lift, this was not really a concern as we (like most of the others) were logging in quite a few hiking miles and climbing 2 flights of stairs was not an issue. Luggage is brought up by a staff member.

The room is spotlessly clean and has been thoughtfully furnished with cheerful Schellenursli prints on the wall. Crisp white bed linen with fluffy quilts and extremely comfortable pillows on the beds ; and a spare blanket if you get cold at night. There is also a radiator in the room.

The rest of the furniture comprises an extremely comfortable chaise lounge, a teapoy and 2 chairs. While carpeted, the room smelt absolutely fresh. While a small sign requests hikers to store hiking shoes in the store room downstairs, there is a wooden tray just in the room to keep your normal shoes without messing up the room as well as pegs for coats and hiking sticks. There is no TV in the room (deliberately), however you can request for one at a small charge if you need one. Internet access is free all through the hotel; if you need, you can use the hotel’s laptop as well, free of charge. In addition to the informative pamphlets on the region, there is also a Romansch English dictionary and a copy of the New Testament in German and English.

The balcony had a marvelous view of the nearby glacial river and the pine forests behind (as well as Hotel Schweizerhof) and was furnished with a wrought iron table and chairs. Our view from the window was that of the village church, some houses closely and the mountains. We loved listening to the chiming of the church bells which stop at 20 hrs (or perhaps 20.30 hrs).

The bathroom while small, again is well fitted out (Soap dispensers, shower cap / nail file / tissue box) with all white fittings and bath linen. While possibly a trivial detail, the fittings (Villeroy and Boch basin, Grohe and Geberit taps and showers) are a testament to the effort put into the quality design and furnishing. There is a shower room, not a bath tub, and a towel warmer.

The large dining room has views of the kitchen garden as well as the mountains opposite. It is a bright cheery room with fresh flowers on the window sills, and some old prints of Sils Maria and the Upper Engadine on the walls (though I did not care for some of the more garish looking objects on display). A range of burnished copper vessels hang on the walls near the kitchen (and in the kitchen)

Thought is given to the table seating which is pre allocated and changes daily. Each table has a little wooden plaque with a room number where you have to sit.

Breakfast is a very filling variety of bread (cheese/ butter/ cream/ jams) fresh juices, boiled eggs, cereals, nuts. Special arrangements seem to made for those who have dietary restrictions as one of the guests who had gluten allergy was served a separate plate of bread rolls.

We did not take the half board option (CH 25 per person for a 4 course set menu) along with the day rate and were given the option of having dinner if we wanted. As there is only one cook, the numbers must be given in the morning. I would highly recommend take the half board option as often as you can. The dishes were delicious, filling yet light, with seconds offered for the main course. Be present in the dining room at the latest by 19.15 if you are having dinner as the courses are served at about the same time.

We learnt later from a guest that Corina was the owner (along with her father) of the hotel. Her father Dumeng Giovanoli was the Slalom World Champion in 1968 and also competed in the Winter Olympics. A sgraffiti depicting a Slalom is on the wall in the front of the hotel. Dumeng Giovanoli is now a trained Chef - he is the Chef for September.

In summary : a welcoming , friendly, spotlessly clean family run hotel where we would stay again if ever we are in Sils Maria.

Directions : Coming from St Mortiz, get off at Sigl Maria Posta and walk towards your left (with your back to the Post office). Privata is a 3 minute walk at the end of the village square.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Gemcap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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88 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Mechelen, Belgium
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2011

Great small hotel. From front desk to room maid, the staff is extremely professional : friendly but not familiar, knowledgeable and obliging. The young owner (second generation) makes the difference : most of the days she was visibly present, coaching her staff and helping at breakfast and dinnertime. We went two years in a row (first time) and saw the same people working. We heard staff speaking Swiss German, the local Romansch (we think), German, English and French.

The building is situated at a small square, at the entrance of the Fex valley. Sils is almost car free (no passing traffic is allowed). You can drive your car to the hotel and unload luggage, but you have to turn back and park in a private parking lot, protected by closed doors, in the underground public parking. It's a short walk from the parking lot to the hotel. The bus stop is about two-three hundred meters from the hotel, across the pedestrian exit to the car park. Sils is a very nice small village. Old and new buildings form a homogeneous part, apart from the monstrosity called Schweizerhof. There a few shops where you can buy a picnic, so you can avoid St. Moritz.

The hotel has a quiet and relaxed atmosphere. There is no elevator, no TV in the rooms (except on order), no swimming pool, and almost no organized activities. This may sound dull, but we loved it. After two days, we were fully relaxed. Internet access and newspapers in German are available in the lobby. There are two cozy rooms in the lobby, one equipped with a small bar and a small library. During the summer, the rates include an Engadin card for free public transport and mountain lifts. Almost every evening during summer, there is something going on in Sils, organized by the tourism board. Most people in the hotel rise early, go for a hike or day trip, and come back around five. The majority of the hotelguests during our stay were Swiss or German.

Rooms are light, comfortable, very clean and equipped with massive wood furniture in a rustic local style. Sound isolation is very good (internal and external). There is more than enough space to unpack clothing for two weeks. The bathroom was nice and had everything necessary. Our room had a douche, no bath.

Breakfast and diner are served in the beautiful dining room. Seating for breakfast is free. Every morning, a small 'newspaper' stands at every table, giving weather info and ideas for excursions in the region. During diner, you are assigned a (private) table. Breakfast consists of a large cold buffet with a delicious fresh fruit salad. Dinnertime starts a bit funny : at 7.00 pm sharp, a loud gong announces diner. Most of the guests sit down at their table at 7.10 pm. It creates almost a family feeling.
All the food is fresh and the tasty meals were in our observation balanced and healthy with a lot of vegetables. A creamy starter was always followed by a light main course or vice versa. Second helpings are offered. The kitchen prepares a mix of Italian and Engadiner dishes. The dinner menu is a set menu : starter, soup, main dish and desert, no choice or a la carte. For us, this was one of the things that made up the holiday experience as we tasted delicious food that we otherwise probably would not order. The daily menu is posted every morning, and we never had a problem asking for something different (eg. fruit instead of dessert). In the afternoon, there is free tea that you can enjoy in the garden.

Last time we stayed at the hotel, my wife was early pregnant and very tired. We were a bit uneasy for returning every day early to our room and not ordering alcoholic beverages (most of the people drink wine or beer with the set menu), so we told the owner of the pregnancy. For the remainder of our two week stay, my wife's wine glasses were removed from our table when we sat down, and staff enquired discreetly about special dietary requirements.

To our surprise, a few months after our stay we received a nice calendar as New Years gift. It's commercially very smart, but also a nice gesture. The calendar stands in the kitchen, and every month while turning the pages, we talk about the great holiday we had.

We could not come this year because the height difference was to big for the baby, but we will certainly come again if the conversion rate Euro - Swiss francs permit.

Room Tip: No elevator, so ask for a lower floor if you are not fit.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank George018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dundas, Ontario, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 16, 2011

Although we know Switzerland well, this was our first sojourn in the Hotel Privata - but what an experience! Maybe, we were already biased by the peace and beauty of the upper Engadin (valley), these were the most perfect vacations we ever experienced. But let me rave about the hotel. It is run by a young woman and her enthusiastic staff. Clearly, the hotel is for the fit, particularly, if your room is on one of the upper floors. But most guests come to Sils for sports and hiking anyhow. You get compensated by the view over the granite decked roofs of this charming village to the mountain peaks kissed by the early morning sun. But the rooms leave nothing to be desired in modern conveniences from complementary WiFi to hi-tech bathroom appliances.
The whole house is furnished tastefully with local antiques and the woodwork is amazing, particularly in the sunny dining room. As if this were not enough, the ambiance was eclipsed by the food. While avoiding the excesses of 'nouvelle cuisine', most dishes were delightful surprises, bringing unexpected flavours and textures together. In contrast to many other gourmet establishments, you were offered seconds a discretion. The staff almost intuitively anticipated individual dietary idiosyncracies. The wine list, while specialising in Swiss and Italian wines, could accomodate almost any taste.
A great feature of the Upper Engadin is the "Engadin Pass". The hotels hand it to any guest staying at least two nights. It gives you unlimited, free rides on all the public conveyances from trains to cable cars.
All in all, this was a vacation difficult to surpass.

Room Tip: The southern side is more interesting but slightly noisier. But public traffic is curtailed. Choose...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ralph B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2011

I spent a lot of time researching the many, many charming Swiss towns before deciding on Sils Maria, and am so glad that we ended up there. The town is lovely without being twee, and the Hotel Privata was a perfect choice for our family. As there are very few reviews on this site, I will provide a bit of context on both the location and the place.

First, the town of Sils Maria is reachable by car and post bus (there is no rail station) but given the extraordinary efficiency of the bus system, this should not be viewed as a deterrent (st. Moritz, which has a train station, is not far). There is a wonderful glacial river rushing through the middle of town which is poised on the edge of a meadow and lake and surrounded by mountains. The hotel is also just a few feet from a hiking trail that meanders through a beautiful valley and goes to several small villages that are only accessible by horse drawn carriage or by foot. There is also a cable car at the edge of the Sils Maria, the top of which is the start of a spectacular circular hike around seven alpine lakes. Both excursions were truly memorable.

Now for the hotel-- we chose it because it had two connecting rooms for a family, one with a queen bed and one with bunk beds. It was a four story walk up (there is no elevator), but the views were terrific. The rate included breakfast and dinner, as well as afternoon tea which you could take in the garden or in the dining room. The food was typically swiss, which is a bit rich (lots of cheese and butter). There is a set menu, but the staff are wonderfully accommodating and will provide alternatives.

The hotel is also wonderfully and tastefully decorated with charming local sculptures and wares but is in no way kitchy or overdone. In sum, it just hit all the right notes and I really wish we had stayed longer than three days.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
4 Thank KarenfromDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2010

We read an Israeli's review and decided to try the Hotel Privata. We americans arrived with our back packs on and witnessed quite a few stares. These are swiss after all. An old woman asked asked us if we could afford the accomodations. We were told by locals that only the swiss vacation here for "coffee and quiet". Good description...Very good food at the hotel and friendly hosts. Amazing hikes and flowers.Great choice for a small town, elegant vacation!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mitchell_cutler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level 6 Contributor
143 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2006

We've stayed at the Privata about 16 times, once in June, once in January and the rest always in Autumn. This small, family-run hotel (it is not a "pension" in spite of the name) is impeccable. Friendly, polite, helpful and so charming.
The building is a registered site and is beautifully kept. (There is no elevator, and one cannot be installed, so be prepared to climb stairs or be sure to reserve on the 1st or 2nd floor if this is a problem). The location is quiet and central (Sils is tiny anyway) and the breakfasts and especially the dinners are a delight.
The whole hotel is designated non-smoking but smokers are welcome in a special (and charming) lounge in the lobby.
Special diets are catered for with advance notice - especially vegetarian. For guests with special dislikes (chicken, eggplant, onions - whatever) they always make special accomodation if told in advance. I asked for and was given goat-milk yogurt at breakfast (no extra charge).
There are radios and telephones in the bedrooms but no TV, which seems to suit the laid back style and ambiance. Spotlessly clean.
Don't be fooled by the simplicity - the service is smart and professional but also warm and friendly. Staff speak excellent English, German, French, Italian and the local Romansch.
The owners have let us use their bikes, skis, and on a few occasions have taken the guests (who want to) out for for day trips. (No charge!) They seem to know everything about the area that a traveler may want to know. Many guests (like us) come back year after year and one can meet old friends again and again. We look forward to spending our autumn 2006 holiday there.

  • Liked — Huge wood-paneled bedroom
  • Tips/Secrets — Book well in advance
  • Stayed September 2005, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank jon-dan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Privata

Property: Hotel Privata
Address: Via da Marias 83, Sils im Engadin 7514, Switzerland
Phone Number:
Location: Switzerland > Swiss Alps > Canton of Graubunden > Engadin St. Moritz > Sils im Engadin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Sils im Engadin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Privata 3*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Das im traditionellen Engadiner Stil eingerichtete Hotel Privata befindet sich in Sils Maria, am Eingang zum Fextal. Hier wohnen Sie direkt an den Wanderwegen und nur wenige Minuten von den Langlaufloipen und dem Skigebiet entfernt. Die individuell eingerichteten Zimmer verfugen uber ein Bad, einige auch uber einen Balkon und einen TV konnen Sie an der Rezeption ausleihen. Abends geniessen Sie im hellen Speiseraum des Privata Hotels frisch zubereitete Kostlichkeiten der regionalen und der mediterranen Kuche. Entspannen Sie in der Bar oder in den 2 Lounges am offenen Kamin. Bitte beachten Sie, dass unser Haus uber keinen Aufzug verfugt. Wenn Sie langer als 1 Nacht bleiben, nutzen Sie im Sommer die Seilbahn und die offentlichen Verkehrsmittel kostenfrei. Im Winter erhalten sie Ermassigungen auf Skipasse. ... more   less 
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