Tschuggen Grand Hotel – Arosa

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Hotelchain: Tschuggen Hotel Group
Location: Arosa – Switzerland
Classification: 5 star superior hotel
Official websitetschuggen.ch

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Rated as one of the best hotels in Arosa, Tschuggen Grand Hotel is one of a kind and only offers the best. This top notch five star hotel makes part of the Leading Hotels of the World, so my expectations were high and were met in every single way.

You can’t beat the location, it is not far from the center of the village and the ski slopes are nearby as well. Did you know that they have their own private ‘ski coaster’? That’s right, Tschuggen Grand Hotel has its own private little train, the Tschuggen Express, that brings you directly to the slopes. Very cool!

Front desk staff was very professional and kind. For most people, a quick check in is a must. For me, a check in gives an important first impression of the hotel and its employees. It is the moment to let them know what is important to you. Everything we needed to know about the hotel and the facilities were explained in a very professional yet charming way. What a great start at this gorgeous place!

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Tschuggen Grand Hotel is a pretty large hotel with 128 rooms and suites, all luxuriously appointed and decorated with high quality furniture. Our large suite had some pleasant features such as a large working space with the most amazing view one could wish for! The king sized bed was heavenly… Do you know the feeling when it is freezing outside and you are sleeping in the most comfortable bed with the finest linen? I just LOVE that feeling! The separate cozy sitting area was a bonus and perfect for some browsing on my iPad while enjoying the stunning surrounding mountain views. All amenities in the room were top brand products even the teabags.

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The suite had 2 bathrooms… The main marble bathroom had a great size and both featured a walk-in (rain) shower and bath tub. Luxury toiletries by Asprey by London were a plus! As mentioned before, only the best is offered here. The bathroom was comfortably spacious with enough drawers. Of course, plush bathrobes and plenty of fluffy towels are provided too.

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After exploring the room, I went down to the spa area. I heard great things about this place and couldn’t wait to see it myself. I was WoWed indeed! What a gorgeous place, it is HUGE (5000 sqm). The indoor pool is just beautiful and although the hotel was about fully booked, it never felt crowded. I always appreciate an outdoor pool too, especially with those mountains around you, it makes it even more special. Several saunas and a steam room are available too. The impressive spa at Tschuggen Grand Hotel is the best place to relax and unwind after a day in the mountains.

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Several beauty treatments are offered. I got the chance to experience their signature body treatment. This one hour massage is one of a kind! I have forgotten all my stress from the workload. The therapist was a professional and made me feel at ease from the very first minutes. She also noticed some muscle tension and did her best to relieve it.

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The large fitness area is equipped with the latest machines. Personal coaching is available too as they are working together with the renowned R1 Sportsclub. Talking about sport… The village of Arosa is the perfect place to ski. As most of you know, I love skiing and the ski area of Arosa is beautiful with well connected slopes. As mentioned before, the Tschuggen Express is a little private train that brings you directly to the slopes! It’s a very fun and unique way to get to the slopes! Unfortunately I did not had the change to ride the Tschuggen Express as it was snowing like crazy while I was there… The ski area itself has slopes for everybody, from very easy to scary difficult 🙂 Tschuggen Grand Hotel has its own ski rental shop and ski passes can be bought directly at the hotel, very convenient! If you are not into skiing, cross country skiing or winter hikes are organized too! As the Tschuggen Express wasn’t operating, the brand new Tschuggen Tesla took us directly to the slopes!

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If you are hungry after all the skiing, be sure to check out Restaurant Alpenblick! This chalet styled restaurant is located right on the slopes at a height of 1951 metres! Since the weather was pretty bad for skiing during our stay, we walked to the restaurant. The walk was the perfect way to explore Arosa a little bit more and we had some amazing views. Alpenblick is a 45 minute walk from the hotel. The restaurant itself is very authentic and cozy. Staff was just wonderful and knowledgeable about each dish. As a starter, I ordered the Bünder Gertesuppä – a local barley soup. Loved it (who wouldn’t enjoy a nice cup of soup while snowing outside??). The Wiener schnitzel with a potato salad was the perfect main dish and the home made fried apple dessert was to die for! The vanilla sauce made it even more yummie…

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The hotel offers several dining options. Their Michelin starred signature restaurant La Vetta is the perfect spot for fancy culinary journeys. The restaurant was closed when I was there, but I saw pictures of the dishes and it all looked pretty amazing. We had dinner at The Basement and thoroughly enjoyed every single bite here! This restaurant offers fancy ‘fast food’ inspired dishes. The creations look great and taste even better. The crispy chicken burger Caesar style was to die for and prepared exactly the way I wanted! I also recommend to try the roasted potatoes with bacon and onions… Every excellent dinner ends with a yummie dessert: the frozen yoghurt with several toppings to choose from is a must try! You won’t be disappointed! I LOVE their two bowling lanes in the restaurant itself… We played several games and the lovely staff even gave us some tips, it was the perfect end of our lovely day!

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Breakfast is served at the Grand Restaurant. Breakfast at Tschuggen Grand Hotel is something to look forward to each morning! The buffet is great…. From Swiss cheeses, meat and several kinds of bread to home made fruit crumble with vanilla sauce, they have it all! Do note that a large selections of à la carte options are included such as the ginger power shot, eggs, etc. Each morning, I ordered the granola trifle with berry compote and Arosa curd. Try it yourself, you will love it too J

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At night, guests can enjoy a delicious international dinner here, prepared with only the best ingredients.

For a more casual dinner, La Collina is the best choice. La Collina means hill and true, views from this restaurant are beautiful. Although I didn’t eat here myself, I did look at the menu and everybody will find something to enjoy at reasonable prices.

The Tschuggen Bar is a great place to hang out and meet up with family and friends! I appreciated the live music each night and small aperitif bites before having dinner.

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Tschuggen Grand Hotel is fantastic, rooms are very comfortable, food is delicious and most importantly, the level of hospitality we received from every employee we encountered was remarkable. Everyone I chatted to was wonderful and friendly and made you feel so welcome. We very much look forward to our return and would like to send heartfelt gratitude for looking after us. Actually, at Tschuggen Grand Hotel, everyone is a star! Loved my stay here!

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Valsana hotel & appartments

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Hotelchain: Tschuggen Hotel Group
Location: Arosa – Switzerland
Classification: 4 star superior hotel
Official websitevalsana.ch

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Valsana hotel & appartments is the newest hotel in the beautiful town of Arosa and of course I had to experience it myself! This is the first hotel in Switzerland to be heated by geothermal probes and an ultra-modern ice battery. How cool is that? The mountain styled hotel has a prime location in the village. The hotel building is stunning, one of the most beautiful buildings in Arosa. From the moment I stepped in, I just knew our stay at this classy four star superior hotel would be flawless…

The most accommodating staff made us feel welcome right from the beginning.

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The rooms are all very comfortably and trendy appointed. I stayed in less beautiful rooms at many five star hotels! The Junior Suite was huge and had a comfortable bed, large bath, work table and a TV I could figure out. There was a spacious sitting area with the most comfortable couches. The parquet flooring adds even more cozy feelings. Good to know that the room even has severak USB ports and chargers which came to be quite useful as Switzerland sometimes has different plugs as we are used to. The bed and linens are absolutely delicious, encouraging one to stay there all day long, which we almost did after our long drive from Belgium. I enjoyed the in-room Samsung tablet for browsing the internet and reading the e-newspapers. The record player was a bonus! Our balcony had superb mountain views. I could sit there all day long! Another good thing to know: a mini bar with complimentary soft drinks in each room!

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Bathroom has a good size and offers spacious rainforest walk-in shower, nice bath tub and single sink. FAIR CosmEthics toiletries were new to me and LOVE LOVE LOVE them! The bath salt was a nice touch!

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Do note that Valsana Hotel has several appartments too. Those appartments are the perfect places to stay with the whole family. Again, all of them are spacious, comfortable and nicely appointed each with their own fireplace. Guests staying in the appartments can, of course, use all the facilities of the hotel.

The hotel has a nice spa area (800 sqm) with an indoor pool. I would call it a ‘pool with a view’ as I enjoyed the views while relaxing in the pool. Two saunas and steam room are available as well. The relaxation area with panoramic views are wonderful. Oh, and I love the swing chairs… they are so relaxing!

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Valsana Hotel & Appartments even has a partnership with the R1 Sportsclub which is specialized in the personal training segment. Their on-site personal trainer Julian gave me customized advice at the gym. He’s a wonderful guy and definitely knows how to motivate people to go the extra mile! They charge for the private personal fitness training, but it is definitely worth the money!

At night, we had dinner at Restaurant Twist – the hotel’s restaurant. The decoration is wonderful, I especially liked the carpets on the walls… they are beautiful! Loved the vibe of this place and although the hotel is brand new, staff treated us in a very professional way and no one would tell they opened only a few weeks ago.  The menu was interesting, varied and well balanced. In terms of the food, the starters were really high quality. We opted for the pasta bowls which were yummie. The pasta, broccoli pesto, oven veggies and toasted sunflower seeds were delicious. The Alpstein chicken and Swiss cheese reminded me of being in Switzerland. I liked the glazed lamp as a main course very much… it came with wild broccoli, mustard fruits and chestnut. Room for dessert? Of course! The homemade ice cream is a must try!

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Twist is also the place where they serve breakfast. This is not your usual breakfast buffet at Valsana hotel & apartments. There are a lot of healthy food which was appreciated! Try their smoothies or order an omelet just the way you like it…

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Valsana hotel & appartments is a trendy and unique hotel. It has a wonderful staff who are tremendously helpful. I am reserving my highest praise for the people who work there. The atmosphere, décor, service are unparalleled. The staff really always go above and beyond to make you feel at home. The hotel itself is first class, the furniture selected with thought and displayed with passion and pride. Arosa has a new jewel in town, this definitely is one of the best four star superior properties in the (large) area! This place is outstanding in all senses of the word. Highly recommended!

Pillows Anna van den Vondel

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Hotelchain: Pillows hotels
Location: Amsterdam – The Netherlands
Classification: 4 star hotel
Official websitepillowshotels.com/amsterdam-vondel

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Pillows Anna van den Vondel is a fine boutique hotel near the Vondelpark, the largest city park in Amsterdam and one of the most famous parks in the Netherlands! The hotel is centrally placed south of the Leidseplein and near the Van Gogh Museum which is only a 12 minute walk away. Pillows Anna van den Vondel recently got a complete make over and is one of the best four star hotels I have stayed at in Amsterdam!

As every Pillows hotel, the central place to meet people is their Living Room. I just love their ‘feeling home’ concept and with only 31 rooms, this hotel definitely treats their guests in a very personal yet professional way. The decoration is beautiful and I spotted nice artwork all over the place. The welcome drink upon arrival is always a good start! The staff genuinely cared about us. Each time we went through the Lobby we were acknowledged with a smile or a welcome back or a few words on how our trip was going which is what sets a great hotel from an okay hotel. Whenever we came across the housekeeping staff in the corridors they always greeted us with a smile and a quick hello.

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All rooms at Pillows Anna van den Vondel are of a four star level. The room we stayed in was compact, but had all the amenities one could wish for. The bedding and lines were top notch! Our room was as you would expect, spotlessly clean and turndown service was provided. Some items I liked particularly were the Bluetooth streaming Tivoli audio system as well as the smart control system for lights, air conditioning and door locking.  Bathroom featured single sink, toilet and a walk-in shower. It was a great room to hang out and unwind!

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After a wonderful night, we were ready for breakfast! As usaual, breakfast at a Pillows hotel is something to look forward to! The combination of à la carte and buffet style is the perfect match for me. The homemade granola is a must try! Once again, the service was excellent and nothing was asked for too much!

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By the way, the Living Room is the perfect place to enjoy some light bites and drinks. From Monday – Thursday, the open ‘domestic kitchen’ is open and the chef will prepare a daily changing menu prepared with local ingredients. The Table d’Hotes concept is great and although I did not experience it myself, I’m sure the food here is delicious…

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Pillows Anna van den Vondel is a a top notch four star boutique hotel. Although I could stay in the hotel all day long, make sure to go out and explore the Vondelpark. It is a gorgeous park and is full of people who are enjoying a sunny day, dog-walking, jogging, listening to music and even some people watching (I just love doing that… 🙂 ). Do note that Pillows Anna van de Vondel has its own private garden. I can imagine that during summer, this is a very nice spot to enjoy the sun while reading a book!

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I loved my stay at Pillows Anna van den Vondel, incredible how they manage to make you feel at home from the very first minute. That’s what Pillows hotels is standing for, their service level is high and unseen at any four star hotel in Amsterdam. Highly recommended!

Pillows Grand Hotel Place Rouppe – Brussels

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Hotelchain: Pillows Hotels
Location: Brussels – Belgium
Classification: 4 star hotel
Official websitepillowshotels.com/brussels

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Pillows Grand Hotel Place Rouppe is one of the best four star boutique hotel I know in our beautiful capital of Brussels. This hotel recently had a complete make over and I loved loved loved my stay here! The location is excellent, the beautiful city center with the spectacular Grand Place is only a 10 minute walk away. On your way to the city center, you will pass the famous Manneken Pis.

With only 43 rooms, Pillows Grand Hotel Place Rouppe is a small hotel which is why they are able to treat their guests in a very personal way. Right upon arrival, we were welcomed with a smile and everything we needed to know about the hotel was told in a very kind way. Checking in while enjoying a welcome drink is always a nice start! I immediately noticed the most comfortable and trendy couches in the lobby area which they call the ‘Living’ – and I can easily see why… this is a perfect place to work, unwind or reading while meeting fellow travelers all over the world. I must highlight the beautiful art work and soft colors they used to decorate the hotel.

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After the wonderful check-in, we were ready to check out the rooms. The room we stayed in was very comfortable and featured one of the best beds I have slept in! They are wonderful! The room looked brand new and had a descent size. I enjoyed the French balcony with picture perfect views over Place Rouppe. Other things I appreciated was the Nespresso coffee machine and separate toilet. Bathroom had walk-in shower and single sink. The Pillows toiletries smelled amazing! Every night, turn down service is offered which is seldom at a four star hotel… another advantage of this great hotel!

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The hotel opened a couple of months ago and they are about to open a brand new spa area which will be opened in the first quarter of 2018. Guests will be able to use a brand new fitness facility, a sauna and steam room. Spa treatments will be offered as well. Do note that only a few hotels in Brussels offer wellness facilities, especially right in the center of Brussels!

What I liked most about our stay, was their restaurant The Living Room’s Domestic Kitchen which is headed by Chef Trung Hoang. He is an excellent chef and worked at The Dorchester in London (***), Va Doux Vent (*) in Uccle and La Durrée (**) in Izegem. The restaurant is beautifully decorated and the staff was very professional and knowledgeable about each dish. The whole dining experience took 2 hours and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. This showed that this restaurant and the management is progressive and strived to make a better dining experience. As a starter we enjoyed an asparagus soup followed by salmon … An exceptional dish of autumn colors and flavors with the salmon dressed with radicchio. The duck – as a main course – was absolutely delicious and was the best duck I have ever eaten, hands down! The merengue which we had for dessert was yummie… I could eat this every single day J Make sure to book your table here, you won’t be disappointed!

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After a great night, we were ready for breakfast! After our dining experience of the previous evening, our expectations were high and I’m happy to point out they were met again! What a wonderful breakfast they serve at Pillows Grand Hotel Place. This definitely is not a standard breakfast… it is an à la carte breakfast in combination with a (small) buffet with high quality products. The Greek Yoghurt with granola and honey was to die for. Again, service was top notch!

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Pillows Grand Hotel Place Rouppe is a one of the best rated hotels in Brussels and I can easily see why. The location is very convenient, the rooms are wonderful, the food is delicious and the service is outstanding! I loved every minute of my stay here and can’t wait to return!