Hotel Fidazerhof review
Charming ayurvedic bolthole in Switzerland
The Quick Read: Set high up on the pine-studded mountainside above the quiet Swiss village of Flims (about an hour south of Zurich), Hotel Fidazerhof is an intimate, family-run, 12 bedroomed hotel with a little ayurveda spa for consultations and treatments. Use Fidazerhof as a relaxing hotel, enjoying the clean air, mountain walks, good organic food and your own choice of Ayurveda treatments, or come for a specialist ayurveda retreat ranging from 2 to 12 days in length which run at certain times of the year. Children are welcome – there is even a gentle massage available specifically for them. Find out all about Ayurveda.
More on the ayurvedic spa: The spa is modern, compact and spotlessly clean, with a small sauna and steam room. Most of the spa area is given to the large treatment rooms, which together with the relaxation rooms are best enjoyed during daylight hours with their stunning picture windows that look across the valley and mountains.
Owner Antonia has been practising alternative therapies for more than 20 years, initially as a shiatsu practitioner and for the past 15 years as an Ayurveda practitioner. She is the best therapist here – we love her apothecary-style wooden cabinet full of owner Antonia’s tinctures, herbs and oil blends. Treatments on offer include full-body massages (including the mind-blowing synchronized abhyanga where two therapists massage you simultaneously), shirodara (the deeply relaxing forehead oil pouring experience) as well as peelings, steam baths and internal detoxifications with ghee.
More on the ayurveda retreats: A proper ayurvedic consultation and tailored treatments, unlimited loose leaf Ayurveda teas, relaxing bedrooms, a peaceful vibe and plenty of walking or hiking in clean mountain air combine to make this a restorative and calming place to retreat to. Choose a two, three, five or seven day programme throughout the year, when there will also be regular guests staying. Read a word from the queen and a word from the king on their stay.
For something more intensive, 9 and 12 day traditional Panchakarma retreats are available 4-6 times each year when you can expect consultations on arrival and departure, a special ayurveda diet tailored to your needs and a generous number of daily treatments. Ayurveda retreats cost from 2400 – 3300 CHF (Swiss Francs) for the 9-day Panchakarma cure retreat and 3200 – 4000 CHF for the 12-day Panchakarma cure retreat, including full board, snacks and teas, use of the spa and all treatments.
More on the outside & inside: The hotel is part traditional Alpine inn and part Rumplestiltskin house; it could almost be made out of gingerbread. The fairytale green shutters with heart shaped cut-outs and carved timber balconies are typical of the other buildings in this small and incredibly well kept village. There are stunning views across the valley to the mountains beyond and plenty of walking from the door, or a short, free bus ride to the ski slopes. Inside you’ll find a warm and simple space; quiet and relaxing. Spaces vary between cosy, dark and traditional and light, airy and uplifting. There is plenty of interesting art throughout the building, and traditional carved wood and typical wooden furniture.
More on the bedrooms: All of the 12 bedrooms have been refurbished and are peaceful, comfortable and homely. Untreated pine floorboards soften the clean and modern lines of the other furniture, and pieces such as a traditional writing bureau and pictures with a gentle folk art influence add a homely touch. Clean white walls and exposed pine beams give a light and airy feel. We rather like the one-metre electromagnetic free zone around the bed that is designed to aid sleep and wellbeing.
More on your hosts: Hotel Fidazerhof is owned and run by husband and wife team Roland Hafliger and Antonia Scharli, who transformed the traditional wooden Alpine building into a hotel nearly 20 years ago. Roland is particularly welcoming and will usually be found in the hotel or restaurant entertaining and charming the guests and diners, while Antonia focuses on the ayurveda and treatments. Their staff are friendly, helpful and speak good English.
Food & drink: Fidazerhof’s very good restaurant has stunning views across the valley and mountains. The generous breakfast is an impressive, healthy and homely buffet of different breads, cereals, yoghurts, cheeses and cold meat, eggs that you can boil yourself, fresh and poached fruit, juices, a top notch bircher muesli and plenty of good, fresh coffee and creamy milk.
For lunch and dinner, which are also popular with non-residents, you’ll find traditional dishes and local, organic produce on a menu that might include hay soup with homemade paneer, buckwheat spatzles or local mountain trout. There is homemade spelt bread, plenty of vegetarian choices and special diets can be catered for if requested in advance. There are also daily ayurvedic dishes available on request.
A good wine list, including some interesting local wines, several of which are served by the glass, is worth checking out if you’re indulging. It’s worth noting that the restaurant is closed for dinner on Mondays during part of the summer season, when guests can dine in nearby Flims village.
Fellow guests: Guests come mainly from Switzerland and Germany, followed by The Netherlands, UK and Italy. They stay for an average of five nights, skiing in winter during the day in the nearby Grisons area, or walking in summer. During the specialist ayurveda packages and retreats, ranging from 2-12 days, guests spend most of their time relaxing in the hotel and hiking in the surrounding mountains – there are plenty of trails to follow from the hotel door and a map is provided. Fidazerhof is one of the few hotels in Switzerland to offer proper ayurveda retreats and they are popular with Swiss people who may come to recuperate from, treat or manage an illness (they’ll often have it paid for by their private healthcare).
Costs: From 85 CHF Swiss Francs (about £60) per person, per night, bed and breakfast for a double ‘comfort’ room without balcony during the low summer season plus taxes of about 4 CHF per person up to 190 CHF (about £130) per person per night in a deluxe south-facing room in the high winter season. Add an extra 50 CHF (about £35) per person for full board. There is a single supplement of 50-100 CHF (£35 to £70 depending on the room).
What’s queenly: The uplifting scenery and pristine mountain air combine to make you feel good and sleep well. There’s a genuine commitment to using local, seasonal and organic produce in the restaurant, and the bedrooms have a warm, calming and homely vibe.
What’s lowly: The compact spa is clean and modern and does the job, but it is not a place to spend hours relaxing. This is a shame, as the rest of the hotel is so cosy and serene. As the retreats are all-inclusive, they are easier to budget for than standard visits, where extras such as wine and treatments can quickly add up if the exchange rate between Swiss Francs to your own currency is poor.
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