Nestled within the deep, rolling Swiss valleys that straddle the borders of neighboring Liechtenstein lies the magnificent resort town of Bad Ragaz: a town famous not for its Hot Springs, but for its famous health and spa resort, Grand Resort Bad Ragaz.
Stylish, elegant, and regal are just some of the adjectives I would use to describe this incredible hotel and I was incredibly honoured to be able to stay here for the three days I was there for. Switzerland has been on my travel list for as long as I can remember, and generally, it didn’t really disappoint (more on that later!)
The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is a five-star spa hotel situated about an hour away from Zurich, with a heavy emphasis on the ‘spa’ element. If you’re coming to this hotel, you are coming to heavily indulge in all things health and well-being. The place is an absolute treat for the senses, so let’s get into it!
How To Get There
The resort is around an hour away from Zurich as mentioned above, located around the Alps in Eastern Switzerland, and is surrounded by an incredible mountain landscape including the world-famous Tamina Gorge: the local hot springs that provide the town with fresh, thermal water.
There are beautifully designed, comfortable and elegant rooms across the various buildings that make up the resort, including spa suite rooms, the traditional Grand Resort Hof Ragaz, the Hotel Palais Bad Ragaz which is the oldest hotel on the premises and contains the most regal rooms, and lastly Hotel Quellenhof, which is where I was staying. I stayed in one of the Junior Deluxe rooms which were absolutely sensational. Combining tradition with a contemporary, modern, neutral style, the deluxe room came with all the amenities you would expect from a five-star hotel, including a nightly turn-down housekeeping service. The room screams luxury at every turn, and also featured a balcony with exceptional views of the mountain landscape.
Whenever I visit hotels, I always go in with very low expectations. Not because I expect to receive bad service from the staff, but more so, I like to be pleasantly surprised if the service ends up exceeding my expectations. The service at the Grand Resort was nothing short of exceptional. From the bellhop guys and reception to the front-of-house Management, restaurant and spa staff, it was exemplary from start to finish. The staff were chatty, funny and keen to help me with any requests or questions I had during my stay and I could not thank them enough. My room was given a turn-down service between 6:30-7:30 every evening complete with a mint chocolate left on the pillow each night, and was offered an extra duvet and pillows during my stay. Absolutely no notes!
The Grand Resort houses seven restaurants which have a combined grand total of 75 GaultMillau points and 6 Michelin Stars, as well as a sushi takeaway bar, a bistro and a cafe to round it all off. From Meditteranian and Asian Fusion cusines to vegan-inspired restaurants, the hotel has you covered.
Seeing as the main demographic of the hotel seems to be within the 55+ age range, it would make sense for the hotel to be decked out with accessibility-friendly rooms and general gathering areas. On the ground floor, there are no steps that lead in and out of any of the entrances, and there are ramps, wide elevators and even a couple of wheelchair elevators dotted around the hotel, which was a pleasure to see! I saw many disabled guests in wheelchairs at the resort, navigating the hotel with ease, and the bathrobes and towels fit my plus size body with ease. I was pleasantly surprised!
The hotel screams luxury – you can tell that a lot of thought was put into every corner of the hotel, and the service I received was absolutely stunning. With that being said, my final thoughts lie moreso with some of the guests and general attitudes of some of the locals whilst there. Before heading to Switzerland, I was aware that the general demographic of the population were older and because of this, I assumed that attitudes towards things like diversity, different body types and different ethnicities may be…a bit archaic to say the least.
Unfortunately, I was made the target of a few awkward encounters and situations both inside the hotel (some guests) and when wandering around the town, travelling by train and going on excursions. The majority of it took the form of cold, lingering stares from a lot of older people, but also being filmed eating while at a restaurant, and being stared at for the best part of 45 minutes by an entire family on a coach ride, with them only looking away when I stared back at them with the same energy.
It wasn’t the nicest feeling, especially when you’re a solo traveller being made to feel othered for looking the way you do, but there is also a small part of me that would like to give them the benefit of the doubt and blame it on the fact that I wasn’t in any of the major cities like Zurich, Geneva or Bern.
I thought I would add this as an aside for anyone non-white or light skinned/not slim who may be curious about visiting this part of the world.
The hotel itself I would give a 9/10 and would definitely want to stay there again!