We discovered an extremely family friendly hotel when we visited the Grand Resort in Bad Ragaz.
For the last few years we have been dreaming of visiting this iconic Swiss hotel so it was incredibly exciting for us when the date was fixed and our trip was organised.
We set off on a Saturday morning and drove across the country to reach Bad Ragaz which is situated in the Eastern side of Switzerland. As you approach the resort, you already have the feeling that something special is waiting for you as you pass beautiful golf courses and stunning landscape, but its nothing compared to the first impression when you walk through the doors. The main foyer is stunning with incredible light installations, feature walls, statues and mirrors, its a real feast for the eyes and it was hard not to stare open-mouthed at everything around us :-).
Check-in was seamless and the children were each given a little welcome bag and balloon which got things off to a great start for them :-). We were given a huge family room with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and plenty of space to sit, plus a large terrace with impressive mountain views. The children's room was wonderful with lots of fun touches and colourful graffiti wall. In the bathroom there were plenty of toiletries especially for small guests and a toothbrush each.
We unpacked and went downstairs to meet Diana from the PR team who was kindly giving us a tour of the hotel.
The tour was great as it enabled us to get our bearings and discover the places we would be visiting over the next few days. Since it’s origins in 1242, the resort has expended and boasts 7 restaurants, plenty of bars, spa area, hair spa, lots of boutiques, a medical centre, 2 golf courses, five outdoor tennis courts, three indoor courts, two badminton courts, a fitness centre offering classes, kids villa and even a separate spa for children, all set in beautiful grounds dotted with sculptures. Diana took us to visit a few of the different kinds of rooms the hotel has to offer including a gorgeous function room in one of the original parts of the hotel, and the Tamina spa which uses water from the Tamina gorge, heated to a temperature of 36.5 degrees which contains many excellent properties for the body.
We learned so much during the tour and just had time for a visit to the children's spa before dinner. The children all had their own bathrobes and slippers in the room so we got changed and headed back downstairs. The kids spa is absolute heaven for little ones with a shallow pool with lots of games for smaller children and a deeper pool for the older kids. Elio enjoyed dipping his toes in the nice warm water and splashing about while Alba spent a very long time on the water slides. It's not often we can take the children to a pool in a nice hotel without worrying about the noise they are making so this was a really refreshing experience and they all loved it!
Back in the room, showered and changed and it was time to eat. Room service kindly organised a puree for Elio, while Jude and Alba picked spaghetti bolognese and Jean and I had smoked salmon to start followed by chicken and vegetables for me and a burger for Jean. It was such a treat to eat so well in our room in the comfort of our pyjamas and meant that Elio could go to bed at his usual time.
Elio had a rather disturbed night so he ended up in bed with us and we were really grateful to have such a large bed so that he could spread out.
The next morning started with breakfast in the restaurant Olive d’or. The choice is huge ranging from fruit and cereal to plenty of hot dishes, pastries cold meat and cheeses but the highlight for Jude and Alba was the kids buffet area where they could choose from mini boxes of cereal, pasties, fruit and drinks. They loved this!
Diana had kindly organised spa treatments for Jean and I for the Saturday morning so Jean headed off at 9.00 to the Tamina Therme spa (also open to the public) where he was having a neck and shoulder massage while I took Jude and Alba to the kids club. In fact the kids club is a whole villa located on the grounds of the resort and it is packed full of toys, games and activities for children of all ages. Jude was initially a bit anxious about the kids club as he was worried he would be bored, but this wasn’t the case at all. He discovered that there was a playstation and he soon found another boy his own age to play with and Alba also found a friend and spent a lot of time making bracelets and creating art pieces :-).
I handed over Elio to Jean when his massage was finished and it was time for my Cellcosmet Swiss Radiance facial in the beauty treatment area. I have had a few facials over the years but this was definitely one of the best. The products were all wonderful and smelled amazing and my face was really glowing and soft when I came out. The facial also included a hand and arm massage which was really welcome after a tough week. I loved every moment of it and left feeling like a new woman!
For lunch, the children were eating in a VIP room of the Olive d’Or restaurant with the kids club while Elio, Jean and I ate in the main room. Lunch was lovely and again, they prepared something special for Elio to eat so he was happy and he even fell asleep which meant Jean and I could enjoy a quiet lunch together.
After lunch we had expected the children to be ready to come back with us, but in fact they wanted to spend a bit longer with their new friends so we went back to the room so that Elio could continue his nap and collected them a little later for a walk around the resort altogether.
We just had time to get changed before we set off for our next activity which was a visit to Light Ragaz. If you haven't heard about this, it's a beautiful light show in the heart of the Tamina gorge. We collected our tickets from the Hotel Krone just a few minutes walk from the resort and waited for the special bus which would take us to the gorge. The show was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen with the music mixing with the sound of rushing water below our feet and the magical animations projected onto the face of the rocks. We all loved it and were sad to leave. Elio also enjoyed the music and the colours. At the end of the tour there is a bar in case you fancy a drink but Elio became very agitated and we had quite a lot wait for the bus so we decided, rather bizarrely, to walk back to the resort. Its about a 4.5km walk which took us 45 minutes at a good pace and actually it turned out to be a really fun family activity. Jude was a trooper and motivated us all, while Alba did the same from the comfort of Jeans shoulders :-). Elio appreciated the movement and we beat the bus back to the town. I would however, advise against trying to walk back in the dark since the road is uneven and not lit at all.
For dinner we were eating at the 1 Michelin star restaurant Verve by Sven. For this, we booked a babysitter for Elio so that we could respect his bedtime so we fed him and got him installed in bed and got ourselves ready. Jude and Alba were really excited to have a grown up evening with us and the chance to chat, They had some delicious chicken nuggets and chips while I tried the shrimp carpaccio and deer and Jean had a delicious egg and quail. We were all too full for dessert so we headed back to the room to see how Elio was doing. The babysitter was really great and had taken excellent care of Elio, trying lots of different things to try and get him to sleep. He was still awake when we got back to the room so we put him into bed with us again so that Jude and Alba could sleep.
We were up early again on Monday morning and this time, we ate breakfast in the same place where we had dinner the night before (Verve by Sven). I ordered some delicious eggs on avocado toast with smoked salmon and the children piled their plates with fruit and mini pastries.
All too soon it was time to pack up our suitcases and head home.
We really had SUCH a wonderful time. The resort is an extraordinary place with such an enormous amount of facilities and services, you could stay for two weeks and never be bored. The wide choice of 7 restaurants (totalling 4 Michelin stars), sushi takeaway, bistro and cafe, as well as 3 bars around the resort offers guests the option to pick whatever suits their mood. The outstanding thing for us was really the family friendly nature of the place. The children were treated like royalty and were welcome everywhere we went. The huge kids club is a great advantage for parents to enable them to enjoy the facilities and a bit of quiet time, knowing the children are in safe hands. In fact the club could also have taken Elio with prior agreement (since they would need an extra person for him). The location is beautiful and the resort is such an oasis of luxury and tranquility, its impossible not to leave feeling relaxed and refreshed (even with three children :-)).
Thank you to Diana and the whole team for taking such wonderful care of us and making us feel so welcome.
Grand Resort Bad Ragaz
CH-7310 Bad Ragaz