When we set up a special award for places our imagination and wonder cannot keep up with, our candlelit dinner at Stazione della Posta in Poschiavo will spring to our minds. A large room looking on the garden, and a long wooden table at which all the inn’s guests seat. The candles and the fireplace are the only sources of light. The smells of burning wood, of the soup of the day, of the flan, and of the apple pie, all cooked on the old wood-burning stove..
One thousand inhabitants, one thousand sheep, and one thousand beds for the guests. This is Vals’ rule, tenaciously guarded for decades, since the moment its thermal baths (which were already known at the time of Ancient Romans) became famous among close valleys and towns. Marco tells us about it on an autumn morning – pride flashing in his eyes – among the cosy and intimate walls of his Hotel Alpina…
Driving for ten minutes from Verbier and reaching Les Planards at the wonderful time of sunset on the Alps, when mountaintops and slopes are tinged with pink and fires are lit in the age-old fireplaces. Stopping in front of a wooden hut with small lights framing the pointed roof and the horns in the centre. Crossing the threshold of Le Namasté and being enveloped by a cheerful and placid atmosphere. Ordering a fondue, a Croûte Namasté and a slice of soft fruits Tarte. To us, this means being simply happy.
A chalet laid beside a majestic rock and a fairy-tale wood. On a radiant early September morning, at the end of a walk you would take every day if you lived on this slope overlooking Verbier. Cutlery tinkling, local sparrows chirping and a lively background of French, Italian and English words. Young couples, groups offriends, children climbing the easy side of the mountain. Among alpine refreshment chalets, La Marlenaz is undoubtedly one of our favourites thanks to the excellent quality of food and service, to the grace of its decor and details, and to the bliss of its enchanting position.
It is not among our dreams now, but if one day we should design a mountain hotel, Cordée des Alps would certainly be a great source of inspiration. The first impact is with a majestic but elegant architecture created with echoes of traditional style and precious local wood. But you will fall in love with the interior and approve every single detail, from the blankets with brick red and cream geometrical patterns to the one-time objects – old skis, ancient guides and vintage rucksacks; from the minimalist furniture to the irresistible palette of greens and beiges. On the upper floors you will find eggplant colour fitted carpets, pale grey and dark green doors…
We are about to tell you an alpine tale. A hut built in 1786 that belonged to farmers and their cows, who still spend some nights in the big shed at the beginning of June and September. Tonight we are going to sleep here, too. Drinking the fresh water of the trough. Stepping on fragrant dry hay along easy slopes at 1700 metres altitude. Waiting for the local fondue to cook as long as it takes on the burning firewood. Sinking under layers of butter-coloured feathers and of warm fur…
A mountain Grand Hotel should have the history and elegance of the Gstaad Palace. A subtle triumph in hospitality and service, a supreme atmosphere in every hall and corridor. Textures and fabrics arouse joy – the lift padding is the nth wonderful tartan. The cubes of yellow mountain butter, the perfect gaufres, the morning newspaper, the warm waterfall with the scent of tangerine rind, the sauna, the romantic Walig Hut and Gildo, Head Maître D’ since 1968. La Dolce Vita continues in the Swiss Alps.
The memories you take back with you from a stay at Guarda Val hotel are like caresses: the magical caress of a ray of sun, the gentle caress of grass under bare feet and premium linen bed sheets, the biting caress of a sudden cold draft and hot water in the outdoor tub (you can cool the temperature down pouring in freezing spring water). The caress of a stream running outside your window and the Spa with hay beds and large quiet nests with burgundy cushions where to indulge for hours…
The Cambrian hotel looked at the mountains – a majestic amphitheatre of woodland, ice and peaks from which the sun rises in the mornings -, moved up a little bit to get mountain views in every direction and stopped there, amid the pristine scenery of the Swiss Alps…
This is a place of miracles and wonders. At Le Grand Bellevue they’ve preserved the superb class of a Grand Hotel, the only one in the exclusive village of Gstaad. A huge yellow cream cake with towers, balconies, parasols and a Swiss flag on top as a candle. It’s been stripped of all the more obvious classic and bourgeois details and reinvented with pride in a refined eclectic contemporary style: shades of yellow and turquois, wall papers with birds, elegant and colourful fresh flowers compositions, coffee brown tweeds, red-purple checks and art deco lamps. Every detail makes you smile, like the gold pineapple (symbol of hospitality) on the appliques and keys, so unexpected, exotic and noble…
by Luca De Santis
Luca loves traveling to discover wonders. He loves to give space to diversity. Luca loves to stay. He loves everything that becomes ritual and is handed down from father to son. (Luca, Meraviglia Paper Creative Director is also art director, photographer and video maker).
by Paola Corini
Paola loves the sun when it’s not too strong, the smell of herbs, the colour combination of Botswana’s Lilac-breasted Roller, freshly baked bread, mountain air, people who smile, words and summer fruit. Up to one year ago writing and traveling were the extraordinary, yet in 2013 she founded Meraviglia Paper together with Laura and became a self-assured Travel Editor. She keeps thinking that traveling in this world is extraordinary, magical, and essential.
Kleine Scheidegg, Switzerland
It’s a cool Friday of September at Lauterbrunnen station, a secluded village in Western Switzerland. While tourists get down from their carriages with a fresh glow, other travellers, who have just arrived, hurry on platform 3. The last train to Kleine Scheidegg is about to leave. The carriage starts moving uphill at unsteady pace, the same speed of a carousel at a fun fair…
Val Fex, Switzerland
The owners will tell you: “It’s the last house”, meaning the hotel is located far up, deep into this glorious valley. At night, you are immersed in a magical silence, where the only noise you can hear is the wood floor creaking under the feet of someone who retire to their room last, never too late. At breakfast, the homemade strawberry and rhubarb jam with butter and mountain bread brings back memories of a happy childhood…
Lavin wouldn’t be such a special place if it weren’t for the bright yet delicate pink of Piz Linard’s façade standing out from the few houses of the village…