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Spa of the Month: Tschuggen Bergoase, Switzerland

Built within Arosa’s craggy mountainside, the Tschuggen Bergoase Spa would be easy to miss if it weren’t for its sail-shaped windows jutting out in an uneven cluster.

But head beneath the surface and you’ll discover a sanctuary of natural rock, maple wood and shimmering pools. The Tschuggen Bergoase is a luxurious retreat where striking geometric design and the very best of Swiss wellness comes together.

Designed by Swiss starchitect Mario Botta, the Tschuggen Bergoase is spread across a whopping 5,000 m2 – this is a mega spa and then some. The sail-shaped windows might be a unique design feature, but they also bask the entire spa in gorgeous natural sunlight – natural resources are a key part of the architecture here.

The spa offers an extensive menu of treatments and massages, a variety of saunas and swimming pools, high-tech health and fitness facilities and an on-site medical wellness doctor.

We headed there at the beginning of the year to check it out…


THE LOWDOWN

The Tschuggen Bergoase is located in Arosa, an alpine mountain resort in the Swiss canton of Graubünden. The area is the ultimate year-round destination and offers excellent skiing in the winter and various hiking and biking trails throughout the summer. I visited the spa following an action-packed morning of cross-country skiing and hiking – a relaxing afternoon was exactly what I needed.

The Tschuggen Bergoase forms part of the Tschuggen Grand Hotel (it’s easily the most luxurious hotel in Arosa). A glass walkway connects the two allowing you to slip into your robe in the comfort of your room and waltz across to the spa without going outside or bumping into many other guests.

It’s worth taking some time to properly explore the different floors (there are four in total), but first, check-in for a massage or body treatment in one of the 12 treatment rooms, each one named after a star constellation. Alongside the usual facials and massage offerings, there are some unique treatments like the 90-minute Lomi Lomi Nui massage – a Hawaiian technique which combines kneading, rubbing and pressing and helps to cleanse your body, mind and spirit.

The top floor of the Tschuggen Bergoase houses an impressive selection of pools, and the natural light reflecting on the water made a dip during my visit irresistible. I started with the exercise pool, did one half-hearted length and moved swiftly to the relaxation pool. The relaxation pool is the largest of the lot and has an outdoor area with views of the Alps. Venturing outside was even more enjoyable when submerged in the warm water the temperature outside below freezing.

There are also hot and cold Kneipp wading pools (to boost circulation) and a sensory rock grotto which awakens your senses with a combination of cold water, thundery sounds and erratic lighting – it’s surprisingly enjoyable but one to miss if you want to continue your post-massage zen.


THE VIBE

The Swiss take health and fitness seriously, and the Tschuggen Bergoase is no different. The spa takes a holistic approach to wellness and alongside an extensive treatment menu, there’s a state-of-the art-gym (with personal trainers on hand), a full sports and fitness schedule, and a yoga room. An on-site medical wellness doctor is also available and offers injectables, medical consultations and genetic testing.

Design junkies will lap up Mario Botta’s ultra-sleek design, which integrates the environment and natural materials throughout. Expect duke white granite stone from the Alps, stone from Arosa and Canadian maple wood – each material ensures the spa experience feels as close to nature as possible. When in the pool area, I felt like I was swimming in a Mexican cenote rather than a hotel spa thanks to the rock clad walls.


THE SIGNATURE 

Not as signature as such, but the Skier / Mountain Climber Massage (£121 for 55 minutes) has been designed to rejuvenate tired legs (of which there are many in Arosa). The treatment starts with a mountain pine bath, followed by a relaxing foot and leg massage.

I tried the Back and Neck Massage with Reflexology (£117 for 50 minutes). It was a perfect combination of relaxing strokes and stronger pressure to ease my neck and upper back tension. The treatment ended with foot reflexology which I was particularly thankful for after cross-country skiing a few hours before.


THE BEAUTY KIT

All facials at the Tschuggen Bergoase use Clarins, The Organic Pharmacy, or SENSAI. Body treatments use Swiss brand Cellcosme (renowned for its anti-ageing benefits), The Organic Pharmacy and Thalasso.


THE EXTRAS 

The Spa Lounge serves a light menu, including salads, sandwiches and fresh juices. My choice option was the Roasted King Prawn Salad – it was the perfect antidote after eating my weight in Swiss cheese the night before. You’ll also find fresh fruit and a selection of infused waters available in the lounge all day long.


CF SPA TIP 

It wouldn’t be an Alpine spa experience without a trip to the sauna, and the Tschuggen Bergoase. The mixed-sex Mountain Sauna has a stone and wooden interior which follows the spas natural design theme. Leave your clothes outside (the saunas and steam rooms require full nudity), just don’t forget your towel. If you’re feeling a bit shy, the smaller female-only sauna is a good option.

Need to know

The Tschuggen Grand hotel will be opening on the 3rd July 2020 following closure due to Covid-19.

From the 3rd July – 6th September 2020 the Tschuggen Grand Hotel is offering a Spa Week package, which includes 7 nights at the hotel, and various spa treatments. The package starts from CHF 3936 (approx. £3,250).

 

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