The Hotel Chesa Salis, a 16th-century, Engadine patrician mansion nestled in a pretty hamlet, is a gem. It has a pastoral setting, splendid antique furniture, an outstanding restaurant, lovely bedrooms, and quality in every detail. Best of all, the hospitality of Sarah Wild and Uwe Schmidt and their staff is superb. Located in Bever, a village where time seems to have stopped a hundred years ago, the Chesa Salis is an insider tip. It is part of a row of historic houses in the quiet eastern part of Bever, away from the bypass, almost invisible and that is how it should remain.
Dating back to 1590, this intimate hotel harmonises character and style with modern comfort, winning “Historic Hotel of the Year” in 2015. The carved front door remains, matched by an elaborate wrought-iron gate. Off to one side is a small room for private parties that is ‘like a doll’s house, completely wood-panelled, with book-shelves, an escritoire and tiny windows’. The noble heritage of the building is witnessed today by its meter-thick walls, handsome craftsmanship, beautiful wood panelling, outstanding paintings, handsome beamed ceilings, intricate plaster etching on the exterior walls, frescoed ceilings, and colourful ceramic fireplaces. When you enter the reception area, there is an eclectic mix of old and new.
16 rooms with modern comforts also provide evidence of the craftmanship of bygone days. These beautiful Historic rooms faithfully reflect different periods in time with both comfort and style. Whether your favourite is a hand painted Biedermeier, the Arventäfer pine fragrant room or a room with artistic stucco decoration, each room is authentic and unique in both its architecture and decor. Rooms come with a bath or shower, Wi-Fi and a flat screen TV. The unique Veranda rooms feature both a main bedroom, comfortably furnished with the addition of a wooden veranda room with large windows and views of the beautiful garden and mountain backdrop. The 5 standard rooms reflect the rustic, cosy, traditional style of the region. Last but not least the Attic Rooms which are rustic in design and located in the attic. It features cross beams and a loft style that are suitable for a families.
The kitchen team under accomplished chef Uwe Schmidt serves regional, international, sustainable and creative cuisine, Artisan Gastronomy. Using fresh, seasonal and local ingredients directly from farmers and local suppliers where possible they create tasty, dishes that will tickle your taste buds. Cosy rustic comfort is offered in a choice of wood-panelled private dining areas. The Arven, Salis and Il Capitan private dining rooms together with the Von Salis restaurant and the Garden restaurant in summertime offer incomparable ambience and comfort. From a romantic lunch or evening meal for two to a big family celebration their flexible dining facilities can accommodate almost any event.
Chesa Salis is a proud member of just eight selected Swiss hotels that have become “Garden Hotels Switzerland.” Each of these hotels enjoy spacious, idyllic gardens amidst the beauty of nature where guests can indulge in the freedom and space they need to relax and breathe. In this peaceful 6.000 sqm garden you will find balmy benches in the shade, sun loungers to soak up the sun and fragrant herbs and flowers that will bring calm and tranquillity to your soul.
Majestic mountains, azure lakes, turquoise rivers, gleaming glaciers and forests teaming with natural wildlife characterise this region of Switzerland which is home to its National Park. So it is no coincidence that the Engadin St. Moritz region has repeatedly scored top marks with leading travel guides in recent years. The exceptionally broad range of sporting, cultural and wellness facilities make it the perfect destination for travellers of all ages. That is why this area consistently attracts famous personalities such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Richard Wagner, Alfred Hitchcock and George Clooney.
The delightful village of Bever lies just ten kilometres north of the glitzy alpine resort of St. Moritz in the Upper Engadine. At 1708 metres above sea level it rests at the foot of the dramatic 3.000 metre Crasta Mora Mountain, where the famed, Rhaetian Railway wends its way through the stunning “En” valley from the Albula tunnel through Bever towards its final destination of St.Moritz. Bever is the perfect destination for those that want to be centrally situated to enjoy the many winter and summer activities of the region, whilst enjoying the peace and harmony of this quaint, charming, authentic village with easy access to the nature trails and transport links.
Engadin St. Moritz is distinguished by its snow and versatility, the perfect winter wonderland for sports and activities of all kinds. Skiers of all disciplines as well as climbers, hikers and kiters will find perfect conditions for unforgettable experiences in the snow. Whilst for those that prefer quieter moments there are numerous gentle walks, excursions, tours and events in which to take part.
Years ago people travelled to heights of 1.700 metres in the Engadin to escape the summer heat of the city. Today the climate in Bever is perfect for a wide range of summer pursuits: The village lies at the entrance to the idyllic Val Bever which is the ideal base for hiking, biking, climbing and horse riding with the teaming nature of the Swiss National Park being very close by. The lakes are ideal for fishing, sailing and surfing whilst golf, Nordic walking, kite surfing and many other past times are not forgotten.
Graber’s Lamb in Hay
Their chef`s suggestion. Cooking with hay is a traditional method in the Engadin. The hay keeps the heat in and gives the meat a delightfully earthy and smoky taste.
Garden BBQ during Summer Time
Enjoy the warm summer days and fresh mountain air to the fullest in the garden while having a BBQ lunch showcasing the very best of local produce. A veritable banquet of meats and vegetarian fair not to mention a vast selection of salads and vegetables make this a memorable experience not to be missed.
Organic Delights from Portugal
Don’t leave the Chesa Salis without one of the delicious organic jams, marmalades and spreads that have been homemade in the kitchen of the sister hotel Vivenda Miranda in Portugal. All ingredients have been ethically grown and contain only the freshest of natural ingredients. Organic Delights from Portugal, Mother Nature at its best
Peter Vann Art Exhibition
Peter Vann’s latest series “Vegetalis” is a riot of texture and shapes as he uses Engadin nature motifs in large-format pictures against a background of bold colours. For connoisseurs of Peter Vann’s career, this technique is not unknown as in the seventies and eighties he made world-famous promotional photos for exclusive car brands. Since moving to the Engadin, he has left the world of glamour behind him and has concentrated on nature and the small essentials in life. Archaic plants, almost banal and often concealed to the eye, have been so artistically arranged and photographed it is as if they were the real kings of the mountains. Simple but stunning.
Horse-drawn sleigh rides
Enjoy a romantic ride in a horse-drawn sleigh or carriage, exploring the idyllic, snow-blanketed forests of the Val Bever.
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What to do in St. Moritz
One of the world‘s most famous and among the first winter sports resorts, St. Moritz hosted the Winter Olympics in 1928 and 1948. The village of St. Moritz Dorf sits on a sunny terrace sheltered from the north wind above the St. Moritzersee (St. Moritz Lake). St Moritz Bad, on the valley floor at the southwest end of the lake, has iron-bearing springs that were already being used in the Bronze Age. The beautiful alpine scenery with 25 crystal-clear mountain lakes as well as forests and glaciers is the region’s greatest attraction, drawing tourists and outdoor sports enthusiasts year-round. Summer visitors enjoy hiking, climbing, sailing, windsurfing, tennis, horseback riding, golf, and even skiing on the glaciers. The magnificent view from St. Moritz embraces the mountains from Piz Languard in the east to Piz Julier in the west. The most prominent peaks are Piz Rosatsch, with its glacier; to its right Piz Surlej and Piz Corvatsch; and in the distance, the beautiful Piz de la Margna.
The origins of winter tourism in St. Moritz go back to the late 1800s, and from those first ski runs it has developed into a world-famous modern skiing metropolis with more than 20 lifts carrying skiers to terrain for all skill levels. The highest resort in Switzerland, it offers some of the best intermediate terrain with a number of exceptionally long runs. But skiing isn’t the only winter sport here. St. Moritz offers artificial and natural ice skating rinks, curling, tobogganing, Nordic skiing, bobsledding, and kite skiing, plus a variety of spectator sports. The Olympic ski jump and slopes host frequent world ski events, and every year there are international horse races on the frozen lake as well as winter polo.
Special City Guide: Bever
In the heart of the expansive, high valley of the Engadin, the charming village of Bever is a particularly idyllic destination for families. It’s the combination of the harsh Engadine charm, the tranquility, and the proximity to pristine nature are typical of the small and family-friendly village in Upper Engadine. And if someone still yearns for hustle and bustle and luxury, they can quickly reach the famous resort town of St. Moritz.
Bever delights in letting visitors into its little poetic secrets such as its enchanting gardens, its quaint windows set deep into thick stone walls, and its abundance of flowers adorning step railings and balcony balustrades. The mighty church tower rises towards the blue sky and boldly strikes the time for the inhabitants time that seems to pass at a more leisurely pace than elsewhere.
The sun, too, seems particularly kind to this pretty little village. However, Bever’s most beautiful stories are told just beyond the confines of the village along the Fairy Trail through the Bever Valley. A path guides visitors through unspoilt nature from one fairy story to the next, all of them penned by Engadin women authors and brought to life by fascinating sculptures created by local artists. And it is rumoured if you are very quiet and listen very carefully, you might even hear the voice of a real-life gnome.