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Two weeks in the Upper Engadine/Sils - Ingo's Trip Report

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Back from 14 days in beautiful Engadin, Switzerland. I promised to write a trip report - here we go. I also promised to post pictures, but please bear with me: I took about 1000 photos and have yet to decide which to post. Haven't even watched all of them myself. Besides, I don't know yet where to post. Suggestions are welcome!

Accommodation: four star Hotel Edelweiss, Sils-Maria, highly recommended! www.hotel-edelweiss.ch
I booked through www.neckermann.de and got a very good rate, less expensive than directly. Included in the rate were breakfast buffet, five-course dinner and some extras like free admission to the Nietzsche museum next door, one free admission to the pool area of a neighbouring hotel, a special dinner in the Fex Valley, hotel activities like wine tasting, free mountain bikes (!) - and all the cable cars/gondolas in the Upper Engadin were included!

The location is right in the centre of the small village Sils-Maria, 12 km from St. Moritz. A charming, quiet village, excellent public transportation (bus) connections to any place in the Engadin. The hotel is right on the "Main street", LOL, a cul-de-sac, frequented by pedestrians, horse-drawn carriages, few buses and occasional arriving/departing tourists with their cars. The hotel has a van and takes you to/picks you up at the railway station in St. Moritz upon request for free (for arrival/departure only). Parking is free.

The hotel was built in 1876, a couple of times re-designed, and has kept its old-world charm. The lobby is large, with open fireplace, lots of comfy seatings and a bar. Adjoining you find a room with large TV. Small a-la-carte restaurant (Arvenstübli) - very cosy, typical wood-panelled walls and wooden furniture. The dining hall is awesome Art Nouveau style (original) with pillars, high ceiling, frescos etc. Breakfast buffet and five-course dinner are served there. The hotel has a small "wellness" area in the basement: jacuzzi, steam bath, sauna. WLAN access is free in the lobby, with a charge in the rooms. Using the computer in the lobby is with a charge.

My room was a single, probably the smallest available in the hotel. But no complaint here, it was a cosy room with all the comfort needed and expected in a four-star hotel and also nicely furbished (wood). The bathroom had 1970s charm, but again, no complaining - it even had a bath tub.

The double room was spacious, really spacious, on the upper floor. No particular view, though (to the back, mostly woods), but very quiet. Rooms to the front have beautiful mountain views but you hear the Fex creek right in front of the hotel if you open the window - if it is raining a lot that can be quite a noise! Again, the room was nicely decorated, lots of wood, the bathroom beautifully renovated with large shower stall and all the amenities you expect. Everything was spotless clean as usual in Switzerland.

The staff was extremely competent, friendly and helpful. They went out of their way to help us, e. g. when we had problems with the car (reception) or whenever we didn't like the food on the menu (e.g. dessert, I got ice cream with a selection of berries instead of a mousse with rhubarb). Also, it was a very familiar atmosphere. Granted, it might have to do with the fact that we stayed two weeks, but we really felt like at home.

Food was very, very good. Breakfast buffet had the usual stuff, several sorts of rolls, croissants, variety of bread, cereals, yoghurts, a variety of jams, honey, nutella, smoked salmon with horse-radish, dried meat (Bündner Fleisch), ham, salsiz (sort of salami), a selection of cheese, boiled eggs, bacon and eggs ... five sorts of juice or you chose to squeeze your orange juice yourself, coffee, milk, tea (you could choose from about 18 sorts of tea - loose, not in tea bags - and prepare it yourself) ... and so on. Every morning a paper waited on your desk, giving information about the weather and activities. Nice.

Dinner was also served in the beautiful dining hall. Very stylish with silverware, thick white table cloth, brioche and butter waiting for you. Five course: appetizers (two choices), soup/consommé, salad buffet, main course (choice between meat, fish and vegetarian), dessert. Like I said before, if you absolutely didn't like something you could get something else. Also, a selection of cheese and fruits were always available. Tap water was free, prices for soda, wine and beer were moderate. The wine was excellent, btw! If you decide not to have dinner one or more nights they write off 25 Sfr. from your bill. You can e.g. eat at the "Arvenstübli", the a-la-carte restaurant (we didn't, regret that now).

We arrived Wednesday, 2 July, on a sunny day. It was late afternoon, so no activities that day except dining and off to bed.

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