We live in the heart of the Old Town, almost exactly where the Fasnacht canon fires off at a ridiculously early hour of the morning on Dirty Thursday. After experiencing Fasnacht right below my window for 5 years, I decided that our 6th year would be different. We escaped to Davos.
I must admit, I knew nothing about Davos except that it was the location for the World Economic Forum (I was an Econ major!). I didn’t even realize until I got there* that the ski area I thought was called ‘Davos’ is actually several separate ski resorts which are in close proximity to a town called Davos.
* Thanks to an excellent post on Caio Bambino
Swiss Travel Center (STC)
We booked our hotel through the Switzerland Travel Center (STC) who have extensive deals with hotels all around Switzerland and were able to get us an exceptionally good deal at the Kinderhotel Muchetta in Wiessen.
A quick note about STC, they do not have a website which allows you to search for a hotel. Rather, you call them, give them your budget and your ideal wishes for a vacation and they come back to you with a list of possibilities. For a technical person, this was very frustrating, but in the end, they recommended an excellent hotel that fit our family perfectly.
If you don’t have a small family, you can skip over this part and move on to the next paragraph… but if you do have a family, especially little ones, you’ll want to read this! The Kinderhotel Muchetta couldn’t have been a better place to stay with toddlers. Here are some of the perks included in our rate:
- There is a baby room and childcare for 0-3 year olds during the day (I think from 8am-3pm)
- For kids over 3, there is childcare from 9am to 9pm (we only used it from 9am-4pm) – the room they use for the kids is fantastic, it has a slide and balls area, as well as an area for them to do art projects, there is a new theme every day.
- Children over 4 get transported to a bunny hill for ski lessons at 9:45am and then are brought back to the hotel for lunch at around 12:30pm
- There is a paddling pool for the kids with some fun water spouts
- Breakfast included
- Not included in our rate was halbpension (dinner), but you can get that included if you book directly with the hotel.
Where we skied
I love my children but sometimes parents just need a break. Staying at this hotel was the first time that my husband and I had a chance to be together during the day for a couple days in a row without the kids in over 4 years. It was magical. We asked the owner of the hotel, Sylvia Bärtschi, where she suggest we ski. As we had 3 days of skiing planned, she suggested the following:
- Rinerhorn (because it was close and we could get back if the kids didn’t settle well into childcare)
- Jakobshorn (because it is quite popular)
- Parsenn (because the views are amazing on a sunny day)
Here’s my take on all three:
Absolutely fantastic. Not for beginners, but perfect for those who want to ski their heart out without waiting in lines. Price was amazing, slopes were perfect. Only downside is that the whole mountain (apart from the first gondola ride up), functions on T-bars (I’m not a huge T-bar fan, but the skiing was so great, I didn’t mind!)
Partly because the weather was bad, I would have to say this was my least favorite of the three. It is billed as the “place to be” for snowboarders and it is… so if you snowboard and you can make your way to Jakobshorn, you’ll be in good company.
I had many, many, many breathless moments on Parsenn. It was stunning. You take two trains to get to the top and then you can actually ski the WHOLE way down EITHER side of the mountain – and so we did just that – it was AMAZING.
Cross Country Skiing
While we were there, it happened that two days back to back had pretty bad weather. We spent one of them as mentioned above at Jakobshorn but on the second one, we decided to be a bit adventurous and try something new (well new to me anyway!) and we booked a 2 1/2 hour cross-country ski lesson Ursina Jud (079 313 17 70).
I really enjoyed this experience! I can highly recommend it as a bad-weather option because the valley stays clear, even if the tops of the mountains are covered in clouds. I rented the equipment from Hof Männer, which is very close to the Davos Cross-Country Center (Langlauf Zentrum). In Davos, there are over 100 Kilometers of Cross-Country trails. You may have watched Dario Cologna win 2 gold medals for Switzerland in the Olympics which just ended… he walked right past us when we were going off to our lesson, having finished his morning training.
While we were there, we even ventured over to St. Moritz to watch the Engadin Marathon, where 13,000 skiiers compete over 26 miles!
Getting to Davos is very easy by car from Luzern and takes just over 2 hours. If you take the train it is a bit more complicated and takes over 3 hours.