Bad Ragaz is a municipality in the Wahlkreis of Sarganserland, in the canton of St. Gallen in Switzerland, a very comfortable direct train ride from Zurich or similarly by car. Bad Ragaz is home to Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, with Tamina Gorge at its heart, the legendary spring which has been a source of body-temperature thermal spa water for centuries. The special mineral composition and the temperature of 36.5°C of the thermal spring trigger positive reactions throughout the body, stimulating the metabolism and blood circulation, and improves heart function. The thermal water also has a soothing effect on rheumatic conditions and nervous system diseases, as well as lung and kidney disorders.
Huntsmen discovered the thermal springs in 1242 and in 1872, Europe’s first thermal water indoor pool was created. The curative and healing effects of the thermal springs have been documented for years, some often considering them the ‘fountain of youth’. From the younger to the more mature, people of all ages continue to be drawn by the thermal waters.
The Valens rehabilitation clinic was set up in 1970 as an integral part of Grand Resort Bad Ragaz. In-house medical expertise include: medical laboratory, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), radiological diagnostics as well as image-guided pain therapy, rheumatology, dermatology & plastic surgery, advanced Swiss dental care as well as the Vein Center which specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the veins, lymph vessels and arteries.
The unique approach at Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is instead of treating symptoms, it seeks out causes – it is prevention and therapy in one. Drawing on these principles, the medical team have developed the NEWYOU Method®. This health method focuses on optimising your lifestyle to prevent diseases or relieve existing lifestyle-related complaints. Medical and alternative treatments are combined to create a coherent and individualised therapy concept. Nutrition and exercise medicine, as well as mental health, play a key role here.
Another exceptional approach which has cemented the positioning of the resort is the fact that it also addresses professional sportsmen – an entire team of experienced sports scientists, physiotherapists, fitness coaches, medical masseurs and medical specialists is perfectly equipped for a long-lasting rehab and recuperation. Movement experts use cutting-edge technology and incorporate the latest sports-science research into their work. One can therefore enjoy holistic treatment without having to visit multiple clinics or doctors. Elite athletes have been benefitting from this for many decades.
The Spa of the resort provides treatments which stimulate natural detoxification of the body, while helping release blockages and stimulate self-healing. Besides skincare (facial and body) treatments by La Prairie, SwissCellSpa, Niance (Swiss holistic), Caviarlieri (machine-based treatments) make sure you do not miss the magical organic based range of Team Dr Joseph. Outdoor sports have not been overlooked, probably the most impressive being golf, with the 18-hole Championship Course (one of the most famous in Europe) and the 9-hole Executive Course.
Various types of e-bikes are directly available for rent at the resort, mountain hiking being one of the major attractions. The sommeliers of the resort will recommend exceptional local wines and the Concierge can organise a memorable ride through the beautiful vineyards of the Bündner Herrschaft taking in Landquart, Malans, Jenins, Maienfeld and Fläsch, then back to Bad Ragaz. The different, off-the-beaten-track routes are perfect not only for cycling, but also for a ride on horseback.
The Tennis Club Bad Ragaz offers 5 outdoor clay courts, with practice wall and ball machine. The Sports & Leisure Centre includes 5 outdoor courts, 3 indoor courts, 2 badminton courts, 1 beach volleyball court and tennis school. Guests can take advantage of two modern fitness centeres, Body & Sports and BENEFIT with superb sports equipment and a team of personal trainers to help one get in shape faster and in a more organised way.
Nowadays, Grand Resort Bad Ragaz has evolved, widening its complex offering, for a more diverse customer base both in terms of length of stay but also from the point of view of purpose, from those seeking the ultimate relaxation (Spa), an exceptional culinary experience or a medical purpose, whether a particular procedure or rehabilitation.
The visionary long-term approach of the owners and the management has proven to always be ‘ahead of the times’ – today, the restaurants were awarded a total of 5 Michelin stars, each addressing a wide range of guests. By far, my favourites were the sleek contemporary verve by sven Restaurant (One Michelin star) with cutting edge interior design, also boasting natural vertical green walls and serving a more international menu, as well as the authentic Zollstube Restaurat which serves traditional Swiss cuisine in a beautiful typical Swiss chalet decor
The stunningly renovated Quellenhof Hotel, probably the most impressive renovation I have personally experienced in many years, is merely a transformation, subtly blending elements of the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz DNA, with contemporary elements, utmost attention being paid to comfort – the quality of furnishings and finishes is truly spectacular. The all-suite hotel now features novelties of the most modern luxury hotels, such as state-of-the-art air-conditioning (including for heating), not to mention the all-marble expansive Spa-like bathrooms, with custom made amenities based on thermal water.
The main building of the resort, Hof Ragaz offers a range of more classic accommodation, thus catering to a more traditional consumer base. The lobby bar and restaurant in this building instill a more classic environment. Nevertheless, beyond the aesthetics, it is the exceptional service standards for which Grand Resorts Bad Ragaz has always been known for, and which is not a ”given” – every single staff I encountered during my stay going out of their way to please guests and fulfil their demands.
I was also impressed with the pride and joy every staff expresses as being part of the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz team. Each of the staff also paid attention, but in an effortless way, about the safety and hygiene measures which the hotel has been implementing to protect both staff and guests from the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the sheer size of the complex resort, all the pandemic measures have been implemented firmly, management continuing to ensure consistency and no compromise.
Overall service, throughout all the departments is personalised and bespoke, with staff being both attentive and predictive. You will feel pampered and safe and the location and spread of the resort are idyllic.
Oliver Petcu in Bad Ragaz
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