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 Switzerland

Sils im Engadin/Segl

Sils im Engadin/Segl, Switzerland

Sample Extreme Solitude

“Philosophy, as I have so far understood and lived it, means living voluntarily among ice and high mountains—seeking out everything strange and questionable in existence...” Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher, famously spent a long period of his life surrounded by ragged, snow-capped mountains of Sils-Maria, in the Upper Engadine region. Here, he claimed there to be “the best and mightiest” air to breathe in Europe. Indeed the region remains popular among visitors who come to see the house where Nietzsche stayed every summer from 1883-1888, and trek the very mountains with which he found such extreme isolation.

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about 3 years ago

Understated Swiss luxury

On a wooded promontory above Lake Sils in Graubunden's Lower Engadine Valley, a stately manor has welcomed guests for more than 100 years, and is still a beacon of Swiss hospitality. The Hotel Waldhaus-Sils is owned and managed by descendents of its founder. The family's commitment to quality and service must be experienced to be believed.

The hotel is grand, well appointed, and impeccably maintained. Dining is "fine" but without flash and dash, innovative-but-not-edgy. The wine list in the hotel's three restaurants is extensive and impressively affordable. Myriad activities--in the beautiful Sils Maria countryside and at the hotel itself--await guests (while my husband and I were there, a walk to a nearby natural amphitheater for a classical concert by members of the Sinfonia Engiadina). Families are welcomed and children well catered for.

Comfortable rooms offer views down the valley toward Maloja or back to St. Moritz, all overlooking natural surroundings, some with balconies. Guests can choose classic or modern styling in every price category, and at the high end, sleep in Belle Epoque style. Our Waldhaus experience provided us with a taste of old-world hospitality, offered without pomp, but with plenty of heart.

Recommendation: Opt for half board and be sure to sign up for the house sporting and cultural activities. Foodies, be there on Monday evenings, for the Chef's Table!