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Sta. Maria Val Müstair, Sielva

7536 Santa Maria Val Müstair, Switzerland
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A knights house in Graubunden Santa Maria Val Müstair  Switzerland

A knights house in Graubunden

The Ritterhaus Chasa de Capol perches beside the main road through the Val Müstair in the Swiss canton of Graubunden. In Sta. Maria, near the UNESCO Heritage Abbey of St. John, Chasa de Capol makes a great place for a meal or overnight on a journey through the valley.

The 18th-century house was built in 17th-century style over a Carolingian cellar from the 8th century. For centuries home to the knights charged with administration of the nearby Abbey, Chasa de Capol has been a family-owned hotel for several decades.

With just nine rooms, the emphasis is on good food and personalized service. Hosts Ernst T. A. Schweizer, Ramun Schweizer and his wife Elvira take pains to ensure a memorable visit. Just-picked salads, fruits and vegetables feature on every plate. Polenta is made traditionally, in a copper pot over a wood fire. House wines mature in the ancient cellar. In the evening, guests gather around a fire in the lounge for coffee or a sip of house-made Schnapps flavored with mountain pine.

Each room in this grandmother's attic of a house is unique: from a cozy en-suite room with a comfortable bed and a candlelit bathtub to a suite with its own sitting room and ceramic heater. Quirky decor combines Ernst Schweizer's love of music and Venice with local antiques lovingly displayed. Reservations are accepted only by e-mail or telephone, and your credit card won't work here.

Highly recommended for independent travelers interested in history, good food and local culture!