Hotel Guarda Val

Lenzerheide is the regional center for mountain biking and skiing, with a giant ski area that crosses over the mountain to Arosa. It’s a pretty spot, a relatively narrow valley that connects through to the Julier Pass and St. Moritz.

This is definitely not “a hidden find,” but due to sheer size it has a bit of that feel, with lots of nooks and crannies to explore. We stayed at the very charming, high end ***Guarda Val hotel, which has two restaurants of note, a very nice spa complex, and lovely rooms. Great breakfast, and the staff does drop-offs/pickups from the lifts. Our meal at the more casual restaurant was heavy and tasty, very traditional options in a cozy setting. The whole facility is a tiny village, scattered across original farm buildings.

Town Dining

Book your meals in advance! We always say this, but it was hard to get tables in this area, for lunch or dinner. Trying the day before, we struck out close to a dozen times.

  • *BuccaFina, at the golf course, was just a hair short of a two star. Nothing was really wrong with it, nice setting, friendly staff, very average food (and a big menu). I just can’t imagine making a point to go back.
  • The best meal we had was at ***Bergrestaurant & Hotel Alpenblick, in the Caduffstube (the set menu option). Worth the effort (you can ski there, or walk from Arosa), with wonderful food and wine, a truly top notch cheese cart, and a cozy setting. They also have a few rooms you can stay in.
  • Our meal at *Restaurant Saal in the Kurhaus Lenzerheide was perfunctory at best. They’ve done a nice job dressing up the dining hall, but the food was decidedly below average. It’s an odd place, a historic hotel with a “modern” facade, very tired but with effort to make some more hip central areas. I wouldn’t stay here.

On the Piste

Ski notes: In Lenzerheide you should begin on the Sesselbahn Scalottas as it has great groomed runs and amazing off-piste, shockingly in the trees, which is very rare for the Alps. The recommended tour is to go from there, sweeping North, across the five lifts on the east-facing side. By lunch, you then cross the bottom of the valley and can end up at the Sesselbahn Heimberg, which gets you up to (after another lift) the Motta Hütte restaurant. The afternoon sun hits this West-facing area, and you proceed South in a circular direction, mostly likely ending up at the bottom of the ski lift Dischen or at the bottom of the Gondolbahn Rothorn. The ski area on the East side of the valley is much more aggressive, as the mountains are higher. The West side of the valley has a lot of rolling hills that are excellent (plus the aforementioned tree skiing).

On your second day, go to Arosa. The best way to get there is via the Gondolbahn Rothorn (parts 1 and 2). This gets you up to the top of the mountain, and you take an amazing ridge run down to the tram that spans the two areas. Then you can ski Arosa all day, and make it back to Lenzerheide easily. Arosa is similar to the West side of Lenzerheide, rolling hills, lots of terrain, very large. Medium sized lift lines. Arosa is the most famous, but we found the skiing in Lenzerheide superior.

  • Several of the fancier (newer) restaurants on the hill are owned by the same group, and share a common style. We ate at **Bergrestaurant Scharmoin Grill, which is good, if you’re in the mood for grilled meat (not a lot else on the menu). There’s a large cafeteria on the lower floor. Motta Hütte is their “high end” restaurant of the moment, and books out well in advance. We’ll definitely try next time.
  • *Schirmbar was a loud semi-outdoor bar. It’s fine, trying hard to be hopping, unfortunately allowing smoking inside.


Churwalden has the world’s longest **Toboggan Run (not open in winter). Because, well, why not. The town is a lower-rent option (lots of affordable basic apartments) with access to the ski area.