Review: Grand Resort Bad Ragaz – indulging the mind, body and soul

Rejuvenation awaits at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz in Switzerland

Exterior of the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz
(Image credit: Grand Resort Bad Ragaz)

It’s all too easy to lose yourself at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, both literally and figuratively. The resort began as the Quellenhof hotel, built in 1868 in the spa town of Bad Ragaz, in the foothills of the Swiss Alps and close to the border with Liechtenstein. 

Over the decades, it grew in fits and stages. What is today the elegant Grand Hotel Quellenhof, the biggest building on the property, still stands, but it has been joined by the boutique Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz and Hotel Palais Bad Ragaz. 

The latter is the oldest, dating to the 18th century when the first bath houses were established by the local abbots – cleanliness being next to godliness and all that. All three buildings are interconnected by winding corridors and courtyards and each have their own distinct character. 

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Bathroom at Grand Resort Bad Ragaz

Grand marble bathrooms

(Image credit: Grand Resort Bad Ragaz)

Naturally for a spa resort, the focus of my junior suite at Quellenhof was the large marble bathroom. It had a deep tub, his and hers sinks, a separate shower and even a discreet television for while you’re soaking. 

The bedroom was no less attractive, elegantly furnished, leading to a balcony on which to sit with a book and a glass of the local sauvignon blanc, to admire the gardens. Here, down below, you will come across works of modern art, some tending towards the mind-bendingly surreal and all part of losing yourself. 

The resort’s owners are art collectors and this summer the hotel is playing host to some of the artworks at the ninth Swiss Triennial of Sculpture, which comes with the slightly tortured name, Bad Ragartz. Bad indeed, but the art is good. It runs until the end of October.

Public spa at Grand Resort Bad Ragaz

Enjoy the stunning background at the public spa

(Image credit: Grand Resort Bad Ragaz)

But it is the spas you come for – both of them. First, Tamina Therme. The resort is home to the public baths of varying water temperatures and an array of saunas. 

Unsurprisingly, they are popular with locals, especially on the weekends, but hotel guests do get in for free. And as for the saunas, well, this is Switzerland and here they do not mess around when it comes to baking oneself. 

Barring an area set aside for modesty, you can leave your swimming costume at the door. Then, wrap yourself in a towel and relax. A stay at Bad Ragaz is all about peeling back the layers and getting back to the basics of a healthy mind, body and soul. 

Stripping off feels reflective of that. Just note the baths are now closed for maintenance work until early October.

Spa at Grand Resort Bad Ragaz

Take the waters in the hotel's private spa

(Image credit: Grand Resort Bad Ragaz)

Wallowing in the pool

There is, of course, the other spa! And this one is only open to hotel guests. It has two thermal water pools – one with jets for wallowing and one for swimming. (In fact, there is a third pool outside in the grounds, which is open in the warmer months.) 

There is a sauna reserved for swimming costumes, but, again, the best facilities are in the “textile-free” area. Take the plunge – literally, after melting away your troubles in the pair of saunas and two steam rooms. Then, take yourself off to the relaxation room to unwind further. Better yet, go for a treatment. 

I enjoyed the Tamina Flow Massage – the signature treatment, which, I was told, is a composite of all the therapists’ favourite techniques, ranging from hard to soft. Stay awhile and the hotel will put together a “NEWYOU Method” plan to get your lifestyle back on track. But again, expect no nonsense. My therapist advised that I should try to get out from behind my desk more often. I don’t disagree. But first dinner.

Interior at Zollstube restaurant

Zollstube is a cosy place to eat

(Image credit: Grand Resort Bad Ragaz)

The hotel’s seven restaurants collectively boast a constellation of Michelin stars. I particularly enjoyed the restaurant Zollstube, which has a wood-cabin feel to it. The name, I’m told, is a Swiss-German version of those fuzzy concepts of cosiness and wellbeing that the Scandinavians use to sell us books. 

The local lake trout was excellent, perfectly seasoned and served with a herb butter. Then there is Verve by Sven, a smart restaurant with one Michelin star, where I had a very nice pan-fried pike perch fillet in XO sauce, served with a herb salad and yellow verbena.

Water for the table? The Grand Resort, even for a spa hotel, takes its water very seriously and if you thought the choice boiled down to “still or sparkling”, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Water sommeliers are on hand to advise on which to drink with your food and wine, and – as I learnt at a really quite interesting water tasting – the minerality and acidity do make a difference. 

A few days of being gently baked, steamed and massaged, and eating good food leaves you with a spring in your step. So, on a sunny Sunday morning in March, I made the short stroll down to the River Alpenrhein, set against the snow-dusted mountains, and breathed in the crisp, clean air. It really is the best place to lose yourself.

Chris was a guest of the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz. From £296 a night, based on two sharing, see

Chris Carter

Chris Carter spent three glorious years reading English literature on the beautiful Welsh coast at Aberystwyth University. Graduating in 2005, he left for the University of York to specialise in Renaissance literature for his MA, before returning to his native Twickenham, in southwest London. He joined a Richmond-based recruitment company, where he worked with several clients, including the Queen’s bank, Coutts, as well as the super luxury, Dorchester-owned Coworth Park country house hotel, near Ascot in Berkshire.

Then, in 2011, Chris joined MoneyWeek. Initially working as part of the website production team, Chris soon rose to the lofty heights of wealth editor, overseeing MoneyWeek’s Spending It lifestyle section. Chris travels the globe in pursuit of his work, soaking up the local culture and sampling the very finest in cuisine, hotels and resorts for the magazine’s discerning readership. He also enjoys writing his fortnightly page on collectables, delving into the fascinating world of auctions and art, classic cars, coins, watches, wine and whisky investing.

You can follow Chris on Instagram.