Friday, March 7, 2014

SKIING IN SWITZERLAND, part 3, Nira Alpina

Neil Bedford continues his guide to our luxurious ski resorts in some of the world's most glamorous and celebrated Alpine villages. He finds a Swiss village and Select Collection resort that feel far away yet close to it all, ideal too for late season skiing...


Trendy and intimate Nira Alpina is located in the quaint Swiss village of Silvaplana. Just 10 mins from St Moritz, you are close enough to visit and enjoy the world class shops and restaurants, but Silvaplana itself is a world away from its neighbour’s champagne lifestyle. Indeed you are much more likely to be admired for your style on the slopes than the furs and diamonds you wear to dinner.


Nira Alpina

Nira Alpina’s prize asset is its location which is undeniably perfect. Connected directly to the Corvatsch lift, you can be at 3300m within 15 mins of leaving your room! And for children and beginners there is a nursery slope right next to the hotel where you can watch their progress from the comfort of your own balcony….that is if you can take your eyes away from mesmerising valley views laid out in front of you.

Inside the hotel natural materials such as Swiss Spruce, Italian stone, suede and granite give the place a cosy atmosphere with the feel of the outdoors always at the fore. Small but modern rooms all boast terrace or balcony, while bold fashion images decorate the walls as an uncompromising contrast to the hotels ‘down the road’. The hotel offers 70 individually decorated guest rooms.

Corvatch Room
All with terraces


Stars restaurant - what a view...

STARS restaurant offers the best views from its elevated position for breakfast and dinner while Trattoria is a cosy Italian restaurant open only for dinner. The outdoor terrace of the Bistro overlooks the nursery slopes and is perfect for a light lunch.

Overlooking the nursery slopes

Always the most crowded place in Silvaplana is Pichalain – a cute après ski cabin no bigger than a garage and attached to the hotel. The lack of space doesn’t stop the crowds from gathering in their ski gear and spilling outside to enjoy the raclettes and glühwein served up mid afternoon until the early hours.

Pichalain - cosy cluttered space and gluhwein
A visit the hotel bakery is a must to pick up an apple strudel and a fresh ciabatta to take with you up the slopes.

Last stop before the slopes - the hotel bakery

A trip to the spa is of course the only way to ease those ski aches and pains and Nira Alpina boats an excellent one. Chill out room, sauna, steam and heated whirlpool/Jacuzzi are available to all hotel guests while treatments with the excellent spa therapists are in high demand and booking well in advance essential.

Heat for hotel guests

The Corvatsch

The big cable car is impressive in itself, gliding from the hotel up to the mid-mountain station in just seven minutes. More impressive still is the spectacular mountain panorama that greets you at the end of the next leg of the ride, when you step out of the cabin at the highest summit station in the Eastern Alps at an altitude of 3,303m. And it isn’t just the exertion that takes your breath away as you swoop down the demanding but exciting 9km descent from the Corvatsch via Hahnensee straight to St. Moritz, or tackle the longest illuminated night run in Switzerland which takes place every Friday. The Corvatsch glacier means skiing well in to the spring so a good option for late season trips.

The Corvatxch glacier - skiing late into the spring

How to get to Nira Alpina

3 hrs from Zurich international airport by car, 3 hrs 30 mins by train.

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