Wonderfully aged, chunky, twisted and rooted - built in the 17th century, the boutique Hotel Chesa Stüva Colani has not only been at home in the tiny mountain village of Madulain for centuries, the house Colani has never looked so good. Indeed, a lot of love, passion and tenacity saw the Chesa Colani being stripped back to its architectural bones and then respectfully restored to let tradition host the modern - from the medieval Sgraffito facade to designer Flos lighting.
Chesa Colani Hotel may be lovely and old, it is however, a thoroughly modern boutique ambient designed by Bertolini e Galli Architetti that hugs history and marries the cultural Upper Engadin spirit of art, architecture and tradition.
Clever juxtaposed architecture links the original with the new; letting heritage peep through the contemporary finishes. Being in a part of Switzerland that nudges Italy, it is no surprise that boutique interiors have a Bella Italia touch, which in this region of the Alps, is right at home.
Being in this region of Engadin – art is as natural as the mountain vistas – and the Chesa Colani couldn’t resist adding whimsical art installations to give a fizz. Commissions from artist Letizia Cariello include ‘talk-about-pieces’ including the metal saplings that hum in the wind and a playful stone garden.
A hive of hotel activity is found in the large glazed reception lounge flanked by original stone walls, a touch of glitz from the polished white bar plays hosts to the après ski fraternity returning from nearby St. Moritz and Pontresina, as well as for those seeking to people watch under the Murano chandelier.
Large, chalet-styled rooms and boutique suites are cocooned in wood; seamlessly wrapped in Cirmolo pine whose natural and soothing perfume relaxes and facilitates a deep sleep.
The finish is smooth boutique – an alpine palette of subdued oatmeal, sour-dough browns and putty tones play host to designer lighting and statement furnishings. The bathrooms are clad in calming green-grey quartz soapstone – used since the Roman times and adding a clever reference to times past.
Housed in the oldest part of the house, the restaurant dining rooms are framed in twisted heavy wooden beams lending the mandatory Alpine warmth, including a fab little snug in the former barn. The wine cellar is adjacent and stocks a wide variety of both local and region wines with some great numbers from neighbouring Italy.
Chef Paolo Casanova is a passionate foodie. Sourced local ingredients from surrounding farmers are treated to a modern hand and a creativity that brings the flavours alive. Expect skilful plates of delicately prepared food with a hearty narrative found in the alps.
Happy eggs for breakfast and talented gourmet dishes over dinner – deliciousness on your doorstep from rustic to modern - just like the hotel.
A restful small wellness zone clad in soapstone and feature lighting offers a Hamman, sauna, and Jacuzzi with an extensive range of massages on offer and an open fitness hub gives the runner-spin junkies a fixe.
At the heart of the mountain village Madulain and convenient for trains onwards to Zermatt, Hotel Chesa Colani is just 12km from nearby St. Mortiz and 2 km from ski family friendly resort of Zuoz.
A classic Oberengadin hamlet and imbued by the thriving art community, the hotel nestles snug amongst its neighbours and is convenient for the Celerina Ski area – hotel shuttle available that takes 10 minutes.
Close by is the 8th century Carolingian convent of St. John the Baptist and further afield is the Swiss Nation Park. For ski junkies – there is the 3000 metres-high Diavolezza glacier and the Lagalp Ski region nearby.
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