Sils Maria – A Jewel in The Oberengadin

Sils Maria by Gian Giovanoli

Photo by Gian Giovanoli


Sils Maria – A Jewel in The Oberengadin


Sils Maria Oberengadin

Photo by Gian Giovanoli

Ssshhh!……’s a very well-kept, open secret……a jewel in the Engadin, only two and a half hours away from Zurich.

Most people, upon hearing that you’ve been going to Sils Maria every season for the last twenty years, ask, “Where’s that?” Well, it’s 20 kilometres from St Moritz, but a million light years from that concrete, glitzy, soul-less place. You turn right instead of left at the foot of the Julier pass, the long, sweeping road from Thusis which gives wonderful views of the landscape (but try not to look if you’re behind the wheel!).

Sils Maria Engadine

Photo by Gian Giovanoli

Sils is a small village with largely traditional architecture, no through traffic (park your car in the large underground car park in the village and forget about it) and some of the best hotels you are likely to find in the Engadin valley. It has its own ski-lift, Fuschellas, with easy access to other ski areas, such as the Corvatsch. It has a ski-school, many kilometres of Langlauf trails, particularly over the frozen Silsersee in Winter, and in Summer, opens up to one of the best walking, biking and water-sports areas in the whole of Switzerland. In October the larches are golden, in early summer the meadow flowers splash colour over the hills and fields. November and late April/May are the ‘resting’ months for wildlife and hotel personnel.

There are no night clubs in Sils, that’s all left to SM down the valley; but it was a favourite place of the writer Nietzsche, who ate his lunch every day at the Alpenrose restaurant, and links to the artists Robbio and Segantini. Throughout the seasons there are lectures and readings about things artistic and spiritual. You can take afternoon tea in the splendid lounge at the Hotel Waldhaus, which has been in the same family since its construction in 1908. You can have lunch at the Hotel Margna, a Romantic hotel, and think up captions for the serious paintings in the sitting room there. You will also find splendid service at the Hotel Edelweiss, in the centre of the village.

Sils Maria Engadine in Winter

Photo by Gian Giovanoli

However, a secret within the secret, is the Hotel Privata, on the village square offering a perfect blend of tradition and modern chic. Run by Corina Giovanoli, the hotel is relaxed and wonderfully comfortable. The service is kind and very friendly. Try a week or a long weekend, any season – with the combination of the Oberengadin magic and the Hotel Privata, you cannot go wrong.

Hotel Privata

Address: Via da Marias 83, 7514 Sils Maria, Engadin
Sils Maria Engadine

Article written by Clive Greaves

All Photos courtesy of Gian Giovanoli

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