Some family groups head to Switzerland for skiing and outdoor adventure, while others come for the history, culture, food and scenery. Given Switzerland’s spas effectively intersect both realms, it’s no surprise adult groups will add in a spa visit or book a luxury hotel known for its spa. While these oases have everything from naturally sourced spring water pools to skilled practitioners, top-tier beauty products and garden-fresh snacks, amenities for kids and teens are not always top of mind for the spa management.
The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, however, is set up to make a spa weekend pre- or post-alpine adventure a family affair. This sprawling but delightfully landscaped complex adjoining the storybook setting of the village of Bad Ragaz incorporates several free-standing hotels, including the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Relais & Chateau property Palais Ragaz (dating to 1840) and The Spa Suites for longer stays encompassing comprehensive med-spa treatments at the Medical Center and Clinic Bad Ragaz.
The Grand Hotel Quellenhof, rolling out its crisp remodel this past summer, is tailored for an only-in-Switzerland family retreat. It holds several restaurants (including the casual Verve by Sven and destination dining Memories, both by noted chef Sven Wassmer), a full calendar of cultural events, public art, golf, mini-golf, bocce, complementary bike rentals and free-standing Children’s Villas that elevate the luxury hotel kids’ club amenities to Swiss Alps-inspired heights. The home and village of the real life Heidi who inspired Johanna Spyri’s classic books can be reached via a hike (as Heidi herself did), bicycle or car.
The 5-star Quellenhof features 98 opulently decorated rooms and suites inspired by the elements (fire, water, air and earth) along with sumptuous bathrooms rendered in natural stone. However, there’s no denying the 36.5-degree waters that fill up the various spas and pools, and which have drawn visitors to the region since the Middle Ages, is the resort’s focal point. While grown-ups can luxuriate in the Baroque Helena Bath, kids up to age 16 can make the spa lifestyle their own inside the 550-square-meter family spa devised by interior designer Claudio Carbone (with a shout-out to Heidi, of course) and opened in 2018. Parents or grandparents feeling generous can also sign up their 7- to 12- year-old kids for their own specially designed beauty and restorative treatments, including “Bling Bling Fingers” and “Happy Feet” manis and pedis, and a “Funny Choco” back massage integrating chocolate.
Those hoping for a real immersion into Switzerland’s passion for wellness and healing should not miss the opportunity to experience the 7,300-square-meter Tamina Therme public baths located on the resort grounds. It is open free of charge to all resort guests and accessible by outdoor garden paths or indoor walkways and elevators. Although the sauna features and sports pool are reserved for adults, kids are welcome into the indoor and outdoor pool areas when accompanied by adults. Given this facility is frequented by members of the community as well as weekenders from Zurich and other nearby towns, it provides a fascinating window into how the Swiss integrate wellness into their everyday lifestyle.
Everybody is invited to this ultimate — and ultimately relaxed — pool party regardless of religion or background as the facility also includes “textile” pools for Orthodox Jews, religious Muslims and anybody else whose observances require full coverage instead of standard swimwear. Tamina Therme’s swimming school offers three different Tamina Kids courses for infants and toddlers and their parents on Mondays–Wednesdays designed to introduce them to water step by step with experienced instructors.
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