The aptly named Paradies was once an artist's house and studio and was converted into a hotel in the 1960s. The view from the sun terrace is idyllic: on a shelf high above the lower Engadine valley, the hotel looks down on the picturesque village of Tarasp and its romantic castle, with forested slopes rising behind to a series of rocky peaks. Were it not for the glorious surroundings, guests might be reluctant to stir from the hotel, so easy is it to be seduced by the Garden of Eden spa rooms with alpine views, the quiet that enfolds you on the south-facing balcony outside each bedroom, the homemade cakes for tea and the prospect of dinner in one of the three restaurants.

Two Michelin stars have been awarded to chef Eduard Hitzberger for his six-course dinners in the gourmet La Bellezza restaurant. Alternatively you can have four courses in the Bellavista or local specialities of a heartier kind in the wood-panelled Stuva Paradies.


Hotel Paradies, Ftan, Engadine, Switzerland (00 41 81 861 08 08; The hotel is five minutes' walk from the village of Ftan (neither an anagram or a misprint) which lies at 5,406ft above sea level overlooking Scuol-Tarasp, close to the border with Austria. Chair-lifts and cable-cars give access to spectacular walks in summer and a variety of ski slopes in winter. The northern edge of Switzerland's only national park is a few miles to the south and offers the chance to see ibex, red and roe deer, marmots and bearded vultures in its 66 square miles.

Transport: hourly post-buses between Ftan village and Scuol-Tarasp railway station connect with hourly trains to and from St Moritz, Davos, Landquart and Chur. The hotel offers free transfers to the station on arrival and departure and provides free bikes and helmets. Bikes are carried on the post-bus.

Time from international airport: it is three hours by train from Zurich.


There are 23 rooms decked out with contemporary furniture and pictures by Engadine artists. Some suites have fireplaces with a basket of logs. The cheerful hotel staff are exceptional: they obviously enjoy working here, and the fascinating insights of the well-travelled sommelier make you want to take a serious wine course.

Freebies: Molton Brown toiletries and a bowl of fruit.

Keeping in touch: Broadband computer in the library and satellite TV.


Double rooms start at SFr425 (£183) including breakfast and use of the spa.

I'm not paying that: try Hotel Engiadina (00 41 81 864 04 34; in the village which offers double rooms from SFr160 (£69) including breakfast