Discover Germany | Issue 17 | August 2014

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | For a Better Future

“Green” relaxation in the Swiss Alps The Ucliva Biohotel celebrates 30 years of ecologically conscious holidays in the stunning Alpine landscape. TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLD | PHOTOS: UCLIVA BIOHOTEL

Living and working “green” is high on the agenda for the Biohotel Ucliva.“We were the first Ecological Hotel in Switzerland, a pioneering achievement that holds today,”Marion Patzelt, director of the hotel, proudly explains. In the 1970s a group of locals averted the construction of vacation apartments to be built in the municipal area. Instead of many cold beds during the year, they proposed the idea of the Hotel Ucliva.Their aim was to create an affordable holiday destination which would help support local farmers by buying their products and fight migration from the area by creating long-term jobs. What’s more, the idea also aimed to maintain the traditional appearance of the townscape. Situated in Waltensburg in the picturesque canton Graubünden/Grisons, just over two hours from Zurich, the hotel offers guests unbridled relaxation in the stunning Alps. Given the hotel’s close proximity to the

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mountain railway in Brigels, guests are able to comfortably experience the lush and unspoilt nature surrounding the hotel. Patzelt's favourite spot in the region is the breath-taking Ruinaulta Canyon in the Surselva where the river Rhine passes through, a valley covered in woodland and home to a large variety of wildlife. The name of the hotel, Ucliva, is derived from the Romansh word for hamlet. The Ucliva Biohotel is exactly that, a small community of amiable hotel staff, who make every guest feel welcome and at home. The hotel is comprised of 22 spacious, bright and comfortable rooms, each one painted in a different colour and most of them have a balcony to enjoy the fresh air and stunning views outside. In addition, the fully-equipped seminar house Uclivetta provides space for up to 80 people. The hotel's restaurant offers a menu consisting of fresh, local produce and also serves a variety of rare ecologically sourced wines.

The pioneering philosophy of ecological consciousness is present everywhere in the hotel. There are no TVs or radios in the rooms so guests can “avoid being distracted by electronic media.” The idea is for them to focus on themselves and bond with nature to find relaxation and new energy.“Our goal and motivation,” states Patzelt,“is to make sure our guests enjoy their stay so much that they don’t want to go home anymore.” This summer is testament to the success of this concept as the Ucliva Biohotel celebrates 30 years of ecologically conscious holidays.