From Freiburg, I made a stopover in Zurich for lunch before an easy drive to Davos, the venue for the World Economic Forum deep in the Swiss Alps. Surprisingly enough, it was a quick and easy drive with the highways being about 70% of the drive. Altogether it took about an hour and a half to get to Davos from Zurich with plenty of rest stops by the highway, some with Marche restaurants.
The Hilton Garden Inn in Davos is located across from the conference centre and a few bus stops away or 1km from the Schatzalp cable car. Beside the hotel there is a large supermarket so this is a relatively convenient place for visitors to stay while in Davos.
Once I arrived, I was able to park my car temporarily by the roadside considering it was low season and the town was quite empty. I made my way into the equally deserted lobby and found the reception desk located inside. I was served immediately and the check-in was similarly fast with an exchange of documents and credit cards. Then I was provided with my room keys, with quick explanations of the hotel’s facilities and the operating times during the low season. The receptionist also mentioned there was some free parking spaces on the sloped road beside the hotel. Otherwise there is the sheltered parking garage in the hotel costing CHF18 per day. The garage option makes more sense for the peak winter season when the sloped road might be tricky to park at and when snow can cause problems to cars.
After getting my keycard, I proceeded to the room and what was different here was that the elevator lobby was closer to the entrance to the door, as it faces the front entrance with several seating areas. This meant it was brighter and the seating space allows for visitors to wait for guests to come down from their room. As any good ski resort hotel would have, there was a boot cleaning machine at the corner of the elevator lobby too.
Room No: 410 Category: Twin Room
Our assigned room was again located on the 4th floor which is also the highest in the building. It was located close by the elevators but there was no upgrade as I requested for a Twin bed room.
Like any conventional hotel room, the bathroom was near the entrance. Being a relatively new hotel, the bathroom here was bright and modern as well, giving the room a good first impression. The shower and bathtub is by the door and has traditional shower curtains that works. At the end is the toilet.
There was more countertop space here as well compared to the one in the Hampton by Hilton at Freiburg. Bathroom amenities are by Peter Thomas Roth, a Hilton mainstay brand.
Inside the room, there is a long console that doubles as a work desk at the end by the wall. The flatscreen TV in the room was a bit small but I doubt it would be used often for skiers on a skiing holiday. Beneath the TV is a minibar and there are plenty of cabinets to store your belongings in the console. The swivelling chair is very comfortable to use as well. On the console, there was 2 bottles of water for Hilton Honours members, one of which was sparkling.
A pair of Twin beds occupy most the room with a fixed bedside table in between so it is not possible to join the 2 beds together. While the bed was comfortable for single person use, it was possible to add an extra bed in this room as there was an armchair at the end. The room’s closet is beside one of the bed with sliding doors.
Outside, there was a balcony that probably is the highlight of this room. While we might not be upgraded, I think this probably has one of the best views in the hotel aside from the corner rooms. From the balcony, guests get a view of the conference centre and the town square in the distance.
Spa and Ski Facilities
Do note that Davos is one of the top ski resorts in Switzerland and this hotel functions as a ski resort which is also the peak season. Thus there is a spa and ski storage located in the basement. Being in the basement means there is no views and the area can be dimly lit. There are no receptionist here for the spa, as guests gain access by using their keycard.
The foyer or the dry area of the spa has an infra-red chamber, water cooler and a bench with a foot bath area.
There was a Scandinavian style hot sauna chamber too, and outside the sauna was hooks for guests to hang their bathrobes and towels. Beside the hooks was a shelf that guests could use to place their belongings and spectacles. As always I appreciate these little touches that makes spa and saunas more user-friendly.
Aside from the sauna was a large steam room with mosaic tiles. This theme is carried across to the refreshing area that has a shower and a pull-over bucket.
For the limited space, I was surprised they had all these area and even have space for the relaxation lounge. The lounge chairs even have light curtains as partition to provide some privacy.
As a ski hotel in the winter, there is a ski storage room with shelving for skis and a separate shelving for boots. The space is moderate and communal so the skis and boots would not be secured, though I usually have no problems with that.
On the same floor as the spa there is a small room for the fitness area but it was a dismal space with a couple of treadmills, fitness equipments and weights area. While they did make the space bright, I do not think this space would be utilized much, as I see it better to run outside in the summer.
Since skiers on skiing holiday can stay for up to a week, it was nice to see a coin-operated laundry machine at the laundry area.
Beside the reception desk, guests could also find a convenience store where they could purchase snacks and some travel necessities. And this being in Switzerland, there was a display cabinet selling Victorinox Swiss Army knifes. There was a beverage fridge selling refreshments as well. Guests could also find a microwave in the pantry if they want to heat up some pizza or snacks.
In the lobby level, guests could also find the restaurant and bar area. However I had opted for points instead of the breakfast since I was beginning to feel tired of hotels’ breakfast buffets. The lobby lounge is spacious with plenty of sofas and armchairs but perhaps due to the lack of guests in the low season it felt very empty at the lobby.
A night in the low season here costs CHF150 (~$151), with rates going up to as much as CHF300 during the peak winter season. At this rate, it certainly is not cheap for a Hilton Garden Inn. But this was the moderately priced accommodation in Davos and I thought it was worth it since the property is relatively new and the spa facilities were adequate even if slightly on the small side. Considering this is also a more accessible international hotel brand in Davos, I would certainly consider staying here again if I come to Davos for the skiing.