If anything was encouraging during the pandemic, it must have been change.
TV ad producer Philippa von Wittgenstein was tired of her job producing commercials in Zurich, so when her wife told her about a new job as director at the Chesa Salis in Bever, she applied and immediately got the job, which is actually very similar to her previous job, but maybe a little more slower moving, just for the time being.
Philippa has a vision for the Chesa Salis, the historic hotel that still has the tablecloths, most of the furniture and the interior from earlier times, making it a charming place where people love to stay for its unique Engadin charm. The same goes for the staff, who have a close relationship with the hotel, such as Philippa’s deputy director Céline Julen, who used to work at the reception, and the chef Jachen Clavuot, who, together with Philippa, strives for classic Swiss cuisine using the best seasonal ingredients.
Her vision is to keep this charm, mix it with modern details and a hotellery that brings this place into a new area without losing its authenticity.
Much like St. Moritz and many other smaller towns in the Engadin, there is change and the change is being driven by people interested in the arts, people who visit this region for its sporting activities and natural beauty.
The Engadin has developed into a hub for creative people who now prefer to live up here all year round. More and more galleries are opening branches, concept stores and groceries are emerging with new concepts and Philippa wants to take this into her small, charming hotel.
This can already be seen in the hotel’s fireplace saloon, where homemade cakes and tea are served in the afternoon and a selection of malt whiskies in the evening.
The hotel now has a restaurant serving Swiss cuisine using the finest ingredients five days a week, and the hotel is filled with art curated by the renowned Galleria Monica De Cardenas.
Chesa Salis is a place where you feel right at home as soon as you enter the small lobby. Philippa has decorated it with unique ceramic art, fresh flowers and an area to lounge and relax. The rustic charm of typical Engadin interiors is still present in the rooms.
And slowly she is adding a modern twist to the menu in the restaurant. Like what?
For example, instead of crisps and nuts, fermented vegetables will be served with the aperitif. Harvested from the hotel’s own garden. This will also be a great opportunity to offer a cooking class on fermentation. Special food evenings, such as a local cheese night, and natural wine tasting are an idea to bring the community of Bever closer to the hotel.
This is her goal. A mix of guests, locals and people from all over the world who are looking for authenticity and the beauty of the Engadin. It is hosted by Philippa’s charming personality and her team of staff, whose personal talents and passions she is keen to share with her guests. Their homemade products such as herbal teas, skincare products and spirits are on sale in the hotel shop, making them part of the Chesa Salis family.
Book a room and see for yourself.