Power place: Easter at Sass da Grüm

A power place that can heal all ills? Sounds like an iffy promise if you ask me. And certainly when Tim and I arrived at Sass da Grüm - a gorgeous family-run hotel tucked into chestnut woodland above San Nazzaro on Lake Maggiore in Canton Ticino - we thought it would 'heal' us with its setting and fresh air rather than its spiritual blurb. The hotel can only be reached on foot, which lends an honest sense of escapism - an aspect I would be promoting even more than the healing properties of staying there.

We were welcomed with a delicious lunch of asparagus and polenta (cuisine here is vegetarian), with homemade elderflower cordial on the side, before being shown to our room. Sadly nothing of a view - we looked onto woodland, which was lovely in its own way but something of a disappointment considering that from the neighbouring aspect we would have been able to see down the lake, to Locarno and Ascona on the opposite bank and the soaring, still snowy summits.

We spent our first afternoon exploring one of the reasons we chose to visit the area: the Sentiero dello Yoga, an outdoor yoga trail. It winds between the chestnut trees, with different stations created from woodland objects to correspond with the traditional stages of a yoga class. I enjoyed doing the 'warrior' pose while peering through a trellis of tree trunks to the lake, and lying down for 'corpse' pose in a tree house.

Upon returning to the hotel, we took part in a guided meditation class - I wondered about the sense of shutting my eyes and trying to find my inner self when the alternative was gazing at the lake (the 'Ort der Kraft' or 'power place' where the meditation takes place is on a rocky shelf high above). But it was surprisingly relaxing. We later fell asleep to total silence and pitch black - to awaken to glorious skies the following morning.

We walked along a panoramic trail to Monte Gerra, watching locals hiding chocolates for Easter egg hunts in the gardens of their enviable cottages, and passing a gushing waterfall; there is little more beautiful than walking along paths dappled with soft sunlight bursting through a delicate canopy of leaves. We returned to the hotel for lunch on the sun terrace before heading off on a route for the afternoon, to Piazzogna. Clouds had started to move in over the mountains, and before long it started to drizzle. Of course we didn't have our waterproofs - in our defence, despite having both been brought up properly in terms of outdoors gear preparation, the weather had been truly glorious up to that point. Needless to say, the rain became heavier: we sheltered beneath an overhang to eat lemon pannetone, before I found myself walking back to the hotel with my fleece over my head!

It was nice to get a warm shower and an early night. While walking back down to civilisation at the end of our visit, we both felt re-energised: for me, the power of the place is certainly in its remote setting, healthy organic cuisine and enchanting view.
© Emmy in Switzerland | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig