At 1,560m, Davos boasts of being the highest town in Europe and accordingly has all the advantages and a few of the disadvantages that come with having a town, as opposed to a tiny village, as your skiing/boarding base.
Lets get the main disadvantages out of the way first: its not a chocolate-box-pretty place since many of the hotels and other buildings have flat roofs (and always have had since some began life as sanatoria in the early part of the last century, before the skiing boom); there can be a corporate suits-and-name-tags feel to the place since Davos hosts many conferences, not least the famous World Economic Forum; and finally there is a big one-way traffic flow system which takes some getting used to.
But now lets move on to the many positive points. Davos has a huge amount of skiing. The highest point is the Weissfluh at 2,845m and apart from the massive Parsenn/Weissfluh/Gotschna ski area, there are a further four easily-accessed separate ski areas such as the Jakobshorn (top 2,590m) and the Rinerhorn (top 2,490m) all covered by the same lift pass. In total there are 320km of exceptionally well-maintained pistes with plenty of snowmaking and 54 lifts, including the recently renewed and enlarged Parsennbahn funicular running from Davos Platz up into the Weissfluhjoch/Parsenn ski area. As well as all the blues and reds, there are plenty of taxing black runs and an enormous amount of off-piste terrain to be explored with a guide. There is a huge selection of quality mountain restaurants, from modern gourmet establishments to cosy wooden stublis. And finally there is an enormous choice of apres-ski bars, restaurants and nightclubs, all of which are at their most vibrant at weekends when this resort really rocks and rolls.
Davos has more than enough terrain to keep an advanced skier happy for a fortnight, so the short break visitor is really going to be spoilt for choice. In good snow conditions you can ski some of the longest prepared runs in Europe, such as the 14km run from the lunar-like landscape at the top of the Weissfluh (2,845m) down through aromatic forests, lined with wooden huts and almost-hidden cowsheds, all the way to the rustic valley-floor village of Kublis (800m) from where you can return to Davos on the narrow-gauge red trains of the Rhaetian Railway (included in the lift pass).
Those seeking challenges can try the steep and often heavily mogulled black Maierhofertalli run from the Weissfluhjoch(2,665m) right down to Davos Wolfgang (1,630m) where again return is by train. The Gotschnawang above Klosters is just one of many off-piste challenges that can be explored with a guide.
Intermediates will have plenty of fun just cruising around the broad, open Parsenn bowl and perhaps taking the long, red runs down to the Klosters valley at their own pace. One general word of warning, though: there are still quite a few T-bars to be negotiated if you want to make the most of the vast Davos domain.
Boarders, in particular, will enjoy the challenges of the Jakobshorn area, which has a couple of half-pipes, a terrain park, a boarder-cross course and the trendy Jatz Bar.
At lunchtimes the finest gourmet restaurant in the area is Bruhins at Weissfluhgipfel, which offers exceptionally good food and table service in modern surroundings. They have an exceptionally good selection of wines by the glass here, by the way, and advance booking is advisable. Skiing gourmets who have braved the Maierhofertalli run should reward themselves with lunch at Hublis Landhaus in Davos Wolfgang, which has one Michelin star and rates 16/20 in the Gault Millau. A good, cheaper alternative here is the Hotel Kulm.
For fun lunches outside in the sun, if possible the various rustic schwendi huts, including the Schifer Schwendi, Conterser Schwendi, Klosters Schwendi and the funky Freeride Lodge, on the run down from the Weissfluhjoch to Klosters are warmly recommended. (As you do not need to take another lift to get down to resort level, these places also have a lively late-afternoon apres-ski scene, especially in the springtime.) On the Jakobshorn sector the Jatzhutte is a cool place to hang out at lunchtimes, while on the Madrisa mountain in Klosters the Erika, on the way back down to the resort, is renowned for its cheese fondues and other robust dishes.
In Davos itself there is a glut of apres-ski bars with a good ambience at weekends and in high season. Where you find yourself ending up tends to depend either on where you have been skiing or where you are staying. Many of the bars, such as the Paulaner in the Seehof hotel in Davos Dorf, are lively both late-afternoon/early-evening and again after dinner. The Montana, also in Dorf, has a certain faded grandeur about it, but the young party-loving clientele more than compensate for this. In Platz, the Bolgen Plaza is the place where the boarders hang out, while the best places for smart drinks and cocktails both before and after dinner are the Davoserhof Lounge and the bars of the Morosani Post Hotel.
There is a great choice of restaurants that pretty well ranges across the culinary spectrum. Although many are located within hotels, they nevertheless tend to have their own particular atmosphere. The Zauberberg is a modern designer Chinese restaurant within the Hotel Europe in Platz, while the Goldener Drachen is a Chinese to be found in the Terminus hotel by the Platz Bahnhof. The Teufi restaurant just outside Dorf can be reached by horse-drawn carriages and specialises in fondues, with the fondue chinoise being particularly recommended. La Caretta in Platz and Pizzeria Paluda in Dorf are both good for fairly inexpensive Italian food.After dinner the smallish Chami bar is one of the liveliest places and is popular with locals. There is a wide choice of late-night bars and discos and, apart from those already mentioned, the Hotel Europe is the key late-night rendez-vous point with a veritable complex of bars, discos and clubs.
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