When one thinks of Davos one thinks of the World Economic Forum but this resort has so much more to offer than the world's leading financiers and politicians in conference rooms. The town is one of Europe's highest at 1560m and it is certainly a town rather than a village. In fact it is split into two distinct areas, Davos Platz and Davos Dorf. If you have the money then staying at the 4 star Seehof next to the funicular in Davos Dorf is the thing to do as its location is unrivalled.The bus and rail connections between these two areas and the neighbouring Klosters are superb and typically timely, this is Switzerland after all. Davos town isn't exactly beautiful but it does have a ritzy glamorous feel with its high street laden with designer boutiques, watch shops, jewellers, bars, cafes, 4 and 5 star hotels, and a casino.
The skiing covers an immense area of over 300km of piste over four separate but easily reachable zones. The main ski area is accessed from Davos Dorf and expands across to Klosters Dorf. The funicular lift out is a feat of engineering and transports vast amounts of skiers in minutes to the middle station. From here skiers disperse quickly onto the various pistes.
Beginners would be best booking elsewhere as ski in ski out doesn`t really exist in the village. Having said that the Jakobshorn is great for first timers and has its own dedicated area and ski school. Snowfinders feel that sometimes when a resort isn't endowed with the best natural attributes it makes up for this in terms of friendliness, professionalism, and endeavour.
Intermediates will like Davos a lot. If you are a ski in/ski out bore with no sense of fun then go elsewhere. If you are looking for an adventure, travelling into hidden valleys and catching trains back to civilisation then man up and book up. This is not a French purpose built resort with mile after mile of motorway pistes. Davos has so much more to offer with twisting turning terrain and runs that drop into valleys in the middle of nowhere. Red 21 from Schifer is a great run into Klosters Dorf as are black runs 13 and 16 into Wolgang.
Advanced skiers will love the abundance of off-piste. There are some superb routes down off the Totalphorn towards Wolgang again. The itinerary off Gotschnagrat to Klosters Dorf is a steep and varied route worthy of note as are the blacks accessed from the Gipfelbahn lift.The Picha is an amazing freeride mountain and will happily keep experts entertained for a week or three.
Snowboarders love Davos and many head to the terrain park on the Jacobshornand even the beginners parks on the Madrisah and the Rinerhorn. With few drags, the area attracts a lot of boarders and many hotels have tapped into this with a young, vibrant, and inexpensive philosophy.
The area is also a 5 star venue for cross country skiers with some of the most scenic and extensive cross country skiing in the Alps.
- Great intermediate ski area
- Experts well catered for on and off piste
- Non skiers resort facilities excellent
- Good restaurants
- Lots of shopping
- "Away-from-it-all" skiing
- Not an attractive town
- Spread out
- Travelling required between ski areas
Davos has the feel of a biig town in every sense. It is a paradise for non skiers with lots of designer shops, jewellery outlets, and expensive watch shops. Cafes, bistros, restaurants, a cinema, casino, and hotels line the main thoroughfare. Concerts, art galleries and cultural activities are readily available and the local professional Ice Hockey team draws a huge crowd when they play at home. This is a playground for the rich and famous and you will soon notice that after a few hours in the resort.
For nightlife, it isn`t a Zermatt or Verbier but does have some atmosphere. The Ex bar shows live football and does great bar snacks; here you'll always find a good crowd and atmosphere to match. Bolgen-Plaza is the place for gnarly skiers, boarders, and seasonnaires. The Cabana and Cava Davos get good reports. Immediately upon the slopes closing the Seehof's outside bar is busy and the little wooden chalet bar opposite the main funicular has good music with a very friendly sing-a-long vibe.
Big town atmosphere, extensive slopes with a good snow record. A very different ski experience.