The business of bathing: here at the Business Unusual desk, we cater not only to the "meat and potatoes" of business life but also to some of your more inner needs. Aware of the stresses and strains of modern business life, we've taken it upon ourselves to investigate the business of relaxation.

AuteurO'Brien, Tom
Fonction Business Unusual

How easy it is to forgo the pressures of deadlines, more deadlines and yet another meeting with the boss? Not very. Not unless you have added pressure of really taking a break because you need it and because you want it--NOW!

So Swiss News took on the heady task of visiting two of Switzerland's top spa hotels: the Grand Hotels Quellenhof and Hof Ragaz, located in Bad Ragaz and the Kulm Hotel in St Moritz.

The Business Of Luxury

It seems that the inhabitants of Bad Ragaz have been expounding on the beneficial elements of their local waters for simply hundreds of years, with monks first operating the thermal baths as far back as 1242.

The Grand Hotels, which first started business in 1868, attract a regular clientele who enjoy taking the thermal waters, tending to their medical needs or simply enjoying the many wellness treatments on offer.

Set against an Alpine backdrop, the Bad Ragaz's two Grand Hotels are surrounded by lush parkland and are nestled close to a picturesque village.

Spa manager Thomas Degen says that weekend visits are becoming increasingly popular, especially with younger people looking to escape the business whirl.

"People arrive on Friday looking for something relaxing. It's like going to an island, you're here and you don't want to know anything about business," explains Degen. "We have a lot of different ways to relax including many types of massages and beauty treatments."

The hotel, which started life as an 18th century palace, has an atmosphere that exudes relaxation.

The history, of St Moritz's oldest hotel, the Kulm Hotel, is equally imposing. Founded back in 1856 the hotel lacks nothing in terms of grandeur and elegance.

Dominique Godat, general manager of the Kulm Hotel explains that the hotels spa area was overhauled in 1996. This included renovating saunas, creating a fitness room and a spa facility, massage cabins, thalasso treatment rooms, beauty treatment rooms and solariums. "We want to give the guests a feeling of well being and relaxation," says Godat. "Treatments that sooth the body but also the soul."

Meanwhile, in Bad Ragaz, the spa spreads out over a massive 2,500 square metres. Apart from the large fitness area and well equipped gym the highlight of the spa has to be the magnificent Helebad.

Here you can soak away your troubles in thermal waters, maintained at a comfortable 34 degrees Celsius.

If you can drag yourself away, there is also the choice of a sports pool, a Roman-Irish spa and a very...

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