THE BEST WAY
From LAX, nonstop service to Zurich is offered on Swiss, and connecting service (change of planes) is offered on Lufthansa, British, Air France, Aer Lingus, KLM, American and Delta. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $716.
It's about 120 miles from Zurich to Vals, but the last part of the trip is on narrow mountain roads, so the drive can take up to three hours. You can take a train from Zurich to Chur and then change to a local train for Ilanz, where bus service is available up the Vals Valley.
WHERE TO STAY
Hotel Therme, Vals, Switzerland, 011-41-81-9268961, www.therme-vals.ch, is open except from March 30 to June 13 next year. It has accommodations in several buildings, all near the spa. Temporaries are connected to the bathhouse by an elevator, doubles $225; other doubles from $133 to $187. Rates include admission to the spa, which is reserved for hotel guests everyday from 7 to 11 a.m. Night bathing is available to hotel guests from 10:30 to midnight on Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Therme Vals is open through April 13 and from June 13 to April 5, 2010. Non-hotel guests can go to the spa from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for $40. A variety of treatments are available, including a 50-minute full-body massage for $95.
The hotel's Red Restaurant serves healthful, gourmet cuisine in a chic room with picture windows; the six-course meal costs $65, excluding wine.
The less formal Restaurant Chessi in a building below the spa offers moderately priced pasta dishes and local fare. There is also a bar in the main building that serves sandwiches and salads.
TO LEARN MORE
Set in a narrow Alpine valley, with five chair lifts, Vals attracts skiers in winter and walkers in summer. For more information about where to stay and what to do in Vals, contact Switzerland Tourism, 608 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10020, (877) 794-8037, www.myswitzerland.com.