The Unterhus

  • Location: Mountains
    Therme Vals by Peter Zumthor: 5km (10 mins drive)
    Skiing at Dachberg: 10km (25 mins drive)
    Vals for shops and restaurants: 4km (10 mins drive)
  • Zurich Airport (ZRH): 180km (2h 30 mins drive)
    Car recommended
    Free parking

Stay in a Peter Zumthor designed house in the middle of this amazing landscape.
Just a few steps below the Unterhus is the Restaurant Ganni, a small, welcoming mountain restaurant with a sun terrace.

During Off Season the Thermal Bath and most of the restaurants in Vals are closed.

Contact the owner directly for the best rates
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An introduction to The Unterhus

How would you describe The Unterhus in a nutshell?

The Unterhus is a real gem. Designed by Pritzker prize winner Peter Zumthor, it is a reinterpretation of the traditional timber houses of the area around Leis in Switzerland. The house is spacious and comfortable.

What was your motivation to build the Unterhus?

I really wanted to live in an old timber house in Vals. That wasn’t possible because there were no such houses to rent or buy. When I heard that there was a building plot for sale in Leis, a hamlet just above Vals, I knew immediately that that was the place where I wanted my dream of a timber house to come true. The plot was large enough for us to build two houses. So we built Oberhus for me and the Unterhus for Peter. From late fall 2013, the Türmlihus will complete this little ensemble. The Unterhus and the Türmlihus are available for rent to vacationers.

Please tell us a bit about your inspiration regarding the architecture and the interior design.

We like the visible construction of traditional timber houses. The houses are designed and built in this tradition. The interior reflects the exterior, and vice versa. The solid-beam construction — both an outer layer and an inner — has also determined the appearance of the interior of the houses. You can see the beams and feel the weight of the timber. The traditional Strickbau (literally ‘knitted construction’) building technique is clearly visible in all the rooms.

The Unterhus
Living area
Living area
Kitchen and dining area
Bedroom
Bathroom
Balcony
The Unterhus
View of Leis
Leis in Graubünden

The Unterhus rooms & rates

I love the spaciousness of the house, the living space with the spectacular 360-degree views, the openness to the surrounding landscape and the simultaneous feeling of coziness inside the house.Tthe windows are very large, so even when you are inside the house, you feel surrounded by the wonderful mountain scenery; the views are spectacular.

The houses are equipped with carefully selected designer furniture. The dining table, light fixtures, beds, daybed, bedside tables, coffee table and wooden wash basins are all designed by Peter Zumthor.

Even now, my heart beats faster and I have such a feeling of joy whenever I see the little chapel and the Unterhus, nestled close to each other!

  • The Unterhus for 4-5 people / 150 m²
    683 / night
    • 1 Twin bedroom
    • 1 Double bedroom
    • 1 Shower room
    • 1 Living room
    • 1 Kitchen
    • 1 Other rooms
    • 1 Extra bed (on req.)
    • 2 Baby cot (on req.)
Included in the rates
Rates include local tax, bed linen and towels, weekly cleaning for extended stays, final cleaning, electricity and water charges, Wifi, VAT, and a light welcome meal consisting of fruit, bread, cheese, Salsiz (smoked sausage), tea, coffee, milk and a bottle of wine. The tap water in Leis comes from a local spring and is of the highest quality.
Children & Extra beds
Children are welcome. Baby cots are available free of charge.
Minimum stay
3 nights
Check in time
after 16:00
Check out time
before 11:30

Facilities & services

  • Children welcome
  • WiFi
  • Terrace
  • TV
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Washing machine
  • Music system
  • Central heating
  • Movies/DVDs
  • Safe box
  • Hair dryer

Rucksacks, a water bottle and a thermos flask, binoculars, three pairs of hiking sticks, a hiking map of Vals, and the Handbuch Schweizer Alpen by Heinz Staffelbach with detailed information on Alpine flora and fauna, the region’s geology and weather, are all provided for our guests’ convenience.

Things to do in Graubünden & Vals

  • Skiing
  • Hiking
  • Cycling

One reason for staying in Leis/Vals is the world-famous Therme Vals spa designed by Peter Zumthor. Guests also come for the peace and quiet, the fresh air, the many opportunities for hiking and the family-friendly skiing on the Dachberg.

Mountain life is a simple one. The people live off the land and tourism. Vals and its surrounding area are still characterised by an almost archaic form of mountain farming. It’s quite incredible to see how the farmers harvest the hay on the steep slopes. Being in Leis means being surrounded by and living close to nature.

The location of The Unterhus

I have lived and worked in Vals for 10 years and fell in love with the broad slopes and opportunities for hiking in the mountains. Vals lies at the foot of a valley; there is no through traffic and no highway. Leis is located 300 meters above Vals. A dozen or more houses cluster around the chapel that dates from the early 17th century: bright, new timber houses nestle alongside the old houses, blackened by the sun. In Leis, visitors experience the clear mountain light, the fresh air that tingles like champagne, an intense starry sky at night, the fragrant flower-filled meadows or glistening snow-covered slopes: a sweeping mountain panorama. Peace and tranquility.

In Vals there is an Alpine dairy with a wonderful range of ecological products; there is also a baker’s shop, a grocery and two sports shops. And just a few steps below the Unterhus is the Restaurant Ganni, a small, welcoming mountain restaurant with a sun terrace. Anke and Carlo Tönz have created a varied menu of dishes using local and regional produce and seasonal specialties from the region of Grisons.

When is the best time to visit Graubünden?

It’s always wonderful in Leis, no matter the weather or season. Although the spa is closed in April and May, you can still enjoy spring in the mountains, when, from mid-May, the meadows all around Leis are carpeted with a riot of wildflowers.