A land famed for it’s chocolate, gold and exquisite craftmanship – Switzerland is all about old money, alpine beauty, and living life in the fine lane. As soon as you sweep into St Moritz, you understand why celebrities and A listers flock to this charming chocolate box resort in the foothills of the southern alps. Since the 19th century, St Moritz has been a favorite winter resort, a place where the snow falls thick, the mineral springs run rich, and big-name hotels and boutiques line the squeaky-clean streets. Those looking to escape to a favored haunt of the Winter Olympics – here’s where to stay, dine and play in St Moritz…
Where To Stay
Badrutts Palace is the legend at the foot of a majestic mountain. Since 1896 this place has been the home to fairytale splendor, memorable parties, and a parade of well-heeled socialites. Rumor has it that back in the day you could find elephants in the lobby and sea lions honking in the swimming pool. These days the five-star hotel is a little more austere, without losing the diamond edge. The Hitchcock Suite is the best, the room commonly visited by the director himself. Expect chandeliers, antique furnishings, lake views, and cognac in Le Grand Hall.
The glitz of a bygone era married to the majesty of Mother Nature – The Grand Hotel Kronenhof is a 19th century beauty queen. The historic hotel sits right in the heart of a dreamy Swiss landscape – offering views of glistening glaciers and silent pine forests. Making the most of its environment you can lap up the alpine ski tours, signature golf course, and award-winning spa with stone grotto steam baths, float rooms, and rejuvenating swiss beauty treatments.
The Kempinski Grand Hotel des Baines sits in the Upper Engadine – sparkling white against the snowy backdrop. Everything about this hotel resort oozes five-star style; from the chalet style of the Tower Suite to the Swiss patisserie and picture windows in the lobby bar. You will find everything you need within the wings of this hotel – from the super slick casino to the cigar bar, the swish spa, and the alpine sports ski school.
The Kulm Hotel claims to be the first to set up shop in sophisticated St Moritz, with a name tag that dates back to 1856. The balcony views that spill out across the lake, the sweeping marble staircase, the carved woodwork and mismatched antiques against rich floral wallpaper are all enough to convince us of that fact. The hotel has retained its historic charm, but throws in all the mod-cons of comfort, including an outdoor heated pool, golf course, full service spa, and turndown service.
Where to Dine
Chesa Veglia is enough to send you starry eyed. Over a century ago, this old traditional farmhouse was converted into a delectable place to dine as part of the Badrutt Palace. The décor may be rustic, but it’s richly so and there are five sumptuous sections each boasting different style of dishes. From authentic Italian woodfired pizza to gooey fondue, tinkling piano music at the grill, and low ceilings at the Polo Bar – for foodies and socialites this is the only place to be.
White and gold décor, a chef with two Michelin stars beneath his belt, and a wine list that seems to go as long as the Dead Sea Scrolls, Ecco St Moritz takes the art of luxury and makes it simple and stunningly refined. Think marinated and flamed Norwegian scallops, sautéed ceps, cheese from the region and quince with chestnut and sorrel.
If you dream of dining with a view, then the window site at La Marmite is just what the concierge ordered. Perched right on the Corviglia Mountainside – this is one of the highest restaurants in the world. If you can bear to look away from the glacial peaks, then your plate is sure to impress with its lobster, caviar and fine wines.
What To Do
Winters in the Swiss Alps are a veritable wonderland – with plenty of powder, some hair-raising black trails down the mountains, and a frozen lake that hosts the White Turf races. Every February, the frozen waters of Lake Moritz become a championship track for horse-racing, polo playing, and even the occasional winter cricket game.
Summer months bring a much different outlook – endless hiking trails showcase the jewels of wildly romantic passes, picturesque train journeys, and lively Ibex colonies. Horse-drawn carriage rides are another way of exploring the scenery, and the cool waters of the lake make for excellent bathing.