St. Moritz – European Luxury Ski Destination
Among the best ski resorts in Switzerland, a special place must be reserved for St. Moritz. It is one of biggest ski resorts in the country. The village is located in a valley called Engadin at a height of 1850m. It has 5 Palaces, endless ski slopes, lots of activities and a very rich nightlife.
A little history:
At the beginning of September 1864, St. Moritz hotel pioneer, Johannes Badrutt, made the following wager with four British summer guests: they should return in winter and if things were not to their liking, he would bear the cost of the journey from London and back. If they found St. Moritz attractive in winter, he would invite them to stay as his guests for as long as they wished.
Cradle of winter tourism: the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz of Johannes Badrutt.
His guests, familiar with the cold, damp English winter, could not begin to imagine that it could be different in the Swiss Alps. We now know that Johannes Badrutt won his bet; the guests were astonished by the sunny weather and the majestic winter landscape. They didn’t depart until springtime, replete with suntans, and enthusiastically recounted their Alpine winter experience to friends back home. They were the first winter tourists in the Alps and discovered a whole new world – the white winter holiday.
3 Top Luxury Hotels
St. Moritz is the oldest winter holiday resort of the world (since 1864). Its hotel pioneers have gone down in the history of winter tourism on numerous occasions. Due to their committment and innovative spirit St. Moritz became on the top resorts in the world. Most hotels and resorts in the area cater for families – all 5 star hotels come with kids clubs and programs for children.
Below is the list of 3 best luxury hotels The Lux Traveller recommends to our readers:
Badrutt’s Palace Hotel – This landmark hotel has been a favourite with celebrities and royalty since it opened its doors in 1896. Now it is is part of the Leading Hotels Of The World.
At Winter time, the famous Nobu takes its quarters inside the Palace for the whole season, with the staff coming mainly from Myconos.
The hotel has the most beautiful and traditional dining room, with Maitre d’Hotel cooking Penne alla Vodka or Crepes Suzette at the table.
The hotel lobby is always full at tea time, before and after dinner. Bar Mario’s is another great place to have a pre-dinner drink.
Badrutt’s palace also features an amazing spa, indoor and outdoor pool, indoor tennis and squash.
Kulm Hotel – a luxury 5 star hotel in Engadine. Kulm Hotel combines 150 years of history with stunning natural surroundings and personalised service.
Kulm hotel has a nice dining room and 2 other restaurants, including a pizzeria
The spa has been recently refurbished to offer the latest in wellness and beauty treatments.
The Kulm hotels owns one of the most exclusive ‘members only’ night clubs called Dracula, founded by Gunter Sachs. The club shares the House with another famous club, the Cresta.
The Cresta Run is a natural ice 1,212.5 m (3,978 ft, over three-quarter mile) long skeleton racing toboggan track and one of the few runs dedicated primarily to skeleton. It was built in 1884. The sport of sled racing originated around the nascent winter resort activities at the Kulm Hotel in St. Moritz during the winters of the early 1870s, and the members still congregate for lunch at the Kulm in the ‘Sunny Bar’. In the early days of competitive sledding, the predominant style was luge-style racing lying on one’s back, but the invention of the flexible runner sled (Flexible flyer) in 1887, known colloquially as ‘the American’, led to Mr. Cornish using the head-first style in the 1887 Grand National. He finished fourteenth due to some erratic rides but established a trend and by the 1890 Grand National all competitors were riding head-first. The head-first style for a time became known as ‘Cresta’ racing.
Suvretta House is another member of the Leading Hotels Of The World. It looks like a fairytale castle embedded in the alpine landscape.
Accommodation in Suvretta House comprises of 189 rooms and suites, however most of them haven’t been renovated in a long time. The Lux Traveller recommends booking rooms only in the renovated east wing.
When at Suvretta (if you manage to get past the ‘not so friendly’ receptionists on the phone and get a room; they seem to be always full), you can put your skis on in front of the hotel door – it is the only hotel in the area with its own private ski lift taking you up to Corviglia. The hotels also boasts its own ski school registered with the Swiss ski schools. It is quite a unique offering in St.Moritz!
The spa is also nice, it offers very good massages. The dining room is very traditional and the Stuvetta offers raclette and pizzas most days. On special occasions like New Years eve, they organise magic shows for the kids and adults.
Getting to St Moritz: Nearest airport is Zürich, 125 miles from St Moritz. The ski season runs from December to April.
St Moritz area can lay claim to over 350 km of ski pistes, fantastic weather and guaranteed snow. So pack your skis and enjoy the best Switzerland has to offer.