Family ski holidays don’t get any more luxurious than in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Nestled in the Engadine Valley in the heart of the majestic Swiss Alps lays the village of St. Moritz, Switzerland. At 6,000 feet above sea level it overlooks the beautiful, aqua blue, Lake St. Moritz. It is Europe’s version of Aspen, Colorado . And home to international vacationers, sports enthusiasts, family ski holidays, and spa seekers and certainly has its share of the rich and famous.
The Kulm Hotel, ranked 4th best in Switzerland in the five-star category, is a magnificent, 173 room property in the heart of St. Moritz built in 1856. It’s charm and elegance attract those is seek of a get-away fit for royalty and brings to mind this saying; “Only the possibility of realizing a dream makes life worth living.”
To that end, the hotel has added a 6th rating star which includes the motto: “Whatever You Like!” The staff is dedicated to make your every wish come true. In fact, they tell a story of one such patrons dream to ski with her favorite soccer star. Done.
This year, The Kulm Hotel introduced a valley-wide, stay and play golf package, which includes four golf courses.
The Grand Hotel Kronenhof Pontresina is a sister hotel to the Kulm, and approximately ten miles away. It has 112 luxury rooms and is also 5 stars. The original part, like the Kulm Hotel, is very traditional. But there is a newer part that is quite contemporary and we stayed in one such room.
Vibrant red colors and sleek design lines define the room with a leather headboard and electrical blinds that block the bath from the bed. Many of the rooms have large windows and patios that allow viewing of the nearby glacier.
The hotel also has a newly designed spa, which features pools of water that massage, soothe, relax, invigorate, and transform your entire body. There is a floating, relaxation pool with accompanying light projections on the ceiling that is sure to delight any spa enthusiast, weary golfer or skier. A massive central Jacuzzi generates bubbles in every shape and form, designed to target different parts of the body; neck, back, legs, etc. And the pool uses underwater music to enhance the relaxation process. One may very well forego golf and lavish into this sensual world of water.
But is the impeccable service at the Hotel Kronenhof that defines its elegance. The entire staff offers friendly, inviting stays. It is not uncommon to find the General Manager awaiting your arrival or visiting your dining table to welcome and enrich your experience.
KIDS ACTIVITIES IN ST. MORITZ:
Like many upscale resort hotels, kids activities are becoming a priority. There is a kid’s club space with loads of activities, and even a kid’s dining room. The Hotel Kulm has a VIK program (Very Important Kid)
If you bring your children for family ski holidays, the hotel will take care of them to whatever degree you desire. Take them to ski school, pick them up, keep them busy, and dine them in the kid’s dining room. It’s almost like having the hotel staff as your private nanny.
There are 6 hotels with 5 star ratings in the St. Moritz area and Badrutt’s Palace is one of them, featuring 159 rooms 38 of which are suites. The senior member of the Badrutt’s family built the Kulm hotel and his son built Badrutt’s Palace which was completed shortly after his father died. It has a very British feel to it, serving high tea everyday and customer service is at the forefront of everything.
It seems that Mr. Badrutt had a bet with some British friends that if they came in winter they would experience at least 90 days of sunshine “otherwise I will pay the bill for your entire stay” He not only won the bet but started a tradition of the British visiting the St. Moritz area.
In addition to the skiing in the winter, which St. Moritz is known for, there are lots of activities: Hiking, biking, curling, tennis, polo, sailing, wind surfing, bridge. The list is almost endless!!
80% of the customers return regularly and the staff knows everything about them, from names of parents, kids and even pets. Regular returning guests have robes and towels that are personally monogrammed for them. There is even a resident who has lived in Badrutt’s Palace for 38 years and has his own table in the dining room at which no one else is ever allowed to sit. The kitchen keeps his own personal place settings on hand at all times for use exclusively by this man. The history book of the hotel and family have dozens of stories like this, mostly about the many royalty and celebrities that have spent time at Badrutt’s. Some guests return so regularly that they leave everything when they checkout. The staff then photographs the placement of everything in the room, packs it up and stores it until they return and places everything just where it was when they checked out.
A couple more interesting facts: Every winter season the kitchen goes through 2 ½ tons of chocolate!! I love this place. The wine cellar, which very few people ever get to see, houses 40,000 bottles of wine.
“Kids are the clients of Tomorrow” is a creed of the entire staff, and it reflects in the commitment they have to the younger generation There is a kids club here with a capacity of nearly 40, for kids age 2-14 and there are up to 5 nurses on call to take care of these kids at all times. In addition to the adult activities, mentioned above, they can take lessons in almost all of these as well as cooking classes from the head chef. In winter the hotel has access to nearly 60 ski instructors. They will arrange family picnics, have an arts and crafts room and the activities range from both indoors to outdoors. No wonder generations of families keep returning to Badrutt’s Palace.