The secrets of St Moritz – a resort for all seasons
Known for its celebrity sightings, one naturally expects to see James Bond sharing a gondola or George Clooney sitting at the next table at breakfast. St. Moritz, Switzerland in the Engadin Valley, is so much more than just another playground for the uber rich and famous who like to ski, as we discovered during our stay at the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains. This four season resort area is blessed with luxury shopping as one of its main sports. The shoppers are adorned in fur and accompanied by chauffeur driven Bentleys, Mercedes and Lincolns. In the main village of St. Moritz-Dorf, the regulars amongst the chic après-ski crowd are easily identified in the likes of Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Cartier.
Hiking, mountain e-bikes, fishing, stand up paddling, golf and riding all come with the territory too. So for those who equate St. Moritz exclusively with skiing, think again. The activity concierge of the Kempinski has a wealth of knowledge to help organize such activities. If all the luxury shopping and sports seem a bore, then consider heading to the local medical center, adjacent the Kempinski Grand for a mid-morning face lift that promises to take 10 years off your life. You’ll go unnoticed and be in good company during a “secret” recovery period at the hotel. With the discovery of healing mineral springs over 3000 years ago, St. Moritz claimed its reputation as a center for health and rejuvenation. Bragging rights don’t stop there. St. Moritz is two time host to the winter Olympics, home of the Cartier Polo World Cup on Snow, the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival, and a state of the art sports and recreation center. All this coupled with mother nature’s gift of 322 days of sunshine per year, make this is a very inviting place.
The Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains is truly a “grand” structure, with its huge ceilings, magnificent chandeliers and old world character. Built on historic land where the first mineral springs were discovered, this property has more recently undergone an extensive renovation that really sets it apart. Rooms Our room was spacious, tastefully decorated, and equipped with the latest technology. The view of the Alps was breathtaking. With a split bathroom so that the shower and sink is in one area and the toilet in another, this layout is convenient for families. We had a lovely little balcony, and the kids were most excited to be greeted by a welcome package of little snacks and coloring books. I was thrilled by the inviting pillow menu, and like a kid in a candy store, tried a different pillow each night. Ski Concierge The on site rental shop had the best equipment for every level of skier, from young tots on up. The ski valet were expert skiers themselves, who could appreciate the special needs of their clientele. It’s an added bonus that they’re able to get our boots warmed before a long day of skiing.
Cuisine The food at the Kempinski was some of the best we had in Switzerland. Breakfast was served at Les Saisons, with accompanying delightful live music played on a baby grand during all meals. Different food stations were set up in this grand ballroom with a display of custom omelets, honey spreads, and a wide variety of bakery delicacies, fresh cheeses, meats, smoked fish and yogurts. The cutest little children’s section, shaped like a Swiss dollhouse caters to youngsters, featuring mini Swiss chocolates and flavored smoothies. There are several dining options at the hotel for dinner. The Ca d’oro, a one star Michelin rated restaurant, offers Mediterrean creations that are inventive and brilliant. The fish was exquisitely prepared and the homemade pasta was perfect. We were presented with top quality truffle that was shaved as a garnish at our table, showing its size and freshness. The servers were attentive to our every need and even the children were made to feel most welcome. The Restaurant Enoteca provides another option for a quiet Italian dinner menu combined with local specialties. Les Saisons is available for the best steaks from around the world and creatively prepared sushi. For casual dining, the Kempinski Bar, located in the lobby offers a selection of cold cuts and cheeses, including the classic club sandwich specialty. Spa A long, glass corridor leads one to the spa, with magical views of white snow and icicles along the way. The Kempinski Grand has a wonderful spa and a fully equipped 24-hour fitness center, with state of the art equipment.
At the end of a long ski day, what better than to relax at the spa, with its four different saunas, a steam bath, a dry heat treatment room, an indoor pool and the luxurious Kneipp bath products. For a spa experience with a focus on moisturizing, exfoliating and reducing pores and fine lines, try a HydraFacial treatment. The Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains offers the ultimate in pampering, indulgence and comfort. Surrounded by natural beauty, the Kempinski is the perfect choice for those seeking the refreshing blend of sublime luxury with a warm, relaxed ambience. For a resort with heart, visit the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains in St. Moritz, Switzerland!
Donna Salle can be contacted directly at TravelsWithHeart@gmail.com