This winter fly by private jet to glitzy St. Moritz for an indulgent getaway on the slopes
The oldest ski resort in the world, St. Moritz has a history as a winter sports destination going back to 1864, and spearheaded the skiing phenomenon in the Alps. Twice the host of the Winter Olympics, its elevation at 1856 metres means that the sun is almost always shining, and with a loyal, well-heeled following who regularly return there is of course plenty of people watching on offer too.
Popular with Hollywood’s biggest names in the 30s, it is a Greek shipping magnate who many say made sure the resort stayed firmly on the map after his first visit before WW2. Stavros Niarchos may no longer be with us, but his family and legacy remain. From the first ski lifts he financed in the mid 1950s to today, the family’s influence continues after their company’s takeover of the cable cars at Diavolezza and Lagalb (when there had been talk that the latter was set for closure).
As a place steeped in history there are a number of fine places to stay, all with a healthy pedigree. Many say another Niarchos legacy, the grand dame that is The Kulm, is the finest hotel of the many to try, and having been awarded Gault & Millau Switzerland’s Hotel of the Year 2018 award, the judges are clearly in agreement. Here enjoy the grand lobby and marble staircase, the interiors that have been lovingly restored and preserved rather than pared back as many have, as well as the Kulm spa and wellness centre. There are 7 dining options offering local Engadine specialties and international fine dining classics, as well as a more casual pizzeria plus private dining for when you prefer to retreat. Be sure to opt for a lake view room and if space is required the lake view suites offer 2 bedrooms and stretch to 100 square metres.
Given the number of guests who come to make the most of the sumptuous lodgings and lavish dining, there is the chance for the keen skier to make the most of the slopes. There are 35km of advanced runs and 245 km of intermediate runs, spread across three main areas that can be navigated between by car, including the steepest slopes in Diavolezza. For those not wanting the hassle of the lifts you’ll also find the option of heli-skiing where you can make your ascent by helicopter and descend at speed on skis.
As well the beautiful frozen lake, take the opportunity to explore the mountains close up and ride on the Bernina Express, with views that must be seen to be believed – from this, the highest rail line in the Alps. If polo is your passion, St. Moritz has played host to the world’s pre-eminent snow polo tournament since 1985 and the snow polo world cup will take place in January 2018. Other highlights away from the snowy slopes include the quaint Berry Museum and the Segantini Museum both showcasing some stunning works by the respective artists.
For a glamorous Alpine getaway, you cannot go wrong with St. Moritz. With exquisite grand hotels, excellent skiing and the chance to bypass the ski lifts entirely, this season head to Switzerland’s finest for some exhilarating fun in the winter sun. You can fly into Samedan airport which is closest to St Moritz and Milan (Malpensa and Linate), Bergamo and Brescia are also nearby, be sure to book early to get your preferred slots!
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