4 – Party with the Devil
Whiskey-lovers will enter whiskey-heaven while at St Moritz. Devil’s Place in the Hotel Waldhausam See offers 2,500 different kinds of whisky, the largest selection in the world. Not surprisingly, it has made it to the Guinness Book of World Records. Wine lovers have a 42-page list to browse and choose from the hotel’s 25,000 wine bottles from 20 countries stored in its cellars. That is a lot of wine, maturing slowly and wonderfully in what is very aptly named, the Cave Waldhaus.
3 – Nature, art and culture
St Moritz used to be famous for its therapeutic springs dating back to 3,500 years.
Here you can witness the changing hues of seasons – from green to golden to whites, under the deep-blue skies and the placid clear blue lakes. The dense pine tree forests will inspire you to have a love affair with nature.
The poetic landscapes of the valley have offered refuge to several writers, philosophers and artists during times of distress or downfall, helping them recover and inspire them to churn out great pieces of work.
There are several museums and art galleries to explore, including a coffee museum.
Modern designs meet tradition, evident in its rich architecture. A landmark from the 12th century still stands tall and proud, the Leaning Tower while Chesa Futura is a futuristic residential building that comprises of 10 private apartments.
2 – Fairy tale wonderland
You remember Heidi? The story of the little girl living high up in the mountains with her grandfather? Well, you can find her cottage in St Moritz. The resort has also has many references in popular culture and Hollywood. One of the most endearing examples is the Heidi hut which was originally used in the Heidi film based on the children’s book by Johanna Sypri. The hut is located on top of St Moritz and is open to adults and children.
Being one of the most sought-after ski resorts in the world, the threats of over development is evident in its towns. But this hasn’t killed its evergreen spirit. Take a stroll around town and you will see little nuances and traditional alpine charm like cobbled streets and Swiss-chalet styled stores. You will also not want to miss a ride on a horse-drawn sleigh.
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1 – Sparkling summers and wonderful winters
A spectacular feature of St Moritz is its ‘sparkling champagne climate’ with sunny days numbered at 322 on an average in a year. This is also why St Moritz is renowned for its sports and recreation. Little wonder hence, that is one of the only three places in the world to host the winter Olympic twice – 1924 and 1948.
There are plenty of activities for both seasons for the discerning traveller. St Moritz is reputed as the first winter sport destination of the world.And so winter is an ideal time to enjoy the resort to its fullest.
Skiing enthusiasts will have the added benefit during this season with the plethora of chilly fun. The world’s first bobsleigh track, built in 1903, will give you an adrenaline rush as you slide down this natural ‘refrigerator’. This track has seen 20 world championships of Olympia Bob Run. While at it, also try out the Cresta Run – the first skeleton racing toboggan track. Lake St Moritz becomes a frozen playground during winter where horse races, polo, golf and cricket tournaments are held. Lastly, but not the least, skiing. Fly down steep slopes and maneuver through heavy layers of snow and thick trees in the most invigorating sport in the world. These might get your heart in your mouth, but what is life without some adventure… and travel insurance.
In summer you can get mushy and romance with nature. Sports won’t be as extreme, the skiers and their entourage will be away and you can enjoy a more relaxing ice skating, windsurfing, sailing, golf on the greens and mountain biking. We suggest hiking where you can enjoy fascinating network of trails, spanning 580 kilometres. There are plenty of packages you can choose from, going solo or with family or in a group.
The valley is visited by people of all realms for a glimpse of the sheer brilliance the mountains offer. Italians, Germans, Britons, used to be regular patrons but these days there is a slight change in the demographics of tourists. Russians, Indians, Brazilians, Arabs and the Chinese are flocking in. Sushi and oriental cuisine has already started getting prominent reservations. As much as we love curries, the spicy concoctions could burn the gut of this paradise.
St Moritz has the power to hypnotize and leave you speechless. Mere words aren’t enough to describe this bewitching paradise, as it will not do justice to what awaits you at the fun side of the Alps. Where else can you pack a bag of thick woolens and return home with a perfect tan?
Fly – With Air France from across the world to Zurich. Read my review on the Air France Premium Economy.
Rail with a view – Transfers from Zurich to St Moritz were provided by Rail Europe. Panoramic windows, plush coaches, unobstructed views of the Alps, and trains that run as precisely as Swiss watches. A 3 day First class pass costs $376.