St Moritz really is an iconic ski resort. It was once a favourite haunt of British climbers until one enterprising hotel owner, Mr Badrutt, convinced his guests to return in the winter. They travelled up by horse and cart to this picturesque Alpine village where lakes dot the valley and provide the most stunning backdrop to the ski slopes, and the rest is history. It now has the reputation as one of the most glamorous ski resorts in the world.
St Moritz totally exceeded my expectations, the resort was far prettier than I had imagined, with trees surrounding the three lakes of the Engadin valley. I stayed in the a luxury boutique hotel by the name of Giardino Mountain in Champfèr, a village just outside of St Moritz town. This extensively restored hotel is housed within a traditional eighteenth-century Engadine house, a former girls boarding school, split across seven linked buildings. The concept of the hotel is to allow guests to take a step back from everyday life and embark on fantastic alpine experiences. This hotel others something for everyone: alpine or cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, walking or even snow yoga! The hotel have their own ‘power guide’, who takes guests on daily excursions to experience these activities – perfect for those who fancy doing something different each day.
The hotel had a wonderfully warm and welcoming atmosphere, with an open log fire crackling in the lounge and a stylish bar which is the perfect place for an apres-ski drink and aperitivo. I especially liked how Giardino Mountain doesn’t impose any dress code rules like many of the more formal hotels in St Moritz, preferring that guests can unwind during their stay. The hotel also provides a complimentary driver service which will take you the 5 minutes to St Moritz so the village’s glamorous shops and top-notch restaurants at at your fingertips. The ski lifts are a short drive from the hotel and with good snow conditions you can ski back to the hotel, although it is no hassle to use their on-demand driver service to collect you.
A must visit is El Paradiso, a mountain restaurant on the Celerina slopes and one of the most desirable spots of the resort thanks to the impressive valley views. Guests at Giardino Mountain are also guaranteed a table in their dedicated space. The restaurant really comes alive in the afternoon with live music and DJ’s. This is just one of the many excellent mountain restaurants skiers can experience.
I felt that Giardino Mountain was a perfect ski retreat, far enough from St Moritz that the hotel feels secluded and peaceful but close enough that you can experience the resorts best attractions.