5 minutes reading time Switzerland
What to expect in St Moritz: The Most Expensive Holiday Destination in Switzerland
As an ex-pat living in Switzerland, I have often heard legends of St Moritz. Every year the rich and the famous from around the world flock into this small boutique town to enjoy winter sports, thermal spas, and what’s famously known as its champagne climate.
While the top one percent usually fly into the ‘top of the world’ on their charter jets, we took a panoramic train ride from the Zurich Main train station to St Moritz, which was four hours of scenic rush. As the train pulled into St Moritz, at first glance it looked like any other Swiss village. But all that changed within a mile of walking towards the center.
First Impression of St Moritz
To one side of the town is the pristine Lake St Moritz, guarded by the snow-capped Alps offering a majestic view. No matter where you are in this town, the lake occasionally peeks from between grey stone buildings and pine trees constantly reminding you of Engadin’s crown jewel. As I walked a bit further, I abruptly found myself in a picturesque, cobbled alleyway flanked by the likes of Dior, Cartier, and Gucci that unassumingly stared back at me. I had reached Via Serlas, the highest luxury shopping mile in the world. After hours of appreciating nature and understated glamor at its best, I finally made my way into my hotel for the night.
What the Hotels Feel Like
I had chosen one of the most historic hotels in town just for the experience and it felt as though I had walked into a bygone era. What welcomed me was rich wooden décor, plush red carpets, chic paintings, and an air dripping with elegance. We had made reservations at the hotel’s restaurant for dinner and sharp at seven we made our way into the dining hall. A familiar feeling of opulence greeted us against the backdrop of live piano music and dimly lit chandeliers. The tables were meticulously set with precious porcelain and silver cutlery all perfectly arranged for a candlelight dinner. Guests had the liberty to order whatever they wanted, whether it is on the menu or not, and over 200 chefs worked in the kitchen simultaneously to put together gourmet creations. Needless to say, the portion of lasagne and tiramisu that I ordered was impeccable and served artfully by waiters in crisp suits.
The dinner hall which, was spacious and regal was a place to see and be seen. It was rumored that a Swedish prince and a famous Hollywood celebrity were putting up in the same hotel, but these kinds of rumors are common when you are in St Moritz.
The Best Outdoor Activities
Early next day we took the gondola to the corviglia mountain, and we were welcomed by a white carpet of fresh snow laid out for early risers. It was finally time to ski and try out the endless winter sports that St Moritz is famous for. Nestled in the mountains is also the Corvigilia ski club, founded in the 1930s by fashion icons such as Coco Channel and Jacques Cartier. Till today the club has a well-heeled crowd as its members, the identities of whom are kept a secret. Since it was our first time skiing, we limited ourselves to the Easy Park and Fun Slope for beginners, which also came with the option of Yoga on Snow. Apart from skiing you can also engage in multiple amusements on the frozen lake such as ice skating, ice hockey, and skijoring.
Soak in Luxury
After a full day of adventure, on day two it was time for some relaxation. So, we headed to one of the bathhouses that St Moritz is famous for. We picked an outdoor heated pool with a sprawling view of the Alps and even though I am far from a wealthy scion, just for a few hours it felt great to be part of the jet-set in this infinity pool with my damp glass of prosecco. The bathhouse also offered a range of spa treatments and revitalizing mineral baths, but we saved that for another lifetime.
Later in the afternoon we slowly walked around town and explored the various museums such as the Segantini and Milli Weber Haus. I was also pleasantly surprised to find an art exhibition in an underground parking garage between the station and the lake. The St Moritz design gallery displays valuable posters every year and is open round the clock for 365 days.
Life is an Art
When I planned my trip to St Moritz, I imagined it to be a place to flex wealth, but it was more than that. The small Swiss town instead radiated a sense of tasteful appreciation, authenticity, and tradition. More than hollow materialism what I experienced was a delicate taste of “joie de vivre,” which translates to the exuberant enjoyment of life.