St. Moritz doesn’t tend to rank among the top buzzworthy destinations in Europe, but it’s one of those places that pops up now and then when you search for luxury accommodations and attractions, and with good reason.
St. Moritz is a small resort town in Switzerland, best known as a holiday getaway for serious alpine skiers. There are other reasons to visit as well, or at least other things to enjoy if you happen to go for a ski holiday. These are a few such things we’d recommend you work into your travel plan if you decide to go.
We’re striving to point out some additional luxury attractions to enjoy in St. Moritz besides top-notch skiing, but at the same time we wouldn’t be doing the destination justice if we didn’t stress that the skiing there is absolutely spectacular. There are actually five distinct skiing areas attached to the resort town, with a combined terrain that amounts to more than 200 miles of ski space. And as you’d expect at a rich mountain village in the Swiss alps, the lodges and villages at the base of the trails are lovely.
If you’re curious how the skiing compares to other famous destinations throughout the world, it’s worth noting that lists and rankings in this regard are actually fairly fluid from year to year. There are a lot of terrific places to enjoy winter sports, and it’s hard for people to sort through them with any degree of accuracy or expertise. That said, one of the more recent rankings of the world’s best ski resorts that didn’t include St. Moritz still mentioned the resort in connection to two others that made the list. The context was telling in that other resorts were mentioned as their countries’ respective answers to St. Moritz, implying that this Swiss resort has set the standard.
Ecco On Snow
As you might expect, there are several impressive fine dining venues in and around St. Moritz. The village caters primarily to wealthy travelers, and the restaurants do the same, for the most part. In the interest of selecting just one of the best establishments, we’re highlighting Ecco On Snow at the Hotel Giardino Mountain. This restaurant is run by a chef with two Michelin stars, and set in a space that almost feels palatial but for its intimacy. The menu is unexpected, beautiful, and full of delicious tastes from the beginning to the end of a meal. It’s certainly not a cheap night out, but it’s something to prioritize if you’re in town.
White Turf Horse Races
You might not always think of a horse race as a luxury attraction, but if that’s the case you just don’t know the sport. These are high-class events in every sense. There’s a great deal of wealth behind the horses, for one thing, but spectators also get in on the action. It’s a very popular betting sport, and fans consider numerous factors from a horse’s form to a race’s distance to the specific conditions in predicting (and sometimes wagering on) outcomes. At many events, fans will even buy specific outfits that fit into traditional “race day” fashion!
Well, the White Turf Horse Races in St. Moritz incorporate all of these elements with an additional thrilling and unique twist: they take place on a lake. When the beautiful St. Moritz Lake freezes over and becomes covered in layers of powder (a virtual guarantee year in and year out), there are full horse races that take place on top of it. It’s unlike any other horse race in the world, and that adds an air of exclusivity to it all.
Casino St. Moritz
Casinos aren’t everybody’s favorite attractions, but it’s nice to find a classy one in a more remote, elegant area from time to time. That’s just the case with Casino St. Moritz, which is tucked into a wing of the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains, a gorgeous establishment set against one of the mountainsides near the village. It’s a fairly large and luxurious hotel, and in fact for you film fans it might even remind you of a less quirky version of the Grand Budapest Hotel from the 2014 movie of the same name.
Inside the casino, you’ll find all of the standard offerings from slot machines to gaming tables. Tourists often like to dress up and make an evening of it, though it’s worth mentioning that this venue isn’t just for gamers. There is also live entertainment at an attached theater, and the Ivory Ball Lounge Bar can be a wonderful place to grab a few drinks at the beginning or end of your night.
Mineralbad & Spa Samedan
As you’ve no doubt come to understand, St. Moritz today is best known for its skiing. However, it actually has an even older reputation as a spa getaway. It sounds incredible to say so, but the baths in this town date back almost 3,500 years, thanks to natural sulfur springs that are dotted around the area. There are a lot of great spas there still today, but none can top the Samedan spa for originality. This is a five-story establishment in which guests actually rotate from one floor to the next enjoying different baths, wrapping up at a rooftop one complete with open sky and surrounding views. It’s hard to beat that kind of relaxation.