St. Moritz – that´s Switzerland`s world-famous resort, a perfect hideaway for the rich and beautiful people such as Madonna and Robbie Williams (and many more). It is, above all, known as one of the first and most popular ski resorts worldwide. St. Moritz is the only city which has hosted the Winter Olympic Games twice. It is a great location for annual world-class sports events such as the Alpine Ski and Bobsleigh World Cup. Did you know that St. Moritz was also the first place in Switzerland with electric light and which introduced the country`s first ski school? And originally, it was famous for its hot springs. There is so much to do and see – and not only in winter. Needless to say that St. Moritz is home to a few traditional luxury hotels. I would like to introduce one of them, the fabulous and historic Suvretta House.
Photo: Winter Wonderland
Travelling to St. Moritz by the legendary „Rhätische Bahn“, a bright red train departing from the city of Chur, is simply spectacular. Just put your laptop and smartphone away and watch the scenery. High-rising mountains (welcome to Switzerland!), green alpine rivers and meadows and picturesque mountain villages. The route from Thuisis (2 hours to St. Moritz) is a UNESCO World Heritage (and one of only three railways worldwide) – with a total length of 122 km, 196 bridges, and 55 tunnels. Absolutely stunning!
Photo: One of the most spectacular train rides in the world - Rhätische Bahn
At St. Moritz Central Station, the hotel driver is waiting for me … in a cool oldtimer! I watch a very attractive lady walk by – long blond hair, a black mini skirt, lots of bling-bling and incredibly high heels. That´s just how I imagined the women in this distinguished resort. I am sure that she will wear a big fur coat in just a few weeks. Are these just prejudices? Yes and no, I would say. You also see down-to-earth people who come here just to enjoy the awesome nature. We reach the city center with shops selling all the luxury brands you can imagine. However, I focus more on the impressive mountains which surround us. Switzerland at its best!
Photo: A very different limousine service...
After a short drive we arrive at the Suvretta House. Wow – a castle-like building overlooking St. Moritz. Heaven on earth! I am welcomed by charming Mrs. Egli who manages the Suvretta House with her husband Peter. I will get back to both of them later. I receive a big room key like in the good old days and have a quick gaze at the elegant yet cozy lobby with an unparalleled view of the mountains. Oh - my - gosh!
My room is also dream-like. Everything is new (WiFi works flawlessly and is free of charge, of course), no chi-chi. Again, this is elegance perfectly matched with coziness and modern comfort. I cannot get enough of the view of the mountains and the lake in the valley. I keep my window open at night – total silence and the breath of fresh air means pure wellbeing. I sleep like a baby.
Photo: My cozy and comfy room at the Suvretta House - KHL
As always, I am very much looking forward to breakfast. Over the years, I have changed from a late riser to an early bird (well, sort of…). Breakfast is for me the most important meal of the day. No surprise that I am the first guest in the Suvretta-Stube, the lovely restaurant where a beautiful breakfast buffet is waiting. As always, I am starting with fresh fruit. When I am just about to put a few orange slices on my plate, one of the friendly waiters is just behind me to do the job for me – wow. I tell him what else I would like to eat and my plate looks inviting and well organized with all that tasty food on it. Mille grazie! Most of the waiters are Italians, one of them tells me that they earn way more here than in their home country. And on top, they have that awesome view for free. I could go on to rave about all the breakfast goodies (including the world-famous cheese, of course), but let me tell you in a nutshell: a wonderful buffet with a perfect service in a beautiful setting. And no noise. What else can you ask for early (and late) in the morning?
Photo: Breakfast lovers` heaven - KHL
Time to spa. Ingried (yes, her name is written with „ie“) starts my treatment with a foot peeling „That opens your body for the massage“, she says. She then gets rid of all the tensions on my back and in my neck – so relaxing! I am choosing an oil which is a mix of lemongrass and juniper (just for external use ;-)) – what a nice smell! Ingried and I have a little chat after the treatment before I have a look at the indoor pool and the gym. It seems like there is everything I need for my workout – after all, I am not Arnold Schwarzenegger, but yet need a few things to train my body.
Photo: Enjoy a swim with a view!
During a very interesting „behind-the-scenes“ tour with Peter Egli, the charismatic hotel director, we learn a lot about the Suvretta House. He and his wife Esther perfectly fulfill my imagination of Swiss hotel directors. Elegant, charming, discreet and perfect hosts – just admirable. We learn that the Suvretta House was opened in 1912, that it has a connection to the UK (that`s why it is called „House“) and that room-service is offered 24 hours. 50 bakery goods are produced daily in the hotel bakery. I avoid having a closer look at the pastry in order not to wake my appetite for cakes. „We invest a lot of money in order to keep the high standard of the hotel, in particular in terms of technology“, says Mr. Egli. „We want to keep our repeat customers, but get new clients at the same time.“ For this reason, the hotel director travels the whole world to promote the Suvretta House. I am particularly impressed by a big wardrobe on top of the building where repeat clients can leave their heavy winter jackets and coats. Mrs. Egli carefully keeps an eye on them and when the clients come back to the hotel, they find their clothes on a hanger in their wardrobe. What an awesome service!
Photo: Having a chat with Mr. and Mrs. Egli
Just a few words about the gastronomy at the Suvretta House. You can have an excellent casual meal at the cozy Suvretta-Stube (my sole was just wonderful), with a surprisingly great choice of Swiss wines (red and white) – I was not aware of them until now. At the elegant Grand Restaurant, men are asked to wear a dark suit and a tie. The ambiance reminded me of the snobby places of the 1920s (not that I have lived in that period, but haven`t we all see movies and images?). I put on my good old Gucci suit. From time to time, I like to dress up although I am mostly more on the casual side. Luckily, you do not have to dress formally when being in the other hotel areas (needless to say that shorts would not really be appropriate). Oh, and vegetarians will not have any problem in any of the restaurants. Excellent meat-free meals like a delicious truffle pasta are waiting!
Photo: Pure elegance at the Grand Restaurant - KHL
My visit at the Suvretta House ends with a gin tasting in their amazing bar. Service is again perfect, just to nail it down. I cannot get enough of the ever-changing mountain panorama outside. In these early September days, summer has gone (after all, we are at 1,800 m) and fall is coming. Sometimes the mountains are covered by mystic clouds, just a few minutes later the sky opens up and you can see them in all their glory. So nice! But back to gin. Apart from red wine and a little digestive here and there, I don`t drink alcohol. Thus far, gin was not on my list. At the Suvretta House, you can taste various sorts in different varieties – and they all taste very well! And it is supposed to be healthy. After all, gin is made from juniper berries, cloves and cilantro. All of them are great germ killers – so cheers!
Photo: Have a look at the bar - KHL
There is so much more to say about the Suvretta House – including the many summer activities you can enjoy here. I will tell you more about them next spring. Let me just mention a few: paragliding, alpine hiking to the hotel-own restaurant on 2,200 m, the legendary Dracula Bar just next to the natural bobsleigh run (also worthwhile to see in summer), and a charming Swiss lady who saved a few little goats from the slaughterhouse (I could kiss her for that!).
For now, I am wishing all the staff at the Suvretta House an awesome winter season with lots of snow and nice guests. See you again in spring 2018!
For more info about the hotel, have a look here.
Note: All Images not marked with "KHL" were kindly provided by the management of the Suvretta House. The photo of the train was provided by Rhätische Bahn.
Photo: I could not get enough of the nature (and art!) at the Suvretta House! - KHL/Waldburg PR
Photo: A heavenly afternoon tea in the lobby bar - delicious!
Photo: I really like elegant staircases - KHL
Photo: A different perspective of the Suvretta House - KHL