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Tolle Abendstimmung in St. Moritz, Bild: yongyot therdthai / shutterstock

Sankt Moritz – Holiday happiness at the peak of exclusivity

Switzerland is said to be a “promised land”. This is probably less to be understood biblically. Rather, it is the unreserved praise for an extraordinary region in the heart of Europe. For many stress-ridden people, the home of the Swiss is something like the epitome of a dream destination. Everything is a little more expensive here than in the neighborhood, but Switzerland and the joy of luxury life are not a contradiction. And once you’ve enjoyed the crown of the Upper Engadin with all your senses, you’ll always be drawn back to St. Moritz. It has always been “first class” here. Not only in the star-decorated hotels, but also in the cosy guesthouses. In the restaurants, gourmet popes give culinary experiences to their guests, who appear in evening wear. For many holidaymakers, St. Moritz is the pinnacle of bliss and exclusivity.

The winning bet of a hotel pioneer

On the road with the carriage in St. Moritz, Image: Konektus Photo / shutterstock

The “Heidi romance” with which many regions of Switzerland adorn themselves should not necessarily be expected in St. Moritz. This is where the aura of the jet set resides. Here, the guest not only wants to see, but also wants to be seen. On the shores of the beautiful lake, which is picturesquely embedded in a magnificent landscape at the foot of the giants Corviglia and Piz Nair, you can enjoy hiking. This is a place of well-being at the highest level. There are many reasons to travel and stay in St. Moritz. History is undoubtedly one of them, because this once secluded village in the canton of Graubünden was the cradle of winter sports. According to legend, it is said to go back to a bet by the hotel pioneer Johannes Badrutt. In the middle of the 19th century, he is said to have suggested to some Englishmen that they spend not only the summer in St. Moritz, but above all the winter. If they didn’t like it in his village, he would reimburse them for their travel expenses. The holidaymakers from the island are said to have stayed in St. Moritz from Christmas to Easter.

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“The Sun of St. Moritz” as a patent

This place, which is careful that its guests also emphasize the “i” in the name, has always been a step ahead of its competition. When oil lamps were still flickering in almost all municipalities in Switzerland, the first electric light was switched on in St. Moritz at Christmas in 1878. There, the first ski lift in the Alps was inaugurated and the country’s first powered flight was launched. Even before the Second World War, a resourceful spa director patented the symbol of his home village: “The Sun of St. Moritz”. And the people in this part of Graubünden even understand this as a promise, because here the sun shines with great reliability. Supposedly, it is exactly 322 days a year.

And above all a fortress is enthroned…

St. Moritz
St. Moritz in Switzerland, Image: Stefano Politi / shutterstock

On the frozen Lake St. Moritz, a spectacle of special quality takes place every year: the horse ski race. Professionals compete for a coveted trophy. Every now and then, the high society also meets there for polo on snow. And above all there is a mighty palace that looks like a fortress and yet is an elegant hotel: Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. This is one of numerous luxury hostels that were built as early as the 19th century. The place is located at an altitude of 1,822 meters above sea level and owes its name to Saint Mauritius. The landmark of St. Moritz Village is a leaning tower – the ruins of the former Mauritius Church from the early 16th century. The actual spa centre is located on the southern edge of the lake.

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To the last glaciers in Switzerland

The town of St. Moritz sees itself as an Alpine metropolis and even enjoys its own airport. If you arrive by car, you have to overcome some mountain passes and drive through several tunnels. While the region presents itself as absolutely snow-sure in the cold season due to the altitude, the tourism managers point to a network of six hundred kilometres of hiking trails in summer. The sympathizers of mountain bikes can choose between various tours and a total offer of four hundred kilometers. All those who spend the most beautiful days of the year in this part of the canton of Graubünden can look forward to magnificent views on their way. Some of these excursions lead to the last remaining glaciers in Switzerland.

Luxury and elegance – nature and culture

In addition to a wealth of leisure activities, St. Moritz also invites you to various cultural highlights. Among other things, to a ten-day art festival at which international contemporary artists present their works. Luxury and dignified elegance, nature and culture – this remarkable synthesis is the formula for success of St. Moritz. It is probably also the charming contrasts that make this region of the Swiss Alps an experience and have been the destination of a pampered clientele for generations. However, it would be presumptuous to dismiss this beautiful piece of the Alpine country as a “slope of vanities”. If you look a little, you will still find the unadulterated Engadine cuisine on the menus of the restaurants: grated potatoes with mountain cheese. And if you find your place in a pleasantly warm restaurant after a sunny day on the cross-country ski trail or on the slopes, you are sure to feel the almost proverbial Swiss charm. For all its exclusivity, it is still at home in St. Moritz.