Badrutt’s Palace, St Moritz, Switzerland

in 1896 by the Badrutt family and graced by likes of
Marlene Dietrich, Audrey Hepburn and Alfred Hitchcock, you can’t
help but wish the walls could talk here. From the moment you step
off the train and are greeted by a driver in immaculate woollen
uniform before being ushered into a Rolls-Royce, it’s clear that

is a cut above the rest.

Located right in the heart of the town with the shops and
restaurants just a stone’s throw away and the most magnificent
views of the lake below, you have the best of both worlds on your
doorstep. A palatial lobby filled with much of the original
furniture and expansive windows looking out onto the Engadin
mountains is a hive of activity; guests catching a late lunch,
children warming their cockles with a hot chocolate while eyeing-up
the well-stocked cake trolley, couples requesting their perfect
martini to accompany a game of cards. It’s this sort of service
that the hotel caters to so well – anything is possible, at any
time, and no one will blink an eye.


The rooms and collection of suites, many of which have private
balconies, either look out to the lake or the village. The beds are
so deliciously comfortable with their luxurious duvets and
beckoningly plump pillows that two alarms were needed. Marble
bathrooms with stand-alone showers and generous tubs are extremely
well-received after a long day

What’s for breakfast?

Breakfast is served in under chandeliers in the vast “Le
Restaurant”, complete with a live harpist to serenade you. There is
every morning dish you can think of (and then some) – we must have
counted about 25 types of bread piled alongside more
health-conscious additions and an array of fresh juices.

How about lunch and dinner?

The hotel has a whopping nine restaurants under its belt. Chesa
Veglia, located in a converted farmhouse minutes from the hotel,
has three restaurants, two bars and a private club under its roof –
go for excellent pizza which tastes even better for being eaten in
rustic wood and gingham surrounds. Located in the basement of the
hotel, King’s Social House has British chef extraordinaire Jason
Atherton at helm. This restaurant, bar and nightclub feels more
modern than the old-school glamour of upstairs; interiors are
slick, a DJ spins tunes in the corner and the menu is designed to
share. We surfed and turfed scallops to fillet steak before
finishing with flaming baked Alaska.

Is there a bar?

Poke your head into Renaissance Bar, also known among regular
guests as “Mario’s” in celebration of the former chef’s name, a
haunt that has discerning folk from all over
St Moritz
flocking through the doors for its renowned bellinis
whizzed up with fresh white peaches. The patterned rugs and roaring
fire make for an inviting room in which the night will fly away as
you make your way through the alphabetical “Cocktail Library” that
spans pages.


The staff at Badrutt’s make everything appear seamless. For
anyone that has skied you’ll know the faff and time involved in
gathering your kit and getting out of the door – and that’s without
children int tow. But staff here are on hand to zip and click you
in, meanwhile your equipment is already in a car that will take you
to the lift. This is particularly spoiling at the end of the day
when you can hardly feel your legs – and then discover the brownie
tin in the car. For those who prefer sticking to flat land, the
hotel’s spa and pools have one of the most magnificent backdrops of
the snowy peaks and dusted trees on the mountains behind. The
bubbling heated outdoor pool followed by the salt steam and ice
room are a godsend for achy limbs (and heads).

Things you should know

Logistically, St
isn’t the easiest location for a weekend
as it’s nearly three hours by car from the airport (though
there is a small airport if you’re going private). But this is also
what makes the resort special, and the train from Zurich
is an easy transfer with gorgeous views providing en route
entertainment. The dining carriage which is open Friday to Sunday
feels gloriously old fashioned with its wood-panelled walls, white
tablecloths and immaculate service.

Within a short walk you can find…

The Hauser & Wirth gallery is steps away and often has great
exhibitions on. El Paradiso is a lovely mountainside lunch spot
that can be accessed on foot, with a sheepskin-clad deck that is
perfect for basking on warmer days.