For a truly luxurious and relaxing winter ski break in Switzerland, St Moritz's iconic Kulm Hotel is the perfect place to stay. With a history dating back to 1864, it was at this legendary hotel that winter tourism was born, and there's no doubt that they know how to do it properly here.
From the moment you step out of the hotel's chauffeur-driven car you will be treated like a star by the staff who do everything possible to make your stay unforgettable. The decor is warm, classic and elaborate, while the home-from-home ambience and impeccable service create a luxury setting you will never want to leave. Housed in a 150-year-old building with a truly eventful history, the Kulm offers unrivalled opulence, tradition and modern comfort.
What's to love?
The grandeur and romance of the hotel makes you feel like royalty. Dress up for dinner in the stunning Le Grand Restaurant, with its regal decor and fine cuisine; soak up the sunshine at Engadin-style restaurant Chesa al Parc overlooking the Kulm's ice rink where you can enjoy rustic food and relax on sun loungers with blankets; and have a drink in the intimate Altitude Bar, a popular spot with fine liqueurs and live piano music. The sleek Miles Davis Lounge is the place for music lovers and those who appreciate magnificent mountain views.
Best room in the house
With fine furniture made from local wood, marble-clad bathrooms and a luxury Alpine feel, the Superior rooms offer a spacious sanctuary after a hard day's skiing. Made for skiers with ample space for your boots, skis and clothing, the rooms are classic in style and made with comfort in mind. From the L'Occitane toiletries to the large shower/bath and lovely seating space for you to relax and take in the views (from a lake-facing room), the Superior rooms offer a retreat during your winter holiday in St Moritz.
This place is perfect if you...
... want the best in luxury, service and tradition in St Moritz. If you're looking for exclusivity in St Moritz, the Kulm does it perfectly. From private nights skiing on the Corvatch Mountain for guests only, to its super-trendy members-only night spot Dracula Club, plus the hotel's close proximity to the world's only Cresta Run and the quirky Sunny Bar where the Cresta riders like to gather. Whether you are staying for a family holiday, a wellness break or an active escape, the hotel has something for everyone. As well as being an excellent place to stay, the Kulm Hotel has its own sports facilities, including a curling rink and natural ice rink.
If you do one thing here, make sure...
... you spend time in the spa. Ideal after a morning skiing (yet we'd happily spend all day here), the spa features a large heated indoor pool with underwater music, but you really must venture to the outdoor pool where sitting in your swimwear in -6C is heavenly. The whirlpool and seating is located within the pool so you can lay back, take in the views and relax in the wonderful setting. Spa lovers booking a treatment have an excellent choice of massages, facials, scrubs, baths and more. We opted for the signature Kulm Massage (CHF 240/£158 for 1 hour 20 min.), a full body massage combining all massage techniques for a divine experience. After your treatment, the dreamy relaxation lounge awaits you... Think water beds, a cosy fireplace on the wall and more time to take in those snowy mountain views!
Double rooms from CHF 575/£375 per night for two people sharing on a half-board basis.
Via Veglia 18, 7500 St Moritz, Switzerland. Phone: +41 81 836 80 00. Kulm Hotel is open until 6 April 2015 for the 2014/15 winter season. Visit kulm.com
Things to do in St Moritz
Kulm Hotel St Moritz, Switzerland: Ski-spa hotel review
Unique to St Moritz is the world-famous Cresta Run, where you can watch some of the best toboggan riders reach speeds of up to 87mph on the special ice track. More than 30 races take place on the single run between Christmas and March every year and riders can be seen dicing with danger as they ride with their noses just inches from the ice. While it is a private club exclusive for men, thrill-seeking non-members can have a go at the sport at the training school for beginners.
If you thought skiing in daylight was as good as it gets, you need to try hitting the slopes after dark on the Corvatsch Mountain. The Corvatsch ski area boasts the highest mountain station in the Eastern Alps and perfectly prepared ski runs, including the longest floodlit night downhill run in Switzerland. Guests at the Kulm Hotel or the Grand Hotel Kronenhof have exclusive access for night time skiing on Corvatsch. During the private nights, the 4.2km is lit up and the mountain comes alive to the sound of traditional Alpine horn blowers. Once you're all skied out, make a stop at the legendary Hossa Bar for cheese fondue.
St Moritz was made for winter walking and a good place to start is Lake St Moritz when it freezes over. As well as walkers and curious tourists, you'll find ice skaters and even parents pushing buggies over the lake when the ice is thick enough to walk on. In January, the world-famous White Turf horse race (pictured) takes place on the lake and sees thousands of spectators flock to the frozen site to witness the exciting event. Cricket on Ice is another unusual sport which takes place on the lake and is worth watching if you're in town.
St Moritz is an excellent place to go for a stroll to soak up the dry and sparkling 'champagne climate' while exploring the local sights. The 12th century leaning tower, opposite the Kulm Hotel, is a landmark and one of the quirkiest things to see in St Moritz, along with the Cresta Run, the Heidi hut which was used during the shooting of the Heidi film and the strikingly beautiful Chesa Futura which was built by British architect Norman Foster and combines futuristic style with traditional building materials (250,000 larch clapboards were used on the facade!). There are various museums to while away the hours, whether you're into sports, coffee or art, including the Bob Museum, Kaffee-Museum Caferama and Segantini Museum dedicated to Giovanni Segantini's works of art.
For a unique and chic shopping experience visit Via Serlas, Europe's highest-lying shopping avenue, where you will find all the prestigious fashion names including Roberto Cavalli, Ermenegildo Zegna and Gucci. If you're looking for souvenirs to take home, Jean-Paul Hausammann is the place to purchase Brut St Moritz Champagne. Head for the tourist office to buy the legendary old St Moritz posters and Bucherer is where you can buy a high-quality Swiss watch.
Fancy an adrenaline rush? Grab a pair of ice picks and stick some crampons on your winter boots for ice climbing in the town of Pontresina, just ten minutes from St Moritz. Ice climbing lessons take place on a frozen waterfall in the heart of the village, with extreme sports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities negotiating the icy waterfall with their faces flat against the side of the ice. Grand Hotel Kronenhof offers ice climbing trial course packages for families, including three nights' accommodation at the hotel, an ice climbing course for two adults and two children and spa treatments from £2,370.
Elegant, classic and luxurious, the Kulm Hotel is the perfect place to check in for a fairytale experience in winter. Dating back to 1856, the Kulm is St Moritz's oldest hotel and boasts a traditional ambience, fine cuisine in five-star settings and some of the best hotel wellness facilities we've ever seen. Guests at the hotel can take advantage of exclusive offers, including access to the Corvatsch Mountain for night-time skiing, dinner at stunning sister hotel Grand Hotel Kronenhof with the Dine Around package and a hotel ski pass to save on skiing in St Moritz. From £425 for a two-night Winter Special package including half-board menu and hotel ski pass or Kulm Spa wellness pass.
Skiing is one of the best things to do in St Moritz and if you want to be one of the first down the freshly groomed pistes, you can hit the snow from 7.45am when the lifts start transporting powder hounds to the slopes. With 217 miles of ski pistes and gorgeous sunshine, St Moritz is the ideal resort for skiing. Corviglia, Corvatsch and Diavolezza are the three main ski areas and offer freeride and nursery slopes for skiers and snowboarders. The breathtaking Engadin valley is excellent for cross-country skiing, offering 125 miles of cross-country ski trails with magical winter landscapes.
Winter walking is a fabulous way to take in the amazing Engadin views and stay active in St Moritz. There are countless options, from short and simple strolls to long, challenging hikes through the snow. Enjoy a stroll on the frozen Lake St Moritz for the lively winter-season scene or take to the Val Roseg and Val Bever side valleys for tranquility and untouched snow. Don't miss seeing the Engadin valley from above the Hahnensee Lake. The ascent may be strenuous but you will be rewarded with sweeping views of the snowy scenery. For the most breathtaking views, nothing beats the mountain of Muottas Muragl with its panoramic Philosophers' Trail, a varied and inspiring route with signs featuring words of wisdom from famous philosophers.
There is a plethora of awe-inspiring places to take in the stunning mountain views but for a 360-degree view look no further than Piz Nair's Panorama Restaurant. A marvellous place for lunch, this restaurant with views is perfect if you have spent the morning skiing on the mountain. Offering Italian and Swiss-inspired cuisine, diners can feast on local Engadin cheese, homemade pasta and sweet treats, such as Toblerone mousse. Don't miss taking in the breathtaking view of the entire Engadin Valley and the ski-carved slopes beneath you from the restaurant's viewing platform.