are ski enthusiasts who head to Aspen, Vail and Jackson Hole
every year around this time. And then there are those for
whom nothing less than the Alpine terrain will do. Offering
fresh powder for the avid skier at any level and an unrivaled
winter social scene, St. Moritz has for decades drawn the
world's leading families, and this season will be no
different. Truth be told, there was a period wedged somewhere
between the era of Jackie Kennedy, Brigitte Bardot
and the Aga Khan and today's Hollywood
heavyweights and young British royals when some forecasted
that the town nestled into the Southern Alps was losing its
luster. With loving restorations of St. Moritz's splendid
Belle Époque hotels and the burgeoning cutting-edge
fashion scene of the last few years, naysayers have been disproved
– and how!
Moritz by night.
horseracing on a frozen lake in St. Moritz.
Badrutt's Palace Hotel.
Moritz Address Book
Palace Hotel, Via Serlas,
27; 837.11.00. $681 – $7,049 per
Via Veglia, 18; 836.80.00. $729 –
$3,646 per night.
House, Via Chasellas,
$729 – $1,458 per night.
Place, Via Dim Lej, 6;
Via Maistra, 23; 839.81.47.
Palace Galerie; 833.00.06.
Gabbana, Via dal Vout,
& Arpels,Via Serlas,
Although St. Moritz's primary attraction remains world-class
skiing, particularly the uniquely challenging trails off the
well-worn runs ideal for skilled thrill-seekers, off-the-slopes
activities abound. Visitors settling in for the winter season
make sure to remain in St. Moritz for the prestigious Cartier
Polo on Snow tournament held this year from January
27 - 30. A captivating display of athleticism and competition,
the tournament matches four high-scoring teams from around
the world to display their best sportsmanship in the hopes
of snagging the coveted prize on the frozen St. Moritz Lake.
And those able to tear their eyes off the on-lake action to
take part in the equally thrilling social sports that accompany
the matches will understand how St. Moritz gives new meaning
to the Southern Alps' “champagne climate.”
The dazzling baubles adorning recent attendees such as Donatella
Versace, Elizabeth Hurley and Catherine Zeta-Jones
rivaled the lake's ice in eye-catching splendor.
St. Moritz's all-out glamour and high style can be seen
on and off the snow, but nowhere more prominently than at
the legendary Badrutt's Palace Hotel.
Formal to the hilt, the hotel offers its guests a haven of
civilized living and every imaginable amenity. Children who
are unruly or otherwise unschooled in the art of eating delicacies
with the correct utensil are promptly enrolled in the hotel's
etiquette course. Lessons come in handy when dining at the
hotel's world-renowned Le Restaurant
where formal dress and impeccable table manners are not only
de rigueur, they are strictly enforced.
But not everything at the hotel is an exercise in formality.
Badrutt's Palace is also home to the uberhip nightspot,
The King's Club, where grande dames
and supermodels alike hold court over all the eager gentlemen
ordering bubbly for the ladies' drinking pleasure. Rivaling
The King's Club in velvet-rope glamour is The
Dracula Club, which despite its name is decidedly
not for the undead. The young, beautiful and lively flock
to the discotheque, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.
In-the-know night crawlers' evenings out invariably
begin at The Devil's Place, the meeting
spot whose claim to fame – other than being the hippest
bar in town – is the 2,500-long list of whiskies on
For travelers looking for more understated but no less luxurious
accommodations than the Badrutt's Palace, The
Suvretta House, discreetly tucked away at the Chasselas
plateau between St. Moritz and Sils, offers a castlelike haven.
Close enough to the slopes and the social center of St. Moritz,
the hotel is for many the perfect home away from home to thaw
out frozen toes and luxuriate in the natural surroundings.
Avid sportsmen often elect to enjoy The Kulm Hotel's
location a stone's throw from the Corviglia
ski lifts. For the daring, the hotel also arranges sporting
adventures in curling, tobogganing, heli-skiing and skijoring.
But one cannot live on sport alone – even in St. Moritz.
Not unlike its shopping, St. Moritz is itself where old-world
luxury and new-world glamour meet. Luxury fashion and jewelry
shops are conveniently located mere steps away from the central
hotels, making it a cinch to pick up a little dazzling something
to show off in the evening. The European fashion heavyweights
Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Gucci, Armani, Hermès,
Prada and Pucci are all accessible
for men and women looking for a high-end shopping excursion.
And the finishing touches to any soigné look can readily
be snapped up from Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier
and Rebecca, a local jewelry store specializing
in estate and one-of-a-kind stunners. Women of a more avant-garde
ilk shop at Kirna Zabete for their Balenciaga
and Chloé. And absolutely everyone
goes to Jet Set for hand-selected European
looks from up-and-coming designers and favorite brands. A
veritable fashion empire, Jet Set has a fashion store, a ski
shop and even a children's store for adorable miniature
looks. Despite its fantastic selection of Christian
Louboutin shoes and Missoni sweaters,
Jet Set's most popular items are, unsurprisingly, from
its own ski line. Devotees range from Russian President
Vladimir Putin to Elle MacPherson;
and, according to owner Juli Sweet, when the Sultan
of Brunei cannot make it in to the shop himself,
he sends a jet to pick up his favorite pieces from the collection.
Jet set, indeed!