St. Moritz Travel Journal
Relaxation, pampering, and adventure merge in Switzerland’s uber-expensive winter playland.
When my hubby and I pulled up in front of The Carlton Hotel in St. Moritz, we must have looked like a pair of gypsies. In contrast to the fur-clad Vuitton-toting Euro-royalty and their Bentleys and Range Rovers out front, our rented SUV was dirty from the long drive, packed to the gills with luggage, and had two curious cats hanging out on the dashboard.
Our little family (ie. us and our fur babies) had spent the past five months in a string of AirBnbs and hotels, and desperately searching for an apartment we could rent long-term. When we finally found one, but it wouldn’t be available for a month, we decided to use that time to travel around Switzerland.
We’d heard that The Carlton was a glamorous gem considered to be one of the leading hotels in the world. It’s not hard to see why. From the moment we drove up, every need was cared for. With a warm and welcoming attitude, each member of their staff made us feel completely at home. Check-in was a breeze and when we got to our suite we noticed that they’d provided a bowl of fruit, organic tea and chocolates, and two cat beds along with water and food bowls.
St. Moritz was the original winter playground for the wealthy, and seemingly has changed very little in the past century. Billionaires around the world make their yearly winter pilgrimage here because they know what to expect: great skiing and winter sports, immaculate service, and high-end, well, everything.
I’d visited 15 years earlier and remembered the town –and its glitzy patrons– clearly. And honestly, aside from the interior of The Carlton Hotel, the town hasn’t changed. In fact, it’s exactly the same, as if the world is spinning around it, but St. Moritz pays no attention, totally unaffected.
There are a few other things in life that are also said to be certain. Namely, death and taxes. Close runner ups being sore feet after wearing heels, a cramped neck after talking to a distressed friend on the phone all night, and nasty jet lag / dry skin combo after a long flight. When watching trust funders in fur coats guzzle cheese fondue without a care in the world got to be too much, my hubby and I were able to find solace at our hotel’s spa, where they helped us forget about the world’s inevitabilities.
The Carlton Spa at The Carlton Hotel can’t do anything about the old adage (you know — death and taxes…) but can make your tired feet spring forward, your sore neck feel revitalized and makes jet lag an extinct term. Luckily, we were able to be pampered at the Carlton Spa almost daily for our entire 5-day stay. Their couples massage room is to. die. for. and they have so many steam, whirlpool, and sauna rooms that you could blink and realize it’s three hours later.
Not long ago, The Carlton was completely gutted and re-done. And I mean gutted. The walls and hallways were moved, small guest rooms were combined, and it was transformed into a tres-unique suite-only hotel. At The Carlton, not only are their elaborate and eclectic rooms (you should see their ultra-flamboyant interior designer — what a character!) enormous, but every room comes with your own private living room, access to the spa, a giant outdoor deck, multiple lounges, two incredible restaurants and 24/7 room service.
Want to go out but don’t feel like walking in your heels? They’ll drive you there and pick you up after — in the hotel’s uber-posh Bentley.
It’s all meant to spoil you — and it does. To get a sense of the level of opulence, consider that they’re hovering around 9.5 out of 10 on all the major hotel-ratings websites, even though their suites go for around $5k per night. For pretty much every guest to feel they got their money’s worth, they’re definitely doing
something everything right.
The Carlton is intentionally positioned to maximize the view of the lake and surrounding mountains, and designed to not only impress you, but also to inspire you. To remind you that sometimes what is needed is not to have more things, but to experience more things. To remind you of how big and beautiful and spectacular this planet really is. This is the Carlton, whose views will take your breath away.
St. Moritz stands a whopping 5,900 feet above sea level and surrounds a crystal-clear lake.
Besides being host to the Winter Olympics several times and to the secretive, powerful Bilderberg Group (rumored to run much of the world), this winter wonderland offers endless things to experience. But our hotel was so comfortable and cozy that we decided to spend all our time there, and let them plan our activities. Here were our favorites: