Honeymoon in St. Moritz
Where to eat, sleep, and shop in this chic Swiss ski spot
As a lifelong skier who thrills to the sight of gorgeously groomed fields of snow, I have schussed many an Alpine piste. But when I planted my poles at St. Moritz for the first time last winter, I discovered that this famous Swiss resort more than lives up to its exalted reputation: Not only are the skiing and snowboarding everything adventurous honeymooners would want, but so is the glitz and glamour—gourmet restaurants, designer shops, and exciting nightlife.
A Deluxe Retreat
Wanting to do things right, I decided my mountain base camp had to be Badrutt's Palace Hotel, a luxurious retreat rising above the Lake of St. Moritz in the center of the Old Town. As you might expect in a place like this, rooms are grand—high ceilings, crystal chandeliers, big fluffy down duvets, and Italian marble bathrooms. Many of them have incredible views, and arriving as I did during a quiet period just before Christmas, I was graciously upgraded to a junior suite overlooking the lake.
Though I was here for the skiing, I soon discovered Badrutt's has much to entice visitors in every season: a health spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis, and golf. Given such surroundings (and the pleasures of the hotel's bountiful buffet breakfast), getting myself to actually leave the premises and head for the slopes turned out to be one of the biggest challenges of staying there.
But skiing was a must, if only for the pleasure of basking in what long ago was dubbed St. Moritz's Champagne climate—clear, dry air and sparkling light. If you prefer to fly unencumbered by gear, the hotel's state-of-the-art ski shop will outfit you with the latest equipment before sending you off in a hotel-arranged shuttle to one of three three main slopes: Corviglia, Corvatsch, and Diavolezza. The most popular, the sunniest, and my own favorite (I'd describe myself as a high-level intermediate skier) is Corviglia, where the slopes and trails are beautiful and broad. Skiers at every level will find runs to love here, although for true beginners, the bunny slopes of nearby Celerina are a better bet.
Given the Alpine altitude and excellent snowmaking, the conditions at Corviglia are almost always prime. I particularly enjoyed the long trails Grischa and Shlattain, descending from the spectacular Piz Nair peak jutting into the sky at 10,029 feet. Corvatsch also has excellent runs, a little steeper, with a bit less sun but more challenging terrain. On Friday nights Corvatsch is the setting for romantic moonlight skiing, which is really one big downhill party with little slopeside wine bars lining the piste. For advanced skiers, Diavolezza, at 9,827 feet, offers deep powder and glacier skiing.
As for food, there are all kinds of mountain restaurants to restore you between runs, from canteens with spectacular views (like the restaurant atop Piz Nair, where the simple fare includes sandwiches, sausages, and soup) to such gastronomic spots as Reto Mathis’s La Marmite, at the base of Corviglia, where you can savor marinated salmon, foie gras, and a broad selection of Swiss and Italian wines.