From snow-capped mountains to sweeping valleys, St. Moritz, Switzerland, located in the Engadine region, is one of those places you have to see to believe. This region is a year-round bucket list destination for luxury travelers and thrill-seekers alike, and it seems that no matter what brings you to the Engadine, all roads lead to St. Moritz. A luxe alpine village long known for catering to Europe’s elite, St. Moritz offers something for every type of couple—whether you’re more of the backcountry expedition variety, or whether you are more prone to spend all day in the spa. The snow, the fireplaces, the old-world European charm, the over-the-top luxury—here’s our guide to navigating it all, so you and your better half can find some romance in this very special corner of Switzerland.
Where to Stay
For over 160 years, the Kulm has been the standard-setter of St. Moritz luxury hotels. Stately, opulent, yet nestled on a quiet side street, the Kulm is just steps from all the action while still maintaining a private atmosphere. Quintessential Swiss service sets this grande dame apart from the others, as the staff here are more than willing to help make you and your significant other’s stay in St. Moritz simply magical. No detail is overlooked at the Kulm—from the multitude of dining options, to the on-site ski rental shop, right down to the unfinished alpine woods used to decorate each room, which are said to have a natural therapeutic effect. The best part of staying at the Kulm? The hotel has close ties with the legendary members-only Club Dracula down the road, so for a taste of St. Moritz’s late-night scene and the chance to party alongside the town’s most fabulous regulars, ask the front desk to make a call. That’s a surefire way to help get by Dracula’s famously impossible front door.
If your idea of romance includes an extra dose of privacy and solitude, then consider staying in Pontresina, just 4 miles down the road—while it isn’t technically “in St. Moritz,” the hotel can easily arrange the effortless 10-minute transfer back-and-forth for dinners, shopping, skiing, and the like. Plus, you’ll be leaving behind all the tourist crowds, as Pontresina is known to local insiders as the place where true jet setters prefer stay. If you’re a fan of the Instagram account “Accidentally Wes Anderson,” you’ll feel right at home with the historic architecture. And if you’re a fan of Slim Aarons, you’ll probably coax your partner into a photoshoot in the spa—with sweeping views of the surrounding mountains, it’s one of the most beautiful in all of Switzerland.
Where to Eat
Recently awarded its first Michelin Star, The K is the perfect place for a romantic dinner. The internationally-influenced menu offers a “culinary safari” with traditional Swiss flavors and plenty of East Asian influences. The veal loin, for instance, comes with black truffle, water chestnut, Jerusalem artichoke, hazelnuts, red chili and yellow raisins.
This unexpected Peruvian nook inside the Kulm Hotel is a surprising yet welcome addition to the St. Moritz dining scene, and perfectly encapsulates the town’s cosmopolitan flair. You can’t go wrong with the spicy ceviches and a Pisco sour. The dimly-lit ambiance and pillow-strewn banquettes lend themselves to long, leisurely dinners spent curling up together on the same side of the table.
Step one: order a plate of the tender bündnerfleisch for the table—it’s like Switzerland’s refined answer to beef jerky, but more tender and less salty. From there, it’s pretty hard to make a wrong choice at this elegant Swiss-style restaurant. Come for the spicy beef tartare and enviable Swiss wine list (it’s hard to find Swiss wine anywhere outside Switzerland, FYI)—and stay for the laidback yet elegant atmosphere, stunning views over Lake St. Moritz, and, when the sun is shining, one of the town’s best aprés-ski terraces.
Have a taxi zip you to the neighboring village of Pontresina, where you’ll find this quirky restaurant housed in a converted cable car. With just twenty-five seats, it’s always an intimate experience, and the setting is certainly memorable. Swiss cheese is the name of the game here, with an extensive fondue menu and raclette ovens on each table. Bring your appetite—and bring your camera.
Where to Play
There’s no shortage of high-end shopping in St. Moritz, with boutiques from all the big players—Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucci—intermixed with Swiss chocolate shops and local furriers where you can pickup your next mink. And while you’re at it, make sure to indulge in some people watching—start by walking west down Via Maistra away from the Kulm Hotel, into the center of town, then down Via Serlas towards the lake. You and your partner will have plenty to gawk at during your walk, and gossip about over dinner later on.
St. Moritz has a long history of sporting, and whether you plan on partaking or merely spectating, there is never any shortage of things to do or things to watch. The resort Corviglia, for instance, has a gondola that leaves right from the center of town—used for skiing in the winter months and mountain biking the summers. During the summer, it is possible to hire a boat to drive you and your loved one around on a leisurely cruise. During the winter, the lake freezes and turns into a spectator area for some of the most unique sporting events in the world, such as snow polo and the “White Turf” horse races. For specific dates and booking information to find out what’s on when you’re in town, the Engadine tourism board’s website has plenty of information.