Summer in Switzerland

Badrutt’s Palace Hotel affords sweeping views of Lake St. Moritz, the Engandin Mountains and St. Moritz village.

Badrutt’s Palace Hotel

Luxury Travel Advisor recently attended the 120th anniversary celebration of the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel in St. Moritz, Switzerland. By far, our favorite aspect of the hotel was its pool, whose indoor and outdoor areas are divided by a thin glass door. Guests swimming in the indoor portion (hello, floor-to-ceiling windows) of the heated pool can get a breathe of fresh air by simply hitting the black button on the glass door, which rises to give them access to the outside. Every seat at the indoor pool has a towel and a menu for light snacks and refreshments.

The St. Moritz Suite is spread over 1,020 square feet of space.

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A cool touch is the rock formations at the main entrance of the pool. Guests are encouraged to climb the extremely safe rocks and take a plunge into the deep, heated water.

Did we mention the sweeping mountain views of St. Moritz, which can be seen from just about every spot in the water? But outside is where the pool looks straight out to the mountains and the heart of Lake St. Moritz. Swimmers can enjoy the view of the mountains or gaze at the cluster of sailboats that are usually found on the lake.

We hear the outdoor pool is used just as much, if not more, in the winters when guests can remain cozy in the heated water while snowflakes drift down upon them.

When it comes to the rooms at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, all accommodations have a unique interior design. However, the spacious Grand Deluxe Double Rooms with guaranteed view across Lake St. Moritz and the Engadin alpine landscape are the most popular. Besides these rooms, Badrutt’s Palace Hotel has 47 junior suites and suites.

Tip: A large number of rooms at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel are inter-connectable, which works well for large families. In addition to this, the Suite Engadin has three bedrooms and accommodates six people. All the rooms are beautiful as they overlook Lake St. Moritz, the Engadin Mountains or St. Moritz village.

We stayed in Suite Superior, No. 703. Like all of the rooms here, it comes with a butler. Hint: We were lucky enough to get Barbara as our butler, who had our suit and tuxedo steamed and pressed within two hours of our arrival.

The room has two balconies, one in the living room and the other in the bedroom. There are two TVs, a huge closet and a spacious bathroom with a shower that is the size of most New York City apartment bathrooms. Nice Touch: The shower has a chair on the side that folds down for guests with disabilities.

The minibar is free and includes both soft drinks and two Feldschlösschen beers. Even though the bar is refilled once a day, guests can have it restocked any time for an additional cost.

Hint: From sailing to parasailing to skydiving over St. Mortiz, the hotel can arrange for just about any activity a VIP desires. Luxury Travel Advisor took part in a sailing expedition along the lake and it turned out to be one of the highlights of our stay at the hotel as it gave us some incredible views of St. Moritz and a few fantastic exterior shots of Badrutt’s Palace Hotel.

Tip: Advise guests who want to take pictures on this excursion to make sure their phone is either waterproof or in a protective case, as it might get a little wet. The boat also tends to tilt heavily to either side depending on the strength of the wind that day. But, rest assured, the boat will not capsize. We were a little unsettled the first time the boat dipped us back about an inch or two above the water, but by the end, we kept asking Moreno, our skipper, if he could make the boat repeat that action over and over.

Baur au Lac’s Deluxe Corner Suite has TVs embedded into the mirrors.

Advisors looking to arrange a special excursion for guests should reach out to Giuseppe Pesenti ([email protected]), head concierge.

The Engadin Airport in St. Moritz / Samedan is about four miles away from Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. It caters to private jets and helicopters and also provides a helicopter charter service.

Note: The hotel arranges complimentary transfers from St. Moritz train station in a Rolls-Royce. Guests can also be met at any international airport by limousine for transfer to St. Moritz.

The hotel’s 17,000-square-foot spa, Palace Wellness, has 10 treatment rooms with two spa suites. Tip: Early bookings are essential to ensure preferred reservation times. Guests can also book online prior to their stay. Note: The hotel also has massages and Yoga sessions for children between 6 and 12 years of age.

Luxury travel advisors seeking to customize a guest’s spa experience should reach out Raphael Wiedemann ([email protected]), director of Palace Wellness.

All eight of the restaurants, the Renaissance Bar and the King’s Club at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel are open to locals. Hint: For all newcomers to the Chesa Veglia, the hotel’s upscale pizzeria, the truffle pizza is an absolute must.

The Renaissance Bar, considered one of the best in all of St. Moritz, is a great spot to lounge over an exotic cocktail or one of the Palace’s exclusive cigars.

Fans of French cuisine must check out Le Relais, a restaurant with panoramic windows and views of Lake St. Moritz.

One of the hotel’s most popular culinary offerings is its “Afternoon Tea at Le Grand Hall.” Available daily from 2 to 5 p.m., this is where guests can enjoy a rich selection of finger sandwiches, homemade sweet pastries, scones, loose-leaf tea and piano music.

Tip: Le Pavillon will once again be transformed for a short period of time into a pop-restaurant, Cheese Galore. It will serve traditional Swiss cheese with various cheese specialties such as cheese raclette and fondue. It will be open from December 26 to January 7.

For all dining requests, advisors should connect with Bosse Danielsen ([email protected]), assistant food and beverage manager.

Fancy a Swiss wedding? The best venue to get married here is the Madonna Room, which embodies the special aura of the hotel with its wooden walls and shelves that have books from the 120 years of Badrutt’s Palace Hotel’s history.

Avid shoppers should hit The Palace Galerie in St. Moritz. The shortest and highest luxury shopping street in the world, the Palace Galerie has a wide range of high-profile brands. The 27 upscale stores here are across from the hotel and are accessible within minutes.

Advisors looking to further tailor a getaway to the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel should connect with Ilaria Braga ([email protected]), sales and groups executive.

 

Baur au Lac Hotel

The luxurious Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich, Switzerland, presents its guests with all the modern touches that today’s affluent traveler has come to expect, without compromising any of its classic, 19th-century elegance.

Luxury Travel Advisor recently visited the hotel, which first opened its doors in 1844, and thinks this is a great fit for both the VIP who needs all of today’s chic touches, such as TVs embedded in mirrors and tablets in every room, and the A-Lister who craves some old-school, Swiss charm.

The hotel stands right smack in the heart of Zurich’s vibrant financial district, “City Center,” which means guests won’t have to walk too far to find some of Zurich’s best restaurants, homemade chocolate or that must-have Swiss watch.

Tip: The hotel’s spacious rooftop area, which has some impressive views of Zurich, can be rented out for cocktail receptions. The rooftop also overlooks a beautifully maintained park, which the hotel owns and uses for everything from weddings to “Art in the Park” exhibits. There is also an abundance of activities for children.

The hotel also has a small park directly on property. Hint: This is the most popular place for guests to get married. Nice Touch: It is also home to art exhibits and VIPs can even get married in the middle of the art. We were told guests looking to tie the knot between the artworks in the park should book it anywhere from three months to a year in advance.

There are 120 rooms, including 18 suites and 27 junior suites. Every room has a tablet to be used to look up information on the hotel, Zurich or to simply browse the internet. Nice Touch: The minibar in every room is free and includes an array of nonalcoholic refreshments to go along with two bottles of Feldschlösschen beer. The minibar is restocked once every day, but guests can pay a fee to get it refilled more than once in the day.

Of the rooms we saw, Room No. 321, a Deluxe Corner Suite, appeared to provide the most value. It has a terrific view of the city from the modestly sized balcony. We also simply loved how much light the bathroom gets. There are TVs embedded into the mirrors in both the living room and bedroom, in addition to hidden speakers in the ceilings, including the bathroom.

But don’t let the splashes of technology fool you. The Baur au Lac was not born yesterday. In fact, the concept of the Nobel Peace Prize was first discussed with Alfred Nobel in the lobby of this hotel, which is also home to one of the first elevators in Zurich and is still in operation.

Note: Butler service is not typically offered, but can be arranged on request. Have an over-the-top request? The concierge team here, overseen by Jérémie Varry ([email protected]), hired scuba divers to help a woman fish out a multimillion-dollar piece of jewelry that she threw in the canal following an argument with her husband. They’ve also arranged for a family to learn how to milk a cow.

Sweet Touch: All of the chocolate at Baur au Lac is made in-house. The hotel is also home to a wine cellar that has more than two million bottles of wine and even serves a roughly $20,000 bottle of Crystal.

Insider Secret: Ask for “The Swiss Martini,” which is not found on the menu. It includes the Swiss vodka, Louis 1880, which is a powerful grain drink, and a piece of homemade chocolate on top. We also advise asking Simon Brandmayer, the hotel’s bar manager, to make you one of his Bellinis, which comprises fresh peach, Prosecco, peach juice, fresh lemon and liquor.

The hotel arranges fun, casual “Kitchen Parties” about twice a year where they open up the back of the kitchen to both locals and guests of the hotel for a culinary celebration, featuring many of the Baur au Lac’s finest dishes. Britta Matthesius, director of sales, says this is something that appeals mostly to locals.

The best meal we had here was the veal filet mignon medallions at the one-star Michelin restaurant, Pavillon, but also be sure to have a Wagyu burger at Rive Gauche Restaurant. Hint: We actually recommend eating this burger with a knife and fork as the juices that ooze out of the tender meat might burn your hand slightly.

Have a unique inquiry about visiting the hotel? Contact Wilhelm Luxem ([email protected]), the property’s general manager.

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