Badrutt’s Palace Hotel is to St. Moritz what the Empire State Building is to New York: an instantly recognisable landmark. The hotel’s green roof and distinctive tower are the defining features of the St. Moritz skyline. Opened in 1896 by the pioneering hotelier Caspar Badrutt, it is synonymous with the extravagance of St. Moritz. Then as now, the legendary Palace Hotel hosts illustrious guests from the worlds of culture, entertainment and politics. Its exquisite luxury, cosy atmosphere and first-class service quickly earned Badrutt’s Palace Hotel a legendary reputation around the world. The hotel’s ten restaurants are an epicurean paradise for foodies. From Chesa Veglia to IGNIV by Andreas Caminada, the range of cuisine on offer certainly leaves nothing to be desired.
When you enter the castle-like building, it’s easy to picture the international celebrities of the roaring twenties strutting their stuff at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. Or cigar-smoking Englishmen in tailcoats playing endless games of bridge in the 1950s. And the 1960s and 70s jet-setters journeying to this hallowed place, where Gunter Sachs and Brigitte Bardot were regular guests. It is this unique atmosphere that, over the decades, has made Badrutt’s Palace Hotel the world’s leading luxury hotel.
Johannes Badrutt began setting new standards in the luxury hotel industry as far back as 1855, with the launch of the sublime Kulm Hotel St. Moritz. Not only was it the first building in Switzerland equipped with electric lighting, but it was also the first grand hotel built in St. Moritz. Today, the Kulm remains the epitome of luxury and premium service. The impressively ornate columns flanking the entrance and traditionally furnished interior transport visitors back to the style and glamour of 1856, the hotel’s inaugural year. Palatial chandeliers hang from the high ceilings in the lobby, where guests can lounge on sumptuous red velvet sofas. The walls are adorned with artefacts from the grand hotel’s sporting history and the athletic achievements of its royal guests. Modern design elements round off the overall look and feel.
In the award-winning Kulm Spa, floor-to-ceiling windows provide plenty of natural light and treat guests to spectacular views. The panorama of the surrounding valley is simply breathtaking, giving new meaning to the phrase “let your spirit soar”. This wellness oasis covers an impressive 2,000 m2 and features everything from private spa suites and exclusive treatments, to a stylish sauna area and a pool with enchanting underwater music.
Named Hotel of the Year 2018 by Gault Millau, the Kulm Hotel is as integral to St. Moritz as fresh powder snow. This luxurious hotel is a true institution that prides itself on its flawless service and friendly yet discreet employees.
Johannes Badrutt laid the foundation for winter tourism in 1864, here at the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz. How? He made a bet with his English summer guests. Badrutt invited them to visit St. Moritz in winter and promised that if they were not able to enjoy the sunshine at least once without wearing their jackets and hats, he would cover their travel expenses. The bet was on.
The sun-kissed Engadin winter and its foggy London counterpart played right into Badrutt’s hands and from then on, large numbers of people made the journey to St. Moritz during the colder months of the year. In Kulm Park, novel winter activities like curling, skiing and ice-skating kept the guests entertained. The first bob runs and the famous Cresta Run were built soon thereafter – and winter tourism was born.
Johannes Badrutt is not only the founder of winter tourism. He is also one of the perceptive and courageous people who, in the mid-19th century, understood the signs of the time and built guesthouses in St. Moritz that were more beautiful and luxurious than any that had existed before: the grand hotels. These impressive, magnificently designed buildings capture and reflect the mood of Europe’s flourishing cities. They are reminiscent of Greek temples, French châteaux, medieval churches and Moorish palaces because, after all, they were designed to ensure that privileged guests could enjoy their privilege to the fullest extent. So it’s not surprising that the advent of the Belle Époque era saw more and more well-heeled art and culture connoisseurs make their way to St. Moritz. Here, high above the Alps, top hats and tails were the order of the day. Opulent dresses vied with exquisite millinery for attention.
The grand hotels of St. Moritz are in a class of their own. They always have been. St. Moritz unites architectural beauty with pristine wilderness unlike anywhere else in the world. And no other place in the world offers such a rich array of grand hotels. Those who wanted to escape the polluted air of the industrial era without having to give up their usual creature comforts discovered, in St. Moritz, a place that fulfilled all their desires. Fresh mountain air, sunshine and palatial hotels with attentive staff at your beck and call – what more could you want? Then as now, these historical guesthouses are the gold standard when it comes to highquality service and amenities. The grand hotels are what made St. Moritz what it is today: an international meeting point in a breath-taking natural setting, where luxurious lifestyles, extravagance and re-finement go hand in hand to create an unforgettable experience that can only be found at 1,856 metres above sea level.