As the sun dips below the horizon, a soft golden light falls on the snow-capped peaks of St. Moritz. Badrutt’s Palace, a century-old hotel stands tall against this arresting backdrop, its signature turret looming majestically over the valley.
This hotel is more than just another luxury property. It was a monument to the fine life of discretion and lavish spending; a hideaway for those who trot around the world with their Birkins and private jets.
A luxury hotel surrounded by snow-clad mountains
Walk inside and the grandeur of the hotel’s rich past will surround you. There are thick, ornate carpets and wooden walls adorned with portraits of men and women who had come and gone. One could almost expect to see Rimbaud, quill in hand, scribbling one of his poems away at some corner table.
Such is the charm of Badrutt’s Palace, a luxury five-star hotel located in the renowned resort town of St. Moritz, in the Swiss Alps. The hotel has long been a symbol of opulence and elegance, catering to the world’s top brass since its opening in 1896.
The establishment boasts Michelin-starred restaurants, a state-of-the-art spa and wellness centre, and lavishly appointed guest rooms and suites. Above all, it offers a breathtaking view of the Engadin Valley, from the lake at its feet to the crown at the highest peak.
The rooms at Badrutt’s Palace
For the best views, book the rooms that face the lake. The Signature Double Room with a lake view and balcony was tastefully designed with doors that swing open to the sweeping panorama. The nights were blissfully quiet and waking up to the sun shining over the mountain was nothing short of dreamy.
Of the 156 rooms and suites in this iconic hotel, guests who desire absolute privacy and unrivalled comfort can look to the Tower Penthouse Apartment built into the property’s defining turret. This private residence encompasses four distinctively designed bedrooms, each equipped with a private bathroom spread out across three floors.
The refined living room offers a comfortable space for relaxation, while the dining area — complete with a fully-equipped kitchen — is perfect for entertaining. For a more intimate setting, the sitting room and its cosy open fireplace await. There are also two expansive tower balconies, offering panoramic views of the surrounding area.
Award-winning restaurants at Badrutt’s Palace
Of course, not all of us travel with a budget to accommodate a fully-equipped kitchen, Badrutt’s Palace makes sure every guest is well-fed nonetheless. In fact, the hotel has 10 restaurants, three bars and one nightclub in its wings. Not all of them are open throughout the year; some are just open for winter.
Regardless of the season, breakfast is enjoyed at Le Restaurant, a dining hall that sports what feels like an endless spread for a sumptuous buffet breakfast. A live harpist will serenade guests as they dig into classics, and we highly recommend the eggs benedict. As vanilla, as that sounds, it comprises two perfectly poached eggs as round as the rising sun, topped with hollandaise and truffles.
Elsewhere on the property, IGNIV by Andreas Caminada is the restaurant to book if you have time for only one dinner. The restaurant’s name, which means “nest” in the local Romansh dialect, is rather fitting, as it cocoons diners in a world of culinary innovation and gastronomic discovery.
The genius of Chef Caminada lies in his sharing concept, which transforms the dining experience into a communal celebration of flavours and textures. A procession of artfully presented dishes graced our table, each a testament to the chef’s extraordinary skill and creative flair. The carrots with kimchi was a masterstroke, a harmonious marriage of bold flavours, as was the radish roll and kombu algues, topped with the delicate herbaceousness of oxalis.
But it was the unassuming plate of pickled char, adorned with smoked fish mousse, that truly stole the show. It was as if the very essence of Alpine marine life had been captured and presented on a plate, an edible love letter to its pristine clear waters. It’s little wonder that the restaurant has two Michelin stars to its name.
If it’s lunch you’re after, we’d recommend making the trek to Paradiso Mountain Club & Restaurant. Getting there is an adventure and takes roughly an hour including hopping on the ski lift, and walking on a snowy path with jaw-dropping views (get your phones ready for some epic shots).
Despite being some 2,000 metres above ground, the ingredients here are fresh — even the seafood. Some favourites here include the inventive take on Surf and Turf, which exemplifies the kitchen’s commitment to using only the freshest ingredients. Expect a culinary style that blends rustic charm with sophisticated flair and a good Italian slant. After all, St Moritz does lie very close to the Italian border, so dishes like the burrata and cacio e pepe are as good as it gets without actually being in Italy.
Curiously, the Michelin Guide describes the space as a down-to-earth Mountain Club restaurant, but we suppose that could be the case if dining next to Moncler-clad skiers is your idea of “down-to-earth”.
A space to unwind, a space to sweat
No visit to Badrutt’s Palace would be complete without indulging in the Palace Wellness Spa. This serene oasis is accessible via the indoor pool, which in itself offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding Alpine landscape.
There are seven types of massages here, ranging from the relaxation massage to the Thai massage. Our pick has to be Aroma Alpine Massage, for it harnesses the beneficial properties of essential Alpine oils. It not only soothes and calms the soul, but also situates the guest of its location.
For the fitness-conscious, the well-equipped gym offers the latest in exercise equipment, along with personal trainers to guide and motivate. The expansive windows of the fitness centre fill the space with natural light and offer awe-inspiring views of the Engadin Valley.
In between the restaurants, the views and its affluent clientele ensconced in the velveteen embrace of the Alps, its plain that Badrutt’s Palace ensures an unparalleled experience of comfort and luxury. This is where we’d recommend you go to make the world outside seem like a fading dream.
(Hero and feature image credit: Badrutt’s Palace)
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