eputedly Johannes Badrutt wagered some English summer guests the cost of their stay at the Hotel Kulm in St Moritz if they did not enjoy wintering there as much. He won his bet and with that the winter sports industry was born. Badrutt and his son, Casper, were responsible for a series of innovations, including coining the term Palace to describe a grand hotel and creating the world's first bobsleigh course. Thanks to their industry, and two Olympic Games, St Moritz is now the most famous winter sports resort in the world. Whilst it is undoubtedly and justifiably renowned for the jet set clientele it attracts - there is an airport at nearby Samedan - this is both a tribute to its appeal and is also misleading, in that the Engadin valley is not just for the affluent few. Along the wide valley floor of the Upper Engadin there is plenty of affordable accommodation to be found (including an excellent youth hostel), some fabulous skiing and snowboarding and probably a greater variety of world-class winter sports activities than anywhere else in the world. One of the more exhilerating things you might ever choose to do is to pay to sit in a four man bobsleigh on the St. Moritz-Celerina Olympic Bobrun. Do it, I dare you...
Long favoured by the rich and famous, amongst the celebrities who have shown a preference for St Moritz are the Maharajah of Hyderabad, Eva Peron, the Aga Khan, King Carl Gustav of Sweden and Prince Harry. Charlie Chaplin was reputedly the first man to drive to St Moritz in the winter, and Alfred Hitchcock kept a suite at the Palace Hotel for many years. For people of a certain generation, the lyrics to Peter Sarstedt's 1969 single "Where Do You Go To My Lovely?" will resonate: 'When the snow falls you're found in St Moritz with the others of the jet set And you sip your Napoleon brandy but you never get your lips wet.'. And in some ways, St Moritz is locked into the image of it's golden age, with resorts like Verbier and Laax attracting a younger crowd. However St Moritz really is a unique Alpine destination with as broad a range of attractions, and skiing as varied, as anywhere in Europe. Every winter sports enthusiast really should visit this corner of Switzerland at some time in their life!
Best of the Slopes
For the experienced, there is both the World Cup run off Corviglia to St Moritz Dorf and the amazingly scenic 9km Hahnensee descent from Corvatsch down to St Moritz-Bad, although the pistes on these mountains are mostly for intermediate level skiers and boarders. The most challenging runs are probably those around Piz Nair and there is a fair amount of lift-served off-piste. A bus ride away, Diovalezza has a leg-burning, adrenalin-pumping, long descent on the famous 10km off-piste glacier trail to Morteratsch, whilst the Lagalb also has a couple of good runs for experienced skiers and boarders.
Where to Eat and Party
The Corviglia top station has a bunch of restaurants, including the world renowned, rather expensive and quaintly named La Marmite (+41 81 833 63 55). The restaurant at the top of Piz Nair (+41 81 833 08 75) is also good with stunning views, but El Paradiso is my favourite (+41 81 833 40 02). A lot of the nightlife and dining centres around the plush hotels like Hotel Laudinelli, Hotel Schweizerhof and Badrutt's Palace. The Post Haus is a good place to fritter away some large denomination bank notes. Needless to say, the 5 star hotels have restaurants dripping wih Michelin stars and GaultMillau points.
By Public Transport
The best destination to access the downhill slopes by public transport in this ski area is St Moritz. St Moritz station is 15 minutes walk uphill from the mountain railway for Corviglia, but it is more convenient to take bus #1 or #9 to St Moritz Bad Signalbahn from the station. Alternatively alight from train one stop earlier in Celerina, with a five minutes walk to the Marguns gondola base station. For Corvatsch, take bus #1 from St Moritz station to Surlej Corvatschbahn. The resort operates the Snow'n'Rail scheme, providing a discount on the combined travel ticket and lift pass. Click here for details of the Swiss Railways discount scheme.
- From Zurich the least travel time is 3 hrs 26 mins with as few as 1 changes going via Chur.
- From Basel the least travel time is 4 hrs 25 mins with as few as 1 changes going via Chur.
- From Berne the least travel time is 4 hrs 26 mins with as few as 2 changes going via Zurich / Chur.
Please refer to a map and check local conditions for accurate routing information.
- The road distance from Zurich is around 203 km and the journey time is roughly 2 hrs 40 mins.
- The road distance from Basel is around 295 km and the journey time is roughly 3 hrs 20 mins.
- The road distance from Berne is around 327 km and the journey time is roughly 3 hrs 44 mins.
- The road distance from Geneva is around 480 km and the journey time is roughly 5 hrs 16 mins.
Latest Resort Report
MySwitzerland report for St Moritz
Piste Map for St Moritz
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Accommodation in the Resort & Nearby
- $$$ Romantik Hotel Chesa Salis, Bever Rated a historic hotel by the Swiss Tourist Board.
- $$$ Misani, Celerina (3*) Highly regarded by Tages-Anzeiger.
+41 81 839 89 89 https://www.hotelmisani.ch
- $$$ Hotel Chesa Rosatsch, Celerina Ranked #1 in Celerina by TripAdvisor.
+41 81 837 01 01 https://www.hotelrosatch.ch
- $$$ Hotel Zur Alten Brauerei, Celerina Family hotel.
+41 81 832 18 74 https://www.alte-brauerei.ch/
- $$$$ Hotel Chesa Surlej, Surlej Very near the Corvatschbahn cable car and adjacent to the nursery slopes.
+41 81 838 75 75 https://www.chesa-surlej.ch
- $$$ Krone, La Punt (3*) Highly regarded by Tages-Anzeiger.
+41 81 854 12 69 https://www.krone-la-punt.ch
- $$$ Albris, Pontresina (3*) Ranked by Tages-Anzeiger #14 amongst 3*Swiss hotels.
+41 81 838 80 40 https://www. albris.ch
- $$$$ Walther, Pontresina (4*) Highly regarded by Tages-Anzeiger.
+41 81 839 36 36 https://www.hotelwalther.ch
- $$$$ Grand Hotel Kronenhof, Pontresina (5*) Ranked #7 by Tages-Anzeiger amongst Swiss 5* Hotels and #1 in Pontresina by TripAdvisor.
+41 81 830 30 30 https://www.kronenhof.com
- $$$$ Hotel Saratz, Pontresina Ranked #2 in Pontresina by TripAdvisor.
- $$$$ Hotel Walther, Pontresina Ranked #5 in Pontresina by TripAdvisor.
- $$$$ Hotel Mueller, Pontresina Ranked #6 in Pontresina by TripAdvisor.
- $$$ Sporthotel, Pontresina (3*) Highly regarded by Tages-Anzeiger.
+41 81 838 94 00 https://www.sporthotel.ch
- $$$ Hotel Rosatsch, Pontresina Ranked #3 in Pontresina by TripAdvisor.
- $$$ Hotel Allegra, Pontresina Ranked #4 in Pontresina by TripAdvisor.
- $$$ Hotel Albris, Pontresina Ranked #7 in Pontresina by TripAdvisor.
- $ Pontresina Youth Hostel, Pontresina (Hostel) Right next door to the train station.
+41 81 842 72 23 https://www.youthhostel.ch/en/
- $$$ Musik- und Kulturhotel Palazzo Mÿsanus, Samedan Rated a historic hotel by the Swiss Tourist Board.
- $$$ Chesa Randolina, Sils Baselgia (3*) Ranked by Tages-Anzeiger #2 amongst 3* Swiss hotels.
+41 81 838 54 54 https://www. randolina.ch
- $$$$ Hotel Waldhaus, Sils (5*) Rated a historic hotel by the Swiss Tourist Board, and ranked #1 in Sils-Maria by TripAdvisor.
+41 81 838 51 00 https://www.waldhaus-sils.ch
- $$$ Nira Alpina, Surlej Ski-in, ski-out luxury adjacent to the Corvatschbahn cable car and the nursery slopes.
+41 81 838 69 69 https://niraalpina.com
- $$$$$ Giardino Mountain , St. Moritz-Champfèr (5*) Ranked by Tages-Anzeiger #20 amongst 5*Swiss hotels.
+41 81 836 63 00 https://www. giardino-mountain.ch
- $$$$$ Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains , St Moritz (5*) Highly regarded by Tages-Anzeiger.
+41 81 838 38 38 https://www.kempinski-stmoritz.com
- $$$$$ Kulm, St Moritz (5*) Highly regarded by Tages-Anzeiger.
+41 81 836 80 00 https://www.kulmhotel-stmoritz.ch
- $$$$$ The Carlton, St Moritz (5*) Highly regarded by Tages-Anzeiger.
+41 81 836 70 00 https://www.carlton-stmoritz.ch
- $$$$$ Suvretta House, St Moritz (5*) Highly regarded by Tages-Anzeiger.
+41 81 836 36 36 https://www.suvrettahouse.ch
- $$$$$ Badrutt's Palace, St Moritz (5*) Ranked #1 by Tages-Anzeiger amongst Swiss 5* Hotels and #1 in St Moritz by TripAdvisor.
+41 81 837 10 00 https://www.badruttspalace.com
- $$$$ Crystal Hotel, St Moritz Ranked #5 in St Moritz by TripAdvisor.
+41 81 836 60 00 https://www.crystalhotel.ch/
- $$$ Waldhaus am See, St Moritz (3*) Highly regarded by Tages-Anzeiger.
+41 81 836 60 00 https://www.waldhaus-am-see.ch
- $$$ Hotel Hauser, St Moritz Ranked #4 in St Moritz by TripAdvisor.
- $$ Hotel Bären, St Moritz Convenient for Bobsleigh and Cresta runs.
+41 81 836 60 00 https://www.hotelbaeren.com/
- $ St Moritz Bad Youth Hostel, St Moritz (Hostel) On #9 bus route convenient for St Moritz station and Corviglia. .
+41 81 836 61 11 https://www.youthhostel.ch/en/
- $ Randolins Backpackers, St Moritz (Hostel)
+41 81 830 83 83 https://www.swissbackpackers.ch
- $$$$$ In Lain Hotel Cadonau , Brail (5*) Ranked by Tages-Anzeiger #14 amongst 5*Swiss hotels.
+41 81 851 20 00 https://www. inlain.ch
- $$$ Castell, Zuoz (4*) Highly regarded by Tages-Anzeiger.
+41 81 851 52 53 https://www.hotelcastell.ch
- $$$ Hotel Engiadina, Zuoz Ranked #2 in Zuoz by TripAdvisor.
+41 81 851 54 54 https://www.hotelengiadina.ch