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Swiss Summer: Nature’s Vivid Display at St. Moritz

Swiss Summer: Nature’s Vivid Display at St. Moritz

Embarking on a mesmerizing Swiss exploration armed with an eight-day Swiss Travel Pass and an impeccably crafted itinerary, my journey unfolded like a dream aboard a selection of prestigious panoramic trains.

In addition to its renowned winter allure, St. Moritz transforms in the summer months, revealing a tapestry of verdant landscapes. These warmer seasons present myriad chances to immerse oneself in nature, partake in exhilarating sports, and wholeheartedly embrace the serene Alpine lifestyle.

Embarking on a mesmerizing Swiss exploration armed with an eight-day Swiss Travel Pass and an impeccably crafted itinerary, my journey unfolded like a dream aboard a selection of prestigious panoramic trains – the Bernina Express, Glacier Express, and GoldenPass. My journey into the quintessential Swiss experience began when I took my first long train ride from Zürich to Chur. As the train emerged from a dark tunnel, the sky opened up to reveal a breath-taking mountain view that seemed almost too perfect, like a scene from a movie set. This was the Switzerland I had always imagined – reminiscent of the world of Heidi books and Ricola ads. The sight of charming chapels perched daringly on rocky cliffs against a backdrop of lush green meadows and shimmering peaks filled me with joy. Changing trains at Chur, I arrived in the chic town of St. Moritz. Despite its small year-round population of under 6,000 residents, this former Olympic host and luxury mountain town has captured the hearts of the rich and famous. During summer, St. Moritz feels more like the Mediterranean than northern Europe, with most days bathed in long hours of sunshine.

SUMMER SPLENDOUR

One word resonates with a distinctive allure Aka the Badrutt’s Palace. Within select circles, it evokes images of post-ski revelry in King’s Social House, chance encounters with billionaires donning their Moncler attire in the opulent corridors, and perhaps the most coveted New Year’s Eve celebration on the planet. Of course, it may also evoke visions of bedrooms overlooking the icy lake, of a winter retreat for the well-heeled. In another side of St. Moritz lies a different Badrutt’s, a place not as widely known yet equally captivating.

This summer version of the town and its grand Palace offer a fresh experience waiting to be explored. During our stay in the suite, we were greeted by a balcony that opened up to a scenic terrace. On our first evening, we went in for a horse drawn carriage ride, beholding the enchanting view of the lake, the majestic mountains in the distance, and the expansive Engadin valley stretching in both directions. In the summer, the mountains don a tapestry of varied textures and hues, replacing the winter’s monochrome palette of white snow and brown rock. A lush green forest embracing the serene grey-blue lake, vibrant emerald meadows, alpine pastures resembling the fading hue of a weeping willow tree, and rugged peaks adorned in black and grey, kissed by lingering patches of snow from the previous winter’s storms. All these natural wonders seemed to gaze back at us from our balcony perch. Unlike many hotels that claim to be palaces, Badrutt’s truly lives up to its regal reputation. The grand state rooms exude an atmosphere akin to a true palace, inviting guests to leisurely stroll through in their most elegant attire (although casual wear is allowed, it somehow feels out of place). In Le Restaurant, the magnificent dining hall and Le Relais the gorgeous French fine dining, one must dress formally to complement its sophisticated setting. The ambiance is truly exceptional; it feels like you are traversing past the crème de la crème of Europe’s old nobility. You may spot a lady gracefully adorned in a gown reading the international New York Times over breakfast at a corner table, a group of youngsters resembling the Romanovs, or an artist sporting a chic deep-blue blazer who not only looks the part but embodies it completely.

OLD WORLD CHARM

Embarking on my first summer visit to Paradiso Mountain Club & Restaurant under Badrutt’s Palace Hotel’s management, I eagerly anticipated sun-filled days surrounded by breath-taking landscapes. Paradiso, with a strong commitment to local sourcing and a dedication to quality and transparency, showcases a menu that captures the essence of St. Moritz’s Mountain lifestyle – a celebration of flavourful cuisine, crisp mountain air, and abundant sunlight. There’s a lot more to the dining adventure than what meets the eye. We had the pleasure of dining at Chesa Veglia, a charming old house just across the street that has been transformed into what might be considered the poshest pizzeria in the world. This is a side of the Palace that is carefree, laid-back, with its own charm – like a Palace letting its hair down, adorned with an Italian-stallion leather bracelet, indulging in gallons of Ornellaia. The pizzas are just perfect, the kind that satisfies any pizza lover’s cravings, and the staff appear to be enjoying themselves as much as the guests are.

REJUVINATE

Situated in the core of Palace Wellness, we were lucky to take a dip in the newest and biggest outdoor pool in St. Moritz in a Luxury Hotel in the Engadin offering sweeping vistas of the mountains and the lake that complimented a lunch post the swim at La Diala, a term translating to ‘mountain fairy’ in Romansh, represents a deep tie to the hotel’s surroundings offering an airy, wholesome menu. Even on the one overcast day we encountered during our week there, we sought refuge in the expansive indoor pool area, complete with its own rock mountain where kids can dive. The deep-tissue massages delivered at the spa are every bit as rejuvenating as one would anticipate at a spa nestled in the mountains. Yet, the allure of St. Moritz in the summer extends far beyond indulgent lunches, pampering at the Palace Coiffeur, ice creams at the Gelateria and panoramic lake vistas. Activities like kitesurfing on Lake Silvaplana, sailing on Lake St. Moritz, and exploring the picturesque nature trails by bike or on foot offer guests of Badrutt’s Palace a rich tapestry of outdoor adventures right at their fingertips. And if this is not enough, Badrutt’s also features on the World’s 50 Best Hotels list.

Awarded the ‘Best food writer in the country’ by the Indian culinary forum, WACS and the ministry of Tourism, Rupali Dean writes on food and travel.

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