Tel: + 41 81 838 30 58
Outstanding service is something you always wish for in a 5 star hotel especially when you’ve taken one of the world’s greatest train journeys to get there. Don’t worry The Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains does all of this and more. Sure, it is not everyone’s cup of tea. There are bridge-playing sets that inhabit this part of the world that might balk at the swish and style of this place. But I really wouldn’t worry about them because when you check in to this ‘snow palace’ you will not be disappointed. After the spectacular train ride through the Alps it’s just a short drive to the hotel. Unless you have access to a private plane this the best way to hit St. Moritz.
From our Champagne laced arrival to the superb waiter Lukas who kept me topped up at dinner (with the right wine at the right time, I might add) it was a dream. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The building is imposing and steeped in history. St. Moritz is after all the home of winter sports, invented by us Brits 150 years ago. Entering a large foyer beneath an outrageously ostentatious chandelier there are a lot of resident designer labels on show on the spacious leather sofas. Please ignore these, they fade away in time and you are left with people more attuned to our world. That world of luxury and simplicity that is hard to write down but easy to spot. The brash will always flash their cash but those with style will always beguile.
The rooms are good from my junior suit on the 5th floor I had killer views of mountains through my three large windows. My domain was a large main room (sofa and table at one end splendid bed at the other) and a good well fitted bathroom and a separate shower. Nothing rattled or was loose like almost all hotels that claim top-notch status. Brilliantly, these suites have a separate WC. It might make the difference to a visiting couple of success or ‘never again’!
The food is a virtue worth exploring. The customised menu at first looked like a choice of three dishes for each course but I was presented with all three from all three courses. A nine-course tasting menu sneaked in under the radar. A superb light Lime Lobster Essence & Crustaceans Praline, a Poultry Cappuccino & Sot L ’y’ Laisse and a Gazpacho Sorbet & Vegetable Crostini set the tempo for the rest of the evening – classy but not showy. Another dish of confied lobster on braised cauliflower was the star of the evening winning me over with its fresh vitality. Breakfast here is legendary, I enjoyed the freshly grated truffles on egg with Hollandaise the most.
Staff, were very attentive, The Kempinski has great service, with that level of unsaid understanding that makes being here effortless. You could autopilot your stay if you like, but that would take away some of the fun of discovery and anticipation.
If you so desire pampering then the Spa is an option. A good-sized pool and a plethora of saunas, a word of warning though, in Switzerland they are mixed and usually occupied naked. So it’s up to you or maybe it just boils down to wheather you blush or not! There are towels everywhere so no need to worry too much.
You can of course venture outside and in the crisp winter air, enjoy some of the best skiing the world has to offer, chance your neck on the Cresta Run or in the summer walk the trails and jump over babbling brooks from dawn until dusk. My betting is that once ensconced in the hotel there will be little need to leave the building at all. Set your controls to manual and enjoy.
I travelled with SWISS, which offers up to 19 daily flights from London Heathrow, London City, Birmingham and Manchester to Zurich. Fares start from £147 return, including all airport taxes, one-piece hold luggage and free ski carriage.For reservations call 0845 6010956 or visit: www.swiss.com
For more information on Switzerland visit:
www.MySwitzerland.com or call
freephone 00800 100 200 30
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