Switzerland in the SummerSwitzerland - St. Moritz in the Summertime
Even the name — St. Moritz — evokes glamour, and in person, St. Moritz does not disappoint. Whether you drive through the challenging mountain passes or train in from Zurich, the scenery is stunning. There is no doubt in your mind if God lived on earth, he would live in Switzerland. Although mostly associated with the winter ski season, St. Moritz is also a summer destination where you can hike the Engadine mountains, bike and walk around the lake and soak in the beauty. Even die hard New Yorkers can find themselves asking, “Why don’t we live in Switzerland?”
A weekend in St. Moritz during the summer will be relaxing, yet active, and low-key, yet glamorous. Beauty comes in two forms: the natural scenery and that of the international party crowd that converges upon St. Moritz.
The most outwardly glamorous place to stay is Badrutt’s Palace, where you will be greeted by the perfect Swiss service — efficient and flawless in how everything is done. The best rooms have balconies and face the lake, where you can suspend disbelief that a place this beautiful exists. After you’ve settled in, put on your active gear and leisurely walk or bike the perimeter along the St. Moritz Lake. On the way, stop by the quintessential Swiss restaurant, Meierei, in the Landhotel for the traditional Kaesespaetzle, a decadent homemade pasta with cheese, or on the lighter side, the schnitzel with pommes frites, all while soaking in the stunning view of the St. Moritz town in the distance.
After lunch, there is a smaller lake, about 10 minutes from Meierei where you can take a swim or you can continue your walk with all the other perfect Swiss Miss families and fit Swiss vacationers. This is a place that will inspire you to crank up your workout routine.
As you approach town, spend some time exploring St. Moritz itself with a coffee or hot chocolate at Hanselmann’s Konditorei Cafe, where you will want to stock up on their cocoa covered almonds, Swiss hazelnuss torte and other chocolate delights. You will be able to do some major damage at the high-end shops along the Via Serlas like Louis and Dolce. Or, go local at shops like Ebneter & Biel for fine linens and handmade goods, and Trois Pommes where each designer piece is equivalent in cost to a small car.
Unlike Spain where the dinner hour doesn’t begin until 10, the glam Swiss eat earlier, at 8. For your first night, head to Chesa Veglia, one of the oldest farmhouses in St. Moritz with three restaurants and two bars. Heuboden Pizzeria is a casual pizzeria where you never thought salad, pasta and pizza could be so delicious. The best food though, arguably in all of St. Moritz, is at the Chadafo Grill, also located within Chesa Veglia. Afterwards, for a local Swiss scene, Diamond Club is about 100 meters from the Kulm Hotel and the main summer attraction where you can show off your skills on the various “dancers” poles located throughout the club and listen to Eurodance music.
The next morning, after partaking in the spectacular breakfast buffet at Badrutt’s, spend the day in active pursuit of Switzerland which can include a hike in the Engadine mountains (also accessible by funicular), renting a bike to explore the surrounding environs of St. Moritz or for those truly adventurous, kite surfing in Silvaplana, next door to St. Moritz. Silvaplana has one of the few lakes entirely dedicated to kite surfing.
For dinner, head to the Johri’s Talvo for local haute cuisine and a gastronomic experience. If you are lucky enough to catch Dracula open on a Friday or Saturday night, or even better, through a private party, you can dance the night away in arguably one of the most exclusive clubs outside of St. Tropez while drinking their famous Bellinis long into the night. The only thing that that could rival St. Moritz in the summer is St. Moritz during ski season, which we’ll be sure to visit this winter.