If there’s places to vacation that are essentially utopia, Switzerland is gunning for the top spot. It doesn’t matter if you ski or just mastered the art of après ski (seriously, that takes real talent). No matter where your skills are on the spectrum, there’s something that is universally take-your-breath-away about Switzerland’s famous Alps. Where there is beautiful scenery and beautiful people. And, you know, beautiful people don’t like to rough it. These ski resorts in Swiss Alps are destinations unto themselves, where the skiing is (almost) secondary.
Badrutt’s Palace Hotel
Location: St. Moritz
Badrutt’s Palace Hotel is the getaway in the snowy Engadin Valley that brings old-school glamour back to St. Moritz. This ski resort has 155 guest rooms and suites, all of which overlook Lake St. Moritz and the village around it. It has a spa and wellness center, which include floor-to-ceiling windows, an indoor infinity pool, and a fitness center.
With 13 bars and restaurants on-site, you don’t even have to leave the premises for Switzerland’s top nightlife scene. In fact, most people are clamoring to get in, especially for late night festivities at King’s Club. For the winter season, Badrutt’s Palace has special three-to-five day packages. These include ski passes, mountain views that don’t quit, and a whole lot of luxurious amenities. In addition to the world-renowned skiing, there are winter activities as far as the eye can see. There’s an ice rink for skating, and helicopter flights that’ll take you through the picture-perfect scenery.
If you can believe it, Badrutt’s Palace Hotel offers Skijöring, which means you’ll ski or snowboard while being pulled by a horse. Also, the two-Michelin-star restaurant IGNIV must be mentioned by name. Badrutt’s Palace is everything that’s the glitz of St. Moritz.
Address: Via Serlas 27, 7500 St.Moritz, Switzerland
The Chedi is a chic luxury hotel located in the heart of the Swiss Alps. It has 123 rooms and suites with top floors that get you up close and personal with views of the mountains. Additionally, the interiors of the hotel interestingly combine a European and Asian aesthetic. Think après ski fire pits underneath wooden pergolas meant to invoke a Japanese temple feel. There are five different restaurants that serve a variety of cuisines, including Swiss specialties and some of the best Japanese food in Switzerland. There are also spots to go specifically for cigars, wine — and even cheese. The spa and wellness center has both an indoor and outdoor pool as well as a fitness center and treatment rooms.
During the winter, this ski resort transforms its courtyard into a winter village. Walking through, you’ll see snow-covered paths, fir trees, Scandinavian and Swiss cabins, as well as a festive village square. The Chedi experience is a package wrapped in the charm of a classic Swiss chalet, with a high dose of adventure to go along with it.
Address: Gotthardstrasse 4, 6490 Andermatt, Switzerland
The Lodge is Sir Richard Branson’s luxurious hideaway in the Swiss Alps. And we all know how everything Branson touches turns to gold — or in this case perfect powder. His retreat is situated on a quiet road just 250 meters away from the ski lifts. You could say you’re literally staying on the slopes.
There are nine bedrooms and suites, which can accommodate up to 18 adults and six kids in a specially designed bunk room. The Lodge amenities include a pool, two hot tubs, a welcoming staff, and chefs who trained with the best. For skiing, you can bring your own gear or get hassle-free rentals from the Lodge itself. Though there are beginner slopes, adventure is high in Verbier with some of the best off-piste and itinerary runs in the Alps. But the spa treatments are exceptional too, and include sports, hot-stone therapy, and bamboo massages.
Verbier hosts four different valleys all covered by a single ski lift pass. This means you’ll have access to one of the largest skiable areas in the Alps.
Address: Chem. de Plénadzeu 3, 1936 Verbier, Switzerland
The Alpina Gstaad
The Alpina Gstaad is a small but elegant hotel situated on a hillside that overlooks a classic Swiss ski village. Ten years running, it’s known for its modern architecture, inspiring gardens, and robust art collection. With only 56 rooms and suites nestled against the mountains, it’s an intimate and charming getaway. And it aims for a more personal and quiet experience in the Swiss Alps.
For dining, there are on-site Michelin-star restaurants and a wine cellar that offers more than 1,700 choices. But never mind the wine: the hot chocolate is reportedly the best in the world. And the fondue, well, you may just return for that alone. The location of this ski resort gives you access to skiing and snowboarding, but also to a variety of winter hikes and opportunities for cross-country skiing.
The Alpina Gstaad hosts the famous Six Senses Spa, the first within Switzerland. It will be hard not to spend all day there.
Address: Alpinastrasse 23, 3780 Gstaad, Switzerland
The Omnia has won multiple awards and international recognition as one of Europe’s best hotels. It brings a contemporary approach to the traditional mountain lodge. Because the idea of the “mountain lodge” comes from the U.S., the Omnia was designed by the late New York-based architect Ali Tayar. However, the Omnia is smaller in scale and more of a boutique hotel with its 30 rooms, including 12 suites. The restaurant has both an à la carte menu and a four-course tasting meal prepared by chef Tony Rudolph. The elevation continues with a wellness center that includes a pool surrounded by polished granite, hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, and an outdoor whirlpool. Not that skiing shouldn’t be the center of it all when you’re in Zermatt, but this place is where the social set goes to glow. When hitting the slopes, stop in to catch your breath at one of the many gourmet mountain huts that serve homemade beef carpaccio. And when you’re back for the après ski, the Broken Bar, an institution, will be waiting.
With fireplaces crackling throughout the different spaces and a great scene everywhere, a stay here is really about the people you’ll find — both on the slopes and in the thoughtfully designed interiors.
Address: Auf dem Fels, 3920 Zermatt, Switzerland
Six Senses Crans-Montana
Opening in February of 2023, and worth the wait, is the Six Senses Crans-Montana. The luxury property is a two-hour drive from Geneva and perched just above the main gondola in Crans. This location, practically on a slope, has 45 rooms and suites with views that go on forever, especially since they’re equipped with bay windows and balconies overlooking the Alpine forest. And some of those views include the Swiss Matterhorn and the French Mont Blanc massif.
There are two restaurants, one brasserie, and one Japanese-influenced eatery with specialties like hoba miso and hot pots. The new hotel lives up to the reputation of the Six Senses with a huge, 6,500-square-foot spa that is a must after hitting the slopes. You could also say it’s pool central, thanks to an indoor pool, a rooftop pool, and a cold-plunge pool. A hammam, hot tub, and steam room round out the facilities.
This ski resort offers direct ski-in and ski-out access to the area’s pristine winter slopes — and there’s 87 miles of them. And, if you decide you love it that much once you visit, you can even buy in. There are 13 private residences at the resort that are available for purchase. You just might find yourself checking in with their sales office.
Address: Rte des Téléphériques 60, 3963 Crans-Montana, Switzerland