Fam trips…. We have all either already organised them, hosted them or have had the pleasure of taking part in one. But please don’t call me biased if I claim that our March fam trip to Zurich and St. Moritz was one of the best ones that I have ever been involved in.
This is the continuation of our summary of the Zurich & St. Moritz fam trip we hosted in March 2019…. happy reading:
… The next morning was an early start: wake-up call, shower, last packing, breakfast and check-out. Transfer to Zurich main station and then on the 8:37 am train to Chur, Canton Grison, there we changed onto the “small red” train to St. Moritz. The part of the train trip that followed is definably one of the most picturesque experiences you can have while travelling through Switzerland. Nuria Hernandez from Viajes Excelsior in CDMX described the train trip as following: “I had heard a lot about how nice this journey is, but I really did not imagine that it was THAT impressive!!! Two hours of breath-taking scenery, climbing the mountain through bridges and tunnels, awarded by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. I tried to capture the beauty and uniqueness by taking pictures, but none reflected the exquisiteness of the landscapes. After several attempts I decided to just enjoy the trip, take in the entire wonderful show that nature offered.”
Lucas Lanosa from Travel 54 in Buenos Aires said: “The trains in Switzerland are probably the best way to commute. No waiting time like in airports, great service and comfortable seats in first class. And the best of all: those views!!! So wonderful, I think I will never forget those views.”
Having arrived in in St. Moritz, 1800 m above sea-level, the driver of the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel was already waiting for us on the platform. With a group of 13 people in total, unfortunately there was not enough space in the 1968 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI that the hotel uses for the transfers. The rush to get a space in this car was like children playing musical chairs! Thankfully the hotel also sent one of the Mercedes Vitos, therefore 2 minutes later we all arrived at the hotel, where we were warmly welcomed by the lovely Ilaria Braga, Sales Manager, as well as by “already-part-of-the-furniture” Josef Vielhuber, the Guest Relations Manager.
One thing that immediately can be noticed, is that the staff at the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel offer the best of two worlds: they combine the efficiency and flawlessness of the Swiss with the warmth and friendliness of the Italians! (The Italian boarder is just over 35 km away). With this formula, check-in was done in seconds and all participants were guided into the ski-rental for measuring and arranging of ski-equipment. While this was going on, the porters already delivered the luggage to each and every room, meaning, that once each guest entered his room, the suitcases were already propped on the suitcase stand, ready to be unpacked (in the suites, the personal butler takes care of this).
30 minutes after arriving at the hotel, it was already time to meet Massimo Boni, Senior Sales Manager of the Tourism Office of St. Moritz. With Massimo we took the funicular up to the Panorama Restaurant of Muottas Muragl. The terrace and viewing platform of this restaurant, at 2456 m above sea-level, offers some of the most spectacular view of the valley and the winter wonderland that St. Moritz had for us. A heartily lunch was enjoyed by all, followed by a long photo session of selfies, group pictures and panoramic shots of the endless snow-covered mountains.
Back at the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, the afternoon, or what was left of it, was free time to explore the shopping possibilities of the main road, Via Serlas, or to enjoy the extensive 1600 sqm Palace Wellness.
In the evening, we once again came together and Ilaria used this time to show the group a variety of different room categories, including the unique Hans Badrutt’s Suite. This suite, is something very special: a marble entrance hall welcomes the guest, once inside it offers a cosy, all-wood library, a large living room with terrace that boasts stunning lake views, a princess-like bathroom with a Jacuzzi that overlooks the mountains, a dressing room that provides ample space for all treasures etc. etc. By itself the suite offers 175 sqm, it can however be extended into 5 bedroom suite, offering more than 280 sqm.
After the site inspection, the group put on their coats and embarked on a 2-minute, up-hill walk to the historic Chesa Veglia, one of the oldest houses of St. Moritz dating back to 1658. Here, the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel offers three pretty and unforgettable restaurants and two bars, all of which are unique in its kind and will cater for a variety of taste preferences: Patrizier Stuben offers Swiss traditional cuisine, Pizzeria Heuboden must be the most cosy pizzeria north of the Italian-Swiss border, and, last but not least Chadafö Grill offering grilled meat and fish specialities.
For groups and large families from 10 people onwards, the Pizzeria Heuboden has a special treat, and we had the pleasure of being treated! A full Italian family style dinner leaving no wish unanswered: starters included mozzarella and cherry tomatoes, dry-cured beef (one of the region’s specialities), rocket salad with freshly shaven Parmesan, cold-smoked salmon with artichoke salad, creamy-fresh Burrata with smoked ham. This was followed by a selection of 3 different pizzas: a beautifully simple Margarita with, for those who like it spicy, home-made chilli oil, the world famous Dama Bianca and the pizza Chesa Veglia. I will not explain what the Dama Bianca consists of, however what I can say is this: never in my life have I seen a pizza disappear so quickly!
After pizza, it was time for the main course: grilled to perfection lamb-cutlets, juicy beef tenderloin on rocket salad and crispy-skin spring-chicken. All this accompanied by jacket potatoes and grilled Mediterranean vegetables.
At this point we were all at the point of bursting, but then dessert was served: mousse au chocolate, fresh fruit salad, Engadiner nutcake and apple strudel.
After dinner most of the group felt like rolling down-hill along the road to the hotel. Once there, after a much needed digestive in the renowned Renaissance Bar, it was off to bed for all of us.
The next morning started early. During the previous evening, we agreed to meet in the ski-room at 9:00 am. The main topic in the ski-room, apart from the excitement of going skiing of course, was the fact that breakfast at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel is one of the most dazzling experiences: next to the oversized windows, with breath-taking views across a winter-wonderland scenery, the décor of Le Restaurant, where breakfast is served, offers a trip back in time to the heights of the 1920s. A grand dining hall with chandeliers and unique wall decoration. While enjoying this and the superb selection of breakfast products, the guest is being lulled into a state of absolute peace by the music of the harpist.
But enough of food for a minute and back to the skiing: all equipped, the group met up with the ski instructors and took the transfer to the funicular station that is located 120 m from the hotel. At the station Chantarella the beginners and the advanced skiers parted ways. The beginners took a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride to the ski-school area of Salastrains. The advances skiers headed up to Corviglia where we met up with Massimo once again. The next 4 hours can only be described as follows: pure sunshine and the brightest blue sky, pristinely groomed slopes, perfect snow conditions. It couldn’t have been more perfect!
Lunch came all too soon. The group got together in CheCha, the new restaurant of local chef-star Reto Mathis. A superb three course lunch was enjoyed on the beautiful glass-covered terrace of this restaurant. Who knew that Panamá hat and lunch in the St. Moritz Mountains go so well together!
After a full day of skiing, it was time to head back to the hotel and make use once again of the enormous Palace Wellness. Every participant was treated to a massage and then was able to indulge in the wet-zone of the spa: two saunas, two different steam-rooms, ice-room, icy rain-showers and of course the iconic indoor oval pool.
For three year now, Badrutt’s Palace Hotel is also home to one of Switzerland’s star-studded chefs. Since December 2016, Andreas Caminada has his restaurant IGNIV by Andreas Caminada in St. Moritz. This restaurant really offers a completely new dining experience, best described as a “fine-dining-sharing-experience” that is all about the concept of a birds-nest. Intrigued? So were we! The superb food and exquisite wines brought out the best in all of us… And it definitely was a night to remember! I had muscle-ache the next morning from all the laughter!!
The next day was also all about skiing. Once again we were graced with just the best skiing conditions. Like a déjà-vu, lunch time came much too soon. but it was welcomed by all! This time lunch was curtesy of the St. Moritz Tourism Office on the beautiful terrace of Restaurant Salastrains. Once again during lunch, all in the group were able to personally experience the phenomenon that Johannes Badrutt used to persuade the first winter guests to come to St. Moritz in 1864, and therewith creating the beginning of winter-tourism: enjoying the sunshine in T-shirt while being surrounded by the most beautiful winter-wonderland.
Arriving back to the hotel that afternoon, it felt as if this was already our home and no one in the group could believe that this was going to be the last night of us being together But the team at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel made sure that this was going to be a fam trip that finished with a BANG! Dinner was enjoyed in the world-famous Matsuhisa – serving the unique cuisine of the acclaimed chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa.
Having been treated to so much good and different food over so many days, all in the group were delighted to hear that after dinner we were able to dance off some of these calories in the newly refurbished King’s Social House. Famed as the oldest nightclub in Switzerland, King’s Club at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel has enjoyed a distinguished reputation as a legendary night spot for generations of St. Moritz jetsetters. Now re-born as King’s Social House it definitely is a place to dance all night long and what an end to this fantastic experience!!
We would like to thank both our clients Badrutt’s Palace Hotel and St. Moritz for making this fam trip happen. Without their support this would not have been possible. Also we would like to thank the Baur au Lac and Zurich Tourism for their support and hope that there will be plenty of opportunities in future to work together.
Finally we are delighted to share a few more feedbacks of some of the participants:
Marisol Villarreal from Lifestyle Travel Network in CDMX summed up the trip very nicely: “A great experience where 3 things were combined: 1st – an amazing group with very funny people and different characters, 2nd – two beautiful destinations with much to offer and 3rd – a great host who was always attentive to every detail so that everything went perfectly.
Lucas Lanosa from Travel 54 in Buenos Aires on the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel: “I was blown away by the Palace. First of all, Giuseppe waiting for us in a Roll Royce! What a treat! I think I would surprise my clients with this luxury car. Then the classy and beautiful hotel, the views from the room were amazing. The breakfast with that lady playing the harp make it so special! The restaurants: WOW! All of them were out of this world!”
Heloisa de Palma from Matueté in Sao Paulo: “St Moritz is a pure gem, the surrounding area is so beautiful! The Badrutt's Palace delights in every detail - an incredible institution!”