One hundred and fifty-one years ago this season, St Moritz opened up for winter tourism. This month the Swiss resort town is pulling out all the stops to celebrate.
From pristine slopes to snow polo and gourmet dining, St Moritz has been the go-to mountain destination for the world’s jet set since 1864, after – so the story goes – hotelier Johannes Badrutt wagered that his summertime guests would enjoy the resort town’s winter atmosphere just as much.
Needless to say, he won that bet. In honour of the anniversary, the Alpine resort has created a full schedule of events for the 2016/2017 winter season, with most of the action taking place in January. On January 2, 24 and 31, Swiss light artist Gerry Hofstetter uses the natural surroundings to create a Light & Snow Spectacle with projections, skiers and fireworks. Plenty of races will keep sports aficionados busy: a nostalgic ski race on January 17; a ski race from Corviglia to St Moritz village on January 18; and on January 23, the Monaco Historic Race will feature monobobs and bobsleighs.
Gourmands should book their trip from January 26-30 for the St Moritz Gourmet Festival 2017, which will pay homage to the Brits who first discovered the town as a winter holiday hotspot with a “British Edition” showcasing the UK’s master chefs at a variety of events in the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains, Badrutt’s Palace Hotel and Kulm Hotel. It’s time to strap on some skis, don that Chanel parka and head for the hills.