January 8, 2014

A Winter Getaway to Zurich and St. Moritz

We recently returned from a winter getaway to Zurich and St. Moritz, Switzerland. Based at the luxurious Dolder Grand and Badrutt’s Palace hotels, we enjoyed the best of both cities. Here are a few favorite places and experiences from our trip:

Dolder Grand HotelThe Dolder Grand is the perfect luxury retreat in Zurich. We love the light and space of the rooms in the contemporary wings. Many have fantastic views over the city, Lake Zurich and the Alps in the distance.

fondue in ZurichAn unforgettable meal at one of Zurich’s best fondue restaurants. Perfect for sharing!

AltstadtA walk through the narrow streets of Zurich’s Altstadt (old town) is a great way to spend an afternoon.

Swiss cookiesFirst stop…Cafe Felix for some sweets and pastries by Teuscher, one of Switzerland’s most renowned confectioners.

glass shoppingZurich is excellent for shopping. Many boutiques and specialty shops line the pedestrian-only streets of the old town.

Christmas decorationsSwitzerland’s festive Christmas markets, which typically run from late November through December, are a wonderful winter experience.

Christmas market ZurichWarming up with a delicious gluhwein (mulled wine) at the Christmas Market.

ZurichThis father and daughter were selling Grittibaenz, a sweet brioche bread loaf baked in the form of a man. It’s a traditional holiday treat for celebrating St. Nicholas Day in December.

racletteWhen in Switzerland, it’s always easy to eat more cheese! This time, it’s Raclette melted over potatoes and served with a side of cornichons and pickled onions.

SprungliEnjoying the cafe culture of Zurich with a coffee and Luxemburgerli cookie at Confiserie Sprungli on the Bahnhofstrasse.

Dolder GrandThe Dolder Grand has an incredible spa, as well as heated outdoor whirlpools that overlook the city, lake and mountains.

food in SwitzerlandA five-course dinner and wine pairing at The Dolder Grand’s Michelin two-star restaurant. Absolute perfection.

St. MoritzNext, we were off to St. Moritz, a resort town in the Swiss Alps that hosted the 1928 and 1948 Winter Olympics. We traveled on the legendary Glacier Express train through dramatic mountain landscapes.

Badrutts PalaceAffectionately called “The Palace” by the locals, historic Badrutt’s Palace is the place to stay for a luxurious getaway in St. Moritz.

Sonja in St. MoritzWe enjoyed the pleasant weather and sunshine on the veranda at Badrutt’s Palace. St. Moritz has over 300 days of sunshine per year!

Badrutts PalaceThe lobby area of Badrutt’s Palace, also known as “the living room of St. Moritz.” It’s a place to see and be seen.

St. Moritz luxury hotelThe Madonna by Raphael adorns a wall in the hotel library.

strudelApple strudel at Chesa Veglia, a restaurant run by Badrutt’s. It’s in an atmospheric old farmhouse next to the hotel.

skiingThe highlight of a stay in St. Moritz during the winter…incredible skiing! We loved having our own private ski guide from Badrutt’s help us navigate the best pistes at Corviglia, a ski mountain located directly behind the village.

ski lunchSkiers and non-skiers alike can enjoy a gourmet lunch and incredible mountain views at Mathis Food Affairs, a chic and upscale restaurant headed by celebrity chef Reto Mathis. Easily accessed by funicular from St. Moritz, the restaurant is high on the ski slopes of Corviglia.

dessertApres-ski dessert at Mathis.

St. MoritzWalking off the pounds gained from our indulgent Swiss meals with a scenic walk around Lake St. Moritz…

luxury ski shopping…and window shopping in town to see the latest trends in ski fashion.

fondueOur grand finale meal in Switzerland: a private “food safari” through the many dining venues of Badrutt’s Palace. First, we visited the wine cellar with the head sommelier to taste local wines paired with a Champagne risotto. Then, we walked through the kitchens to the formal dining room where the main course was served. We ended with…

bonbons…a behind-the-scenes visit to the pastry kitchen with the executive pastry chef.

St. Moritz ski toursThe stunning view from our room at Badrutt’s Palace as the sun sets over St. Moritz.

Switzerland is a wonderful destination any time of year. Contact us to start planning a private Switzerland tour.

Destinations:  Europe, Switzerland

Tags:  active travel, Artisans of Leisure, Badrutt’s Palace, chocolate, Christmas Markets, Dolder Grand, Europe tours, fondue, food tours, Glacier Express, gourmet restaurants, holiday travel, hotels, luxury hotels, luxury Switzerland tours, restaurants, shopping, ski tours, ski vacation, skiing, Switzerland tours, trains, wine tours, winter getaways, winter travel