St. Moritz, Switzerland



It's mid-August and St. Moritz's city center is bustling with people. Judging by the vast number of cars bearing license plates from Italy and the distinctive sound of Italian being spoken everywhere---I'd say summer turns St. Moritz into a satellite enclave of Italy. St. Moritz boasts FIVE 5-star hotels---more than any other ski resort visited. Why? Building permits for new homes/chalets are severely restricted and foreigners are prohibited from buying property which prevents the neighboring Germans, Italians and flashy Russians from taking the place over. So, this means jet-setters have to make do with bedding down in St. Moritz's slew of high-end hotels.

Shopping streets, including pedestrian-only sections, are lined with high-end jewelry, watch and clothing boutiques. A who's who of big names in the fashion world such as Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Prada have a presence here.

Though the leaning tower of Pisa is the most famous, St. Moritz has its own church tower which has been severely leaning since the 1700's. St. Moritz hosted the Winter Olympics in 1928 and 1948. This ski jump was used during both events and is still used in international competitions. I'd like to come back here in the winter to see an unusual event that takes place every February: horse racing on frozen Lake St. Moritz.

Is this place hopping or is it dead in the summer?
Definitely hopping.

Is there a lake and/or golf course in town?
The town butts up to scenic Lake St. Moritz. Head a few miles up the valley and you've got two more just as beautiful lakes.The 5-star Kulm Hotel in town boasts a 9-hole pitch and putt course next to the property.

Arriving by car the only option?
Trains will deposit you within two blocks of St. Moritz's city center. The airport (two miles away) is an option only if you have your own aircraft. There's no scheduled flight service in or out (thanks to long-time opposition by locals).

Does the place feel claustrophobic?
No.

Lots of choices for acccomodations (hotels/ chalets) and do I have recommendations?
The 4-star, non-smoking Hotel Schweizerhof in the city center is an excellent choice. The 5-star Hotel Waldhaus in the nearby scenic village of Sils-Maria (six miles from St. Moritz) is also an excellent choice.

Could I spend a whole summer here or would I get bored?
St. Moritz would be one of the very few ski resorts where I could spend a whole summer. The valley goes on for 10 miles and heading a mile down the mountain brings you to another long valley--giving me plenty of cycling opportunites. The international mix of locals and visitors along with a wide variety of options for hiking possibilties adds to the lure.