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?
Is there a lake
and/or golf course in 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.
car the only option?
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
Lots of choices
for acccomodations (hotels/ chalets) and do I have recommendations?
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?
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.