St. Moritz Travel Journal - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog


St. Moritz Travel Journal

Relaxation, pampering, and adventure merge in Switzerland’s uber-expensive winter playland.


When my hubby and I pulled up in front of The Carlton Hotel in St. Moritz, we must have looked like a pair of gypsies. In contrast to the fur-clad Vuitton-toting Euro-royalty and their Bentleys and Range Rovers out front, our rented SUV was dirty from the long drive, packed to the gills with luggage, and had two curious cats hanging out on the dashboard.

St. Moritz Travel Journal

The Carlton Hotel St. Moritz

Our little family (ie. us and our fur babies) had spent the past five months in a string of AirBnbs and hotels, and desperately searching for an apartment we could rent long-term. When we finally found one, but it wouldn’t be available for a month, we decided to use that time to travel around Switzerland.

We’d heard that The Carlton was a glamorous gem considered to be one of the leading hotels in the world. It’s not hard to see why. From the moment we drove up, every need was cared for. With a warm and welcoming attitude, each member of their staff made us feel completely at home. Check-in was a breeze and when we got to our suite we noticed that they’d provided a bowl of fruit, organic tea and chocolates, and two cat beds along with water and food bowls.

St. Moritz Travel Journal

The sweets, tea, chocolate, and travel guide waiting for us in our suite’s living room

St. Moritz Travel Journal

The bedroom area of our suite

St. Moritz Travel Journal

Shadow, looking like a princess, in our bedroom

Our fur babies checking out one of the Carlton-provided pet beds

St. Moritz was the original winter playground for the wealthy, and seemingly has changed very little in the past century. Billionaires around the world make their yearly winter pilgrimage here because they know what to expect: great skiing and winter sports, immaculate service, and high-end, well, everything. I’d visited 15 years earlier and remembered the town –and its glitzy patrons– clearly. And honestly, aside from the interior of The Carlton Hotel, the town hasn’t changed. In fact, it’s exactly the same, as if the world is spinning around it, but St. Moritz pays no attention, totally unaffected.

One of the most charming buildings in the town of St. Moritz is this chocolate and dessert cafe

There are a few other things in life that are also said to be certain. Namely, death and taxes. Close runner ups being sore feet after wearing heels, a cramped neck after talking to a distressed friend on the phone all night, and nasty jet lag / dry skin combo after a long flight. When watching trust funders in fur coats guzzle cheese fondue without a care in the world got to be too much, my hubby and I were able to find solace at our hotel’s spa, where they helped us forget about the world’s inevitabilities. The Carlton Spa at The Carlton Hotel can’t do anything about the old adage (you know — death and taxes…) but can make your tired feet spring forward, your sore neck feel revitalized and makes jet lag an extinct term. Luckily, we were able to be pampered at the Carlton Spa almost daily for our entire 5-day stay. Their couples massage room is to. die. for. and they have so many steam, whirlpool, and sauna rooms that you could blink and realize it’s three hours later.

St. Moritz Travel Journal

Tea at the spa

Choosing which essential oils I wanted to use in my treatment

St. Moritz Travel Journal

A private couples room, with its own private sauna, jacuzzi, steam room, and massage tables

St. Moritz Travel Journal

Delicious infused water and tea, and candied ginger, at the spa

Not long ago, The Carlton was completely gutted and re-done. And I mean gutted. The walls and hallways were moved, small guest rooms were combined, and it was transformed into a tres-unique suite-only hotel. At The Carlton, not only are their elaborate and eclectic rooms (you should see their ultra-flamboyant interior designer — what a character!) enormous, but every room comes with your own private living room, access to the spa, a giant outdoor deck, multiple lounges, two incredible restaurants and 24/7 room service.

At one of The Carlton’s two restaurants

St. Moritz Travel Journal

One of the lobby lounge areas

St. Moritz Travel Journal

The effort put into the gorgeous wall treatments in the hallways was not lost on me

St. Moritz Travel Journal

The lobby has live music, several lounge areas and two giant fireplaces. Oh, and a fantastic cocktail list.

Want to go out but don’t feel like walking in your heels? They’ll drive you there and pick you up after — in the hotel’s uber-posh Bentley.

It’s all meant to spoil you — and it does. To get a sense of the level of opulence, consider that they’re hovering around 9.5 out of 10 on all the major hotel-ratings websites, even though their suites go for around $5k per night. For pretty much every guest to feel they got their money’s worth, they’re definitely doing something everything right.

St. Moritz Travel Journal

The Carlton’s room service menu has several delicious vegan options

St. Moritz Travel Journal

Checking out the dining areas in the hotel…

The Carlton is intentionally positioned to maximize the view of the lake and surrounding mountains, and designed to not only impress you, but also to inspire you. To remind you that sometimes what is needed is not to have more things, but to experience more things. To remind you of how big and beautiful and spectacular this planet really is. This is the Carlton, whose views will take your breath away.

St. Moritz Travel Journal

The view from our suite was spectacular

St. Moritz stands a whopping 5,900 feet above sea level and surrounds a crystal-clear lake.

Besides being host to the Winter Olympics several times and to the secretive, powerful Bilderberg Group (rumored to run much of the world), this winter wonderland offers endless things to experience. But our hotel was so comfortable and cozy that we decided to spend all our time there, and let them plan our activities. Here were our favorites:

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A writer, artist and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary spends most of her time in France, but still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC and has traveled extensively around the world, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 44 Comments

  1. Francis Vest

    Love the photos in your travel articles.

  2. How’s the weather at St. Moritz?! ❄ ☔ 🌞

  3. Sharon Payson

    That hotel looks absolutely breathtaking! 😅

  4. Andrea Jones

    “Seeing is believing,” I’m definitely booking a trip to St. Moritz! Great write-up

  5. Zoraida Martin

    Stunning scenery!!! 📷 🎥

  6. Jossen Row

    So far, this is the most beautiful travel article I’ve seen about St. Moritz.

  7. Rosalia Russell

    I heard that Morterastch Glacier in St Moritz is good for hiking

  8. Karen Abeyta

    I’m looking at booking The Carlton — the rates are pricey, is there a time of year when it’s not quite as expensive?

  9. Words can fall short describing the excitement I’m feeling right now!

  10. Jodi Thil

    Spectacular travel photos!!! 😍

  11. Artur Piterson

    WOW! Amazing glacier with a fantastic view!

  12. Maxine Ford

    You are so fortunate to have wonderful experience like this! Thanks for sharing, Hilary!

  13. Joan Morales

    BEST vegan meal?! Hmmmm… Let me try it for myself

  14. Lisa Bryson

    Thanks! I believe planning a trip to St. Moritz is a bit stresful, but it’s gonna be worth it. (I’m from Los Angeles, CA, BTW).

  15. Eloise Ferris

    I think the glacier is best seen from the train?! Not much of a hiker…

  16. April Henry

    I love reading about your travel adventures. Please write more about St Moritz and European destinations 😍

  17. The Carlton looks AMMMAAAZZZIINNGG!!

  18. Selli Coaze

    Terrific! I’m going to start planning my St. Moritz visit!

  19. Juli Woods

    I’m in love with St. Moritz because of its natural beauty and cosmopolitan atmosphere. My girlfriends and I are going to plan a Swiss road trip and visit St Moritz and Zurich. ?

  20. Hena Taylor

    Now I’m reminded of that exciting “Christmas feeling.” Nice one!

  21. Lusi Martin

    Reading your article made me feel the excitement over again. I remembered my train ride, at the “Glacier Express.” Very scenic… once in a lifetime, “must experience” 😉

  22. Jessi Agusta

    St. Moritz is one of the most exclusive places I’ve been to (and the most expensive — a small pizza was 40 euros!)

  23. Honey Smith

    What I love about your site is that I always get “free” comprehensive travel guides. I appreciate how you write about your experiences and I find your photos amazing!!!

  24. Bela Christo

    St. Moritz is the most perfect and amazing ski area I’ve ever been to! I’ve been twice, but I’m going to book another trip today and stay at The Carlton this time.

  25. Anila William

    I’d like a romantic getaway at Carlton Hotel. Thanks for the idea 🙂 ❤

  26. Cristina Joseff

    I can imagine myself surrounded by deep blue colored ice.

  27. Nancy Smith

    I think the St. Moritz is impeccably glamorous 😉

  28. Maria Bruce

    You’re an amazing woman, Hilary! You travel, explore and experience wonderful places. Thank you for sharing — through great article and awesome photos!

  29. Quin Meri

    From your article, it looks like St. Moritz is the perfect destination for me and boyfriend… and the Swiss are known for their chocolates! #yummy

  30. Sharlene Robinson

    You know what?! I love the thrill of hiking and am currently considering St. Moritz as my next destination. Glad I landed on your page!

  31. It seems that Carlton is a VERY elegant hotel. Would love to try their spa the next time I’m in the area.

  32. Very interesting… the mountain scenery looks so relaxing

  33. I’ve bookmarked the article! I’ll def check this again when I plan my St. Moritz trip this year. Thanks much!

  34. I have a little dog and I’m always looking for hotels that are really pet-friendly, where I can also do stuff outside with her. Please post more articles like these, with pet-friendly hotels. Please please please!

  35. I wonder how easy it is for a New Yorker to visit St. Moritz for a vacation? How far is it from the airport? ?

    • You’d fly into Zurich and it’s a super gorgeous 2.5 hour drive to St. Moritz. The hotel can hook you up with a ride.

  36. Sally J

    I heard that St Moritz is super snobby and sceney. It’s always sounded like the last place I’d want to go.

  37. My friends go to St. Moritz all the time. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it, but it seems like it has a lot to offer. I’ll definitely join them next time, and suggest this hotel to them. They usually book out an entire floor. Fun!

  38. WOW – That hotel looks ammmmaaazzzinng… I’m going to book us there ASAP. How long does it take to get there from the airport?

  39. I’ve been to St. Moritz so many times, but never stayed at the Carlton. It looks right up my alley. Thanks for the tip — will stay there next time! BTW – I adore Hauser bakery!

  40. Ana Brose

    Very interesting… the mountain scenery looks so relaxing. I’ve bookmarked the article! I’ll def check this again when I plan my St. Moritz trip this year. Thanks much!

  41. Jenifer Jeni

    Wow, what a beautiful place! I’ve booked 2 nights in St Moritz next month. Looking forward to the Carlton Spa!

  42. Trish Potter

    Well now I know where to go when I want to travel with my cat and have her pampered – and after I save up to increase my travel budget! That seems like a once in a lifetime place and hotel to stay at, and now it’s on my travel bucket list. It sounds like such a calming escape from the craziness and uncertain, unpredictable times since Donald Trump was elected – it would be nice to get away and not feeling that it’s urgent to be hooked into the news to see what weird thing he’s done that day! I loved that the Carlton provided cat beds for your cats!

  43. Jennifer Vetlaken

    WUNDERBARE fotos und toller mantel! wenn ich das sehe, kann ich meinen ersten skiurlaub diesen winter kaum erwarten! ich hab dieses jahr das glück 2 mal skiurlaub zu machen, das zweite mal auch in st.moritz. ich war dort noch nie und hab schon viel gutes über die pisten gehört ? ich wünsch dir viel spaß dort

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