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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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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Avatar of Hilary Rowland

A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 86 Comments

  1. Avatar of Doreen Carlson

    Doreen Carlson

    I really agree. The mountain ranges here looks really stunning and quite a rare sight in a world full of skyscrapers.

  2. Avatar of Myrtle Bailey

    Myrtle Bailey

    This is the type of vacation people need when they’re really stressed and just want to get away from the city life.

  3. Avatar of Sandy Green

    Sandy Green

    The views here are really priceless. I was really stunned by how the mountains look and even the rivers are just so clean.

  4. Avatar of Shirley Haynes

    Shirley Haynes

    I’m stunned by the look of this place in St. Moritz. I’m going to show this to my hubby and ask if he wants to go here.

  5. Avatar of Kathryn Hill

    Kathryn Hill

    Been there to Carlton hotel a couple of years ago and it’s very worth the money. I had so much fun just by staying at the hotel, even if I didn’t want to participate in outdoor activities because I was just too cold and I wanted to be wrapped up in blankets. The place was really good and service was amazing, I was fine with ordering room service, feeling like a princess in the process. It wasn’t all that bad, I felt at home but just something more luxurious and better. But the Carlton in St. Moritz is the place to be.

  6. Avatar of Ebony Moore

    Ebony Moore

    Their menus look like it’s for an ancient princess.?

    • Avatar of Kristina Ramsey

      Kristina Ramsey

      It actually sounded like she was so disappointed with the food.

  7. Avatar of Ora Pope

    Ora Pope

    The interior designers of most of the places here are really talented. Everything looks good in that hotel. The bed is just…. I dunno I’m speechless!

  8. Avatar of Erica Beck

    Erica Beck

    Hikes usually give me vertigo too. I thought that was just me, but that hike view is so beautiful and breathtaking. I haven’t been there but I’ve fallen in love with the place almost immediately.

  9. Avatar of Tasha Daniel

    Tasha Daniel

    100% going to book a flight here. I think it’s a really lovely place and whatever money you’re going to spend here will be worth it. It may be a lot of money but with all the positive and good reviews about this place, I think it’s really worth it and just enjoy the place as it is. I also think that vacations are good because it’s all about the experience. Money can’t buy happiness but this is definitely something that money can buy but leads to GREAT happiness! Put this on your bucketlist and tell yourself that it’s a once in a lifetime thing! ❤️

  10. Avatar of Jessi


    Whoa that spa is looking so nice and zen.?

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