A tiny Swiss mountain town with a big, glitz-infused name, St. Moritz is the winter getaway that made the ski holiday a high-life ideal.
As far back as the 1860s, a patrician British contingent was spending the cold months in the winter sun here; by the 1960s, the jet set had anointed St. Moritz the hallowed ski spot of wealthy scions and the internationally fabulous.
In the town’s handful of streets jumbled along the western banks of St. Moritz Lake, the German- and Romansch-speaking enclave is home to a mere 5,200 citizens, joined by more than half a million glamour-hungry visitors each year. Amid all the dazzle and dizzying prices though, the town’s roots endure: Swiss, snowbound and sports-obsessed.
Tourist life remains old-fashioned, revolving around the ski lodges and the storied Kulm, the slope-side Suvretta and the buzz-filled Badrutt’s Palace, the grand hotels where heavy Alpine furniture never goes out of style; piano players still serenade the lounge-dwellers and old- and new-moneyed denizens alike sip champagne under dim chandeliers.