St. Moritz—that place of furs and slopes and lots of champagne—was nothing before Johannes Badrutt. He made this town when he persuaded a bunch of English tourists to try skiing. And today his legacy lives on as the definition of wintry European glamour. If you want to drink kirsch and see money spent, there is no better place than Badrutt’s.
Everyone has slept here—Greta Garbo and Charlie Chaplin to Roger Moore and Hugh Grant. Regardless of whether you could ski, it’s where you’d spent your winter. However, it was most defined in the sixties, when the pop princesses came and wreaked havoc with the magnates. Andrea Badrutt was as much a publicist as a businessman. Designer Diane Von Furstenburg remembers the days when she was broke and still a Badrutt’s guest. Johannes’s grandson Andrea Badrutt, apparently, had a policy. Let the pretty people in, even though they can’t pay. That way they’ll attract the likes of Aristotle Onassis.
This is a castle, high on the hills, where the most beautiful converge for the après ski, and where fondue is most passé. The best rooms sport big beds and walls cushioned with silk and leather, à la Fred and Ginger movies. There’s a spa, of course, and various restaurants. But in the end, who cares? You’re at Badrutt’s.
Extravagance is key. Even pets are treated well. Cats get grilled fish. Dogs have puppy steak tartare, a filet of beef, or even a dieters’ dish. And no matter which one your room may be, you have a complicated panel for summoning all manner of staff—from concierge to bellhop to bridge mistress. And Badrutt’s, after all, was the originator of the luxuriant tailgate party; spruce young men who would show up in sledges with vodka, paté, and caviar. The suites overlooking the lake are the most coveted. Tip: order your ski pass on arrival from the exceptionally mindful concierges and it will be ready the following morning. Also, be sure to book your massage well before booking your room (and send your children to the Acapulco with its huge indoor pool, cave and waterfall).
Though Badrutt’s boasts a high and mighty French Le Restaurant (jacket required), the place to eat is the 1658 farmhouse, converted into a multitude of pizzerias and bistros. However, in the evening the Renaissance Bar is still the town’s hotspot, darkly lit, with navy blue cushions to sink into and a roaring fireplace. Mario, the barman, shakes up some killer drinks, and you will never find more fashonable company with which to share your mulled cider. Fashion tip—you don’t wear your fur on the inside, you wear it on the out. Forget mink—think chinchilla. The more understated people head to the equally priced, but more subtle Kulm. Here, you’re in the company of Ivana Trump and Hugh Grant. Expect to see people decked out in so much Van Cleef that they’re literally clanking with richness as they speed down the Swiss slopes.
During January, a minimum length of stay of 10 nights is required.
Via Serlas 27, St. Moritz, Alps