Nestled next to Corviglia ski mountain is Hotel Grand Kempinski Des Bains, a five-star luxury resort in St. Moritz that seamlessly combines glitz and comfort.
This 184-room hotel is part of the Kempinski chain, with locations in Dubai, Istanbul and Bangkok. The hotel has a distinctly buzzy feel, and attracts a young, hip clientele who are looking to indulge in world-class skiing, après ski and restaurants.
We recently spent three nights at Kempinski and wanted to share our thoughts for those of you contemplating a trip to St. Moritz. Our room was beautifully-appointed, with a balcony overlooking the Alps and a chilled bottle of Veuve Cliquot champagne waiting for us along with some olives and cheese.
The room had great details, such as heated floors in the bathroom, and sound piping into the bathroom from the bedroom television. Our bed was super comfy and the hotel even had a pillow menu, which was a first for us! The room had vintage art in the room and the common areas of the glamour of St. Moritz stretching back decades, which was a great touch.
The food at Kempinski was some of the best we had in Switzerland. Breakfast was a sight to be seen. Different stations were set up in the grand ballroom for custom omelettes, sunnyside up eggs and other fare. There were so many different options for yogurts and meuslis and a tower of different pastries with everything from croissants and pain au chocolate to pretzel bread (which you MUST try).
Evidence that the hotel knows and caters to its clientele, chilled buckets of champagne were available during breakfast for those wishing to kick off après ski a bit early. Kempinski also had something that shocked me – green juice at breakfast for us health nuts. I’ve never been able to find green juice outside of the U.S., so finding it here was a welcome relief after days of binging on Swiss cheese, chocolate and the aforementioned pretzel bread.
For dinner, there is no reason to leave the hotel. We loved the restaurants at Kempinski, and ate at Sra Bua, its Japanese concept, and Les Saisons, its steakhouse and grill. Let’s start with Sra Bua. We shared four different rolls, and they were immaculately presented and delicious. Our favorite was the Wagyu beef roll with tuna. We also had California rolls, softshell crab and spicy tuna with prawn tempura.
The steakhouse was the culinary highlight of the trip, and living in New York, we come with high standards in regards to steak. The types of cuts on the menu were truly impressive given that we were in Switzerland. The menu had local beef as well as USDA beef and Wagyu and Kobe cuts. I opted for the USDA fillet, which was cooked to perfection and seasoned very well, with a side of béarnaise. The boyfriend had the entrecoute cut with a peppercorn sauce. We shared asparagus, winter veggies and French fries.
Kempinski has a wonderful spa and fitness center, with the fitness center open 24 hours a day. The equipment was state of the art and used neumatics rather than weights. I had a HydraFacial in the spa, which was extremely relaxing and centered on moisturizing and exfoliating my skin and reducing the size of pores and fine lines. After, I checked out the many saunas and steam rooms to ease sore muscles from days on the ski slopes! My favorites were the Finnish and Bio saunas.
For skiing, there is a chairlift just across the road from the hotel, which is super convenient. The hotel also has ski rentals on the premises, another added convenience, and the shop had all of the newest gear and even had our ski boots ready and waiting for us in the morning after heating them up for us.
Kempinski is a great place for après ski. Most evenings, a DJ played electronic music and remixes at the bar as we sipped red wine. We were fortunate to visit during the Gourmet Festival, which had a British theme this year. Some of Britain’s top chefs descended upon St. Moritz for the week, and the festival’s opening event – a tasting of each chef’s best dishes paired with wines, was held at Kempinski. The event was such a culinary treat, and we were able to meet some of the top chefs in a great setting. Two days later, the hotel hosted a tasting event where guests were able to try a variety of wines from around the world and nibble on parma ham and other foods. The events added to the energy of the hotel and were perfectly suited to the atmosphere.
The staff at the hotel was very attentive and almost intuitive. Case in point: we arranged for an early lift to the train station on our last day meaning that we would miss breakfast. When we checked out, the staff had two lunchboxes waiting for us for our journey, which was such a nice touch.
We would gladly recommend Kempinski to our readers on a stay to the area. It’s a great spot that combines luxury with winter sports and comfort.
ST. MORITZ STYLE GUIDE: