It hard to be objective about a hotel when you’re sitting on cushions in front of a roaring fire, polishing off a plate of some truly extraordinary bar food.
The Mister and I are traveling on the first of our 7 Sinful Trips and the first stop (celebrating Lust), is the Giardino Mountain near St. Moritz.
We chose this intimate, boutique hotel for its beautiful location and promise of romance and luxury.
We fell in love with the hotel the minute we saw the traditional engadine architecture, the sgraffitos around the doors and the snowy, village location.
A perfect blend of history and modern comforts, two things that make us very happy.
The plaster walls and antique wooden ceilings compliment the colorful decor. Clusters of comfortable sofas and cozy areas call to you close to the fireplace. Someone offers you a drink the minute you walk in the door.
Hallways are lit by clusters of blazing candles and there are unexpected, artful touches around every corner. It feels a bit like visiting a friend’s chalet for the weekend.
Our room is bright and roomy with a small terrace and view over snowy rooftops. The neutral color scheme and natural materials give the room a very zen feel. I adore the vintage St. Moritz photo murals, which solidify the “old meets new Switzerland” vibe.
Someone oh-so-thoughtfully ordered roses, candles and champagne and sprinkled rose petals in the soaking tub. Write that down, gentlemen.
The bath is well-designed with separate toilet area, rain shower and under-sink storage. The amenities are divine. I especially appreciate the his and hers sized fluffy robes and slippers, which are perfect for lounging around in or tootling to the spa.
The Pool and Spa
We were really looking forward to the spa after a long day of travel. We were surprised to find the spa area was mixed sex and naked. Naked. I’ve said it twice for emphasis.
I know Americans are total prudes when it comes to nudity and I *shouldn’t* be surprised. I’ve done the single sex naked in European spas before, but this was a first for me. Be ready to drop that towel and be comfortable with it all. It’s part of the traditional spa experience here and “when in Rome…”
Note: To be honest, it’s less weird when everyone is in the same, ermm, position.
The spa facilities were lovely. They stocked Aveda and their own product line, which smelled heavenly. Changing facilities were small, but separate for men and women. The spa area had bio steam room, Finnish sauna, bio sauna, another steam room , kneipp baths and open showers (yep). On my way out, I noticed a sign on the wall that told you the precise order and length of time to spend in each part of the spa. Oops. Next time I’ll do it right. Maybe.
The upstairs pool and jacuzzi area is beautiful. Huge loungers line the edge of the pool and and there’s even a little private lounger tucked away under an arch, perfect for a couple’s après swim.
Food and Drink
There are 5 onsite dining options, which is amazing, when you realize this is only a small, boutique hotel. We ate at the very traditional Stuva, which was very, very good. We were also tempted by the Michelin starred Ecco St. Moritz, but sadly didn’t have time.
The Guardalej restaurants serves a complimentary buffet breakfast that will easily keep you going until mid-afternoon. You can order also one of the cooked breakfast options as well.
The hotel staff, from front desk to concierge are warm, friendly and filled with recommendations about the area. I tried to plan a few special things for our trip using my high school German, google translate and email. It didn’t go well. Lukas Gerber, part of the concierge team, took care of the arrangements for me and had everything organized before we arrived.
Giardino Mountain is a 10 minute drive from St. Moritz.
A hotel ski shuttle runs throughout the day to nearby lifts. Buses and taxis are available to bring guests to St. Mortiz and beyond. Taxis are expensive, so hiring a car might be a good option for extended stays.
The hotel will arrange complimentary transportation to and from train station if requested.
Kids have their own kids club and play area.
There are beautiful walking trails between Champfer and St. Moritz.
There is a fitness area for those who don’t wear themselves out on the mountains during the day.
The hotel group owns a fleet of aircraft to jet you around Europe if needed (this is St. Moritz after all).
What I liked
We loved the cozy, intimate vibe, excellent design and attentive staff. The on-site restaurants were excellent and negated any need to dress up and head into St. Moritz after a long day out. This was a perfect place to throw off the jacket and tie, grab a cocktail and cozy up to the fire, which is just what we had in mind. It was a perfectly romantic retreat.
What I didn’t
Quite frankly, the mattress. I appreciate the flexibility of having two beds pushed together to create a King bed, but playing “avoid the cravasse between the beds” all night is a drag.
Our room was certainly designed for couples. Adding a bed to the room would be quite cramped and our soaking tub in the bedroom is really just meant for two. Other rooms must accommodate families quite well as we saw couples, friends and families with children in equal numbers. The hotel must work magic on the little ones, because every child was amazingly well-behaved. Truth.
This hotel would be excellent in any season. We’d love to come back and hike during the summer.
How to Book:
5* Hotel Giardino Mountain St. Moritz Via Maistra 3, CH-7512 Champfer, Tel: +41 (0)81 836 63 00 Rates vary with season, but start around 355 CHF. The hotel has seasonal closing periods, so call ahead or check online booking here or here. The hotel is a member of the design hotels group.
Note: Most of the photos are mine. On the not so rare occasion I take a terrible photo, I use one that best represents what I saw. I need to credit the hotel’s media for the bedroom, spa area (no cameras allowed) and restaurant (we were busy eating) photos.
Do you have a favorite place for a romantic getaway? A certain destination or a favorite hotel? What makes it special for you?