A historic five-star hotel overlooking Lake St. Moritz, with 60 lake-view suites, two fine-dining restaurants, and a spa. Opulent interiors, palatial architecture and stunning views make it a fairytale-like winter escape. Situated high on the north side of Lake St. Moritz, the Carlton Hotel is a two-minute drive (via chauffeured Bentley) from the train station and a five-minute walk to the center of town. A shuttle service runs to the Corviglia Cable Car station for access to the pistes.
The hotel was refurbished by Swiss architect Carlo Rampazzi, and décor is inspired by Russian tsars, for whom the palatial building was allegedly built in 1913. The double-headed imperial eagle is a repeated motif, and corridors are hung with artistic prints of jewels and objects designed for the tsars.
A Renaissance-style bel étage, comprising a restaurant, lounge bar, and ballroom, retains original features including double-height ceilings, marble fireplaces, crystal chandeliers, and traditional tapestries. Oversized arched windows afford spectacular views over the lake and mountains; the whole thing evokes a remarkable sense of splendor. From the impeccably attired chauffeurs to the charming pianist, the staff is as polite and attentive as you’d expect in such five-star surroundings. The hotel’s service trump card comes in the form of Urs, the ‘outdoor butler’, who draws on decades of experience to offer a special experience, whether mountain hiking or attempting curling.
There’s an on-site ski rental shop, and for the less outdoorsy, a three-floor spa comprising fitness room, indoor and outdoor pools and a selection of steam rooms and saunas. Seven treatment rooms offer massages, facials and beauty treatments from Swiss brand Cellcosmet, and there’s an on-site hairdresser as well as a couple’s spa suite with private sauna, steam room, and whirlpool.
Sixty airy suites all have balconies with magnificent views. Rooms are individually decorated in different color palettes, with bespoke furnishings in complementary hues (if the color isn’t to your liking, staff will happily arrange a swap). Super king-sized beds have Berluti leather headboards and high thread-count sheets, with Venetian stucco ceilings and Murano glass lamps adding to the high-end finish.
Marble bathrooms feel spacious and luxurious, with double sinks, free-standing baths, rainfall showers, and Molton Brown toiletries. Large televisions and Nespresso machines come as standard, and fresh fruit is replenished daily. Michelin-starred, family-run restaurant Da Vittorio is the sister site of the world’s ninth best restaurant, according to the 2017 ‘La Liste’. Its Italian-influenced tasting menu uses fresh seasonal ingredients with an innovative twist – signature dishes include a ‘cappuccino’ of morels, potato foam and Alba truffle.
A second restaurant, Romanoff, is a similarly elegant affair, with white tablecloths and a degustation menu, or guests can dine by the fire in the lounge area. With a live pianist, this is an attractive place to settle in for after-dinner drinks.
Breakfast served in Romanoff, is an extensive buffet selection featuring caviar and champagne alongside the usual fruit, bread, meat, cheese, and pastries, with heartier dishes cooked to order. When the weather allows, a barbeque or high tea is served on the sun terrace. One-bedroom suites feature pull-out beds for children, and there is a kids’ club with additional pool table and gaming machines for teenagers. Both restaurants offer children’s menus.