How to Do Switzerland Like Celebs and Royals: Where to Stay, Shop, and Eat
If you're familiar with my byline, you know I love melding fashion and travel. I previously wrote about exceptionally stylish hotels under $250 per night, but this time around, I'm exploring the other end of the spectrum with my five-star luxury guide to Switzerland—with a fashionable twist, of course.
I had a headline about celebs and royals in mind before my trip, but as it happens, I actually did end up bumping into an A-list celebrity at one of the restaurants I dined at, leading me to believe I was definitely on the right track with my story angle. I love it when that happens. Scroll down to learn about my full itinerary, which included stops in St. Moritz, Bad Ragaz, and Zürich.
My Three-Stop Luxury Itinerary
Photo:Courtesy of Kulm Hotel St. Moritz
St. Moritz has long been the alpine resort of choice for the A-list crowd. For example, any House of Gucci fan will know that Maurizio and Patrizia Gucci owned a ski chalet in St. Moritz, but they're hardly the only famous residents throughout history. At Badrutt's Palace, you can rent the Hitchcock Suite, the very same room where the famous director honeymooned in 1926 and visited many times after. Speaking of movies, two stylish James Bond movies were filmed in St. Moritz: The Spy Who Loved Me and On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
Further cementing its status as the alpine fashion capital of the world, no less than three luxury powerhouses have hosted glitzy events in St. Moritz this winter (so far). First, newly installed Pucci Creative Director Camille Miceli chose St. Moritz to celebrate the launch of a Pucci x Fusalp ski collaboration in December 2022, inviting influencers such as Blanca Miró and models such as Precious Lee to strike their best Pucci pose on the slopes.
Only two days after Pucci's extravaganza, Giorgio Armani unveiled his newest skiwear collection with an extravagant runway show at St. Moritz's Olympic Stadium. (The destination was no coincidence considering Armani owns a home in St. Moritz—you can take a peek inside courtesy of Architectural Digest.) Most recently, Gucci designed the members-only lounge at the Paradiso Mountain Club. It's safe to say fashion's love affair with St. Moritz continues to burn bright.
Where to Stay in St. Moritz: Kulm Hotel
Photo:Courtesy of Kulm Hotel St. Moritz
St. Moritz has six different luxury hotels—with another one coming later this year—but only one of them can claim to be the town's very first: the Kulm Hotel, which dates back to 1856. Impressively, the hotel continues to allure well-heeled travelers 167 years later.
In January 2020, the Kulm played host to the wedding of Dasha Zhukova and Stavros Niarchos, which drew guests such as Princess Beatrice, Stella McCartney, Karlie Kloss, and Stella Maxwell, who shared an Instagram shot of herself at the hotel's iconic outdoor pool with a view of the alps.
The Corvatsch Suite, pictured above, is the hotel's largest guest room. According to a press release, the historic suite was refurbished with locally sourced materials to the tune of $1.7 million by prominent French luxury interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, who also helped design the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris, the St. Regis Rome, and Chopard's boutique in Paris, among other prominent projects.
Where to Eat in St. Moritz: Langosteria
Photo:Courtesy of Langosteria
Hailed as "fashion's favorite restauranteur," Enrico Buonocore regularly attracts Milan Fashion Week's front-row crowd at his four restaurants in the Italian capital, but now, he's feeding them in between ski sessions instead of in between shows with the newly opened St. Moritz outpost of his Langosteria chain.
I couldn't decide on my favorite part of the dining experience: the prime ski-in, ski-out location with amazing views, the delicious seafood and Italian desserts, or the chic Moncler-clad waiters. Suffice it to say, all of it tickled my fancy. Lest you feel left out, they'll offer you a Moncler puffer coat and blanket to borrow if you get chilly while dining outside. Now that's my kind of amore.
Where to Shop in St. Moritz: The Louis Vuitton Pop-Up
Photo:Courtesy of St. Moritz
Open until April 10, 2023, Louis Vuitton's St. Moritz pop-up shop is absolutely worth a visit. Located between the Kulm Hotel and the Chesa al Parc ice rink—where figure skaters competed in the 1928 and 1948 Winter Olympics—the yurt has a beautiful deck where you can watch people pirouette while you sip coffee and bundle up in LV logo blankets. The temporary shop features limited-edition items you will only find at winter resorts. For a peek inside, take a look at my TikTok tour of Louis Vuitton's St. Moritz pop-up shop.
Elsewhere in town, you will find a slew of high-end designer shops such as Hermès, Loro Piana, and Prada, but I particularly enjoyed the more low-key offerings. Lamm Cashmere House is a boutique that's been run by the same family for four generations. The founder first arrived in St. Moritz via horse-drawn carriage in 1902. (The train wouldn't be built for another two years.) The boutique has its own cashmere label called Lamm but also sells over 20 other brands.
I also loved the local bookstore Schuler Wega Bücher AG, where I picked up some souvenirs, including a book of vintage Swiss postcards.
What to Wear in St. Moritz: Perfect Moment Ski Suit
For me, dressing the part is half the fun of visiting a new destination. That's why I spent a bit too much money on new ski clothes just to end up pizza-ing down the mountain during my beginner lessons in St. Moritz's Corviglia region. But I don't regret a thing!
Photo:Courtesy of Grand Resort Bad Ragaz
While touring the property at Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, one thing our guide said really stuck with me. He told us that what's unique about the hotel is that it's a complete destination in and of itself—people travel from far and wide just to never leave the confines of the hotel. And with so much on offer, why would you ever need to venture outside its chic walls?
Where to Stay in Bad Ragaz: Grand Resort Bad Ragaz
Photo:Courtesy of Grand Resort Bad Ragaz
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz. The vast property includes thermal pools (more on that below), spa treatments, seven restaurants, golf courses, tennis courts, medical clinics, and even a casino. The bed was exceptionally comfortable, and I loved the view from my room—not quite as grand as the King Suite pictured above, but beautiful nonetheless.
Where to Eat in Bad Ragaz: Memories
Photo:Courtesy of Memories
Sven Wassmer's Memories has earned an impressive three Michelin stars—the highest distinction a restaurant can receive. In fact, there are only 141 restaurants around the globe that have three Michelin stars. I adore the fact that the restaurant's sommelier is chef Wassmer's wife, Amanda Wassmer-Bulgin. Talk about a power couple. Wassmer-Bulgin told us that she has a special passion for non-alcoholic selections as part of her mission to provide an inclusive fine dining experience—all the more reason to love this delectable restaurant.
I'm not at liberty to name names, but while dining at Memories, we had a celebrity sighting that sent our entire group into a tizzy. Don't worry—I played it cool (on the outside, at least).
What to Do in Bad Ragaz: Bathe in Thermal Pools
Photo:Grand Resort Bad Ragaz
"The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is centered around a bathing and spa tradition spanning hundreds of years," its website explains. "This has evolved into a unique combination of our own thermal spring, holistic medical expertise, and everything a five-star luxury resort has to offer." With multiple indoor and outdoor thermal pools and several saunas and steam rooms, come here to unwind after your ski trip. Your sore muscles will thank you.
What to Wear in Bad Ragaz: Sleek Swimsuits
The main thing you need to remember to pack for Bad Ragaz is your swimsuit because you simply cannot miss the resort's thermal pools, saunas, and steam rooms. This $35 one from H&M is an incredibly stylish option.
Photo:Courtesy of Zürich tourism
While Zürich may be known as the banking capital of Switzerland, there's a lot more going on than just financial wheeling and dealings. The city has world-class museums, restaurants, and shopping as well as a super-cool art scene to boot. It's no wonder why it earned the number three spot on Condé Nast Traveler's 10 Best Places to Live in the World list.
Where to Stay in Zürich: Widder Hotel
Photo:Courtesy of Widder Hotel
My favorite thing I learned about the Widder Hotel is that every single room is individually designed. Among my travel group of six people, we had so much fun comparing photos of our rooms—lots of oohing and awwing ensued. "You have an antique stove in your room?!" Some rooms have wood paneling while others have hand-painted murals, but all of them are simply oozing charm. The five-star boutique hotel is also superbly situated in the middle of Zürich's Old Town.
Where to Shop in Zürich: Audemars Piguet
Photo:Courtesy of Audemars Piguet
Of all the watch brands in the world, it is a truth universally acknowledged that Swiss watches are superior. And you can further narrow the field to the so-called "holy trinity" of Swiss brands: Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Vacheron Constantin. While all of them have stores on Zürich's legendary Bahnhofstrasse street, I was most blown away by the Audemars Piguet boutique, which reopened following a renovation in September 2022. This photo doesn't even do it justice, but you can get a sense of the incredible architectural detailing of the 1913 historic building. (Those spheres are watch displays, by the way.) If you're into wrist candy, take a look at my TikTok video where I tried on six Swiss watch brands, including AP.
Speaking of Audemars Piguet, the iconic watch company recently opened its first-ever hotel, and it quickly earned a spot on my bucket list. Only six months old, the Hotel Des Horlogers is already attracting an exceptionally stylish crowd of travelers. It's located roughly an hour's car ride from Geneva.
What to Do in Zürich: Visit Kunsthaus Museum
Photo:Courtesy of Kunsthaus Museum
Want to see works by Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, Degas, Calder, and more without the crowds of New York or Paris museums? Then make a beeline to Kunsthaus Zürich, where you can see all of these artists and so much more.
What to Wear in Zürich: Ammann Boots
One of the best buys on my Switzerland trip was a pair of Ammann boots. I love buying local brands whenever possible, so I zeroed in on this lovely Swiss brand that's as stylish as it is functional.
This trip was paid for by Switzerland Tourism. All opinions are the author's own. Next, These Impeccably Designed Hotels Look 5-Star But Are Less Than $250 Per Night
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