Switzerland: Badrutt’s Palace, St Moritz

Nov 30 2015

Summer Spy

3 min read


Badrutt’s Palace is in the middle of St Moritz and is both a legend and a landmark. It was opened by Herr Badrutt in 1896 and has been going strong ever since. It still has a sense of Victorian grandeur with a huge central walkway which was once used by Victorian ladies to promenade.

What’s on offer?

The spa is a delightful surprise. Take the lift six stories below the ground floor of the hotel and you step out into a cave, dimly lit with three small waterfalls running down flat metal sheets. Walk down the very plain corridor and suddenly the space opens out to a bright, modern spa that overlooks the lake. There is light and space everywhere, in contrast to the dim cave.

The huge glass-sided room with an oval 25-metre swimming pool is the centrepiece of the spa. Recliners all round mean there is ample space to sit beside the pool. Swim through a liftup screen to the outdoor hot tub, and laze in wonderfully warm water with the sun on your back. Gaze out at snow topped mountains and passing clouds. There are heat experiences in each changing room, and shared thermal rooms in the main spa area leading to the pool.

The spa’s theme is ‘wellness’ and they even have their own ‘wellness advisor’ Martha Weideman. Of an Indian family, but having grown up in Australia, she was keen to combine the sense of the outdoor life with the traditions of Ayurvedic medicine. The aim of the spa is to bring a sense of wellbeing to guests, so all ingredients are organic and natural.

Tell us about the treatments

We tried the three hour ‘top to toe treatment’ which took place in one of the two spa suites. The suite feels very private and quite palatial. The treatment was equally palatial, since it involved three therapists often working at the same time!

The treatment began with a body scrub, a shower and then a light massage. This was followed by a facial using products from the Swiss product house Amala. There was even a stem cell serum for the eye area. I was slightly worried about using something with stem cells in, but have to admit that the end result was exceptional.

Then came the hair treatment. My hair was washed, a serum was pasted onto my damp hair and then each strand was steamed so the serum was pushed into the fibres. I was then told that Marco ‘the famous hairdresser from Milano’ would come and do the blow dry. Marco very patiently blow dried my naturally very fine hair starting at the top. Most hairdressers pin the top layer up and start at the bottom, Marco explained that by starting at the top, blow drying along the hair shaft and then letting each strand turn over as it cools, helps to make hair both smooth and shiny as well as giving lift and volume. And it worked. My hair looked both glossy and full. I looked pretty film star-ish at the end of the three hours. My skin was glowing, my hair was voluptuous and shining, and my hands and feet polished.

Food Facts

The main restaurant at Badrutt’s Palace is called, simply, Le Restaurant and offers a little bit of 1920s grandeur. There is a small stairway as you enter, designed so guests can pause at the top giving everyone already seated time to turn and admire the newcomers. You are then greeted by the maître d’ and escorted to your table. The food is equally grand. Dishes are carved, served or even flambéed at side tables.

If you fancy something a little more relaxed, head for the Swiss/Italian restaurant a few yards up the hill. The spa café serves fresh and light salads, snacks and hot meals, and wonderful smoothies.

Don’t miss

Arriving by train: This takes you through the snowy mountains (two hours from Zurich) and the hotel has three vintage Rolls Royces to collect guests from the station in style.

The events in the village: We missed the Mozart weekend by a few days but did enjoy the collection of vintage Italian sport cars that graced the streets. There are festivals and activities galore if you want to time your trip around an event.

Booking a hair treatment: Not many spas offer this so it is well worth trying.

Who would like it?

Anyone keen on a bit of grandeur and luxury for a special occasion. The peaceful, calm and beautifully designed spa space makes it a real treat.

Wellness fans who want to jumpstart a new lifestyle.



Summer Spy

30th November 2015

Spy Likes:

Warmth and sunshine; spas which take me away to another country; fruit infused waters; beach-worth pedicures; deep tissue massages.

Spy Dislikes:

High footfalls; treatments that over promise and under deliver; heavy lunches; loungers drapped in used towels.

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