Switzerland: Kempinski Grand Hôtel des Bains, St Moritz
The Kempinski Grand Hôtel des Bains is located right at the Mauritius spring, the root of St Moritz, and has direct access to the ski and hiking Corviglia region. The legendary Hahnensee ski run ends in front of the hotel and the cross-country ski runs of the Engadine ski marathon pass it too.
What’s on offer
The hotel itself is massive, white as a snowy mountain peak with blue shuttered windows and two rather grand towers. It has ski-in ski-out facilities and extensive training facilities for winter sports.
Kempinski The Spa is large too, with many varieties of thermal rooms on offer -- ideal for winter sport enthusiasts to warm up in. Visit the Finnish sauna, bio sauna, herbal sauna, stone sauna or steam bath and then cool off in the laconium.
The 15-metre pool is kept at 29 degrees in summer and 31 in winter, making it a delight to swim in. There's a sheltered garden with water feature, as well as stones and pebbles that you can walk along to stimulate the pressure points on your feet.
If the weather is warm, head to the outdoor terrace area with its outdoor pool and seating.
Tell us about the treatments
We booked in for a seasonal Spring in your Step detoxifying massages followed by a machine-led facial -- the perfect balance of relaxation and results.
Tatyana, my therapist, spent a good amount of time asking about my lifestyle before letting me smell the chosen oil for the treamtnet, a light, fresh fragrance called Spring. Tatyana began the treatment with a body brush to rid my skin of dead cells before performing an uplifting massage using the refreshign oil. I usually ask for a firm massage but Tatyana suggested that, as my skin is sensitive, I should opt for something more gentle.
Tatanya's touch was both careful and detailed, making me think twice about asking for a vigorous rub in future. At one point, Tatanya stopped the massage and held her hands over the scars on my back (caused by an accident); she told me that the scars felt hot and spent a good amount of time making them feel less tight.
For the HydraFacial MD® treatment, a rejuvenating skin resurfacing treatment that is not yet available in any UK spas, my therapist Liliana deeply cleansed and exfoliated my skin to remove any debris before applying an acid peel. Manual extractions was then followed with a collagen mask with an LED light to push the mask into skins' top layer. It’s a ‘tornado for your pores’ she exclaimed.
The peel that followed was tingly, especially on my cheeks where I have some sun damage, but not painful. Liliana then worked hard on the wrinkles around my eyes, which she suggested could be due to sun damage rather than plain old ageing. My lips have also thinned over the years -- a real age give-away; Liliana let me see in the mirror as she ran the hydra-facial machine over them. As she pumped the hydrating fluid into them, the effect was almost immediate.
The results were incredible: the deep lines that have developed between my nose and the edges of my mouth softened, the sun damaged areas were much improved and my skin was more hydrated.
Taking the waters: Paracelsus, the great early doctor of middle Europe, brought his patients to drink from the natural spring here, and it still works. The water is soft and clear and not at all like the sulphur waters found in British traditional spas
Trying the variety of saunas: Who knew that you could sauna in a cowshed?
Who would like it?
Anyone noticing the signs of ageing: The difference was visible after just one treatment.
Men: The spa is quite masculine in greys and reds, so great for men who don’t like frilly spas. There are plenty of sports training and gym facilities on site too.