St Moritz

From royal polo matches on the frozen lake to abundant five star hotels, St. Moritz’s luxury credentials are impeccable. But there’s good high-altitude skiing too, with the advantage that many visitors will be intent on celeb-spotting or making the most of the resort's plush facilities, leaving the excellent snow to the keen skiers.

It’s no wonder St. Moritz is so widely known: unique experiences such as the Cresta Run toboggan track and polo-on-snow have been joined in recent years by spectacular kite-boarding across the frozen lakes on the valley floor. And the resort has a pedigree like no other. It was the birthplace in 1864 of the ‘white winter holiday’, has the oldest Tourism Board in Switzerland, and first hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 1928 and the Alpine Ski World Championships in 1934 when the sport was in its infancy.

And St Moritz is still one of the world’s leading sk resorts. It has over 350 km of pistes, which is more than enough for a week’s holiday for any skier, whatever their standard. Its ski area is divided into three separate sectors, each topped by an impressively high lift: Corvatsch (3300m), Corviglia/Piz Nair (3057m) and Diavolezza/Lagalb (2978m). The sectors are not lift connected but they are big enough to stand alone so there’s no need to rush from one to the other. Instead you should stay at each one for a full day, appreciating the differences between them – the extensive, rolling, well-groomed Corviglia pistes, stretching from St Moritz and Suvretta across to Marguns and down to Celerina; the drama of the high Corvatsch peak followed by its big vertical drop all the way down to St Moritz Bad or the lakeside base stations at Surlej and Furtschellas; and the more isolated, uncrowded and steeper slopes of Diavolleza and its twin sister Lagalb, including the long off-piste itinerary down to Morteratsch and freeriding in the Val Arlas (guide recommended).

Of course, this being St Moritz, those with high budgets need not be constrained by the lift system at all, because there’s plenty of heli-skiing, including a kind that utterly defines the resort: rather than use a helicopter to find some far off powder, you simply get dropped off at the top of the official run and ski down the piste, thus avoiding the need to ride those tiresome lifts with the hoi polloi…

Which brings us to to the topic of unabashed luxury. Sometimes first time visitors to St Moritz wonder what all the fuss is about. Set on the lakeside and rising up to the ski domain, the centre of St. Moritz has few visible special qualities. It’s neither outrageously picturesque, nor buzzing with obviously indulgent nightlife; the most striking feature is the number of shops selling things you’ll never need on a ski holiday or anywhere else. This is because most of the action, if you can call it that, takes place behind the closed doors of the massive five star hotels or in a few private chalets. Everywhere else is really quite normal. And whilst St Moritz is never going to be a cheap place in to stay in, there is some comparatively modestly-priced accommodation, particularly on its edges or in the outlying villages, which still give you access to one of the world’s greatest ski resorts.


St Moritz Resort Stats

Base: 1730 m
Peak: 3303 m
Vertical: 1573 m
Ski Area: 350 km
Longest Run: 10 km
Beginner: 20 %
Intermediate: 70 %
Advanced: 10 %
Number of ski lifts: 57
Lift Capacity: 67480
Ski Season Starts: early-December
Ski Season Ends: mid-April
Nearest Airport: Zurich
Transfer Time: 2 hours 45 mins

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St Moritz Resort Ratings

Ski Area star rating
Lift System star rating
Snowsure star rating
Beginner star rating
Intermediate star rating
Advanced star rating
Scenery star rating
Charm star rating
Apres Ski star rating
Other Activities star rating
Getting There star rating

Total Ratings = 11

Ratings sum = 37

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