The upcoming winter season will be a very special one for St. Moritz, as it welcomes the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2017 from 6 to 19 February. The Kulm Hotel St. Moritz will play a pivotal role as the historic Pavillon in the Kulm Park, currently undergoing a CHF11+ million (nearly £9 million) refurbishment under the guidance of world-famous architect Lord Foster, will be the venue for the Championships’ 33 medal ceremonies.
Sister property Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina will unveil 13 newly-renovated rooms, designed by the award-winning French interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon for the upcoming winter season. All are in the historic part of the hotel, but will have a contemporary feel incorporating yellow and green colourways with lacquered pieces (a Rochon trademark) as well as traditional materials, such as oak and fir wood. The rooms have even inspired a new package called “Rendez-Vous with Rochon”, which includes a magical horse-drawn carriage ride through the picturesque winter wonderland, while sipping on Champagne, and a gourmet menu at the Kronenstübli where the speciality Canard à la presse is served.
The 2016/17 season also sees the launch of husky sled driving classes, offered by the Kulm Hotel and the Kronenhof. Rather than simply sit in a sled while someone else does all the work, guests will learn how to clamp up the dogs themselves, before learning about the equipment and driving techniques, then stepping on the back of the sled and driving the Siberian huskies around a custom-made track. For adults only, children can join in the fun by sitting in the sled. Learn how to become a musher: a two-hour session, including hotel to husky transfers, costs CHF600 (approx £475) per person for two people taking turns on one sled or CHF300 (approx £238) per person for four people taking turns on two sleds.
Both hotels have introduced a new pricing strategy, dependent on demand and availability rather than fixed seasons as in the past, enabling them to offer more attractive rates in quiet times. Rates at the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz, which is open from 2 December to 2 April 2017, will start from CHF675 (approx £530) for two people sharing a double room on a half-board basis; book online at www.kulm.com. Rates at Grand Hotel Kronenhof, which is open from 7 December to 1 April 2017, will start from CHF495 (approx £390) for two people sharing a double room on a half-board basis; book online at www.kronenhof.com.
It has also been announced that the Niarchos family, who own both the Kulm Hotel and the Kronenhof, have further invested in the infrastructure of St. Moritz by relinquishing ownership of the Piz Nair cable car and purchasing instead the Diavolezza-Lagalb cable cars in order to secure the future of this area, which is popular with free riders in winter and hikers in summer (the Lagalb cable car had already been closed, but will now re-open). The Niarchos family still own the Corvatsch ski area on the opposite side of the Engadine valley from the Kulm Hotel.