The architecture of Kulm Hotel St. Moritz makes it one of the most splendid hotels in the Alps. This heritage-protected luxury-class establishment is located in the heart of the idyllic Engadine resort St. Moritz. The first 5-star superior hotel at resort can boasts with 164 spacious rooms and suites, 17 notable restaurants as well as well-equipped Spa- and Sport - centers. But that's all just figures, let's come to facts.
Katja Schneider - Director of Sales & Marketing, gladly agreed to answer the questions posed by our Managing Director Vasily Maslov.
V.M.: Katja, I really glad to see you again, this time as a Director of Sales & Marketing of two luxury hotels. Could you tell a little about location and history of the resort, its sights and natural peculiarities? And whether hotel fits in this area or not, in your opinion ?
K.S.: I also appreciate your visit! Of course, I will be very happy to answer your questions.
St. Moritz and the Engadin is the cradle of winter tourism, it started here in St. Moritz in summer 1864. The founder of Kulm Hotel, Mr. Johannes Badrutt, was the one who did a bet with his British guests.
For everybody, who does not know the story, here it is:
In the autumn of 1864, the story goes, Johannes Badrutt sat by the fire in the Kulm Hotel in St. Moritz with four English holiday guests. He enthused about the St. Moritz winter idyll – a snow-blanketed landscape basking in sunshine with mild temperatures during the day. “A paradise on earth.” The Englishmen did not believe him since they knew the dark, cold English winters all too well. This conversation led to the legendary bet: Badrutt suggested that the four should return in December, and if they did not enjoy their stay, he would reimburse the travel expenses. The Englishmen returned – and stayed until Easter. They returned to London, happy, tanned and relaxed and spread the word. Badrutt won his bet, and winter tourism was launched.
The valley has high altitudes with an average of 1800 m above sea level and the surrounding mountains with a maximum height of 4049 m, Piz Bernina, the highest mountain in the Eastern Alps. The valley is very wide which means that it is very sunny in both winter and summer season. The climate is dry therefore during cold winter days it does not feel as cold.
The Kulm Hotel is the first hotel in St. Moritz and therefore belongs definitely to the destination. I think the question” does the hotel fit to the area” is in this case very easy to answer with yes.
V.M.: What a fascinating story! I see that with your constant temperate climate, amount of your guests will constantly grow as far as the weather conditions practically do not change! By the way, do you have some other interesting/funny facts or stories related with the history of the hotel ? I guess you definitely do!
K.S.: The hotel has a very long history, as it was established in 1856 by Johannes Badrutt. Besides the story about the beginning of winter tourism, there are some more facts. 1879 the first electric light of Switzerland illuminated the Dining room. In 1878 Mr. Badrutt and his son visited the world exhibition in Paris, where the first arc lamps were presented. Immediately after his return, Badrutt built a hydroelectric power plant to light the house for Christmas 1879.
Also the Kulm Hotel hosts the first sports bar of the Alps. It is the place where since 1885 the skeleton drivers are celebrating after their races.
V.M.: Wow, what a great eventful story! I am surprised by your tenacity, within more than 160 years of existence you had to go through a lot, and everywhere you tried to be a pioneer. And how can you describe your accommodation facilities? I bet skeleton drivers are totally exhausted after races and especially after celebrating, so where can they take a nap? What special offers/features do you offer in room services? (for example free ski passes for those who stay more than a week, or bedtime story and mug of warm milk etc.?)
K.S.: The rooms are classic and contemporary. Approximately half of the hotel rooms are newly renovated in alpine chic style by the famous interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon. The other half is rather classic with darker colors but still very cozy with a lot of local Swiss pinewood.
Every guest receives a welcome amenity upon arrival. Wifi is free of charge in the whole hotel and a pillow menu awaits the guests in the room to choose the favorite pillow type.
At Kulm Hotel different benefits are additionally included with each booking:
Dine around in 17 restaurants in our sister property grand Hotel Kronenhof and on the mountains Diavolezza, Corvatsch and Lagalb with half-board exchange or credit.
Spa World with aqua gym, sauna infusions and weekly fitness classes
The Fun & Action category includes skating and curling on the hotels’ own ice rink, exclusive full moon and early bird skiing as well as VIP Snow Night at the end of the season on the longest illuminated slopes at the Corvatsch mountain.
Finally yet importantly Kulm Service of course also includes the ski shuttles and shuttles from and to the station of St. Moritz.
V.M.: Under these conditions, I am sure that your guests are totally impressed and coming back to you over and over! You know that the main reason of our tourists travel to Switzerland is skiing. So, why should they choose a resort where your hotel is located, and as a result your hotel?
K.S.: The reason why tourists should come to our destination for skiing is very obvious, I think. We are the cradle of winter tourism and sports and there is a very long history that people come for winter sports to the Engadine St. Moritz region. But of course, there are plenty of skiing areas in the Alps and why should people still come? I think there are many different reasons:
- The size of the area: in total 350 km of slopes in four main areas
- The high altitude makes it snow sure – if there is no natural snow, we always have the possibility to produce snow and make the slopes
- Skiing is possible between end of October until mid-May
- Very sunny area and since the valley is very wide there is plenty of sunshine
- The wide slopes, our slopes are spacious and offer great views into the surrounding mountain scene
- the snow consistency – great powder snow due to the dry air
- the longest glacier descent in Switzerland and longest illuminated slope in Switzerland
- Glüna Plaina – Full Moon skiing
We are a 5* Superior property and everybody who would like to enjoy warm and professional service, state-of-the-art facilities, super fresh and delicious food combined with the fine art of hospitality should visit Kulm Hotel. The hotel provides complimentary shuttle to the very close cable car. And for kids up to 12 years the group ski- and snowboard lessons are free of charge.
V.M.: Indeed, there are all conditions going skiing or snowboarding as long as you want. But, imagine the situation: tourists came and the weather turned bad What can you offer for tourists as entertainment outdoor or indoor activities?
K.S.: The Kulm Hotel is hosted in a large building; therefore, we have plenty of activities in and around the hotel. Of course, there is the 2000sqm Spa with a huge swimming pool, a Jacuzzi, an outdoor Pool, Kids Pool and the sauna area. The Spa offers different treatments and there is even a private Spa Suite – all with great views over lake St. Moritz and an enjoyable activity no matter which weather is.
Next to the hotel building there is our Kulm Country Club. At the Kulm Country Club the medal ceremonies during the Winter Olympics in 1928 and 1948 took place and nowadays our guests can find an ice field there for skating. The use of it is free of charge. Also, there is a Curling field which is also possible to use by our guests.
The culinary experience at Kulm Hotel is divers and can be entertaining too. With our creative chefs like Tim Raue or Claudia Canessa, eating is definitely fun.
And if it is really too warm…Kulm Hotel owns a nine hole golf course which is also free of charge for guests!
V.M.: Oh, I am pretty sure that guests will find entertainment on their special tastes. And what does the hotel offer especially for youngsters?
K.S.: The Kids club of the hotel is completely free of charge with all the activities it offers. There are plenty of activities ranging from Pizza baking to Mocktail classes, treasure hunt to movie nights. Furthermore, the group ski and snowboard lessons are free of charge for kids until 12 years as well as skating on the hotel’s own ice rink. There is also a special pool for the kids in the Spa. The highlight for kids is the unlimited ice cream, hot chocolate and syrup available in the hotel. Moreover, for mums the complimentary laundry service if the ice cream ended up on the kids’ T-Shirt.
V.M.: Heh, “Unlimited access for sweet-stuff” sounds like one of the dream straight from the childhood! I think that parents can trust your staff, with confidence that their children wouldn't be locked up in the boring playing room and left to themselves. Speaking about parents, what does the hotel offer for families?
K.S.: Besides the different offers and benefits from above, we also offer special discount for kids staying in a separate room than the parents. The whole family can enjoy the hotel, together or separate from each other, however one likes.
V.M.: Our readers are very interested, does your hotel conduct some concerts of modern singers or bands? Maybe some celebrities give performances or conducting workshops?
K.S.: No, not in winter. In winter, we have a guest chef. The singers are coming in summer time during our Festival da Jazz, which is taking place at the Dracula Club and other places in St. Moritz and the Engadine valley.
V.M.: Oh, it's a pity, I guess hot Jazz coming straight from the heart, exactly what you need at cold winter night! But some tasty workshops with a guest chef also a great idea, by the way from what countries your chefs usually come?
K.S.: In St. Moritz we have each year in January the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival taking place during 10 days. The participating hotels host guest chefs from different countries. Last year we had the best female chef Ana Ros from Slovenia. But at Kulm Hotel we have also guest chefs during the whole season. This winter season we have the German celebrity chef Tim Raue for the second time at the restaurant “the K” at Kulm Hotel. In our restaurant “Sunny Bar” Peruvian chef Claudia Canessa will bring her culinary creations for the third winter season.
As our guest chefs, also our guests are very internationally.
V.M.: And from which countries do your guests usually come from?
K.S.: Very internationally, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, UK, USA, Russia, Ukraine & CIS, Brazil, South America etc.
V.M.: And the most frequent question that interests our tourists is how to get to the hotel from the main airports and railway stations?
K.S.: From the airport to the destination St. Moritz I would recommend arriving by train. We offer complimentary pick-up service from the train station in St. Moritz. Of course we also bring our guests back to the station. The other possibility would be self-driving or by driver. And the best possibility coming to St. Moritz is flying with private jet to Samedan Airport, but of course this is not possible for everybody.
Interview was prepared by Manager of ski web portal skitours.com.ua Teslenko Andrew