WHERE TO NEXT?
“The helmsman in the front, the pusher in the back, and two guests in between: That’s how it starts in the narrow car, which passes on every groove and every unevenness without springs. There is still time to admire the landscape for the first hundred meters. But then the curves push the guests deeper and deeper into the vehicle. In the “Horse Shoe,” the ice taxi reaches almost five times its weight and causes applause from the audience. Now the speed is up, with up to 130 km/h in the final sprint. The adrenaline rush is over after 75 seconds – and the respect for the courageous pilots has definitely increased. This is how guests experience a taxi ride on the bob run.
The bobs used for the taxi rides are slightly modified racing four-man bobs and are steered by an experienced bob pilot and accompanied by a brakeman.”
~St. Moritz tourism board
St. Moritz, a town in the Graubünden area of Switzerland, is full of incredible experiences and taking a ride on the bobsled run is one of the most unique. Built in 1904, it is the oldest bobsled run in the world that is still in use. For the most adventurous travel consider trying it out!
St. Moritz is also well known for its Snow Polo tournament and White Turf races, both of them held each January and February, attracting visitors from all over the world. Read more about the tournament in this week’s Highlight below.
I am staying at the Kulm Hotel and the views from the terrace of my room are spectacular! The beautiful green of Lake Moritz is surrounded by immense mountains and off in the distance the local glacier. The water is too cold to swim in this lake – because of its depth it never warms up enough in the summer. But there are other lakes nearby for swimming, paddle boarding and kite surfing. I love the Kulm so much, expect to see it in an upcoming Where to Next?.
Our first night we had a back of house tour at Kulm, including the kitchen and pastry area. In a corner of the kitchen with a big window overlooking the lake, there is a chef’s table that is available to book for your own private dinner. We enjoyed delectable bites and champagne as we watched the cooks prepare the mise en place for that night’s dinner. The pastry chef spoiled us with his fresh truffles and sweets.
Afterwards we had dinner with the Tourism Director of St. Moritz. Over arugula and prosciutto pizza we peppered him with so many questions. A lifelong resident of St. Moritz he had answers to everything.
What is there to do in St. Moritz? Endless possibilities for being active in all four seasons:
- mountain biking
- horse riding
- rock climbing
- hot-air ballooning
- downhill and cross country skiing
- ice skating
- ice hockey
- bobsled run
Beyond being active, the culinary and nightlife scene is vast. Five Michelin star restaurants, so many stylish dining and cocktail bar venues, outdoor terraces, jazz clubs, a cinema and even a small casino.
The shopping includes all of the best – Cartier, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, Hermès and Valentino.
Helicopters can whisk you from the airport, fly you to another local resort in minutes or take you on a flight seeing trip to gaze at the mountains and glacier from high above.
Or take a romantic carriage ride around the lake, through the Staz forest or around the town itself. I opted for an early morning walk around the lake to soak in the beauty and quiet.
Everything here is stunning!
Yesterday our guide, Sebastian, shared the history of the area with us as we walked through the center, around the lake, through the forest to Pontresina, a town nearby, for lunch at Hotel Kronenhof. Our meal was a traditional dish of roti (see below), which is like a jumbo potato pancake covered in a variety of toppings – cheese, bacon, eggs, smoked salmon, porcini mushrooms. Accompanied with Swiss wine, it was all delicious!
After a lot of walking, I opted to spend time in the spa. It is heavenly! I’ll share more in a few weeks.
Last night we went to an off-site restaurant, Chesa al Parc, for perhaps Switzerland’s most well known food (aside from chocolate), fondue.
Today we are off by cable car to the mountain peak in Corvatsch to visit the world’s highest whiskey distillery. From there we take the Swiss train to Vals for more adventures.
The Graubünden area of Switzerland is truly a playground for adults and kids. Put it on your summer and winter bucket list.
This is the time of year that I receive emails from hotels and partners around the world to share availability over what the industry calls “festive season,” the last two weeks of December through the new year.
This week I received one from my contact at Marriott’s luxury brands and it included 50+ hotels and resorts. I’ve narrowed it down to a handful of my favorites and am including those below – just in case you are looking for a good sun or ski option over the holidays.
If you want to get away over the holidays, but have not planned it yet, now is the time. As so much is already full, you may have to make compromises on the destination, the dates or what you want to spend, but it is still an option. Your future self in December will thank you!
This week’s inspiring articles include Architectural Digest’s list of the World’s 13 Most Beautiful Villages You’ve Probably Never Heard Of, the 10 Best Places to Travel in October, Time’s list of the world’s greatest places of 2023 (include St. Moritz!), the best things to do in Santorini and Cartagena and why you should go on safari for your next vacation.
The informational articles include the costs of flying private and what a nearly $16 trillion travel economy means for your future vacation.
Enjoy your week!
- This week’s highlight – Snow Polo in St. Moritz
- Where to Next? Hotel L’Orologio in Venice
- Articles to Inspire+Inform
The challenge of playing on snow, the unique location at 6,000 feet above sea level and the elegance and sophistication of St. Moritz combine to make the tournament truly unique.
Polo has been played for more than 2600 years. It originated in ancient Persia — today’s Iran, Afghanistan, Kashmir and northern Pakistan. The game made it to St. Moritz around 1899 when English soldiers built the first polo field. In 1959, a group of locals founded the St. Moritz polo club, and 1985 saw the world premiere of a polo tournament on snow on the frozen lake of St. Moritz. What began in St. Moritz almost 40 years ago started a worldwide trend—nowadays, polo on snow is played across the globe from Aspen in the US and Cortina in Italy to Kitzbühel in Austria. Still, the St. Moritz original remains the most prestigious polo tournament on snow fetching the highest prize money.*
The entrance to the lake and the public area is free, but I highly recommend securing access to the VIP areas for the best views and atmosphere. There are five 5 star hotels in St. Moritz. Which ones are the best for the polo tournament? I have the inside intel on that and will ensure your VIP entrance is confirmed well in advance.
Next year’s tournament is January 26-28, 2024, so it’s a bit late to plan, but with a flexible budget, it can still happen.
*St. Moritz Polo
📷 St. Moritz Snow Polo
🌟 Our clients will be spending a few weeks this fall exploring Northern Italy. After adventures in Milan, Piedmont and Lake Como they will be staying at the Hotel L’Orologio in Venice for a few days.
Why is L’Orologio so special?
- This centuries old building has stylish, cosmopolitan rooms and suites, many with views overlooking the Grand Canal.
- Perfect for couples or families, there are two large self- catering apartments and family rooms with two bedrooms.
- The L’O Bar faces the canal. Enjoy appetizers and cocktails there or have them delivered to the 4th floor roof terrace for a stunning view of the city.
Do as much or as little as you like:
- Located in the historic center of Venice, you are a short walk to the Piazza San Marco, Rialto Bridge, La Fenice Theatre and the gothic palace, Ca’ d’Oro.
- Explore the islands near Venice with the “Lagoon on a Bike” package offered by the hotel. Enjoy biking around Lido and Pellestrina islands, with bikes and transfers provided.
- Take an enchanting gondola tour through the canals of Venice with aperitifs and cicchetti at happy hour or sunset.
‼️ Don’t miss…..The Lido Beach Experience. Take a private water taxi from the hotel to The Lido, the charming island that separates the Venetian Lagoon from the Adriatic Sea. Spend the day at your own beach hut with chairs and umbrellas on the sandy beach of the lagoon.
Of course it comes with the usual perks and VIP treatment when booking your stay through Truvay Travel.
📷 Hotel L’Orologio
Reach out to plan your trip to
The World’s 13 Most Beautiful Villages You’ve Probably Never Heard Of, Architectural Digest
(although Gordes is on the list and everyone knows that everyone knows about Gordes!)
Guatapé – love!
The Best Things to Do in Santorini, Condé Nast
Vogue World London: Where It’s Happening and How to Stream It, Architectural Digest
8 Pop Culture Pilgrimage Sites Fans Continue to Flock To, Architectural Digest
How to Explore Rwanda’s Volcanic Twin Lakes, Condé Nast
Why Should You Go on a Safari During Your Next Vacation?, Architectural Digest
(If you aren’t able to access an NYT or Washington Post article, send me a note and I’ll send it to you in a PDF.)