Hideaway with fairytale experiences!
Written by Sidsel Dalby Glerup – International Diamond Dealer, Graduate Gemologist (GIA) and owner of DALBY DIAMONDS.
It’s monday and yours truly is sitting at the Hyatt Hotel in Zürich, Switzerland after a great business lunch with the memories of a lovely weekend in St.Moritz where I took part in several events, as well as being a spectator.
St. Moritz is most definetly worth a visit if you are looking to experience an exclusive winter wonderland of exquisite class. During the past weekend I checked into one of the town’s great hotels with a view of the snowcladded St. Moritzersee lake, which is nestled beneath St. Moritz and the towns 5000 reidents. The lake forms a perfect setting for sporing events year around, everything from yacht races to polo on ice, the last mentioned being the reason for my visit. Since 1985, the yearly ”World Cup of Snow Polo” has been a tradtition on the frozen lake. Normally, polo is played on grass, thus making polo on a frozen lake somewhat more special. I have been to polo tournaments in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and experienced the spetacular show that goes on during these events.
And polo in St. Moritz is no exception. Major sponsors for this year’s event include Cartier, La Martina and BMW and there is an entire city of tents errected on the lake next to the polo field. Polo has long been popular with the jet set and royalty and this year’s polo event in St. Moritz bears vitness to the large portion of jet set in attendance. The different stalls on site confirms that private jets are shopped with the same ease that the rest of us shop for accessories. It is very fitting to arrive in one’s private jet at St. Moritz, since the town has its own air field, reserved for private jets only.
The most commonplace clothing item with the ladies in attendance are mink fur coats, or rather, mink fur robes: The longer the more prestigious. Even the dogs are equipped with their very own fur covers and sunglasses.
During the tournament delicatessens and champagne are served from the VIP tents.
During Saturday’s tournament I overhear a conversation bewteen two younger girls, who have come to St. Moritz to help stand guard at one of the polo field entrances. One girl is from Montana in The US, the other from Barcelona. Both share a passion for polo and in particular horses and as a former competition equestrian with a huge passion for horses and horseback riding, I completely understand them and might very well have done the same thing in their stead.
St. Moritz is evident of a high purchase power in the consumer base, where especially wealthy Schwiss, Italians and Russians are visible around town. Styles are varied, with Russians showing an extraordinary amount of bling in their choice of clothes, boots, hand bags and jewelry with an large amount of gold, glitz and fur trim. With the typical Schwiss you also sense an exclusive, albeit more discrete, style.
There is a wide variety of restaurants in St. Moritz and Friday night I settle on dinner at the popular Posthaus, which is decorated in a trendy urban decor, with a combination of high tables in rustic wood and lower, round stone tables, a bar with lounge furniture clad in fur and a DJ providing my dining soundtrack. The food is fusion with a touch of Asia and served with champagne. On Saturday, I decide to go for the more authentic and very cosy Chesa Veglia gourmét house, which is situated within the Badrutt’s Palace luxury hotel, a St. Moritz landmark and icon. The house consists of three restaurants and two bars and I chose to dine at Patrizier Stuben, where Schwiss and international specialities are served for”sophisticated connoisseurs” as their website explains it.
Because St. Moritz is one of the most expensive areas in Schwitzerland where a place to live will easily exceed 10 million CHF(more than 70 mill. DKK), it is not the younger crowd that dominate the cityscape. It is primarily people above forty that has aquired the extra luxury of livin in St. Moritz, if you haven’t been lucky enough to inherit a chalet. This is very much confirmed at the town’s hot hang-out, Kings Club at Badrutts Palace, where I am among the youngest there. Many try to sustain their youthful look with more of less successful plastic surgery of the face region and other areas. I talk to a couple of visitors, one of which is a 65 year old muslim gentleman, who is out showing off his around 40 year younger wife number two who is strutting her stuff in a sequence dress and expensive diamond jewelry. He grabs his forehead and says with a smile: ”She kills me”. Another visitor is a beautiful Brazilian woman in her mid thirties who is in St. Moritz with her older Schwiss boyfriend. She tells me that he lives in Genéve and she in Basel and that they see each other way too seldom. She gets my buisness card and says loud enough for her boyfriend to hear: ”Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”.
At one of the towns other luxury hotels, Kulm, there is a jazz-festival happening where renowned stars are playing with their bands. Saturday evening is enjoyed in the company of jazz rythms inspired by latin america.
All the most expensive high-end brands are of course also present in St. Moritz. My focus naturally settles on jewelry stores such as Graff and Cartier, who has diamond jewelry in the pricy end of the scale, where 45 ct diamonds in fancy color and cut are common place and are flashed with the other collections of round brilliant cut diamonds in the display cases. Here, you are not only paying for a piece of jewelry but also the brand behind it, and a single diamond ring can easily match the price of the jets sold at the polo stands.
The ski resort at St. Moritz is of eminent quality and especially suited for alpine skiing, both on the slopes and off-piste. In the terrain there are a number of great restaurants, where I got to stop by during the weekend for refreshments in between trips on the slopes.
All in all, St. Moritz must be described as a small fairytale winter wonderland, a remote and stunning town situated on the south slope of a mountain with gorgeous sunsets and views over St. Moritzersee lake, that every year form the setting of an array of splendid events. St. Moritz is definitely one of my favorite.