Classic, local, grand

Via Veglia 18, St. Moritz 07500

(41) 081-836-80-00

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At a Glance

St. Moritz’s first hotel, opened by Johannes Badrutt in 1864, has grown to 1,300 feet long (the length of three-and-a-half football fields) but retains a proud local ambience, as evidenced by the more than 50% Swiss clientele.

Indagare Loves

  • The Kid’s Club, including a fabulous kid’s pool, part of the lovely wellness area
  • The cozy lobby lounge with painted columns, chandeliers and snug sitting areas
  • The relatively relaxed reservations policy during festive season with a 7-night minimum (as opposed to the longer ones at the Carlton and the Palace)
  • The 28 new rooms, with a modern design, opened in an additional wing in 2013


Today, standing in front of the 1,300-foot-long Kulm hotel, it’s difficult to believe that this was once a modest guest house – and St. Moritz’s first hotel. Johannes Badrutt, whose son would go on to open the Palace, conceived of Pension Faller in 1856, and some of the original rooms are part of the Kulm to this day.

The hotel was bought by the Greek shipping magnate Starvos Niarchos in 1970, a move many considered the saving grace of St. Moritz's luxury hotel scene (Club Med had also been in the bidding). Together with sister hotel Kronenhof, in Pontresina, the Kulm is St. Moritz's most historic five-star, and also its most relaxed. In walking distance to the center of town, the property has a buzzing lobby area but unlike the Palace’s soaring lounge, the Kulm is not about people-gawking. Rather, the warm, living room–esque space, with cozy fireplaces and small sitting nooks, is the epitome of congeniality, and guests come here to really catch up with one another over tea.

With 173 rooms and suites, the Kulm is a large hotel and due to the long-stretched layout, it’s important to specify if you want to be close to the dining rooms, the elevators or the terrific spa. Interiors are traditional, with heavy fabrics and drapes, elaborate headboards, textured quilts and lots of wood paneling throughout. Some are definitely in need of an update – there are annual renovations during the off season, so ask for a recently redone room at the time of making a reservation.

In 2013, twenty-eight brand-new rooms, with a more modern, Alpine-chic decor and subdued color scheme, opened to great acclaim. They are located in the so-called "new Kulm," the building that's farthest away from the common spaces and therefore comes with its own check-in and concierge desk. Guests who appreciate privacy and the feeling of a smaller, boutique property will like these rooms. Those who want easy access to the restaurants and main lobby should go with the traditional rooms and suites, some of which come with balconies or terraces. The best have views of the lake.

A definite highlight at the Kulm is the spa that was completely overhauled in 2013 and that includes twelve treatment rooms and a glorious indoor/outdoor pool that faces St. Moritz Lake (there's even underwater music). A separate kiddie pool is a hit with little ones, who also have access to an excellent Kid's Club – the Kulm is one of the town's most child friendly hotels.

Due to its size and family friendly vibe, the Kulm has a relaxed atmosphere everywhere except for its Grand Restaurant, where jacket and tie are required at dinnertime, a slightly stiff touch that some might find off-putting. (There are several other restaurants on property, and the many options in St. Moritz are just a short walk or drive away.) One spot not to be missed for a night cap or afternoon coffee is the oh-so-British Sunny Bar, a favorite of the daredevil athletes who compete on the nearby Cresta Run (St. Moritz's own version of an ice skeleton toboggan track). Having a drink at the Sunny reminds that the Kulm — and St. Moritz itself —has a long history of British tourism. In 1864 Johannes Badrutt made a bet with his England-based summer guests that they would be able to sit outside in their shirtsleeves in December, inspiring the first winter travelers to the Engadin. They have come back ever since, and many UK families still make the Kulm their base when visiting the Engadin.

Who Should Stay

The comfortable vibe, excellent kids club and more manageable prices at the Kulm draw lots of families.

Written by Simone Girner

What's Nearby

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Indagare employees walking up stiars

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