Standing tall at 1856 metres high and offering over 250 km of ski slopes, St. Moritz is known as one of the most exclusive ski resorts in Europe. It is mostly known for its jet set clientele, amazing hotels and restaurants, fancy night clubs and more glamour than you can handle. A paradise for billionaires, celebrities & co.
But if you know me, then you can guess that I didn't go to St. Moritz to dance away my nights in a club. No, no...Instead, I was invited by the prestigious Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains to enjoy a relaxing weekend testing how well they could accommodate a health and fitness freak like myself. Challenge accepted! I'm so happy that this opportunity came along because, given that I'm moving away soon, it was my last chance to discover a new part of Switzerland that I'd never been to before.
I wish I could say we had a sunny picturesque drive across the Engadine pass on our way to St. Moritz, but unfortunately it was pouring rain the entire time. Thank god Paul, Kempinski's lovely PR manager, had a host of activities organised for us so we were sure to not get bored.
The Kempinski Hotel`s service is simply incredible – from the concierge to the waiters, everyone is so attentive and kind. I'm sure the team must have had a sneak peak at my Instagram beforehand, because instead of champagne we were greeted with a big fruit platter and a freshly prepared smoothie awaiting us in our room. I like!
After we got settled into our room and went for a quick gym session (the gym is AWESOME for a hotel gym and yes, the first thing that comes to my mind when checking into a beautiful 5* hotel is to hit the gym ahahah), we were off to dinner at one of the hotel's restaurants Sra Bua with Paul and his colleague Rebecca. We ordered a mix of both vegan and non-vegan food; I had a miso soup for starters and a main dish with layered aubergine. Even though their kitchen doesn't particularly cater to vegans, I felt comfortable asking for anything and was certain that they would accommodate my wishes. What a nice change to the traditional Swiss cuisine where you're bound to get weird side looks from the waiters when you ask for vegan options!
The next morning our food experience continued - at the hotel's exquisite breakfast buffet. Hands down, this buffet is one of the best I've enjoyed. The display is located around a circular island at the centre where the chefs prepare anything from fresh omelettes or scrambled eggs. While there are obviously a lot of non-vegan options, I sure wasn't short on options either. Perhaps it was the range of freshly squeezed juices and the veggie-filled omelettes or the many different nuts and seeds to top off your müsli (probably bigger than my own pantry collection at home, and trust me I have A LOT), but I always left breakfast feeling full and satisfied. No wonder, since the buffet is recognized as one of the best in Switzerland!
After breakfast I headed off to the spa to meet with the spa manager Ljiljana for a Hydra Facial skin treatment. I have super sensitive skin and many allergies, so I was a bit skeptical at first, but Ljiljana took great care to explain the whole process to me and ensure that all treatments are always adapted to your skin type.
So, what is HydraFacial ? In short, it's a customizable, rejuvenating skin resurfacing treatment using LED light therapy and a peeling (that feels like you're using a vacuum cleaner on your face) that makes your skin look younger and fresher. Because of my problems with acne, my skin tone is super uneven and so the results of the treatment were absolutely amazing and I left with soft, glowing and even skin. The treatment is still rather new and not available in many places, but I'll certainly be on the lookout for it from now on.
The rest of the spa is pretty impressive as well with it's 15-metre pool and variety of thermal rooms (Finnish sauna, bio sauna, herbal sauna, stone sauna or steam bath). Ideal for winter sport enthusiasts to warm up in after a day on the slopes!
But instead of hitting the slopes my boyfriend Phil and I decided to explore St. Moritz by foot and headed out towards town through the hotel's very own park. Hello winter wonderland! After the rain of the previous day we were blessed with the most perfect blue sky and the first warm sun rays of the year. Could this trip get any better!?
Afterwards we went to the gym again, but this time for a personal training session with Francesco. The language barrier (Italian isn't my forté) wasn't a problem and we had a quick and simple workout session using the TRX and Swiss medicine balls to target mainly abs and lower back. I loved Francesco's focus on functional training, and ya'll know how much I've been into functional training lately.
The day came to an end with another wonderful dinner at the hotel, this time with a fully vegan surprise dinner that the chef created especially for us. We started off with a simple salad with avocado, tomatoes, potatoes and a light vinaigrette, followed by fried zucchini with mediterranean veggies. The highlight of the dinner was the vegan cheesecake for dessert, which was so different in terms of taste and texture to any other vegan cheesecake I've ever had. And trust me, I've had loads! I was so impressed that I asked the waiter for the ingredients, and he came back a couple minutes later with the hand written recipe that the chef used. I wish I had taken a picture of it, so I could try to recreate it at home...Oh well, I guess that will be Kempinski's well kept secret forever.
The next morning we were blessed with another beautiful day of sunshine. We got up quite early and were chauffeured to town for a full body analysis with Mirko Colombo, with whom the hotel works together for clients who want to get fit. I hadn't gotten tested in a while, so I was really nervous to check up on my muscle mass, fat mass and water distribution/fluid balance. The last time I got it tested was during summer holidays at Phuket Cleanse, and let's just say I've been slacking a bit since. But it was a great motivation to see the numbers black on white and to know what to work towards to again.
Since we had such beautiful weather, we spontaneously decided to go ski before heading back home direction Bern. The ski lift is literally right across the road from the hotel so we were on the slopes in no time and enjoyed the last hours of our stay discovering St. Moritz's huge ski resort.
I left St. Moritz feeling healthy, refreshed, energised and grateful for the amazing opportunity. What a wonderful way to end my 4 years in Switzerland...Thank you!
*In friendly collaboration with Kempinski and their lovely PR team