Sunday, 8 January 2012

Family Focus For Easter In The Engadine in a family-owned hotel

The focus for Easter breaks in the Engadine, Switzerland, is very much on families at the Kulm Hotel St Moritz ( and its sister property the Grand Hotel Kronenhof, Pontresina ( Though Easter falls quite late in the season, there should still be plenty of fun to be had in the snow, thanks to the resorts’ locations at high altitude. And, if not, there is no need to worry as the hotels are laying on plenty of activities to keep the kids amused from dawn till dusk.

The Kulm Hotel’s Eggs-clusive Easter Offer includes either four nights’ (5 to 8 April) or seven nights’ (1 to 8 April) half-board accommodation, a three- or six-day ski pass, Easter activities in the hotel’s new Marmotta Kids Club with the Easter Clown, an Easter concert for the whole family on Saturday 7 April and either a 50-minute massage or a 50-minute facial for parents. Prices start from CHF1,710 (approx £1,175) per adult sharing a double room for the four-night package; children under the age of 12 stay free in their parents’ room.

To book, call the Kulm Hotel St Moritz on +41 81 836 8000 or email

Grand Hotel Kronenhof (, located in nearby Pontresina, has a four-night Easter in the Engadine package valid any time between 1 and 8 April. This package includes half-board accommodation, a Champagne aperitif and gala dinner on Saturday 7 April, Easter brunch buffet on Sunday 8 April, a delightful Easter programme for younger guests (such as egg painting and an Easter egg hunt, all with a fully trained child minder), a 60-minute Carita facial for mums and a 50-minute full body massage for dads, as well as unlimited use of the Kronenhof Spa and a Fit & Fun sports programme that changes daily. Prices start from CHF1,330 (approx £915) per adult sharing a double room; a 30% discount is offered on a second adjoining room for the kids, but this does not include half-board.

For those wishing to enjoy an early spring ski holiday but not necessarily Easter, Grand Hotel Kronenhof offers an alternative Sunshine Days package from 11 March to 4 April. This includes a minimum of three nights’ half-board accommodation, a two-day ski pass or a Kronenhof Spa wellness pass worth CHF150 (for those not wishing to ski) and unlimited use of the Spa; prices start from CHF795 (approx £545) per person. Substantial discounts are available for children.

To book, call the Grand Hotel Kronenhof on +41 81 830 3030 or email

Kulm Hotel St. Moritz was the first hotel to be built in St Moritz. The Kulm Hotel opened its doors in 1856 and immediately became popular for summer spa and painting holidays, particularly among the British who comprised around 75% of the hotel guests.

The owner of the Kulm Hotel, Johannes Badrutt, initiated winter holidays to St Moritz from 1864, when he laid a bet with his last departing summer guests that the local weather was so good they could sun themselves on the hotel’s terrace even in deep December; if not, he would cover the cost of their vacation himself. He won the bet and within two years, the hotel was fully booked with guests staying for the entire winter season. The Kulm Hotel St. Moritz can, therefore, take credit for starting the trend for winter sports holidays.

Since the 19th century, the Kulm Hotel has changed considerably through expansion and renovation, but the fabulous location at the heart of St Moritz with views over the Lake remains the same. A member of The Leading Hotels of the World, the Kulm Hotel has 173 rooms, five restaurants (formal dining, French fine dining awarded 15 points by GaultMillau, Italian, local Engadine specialities and Japanese), the extensive Panorama SPA & Health Club (with 20m indoor pool, various saunas and steam room, a Jacuzzi, a fully-equipped gym and treatment rooms, all with stunning views over Lake St. Moritz) and six conference rooms, with capacities ranging from 50 to 500 people.

Entertainment and sports facilities include the 9-hole Kulm Golf Course St. Moritz, three tennis courts, a natural ice rink, a curling field and the “Marmotta Club” for children. The Kulm Hotel is inextricably linked to the Cresta Run through the Sunny Bar, where tobogganing pilots have congregated for decades; the walls are lined with trophies and images of famous people who have hurled themselves down the infamous ice track.

Recent awards for the Kulm Hotel St Moritz include Concierge of the Year and Maitre d’ of the Year, as awarded by Swiss economic journal Bilanz in 2010, 15 GaultMillau points for the hotel’s gourmet restaurant the K in 2009, and the best winter holiday hotel according to the publishing house MetroPool in 2008.

Grand Hotel Kronenhof, located in Pontresina, six miles from St. Moritz, offers the best of both worlds: the chance to enjoy the glitz of St. Moritz, while staying in a peaceful mountain village.

Grand Hotel Kronenhof has a rich and interesting history, having first opened its doors in the first half of the 19th century as a guesthouse. However, the main part of the current building, which is a registered historical landmark, was built at the very end of the 19th century in neo-Baroque style. The latest addition, completed in November 2007 and costing CHF 50 million (approximately £30 million), consists of 28 new guest rooms and a stunning spa complex covering more than 2000 square metres.

The spa is certainly one of the hotel’s highlights and has been named “the best Alpine spa”*. Facilities include a 20m indoor infinity pool with counter-current system, a flotation pool with underwater music, a wide range of saunas and steam rooms, a luxurious private suite for couples to enjoy wraps and massages together, and – for the perfect final touch – a crackling log fire in the relaxation room.

Gourmet cuisine is also a speciality at the Grand Hotel Kronenhof. Awarded the title of GaultMillau Hotel of the Year in 2009, it has four restaurants (the formal Grand dining room in an elegant neo-baroque vaulted room, Kronenstübli – awarded a Michelin star inNovember 2011 – serving local Engadine specialities, the traditional bowling lanes where Swiss raclette is served and an informal pavilion for light lunches).

Finally, Grand Hotel Kronenhof is renowned for its extensive children’s activities and facilities (a kids’ playroom and Rondelle, a restaurant just for younger members of the family).

Recent awards for the Grand Hotel Kronenhof include the HolidayCheck Award 2011 (99 most popular hotels of the world), first place in the Best Of Swiss Gastro (gourmet category), GaultMillau Hotel of the Year 2008, the `Bilanz‘ hoteliers of the year award presented to Heinz E. and Jenny Hunkeler in 2008, and 16 GaultMillau points for the à la carte restaurant ‘Kronenstübli’.

Both the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz and the Grand Hotel Kronenhof are owned by the Niarchos family.

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