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Hotel Grace La Margna

Redefining Alpine luxury in St Moritz

Built in 1906, the original La Margna was one of the most iconic hotels in St Moritz, a glorious example of Art Nouveau, the style predominant in the early 20th century. With its privileged location, mere minutes from the train station, and panoramic views of the lake, it was a coveted destination in what is possibly the most desirable Alpine resort of all times. And now, it’s back.

From Alfred Hitchcock to Audrey Hepburn, George Clooney to Kate Moss and Claudia Schiffer, St Moritz has attracted celebrities and royals ever since holding its first winter sports tournament in 1864. One can only imagine the parties at La Margna in its heyday. If only walls could speak… For 50 years from the mid-1960s, the hotel was privately-owned by the Schweizer-Pitsch family. They retired in 2013, passing on its guardianship to another family-run concern, Grace Hotels. After an £82.7-million renovation, undertaken with much love and sensitivity by London-based architectural firm Divercity Architects, Grace La Margna St Moritz opened its doors in summer 2023, as elegant and chic as it ever was, but updated with thoughtful, 21st century luxury.

Grace La Margna has had a new wing added to it, where all rooms boast floor-to-ceiling windows and feature all the luxury treats you could possibly imagine in a 5-star hotel.

For starters, all the 74 rooms at Grace La Margna enjoy mountain views and are equipped with everything you need to enjoy a slice of heaven on Earth. From allergy-free rooms to a pillow menu, humidifiers on request and even Dyson hairdryers in the bathroom, there is virtually nothing that General Manager David Frei and his team haven’t considered to offer guests an experience of extraordinary comfort and service.

The hotel, open 365 days a year, is divided into two wings: La Margna, which comprises the old building and the new Grace, where each room features floor-to-ceiling windows, granting guests impressive views of the Engadin; the high valley area in the Alps where St Moritz sits. Star of the show is the Grace Terrace suite, on the top floor of the new wing, which has an immense terrace from which you can admire the stunning Muottas Muragl mountain, the lake and the postcard-pretty town of St Moritz – all while sipping a glass of champagne and soaking in your private jacuzzi.

The living are of the Grace Terrace Suite features a open fireplace, couch, dining table and a 75” TV.

The wellness area has a fully-equipped gym and a 20-metre pool where you can swim forever, thanks to its counter-current system. Very “Hollywood”. Adjacent to it, there is a vitality pool – great for sore muscles after skiing – and a wonderful spa boasting two saunas, a hammam, wellness showers, and spacious treatment rooms. These include a private suite for an extra-special pampering session. The treatments menu has something for everyone. One of my favourites is the lymphatic drainage leg massage; fantastic to boost circulation, which suffers with air travel and high altitudes.

The 20-metre pool at Grace La Margna guarantees endless swimming thanks to an ingenious counter-current system.

Feeling too floaty to go out for dinner? Fear not, Grace La Margna has three restaurants and the best cocktail bar, N/5 – THE BAR, where manager and master mixologist, Mirco Giumelli will awe you with his creations. When I visited, the menu was inspired by Tarot cards, serving up everything from The Hanged Man to The Star and from The World to The Devil. I love the theatre of it all: the giant bubbles, the clouds of smoke… if you want to impress someone with your knowledge of the hippest place in St Moritz, this is the place to bring them.

THE BAR serves the most extraordinary cocktails in one of the hippest venues in St Moritz.

Foodwise, The Stack offers a refined version of brasserie fare, while The View focuses on Mediterranean cuisine. For a truly traditional dinner, head to The Max Moritz to enjoy an authentic Swiss cheese fondue. Chances are you won’t want to venture anywhere else to eat or drink while you are at Grace La Margna. If you are extremely charming and persuasive, you may be invited to visit the cellar, which I instantly booked for when the world ends… Head Sommelier Benjamin Zimmerling showed me a bottle of 1986 Grand Vin of Château Palmer, several of the rare Inedito II and an enviable selection of big Bordeaux such as Cos d’Estournel, Pontet-Canet, and La Tour.

The wine cellar at Grace La Margna holds some of the best wines available in the whole of Switzerland.

One thing is for sure, the icon is back. Grace La Margna drips with the glamour of its legendary namesake.

I flew with SWISS from London Heathrow to Zurich on Business Class (from £194, www.swiss.com). Other direct flights from the UK are available. From Zurich airport, I travelled by train to St Moritz with a first-class Swiss Travel Pass (from £364, book at MySwitzerland.com/swisstravelsystem).

For bookings at Grace La Margna, visit: https://www.gracehotels.com/en/destinations/grace-la-margna-st-moritz
For more information about St Moritz, visit: www.stmoritz.com

Words: Julia Pasarón

Opening picture: courtesy of Divercity Architects

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