My last trip to Swiss Grisons was very intensive. During the week I did a few hikes, bicycle rides and climbing. At the very end I was looking forward for a weekend yoga retreat at the phenomenal Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina.
The architecture of the hotel makes it one of the most magnificent buildings in the Alps. The historic building from 1848 is elegant with light-filled apartments and one of the best spas in Switzerland, not to mention a great location, in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Such a blend of the magic of old times, modern comfort and a surrounding of beautiful nature is what make the Grand Hotel Kronenhof so special and unique. In 2007, this neo-Baroque building, which is an alpine architectural treasure, underwent a major renovation and now is one of the world’s leading luxury wellness hotels.
The vibe of the Alpine village of Pontresina and belle époque style
The Grand Hotel Kronenhof is located in the heart of the idyllic village Engadine in Pontresina, six kilometers from St. Moritz. It is the only 5-star superior hotel in this village. It offers 112 spacious rooms and suites, as well as large and well-equipped Kronenhof Spa and several excellent restaurants.
The Pontresina is located in the valley at an altitude of 1805 m above the sea level. The village is very close to the Bernina Massif with two most famous peaks of Engadine: Piz Palü and Piz Bernina. The Bernina peak (4049 m) is the highest in the Eastern Alps. The region has a variety of activities to offer, and at the same time, it guarantees a peace and tranquility. The charm of traditional Engadine cottages and the elegance of the belle époque hotels really take you to a fairytale land.
When you feel as if you are playing in a beautiful movie from the Old Hollywood
The first thing you can notice is that Grand Hotel Kronenhof has very elegant and detailed-orientated spaces. When I showed them to you on the Instagram stories, one of you noticed that the shots look like they were taken straight from an old Hollywood movie. And how accurate this describes the vibe of the hotel!
Wherever you go, whether is the lobby, where you can listen to piano concerts in the evenings, the main restaurant lit by crystal chandeliers or one of elegant lounges where you can chill with a glass of wine – you feel as if you are playing a leading role in an amazing movie. I also love that being in these spaces inspire to be elegant, to wear the most beautiful dress or suit. How many opportunities do we have in the modern world to spark our everyday life, add a pinch of elegance and class? Here, in Grand Hotel Kronenhof it fits so well, and you easily become a part of beautiful scenery. And this is an absolutely wonderful experience.
My favorite place for an evening glass of wine was definitely, recently renovated lounge. It was a very peaceful area, a soft music in the background created the atmosphere, and the flames in the fireplace gave the coziness. Everything was designed to make guests feel well taken care of. There was a button, which can be used to call the waiter to order your favorite drink. I imagine that on winter evenings in Switzerland, when it is snowing outside the window, it is a perfect place to read a book after a long day spent on skiing.
Modern luxury and well-designed space
My room was bright and modern. The most spectacular part of it was the view on the Alps. I liked large windows with wide windowsills, as if created to start the day sitting on them, sipping coffee, breathing crystal clear Swiss air and endlessly gazing at the mountain landscape. As a child, I always dreamt of windowsill where I could read books. Who would have thought that it would come back to me here in the Swiss idyll?
As you know, the life of a travel blogger is a constant work. Even when I travel, the world around doesn’t want to stop somehow and I still have to work on my blog, write new articles, prepare the photos and respond to dozens of emails. That is why, I always pay attention if the hotels I visit have any space to work. Believe me, it is not obvious that there is a table or a desk in the room where you can sit for a few hours. And here the Grand Hotel Kronenhof surprised me positively, because there was a separate workspace in my room and it was designed the way I could enjoy the view behind the window. These are the small-big things which show that the hotel thinks about guests needs. It was definitely my favorite place in the room.
A feast for the senses and one of the best customer services you can imagine
The hotel has three restaurants. Guests can enjoy the decor of a wonderful Grand Restaurant, eat a delicious meal in Kronenstübli, where I had my first dinner and chill in Le Pavillon, where I had lunch in the open air, with a panoramic view of the hotel and the mountains in the background
My favorite was the Grand Restaurant with its neo-Baroque vaulted ceiling dating back to 1872. The elegance of the room, crystal chandeliers and beautifully decorated mirrors made me feel as if I was dining in a theater or a palace. In such place even oatmeal for breakfast tastes delicious. Anyway, you don’t have to imagine it, because breakfasts are truly royal – crunchy, warm bread, freshly squeezed juices and the fact that the chef will prepare any dish you wish. I must admit that I got up earlier only to celebrate this beautifully served breakfast and delicious coffee served in a silver kettle. This is the proper way to start your day! I’ll add that the service is unusual here – professional, discreet and with a great taste. Everything here plays like in the best-tuned orchestra, making an amazing impression.
The restaurant also looks magical in the evenings, when a five-course menu with a selection of brilliant regional wines is served. Trout tartar, rosemary steak or caramelized plums for dessert are just a few of the flavors you can expect here.
There is a dress code – evening clothes, and men are required to wear a jacket. And that’s perfectly justified! The beautiful white tablecloths, candlelight and a pianist playing the most beautiful classics – all of these require a little preparation. This dinner was the highlight of my visit and luckily for me it was on my 4th blog birthday. I couldn’t have dreamt of a better place to make a toast to past years of work, which brought me to the place as unique as this. The charming pianist also played “Killing me softly” by Frank Sinatra especially for me. Cheers to here and now!
A fairy-tale spa with an amazing view
The most impressive place of the Grand Hotel Kronenhof is definitely the fantastic spa. And it’s not a surprise, because its space, covering more than 2000 square meters, is a masterpiece of combining architecture with the surrounding nature.
An indoor pool built on a hillside is surrounded by high windows. This allows you to swim while enjoying the views of the beautiful Engadine peaks, regardless of the season and the weather.
And the combination of water and mountains is one of the most picturesque you can imagine. I have used the pool several times and I have always been alone, which only intensified the experience. Anyway, just look at these pictures – they say more than a thousand words, right?
Apart from the swimming pool, there are also the whole spa facilities: saunas, a massage parlor and a beautician. And, of course, a well-equipped gym. You can also hire a personal trainer. In short words, it’s a perfect place to keep up with an active lifestyle.
The most beautiful place for yoga with a view of the Alps
What attracted me like a magnet to this place was an unusual concept of a weekend yoga retreat in the open air.
It’s been a long time since I had a chance to participate in professional yoga classes, so a few days with yoga in the Alps seemed to be a dream. My intuition didn’t disappoint me and that was one of the most beautiful experiences this year.
Just imagine: the beauty of the Engadine mountain scenery, the unspoiled Roseg glacier in the background, and somewhere below in the valley, a humming mountain river. On the slope there are wooden platforms built especially for this purpose, which seem to float in the fog. Everything is surrounded by juicy green grass and wild flowers. And in the middle of this idyll – you. The sun warms your face, you breathe in the crystal clear air and in the background you are led by a calm voice of the instructor. It was just beautiful and transcendent.
The classes on the platforms were held twice a day – morning and evening – and combined different yoga styles such as Vinyasa Flow, Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga and meditation. It was also open level, so anyone could participate, regardless of the level of proficiency in yoga.
I felt in love with this place and came here several times to practice and meditate alone. For me, such trips, that combine the closeness of nature and activity, are the most rewarding. It the best way I know to regenerate and have a boost of energy. That’s why I’m obsessively looking for new beautiful places that offer the holistic experiences and fit into my concept of living and traveling: Travel and Keep Fit.
The Grand Hotel Kronenhof has just been added to my list of the most beautiful hotels in the world, because it offers not only amazing interiors, but also a holistic experience that makes life more enjoyable. This is definitely the place that you will remember for a long time.