Suvretta House



 

A beloved place like Zermatt with its enchanting Matterhorn, French Courchevel offering superior skiing fun and fashionable Madonna di Campiglio in Italy remain popular destinations for winter sports. But there is only one place that successfully mixes the cocktail of snow, sun and the presence of the happy few: St. Moritz. As yet the question remains unanswered why it was this winter sports village that managed to develop into a meeting place for exacting Europeans. Did the ski runs appeal? The polo games on the frozen lake? Or was it the famous bob and skeleton run, the Cresta Run? Officials assume that it’s the more than three hundred sunny days and the “trockenes, prickelndes Champagner-klima”, but that holds true for more ski resorts.The “splendid isolation” of the Engadiner resort is ensured by mountain passes at a height of over two thousand metres and by its many glaciers. In short, the access routes won’t easily get blocked by a column of Alpenkreuzers or a car in the medium-price range with snow chains that has run off the road. If the village has got acquainted with the phenomenon of traffic jams at all, it would be on Europe’s highest runway at the St. Moritz Samedan airport where private jets nervously taxi before taking off towards Geneva, Milan or London. For a century, Suvretta House has been towering proudly, high above the residential Suvretta area. The giant chalet is a haven of refuge for families that have often been coming here for several generations. When the sun has disappeared behind the Piz Nair (3350 metres high), the servants of Suvretta House, fifteen hundred metres lower down the mountain, put logs in the man-sized fireplaces. In this almost Prussian atmosphere the required dress code from cocktail time onwards is smoking or a formal “dunkler Anzug”. Where the glamour-loving guests of the Badrutt’s wear their fur coats inside the hotel as well as outside, the low-profile winter guests of distant Suvretta House only wear their furs outside. Preferably for a calm nightly walk on the via Alpina. Thanks to tons’ worth of investments per room, even after a century Suvretta House stands firm as a rock. Many families are attracted by this wintry bastion thanks to an unfaltering service, private ski run and of course the magnificent view of the Corvatsch Valley.

 

Text by Yvo van Regteren Altena
Photography by Mart Engelen