What could be better for lovers of snowy landscapes than a hotel situated 1,700m above sea level, five minutes from glamorous St Moritz? Indeed, the Romanesque Bernina 1865 sits in the very heart of the mountains. It’s located in the lively town of Samedan in the Engadin Valley, with a shuttle bus to take you to the surrounding ski areas. The best way to reach the hotel is by two train rides from Zurich – passing spectacular scenery that’s been recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Guests have complimentary access to the wet area at the hotel spa, with its sauna, Turkish bath, relaxation space and ‘emotional shower’. You can also arrange a balancing treatment from one of the experienced massage therapists.
The 46 rooms and suites and seven top-floor duplex apartments manage to be both chic and cosy. Whichever you choose – comfort or deluxe rooms, junior suite, suite or apartment – you’re assured a good view of the surrounding Bernina massifs or the mountainside forest. Rooms are decorated in traditional Engadine style, with parquet flooring, crisp linen and wooden furniture, and some of the suites have a balcony.
Just opposite the hotel you’ll find a tourist office with plenty of advice about the local area, including the many glorious hiking trails. As well as the world-class skiing – the hotel has its own in-house ski school – there’s also windsurfing, biking, paragliding and snow-kiting. Definitely worth a visit is Allegra Mineralbad, a ‘vertical’ Roman baths. You can also take a gondola up over 10,000ft almost to the peak of Corvatsch, where you can admire the views while enjoying apfelstrudel.
For breakfast – and special events – there’s the hotel’s elegant Imperial Restaurant, and you can dine while enjoying the most spectacular panoramic views at Pavilion. For a range of Engadin specialties served in cosy surrounding, head to Stube, or, if you fancy wood-fired pizzas, pasta and grills, there’s Pizzeria-Grill. You can also arrange a picnic hamper for a romantic mountainside feast. For après-ski refreshments, head to Plazzet 20 bar.