When it comes to unrivaled Swiss stays, Grand Hotel Kronenhof ranks high. A sumptuous 112-key Neo-Baroque icon in Pontresina, a small town six miles away from more-popular St. Moritz, the Grand Hotel Kronenhof has welcomed European elite and international sybarites since its 1848 opening.
Even though almost two centuries old, not one space or speck, inside or out, feels tired. The hotel recently underwent a renovation led by French Interior Designer Pierre-Yves Rochon (his portfolio spans worldwide, from the Four Seasons George V in Paris to the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills). To say Pierre did a no-detail-forgotten job refurbishing the hotel would be an understatement (we can’t stop talking about the smokers’ lounge, and we don’t even smoke — anyway, more on this later in the “Top Takeaways” section).
Let’s start from the get-go: You walk into a reception area with doors etched in white and rose gold; it creates a semi-transparent snowflake effect that’s redolent of the winter seasons for which the area is most known. (To say the least, skiing opportunities here are “above par.” In fact, the hotel provides a free ski shuttle to the slopes, as well as ski passes and ski storage). The lobby feels elegant and harmonious: a historic center table, storied chandeliers, and calming shades of blue, along with modern furnishings, occupy the space (the elected hues complement the mountain scenery viewable from the lobby’s expansive windows).
To the side is the Kronenhof Bar: a debonair space clad in refined blues and ornate accents. A masterful œuvre d’art titled “Luster Angela,” done by Charles Paris Chez Rubelli, hangs on the walls. A gold chandelier dangles from the ceiling, paying tribute to the Kronenhof crown. European ritz is the name of the game.
The hotel has three restaurants: the formal Grand Restaurant in the elegant Neo-Baroque vaulted room (no matter your personal taste, this room catches all eyes); a gourmet restaurant called Kronenstübli, which serves Italian-Mediterranean cuisine within a Swiss-Pine interior; and then there’s Le Pavilion (your go-to for a light lunch).
The hotel’s spa is tantalizing: a 20m indoor infinity pool, flotation pool with underwater music, and a clutch of saunas and steam rooms are a few reasons why. Get one of their facials using Valmont, a Swiss skincare brand renowned for its high-echelon products.
When it comes to unassuming yet oh-so-cool amenities, the hotel’s 19th-century original bowling alley takes the trophy. On-demand Swiss Raclette serves as the perfect companion to gameday.
Rooms are comfy and stately, with many boasting views of the surrounding snow-capped peaks — you can’t go wrong with the Junior Suite (it sleeps four and is perfect for a small group — perhaps a ski trip with friends?).
Location: Pontresina, Switzerland
The Vibe: Iconic Swiss hotel brimming with well-kept, old-age European glamour all over.
Our favorite thing about the hotel: Whether you smoke or not, the smokers’ lobby is designed to the nines. The posh space sports a handsome look comprising elegant green furniture and deft millwork. The hotel’s world-class cigar selection features the best of the best.
Food + Drink: The Kronenhof Bar and hotel lobby flow into one another (the bar wears punchy reds and mellowing blues). Afternoon tea here is always a good idea. Then, there’s the Grand Restaurant, an expansive, high-ceilinged neo-baroque space that brims with refurbished old-age European glamour. Kronenstübli — at some capacity, this feels like a Swiss-pine-style, speakeasy-esque restaurant (it’s located in an unassuming, off-the-main-drag part of the hotel) — serves Italian-Mediterranean and French dishes.
Amenities: Two swimming pools, spa, fitness center, pet-friendly, Three restaurants & bars, bowling alley
Nearby attractions: Pontresina main town, Pontresina Velosolutions Pump Track, Muottas Muragl Summit , Engadiner Museum, Piz Muragl, Bernina Pass, Tschainas ski lift, and Celerina-Marguns ski lift.
Rooms: There are 112 — our favorite is the Junior Suite (Grand Deluxe), which has mountain views and sleeps four.
Pricing: Depending on the season, come winter, it can be around $500-$650, whereas in the off season, such as fall, for example, you can find rooms that start at around $410 per night.
Closest airport: For the best international flight options, Zurich International Airport via the scenic Glacier Express train is your best bet.
Other articles you may like: