Hotel Of The Week: The Carlton, St Moritz

A winter palace fit for a tsar

The Carlton St Moritz has just reopened after a major 18-month refurbishment and is now the only all-suite hotel in the ultra-swish resort. Built originally for Tsar Nicholas II as a summer home away from pre-revolutionary Russia, the Carlton was turned into a hotel in 1913, one of five five-star properties that have competed hotly for the more-money-than-sense market for the past 100 years. Levels of service are exemplary and every guest is greeted with the words "Welcome to Paradise".

The bedrooms

Every one of the 60 suites has a view of the lake and the rooms are even more dramatic. Flamboyant designer Carlo Rampazzi has filled each suite with swathes of rich fabric, huge leather headboards and antique bits and pieces dating from the hotel's opening. Each room has its own vibrant colour scheme orange, green, red toned down by a reproduction of the original 1913 carpet. Though he was given a clean slate and a huge budget, Rampazzi has gone for the impression that rooms have been renovated rather than designed anew.

Another characteristic Rampazzi touch, the corridors are sinuously curved whenever possible.

The food and drink

The main dining room was one of three huge first-floor reception rooms fashioned for the Tsar. It's named Romanoff in his honour and serves breakfast and dinner. The sommelier, Gianfranco, has been with the hotel for decades and is very proud of his cellar's Italian wines. Tchini, next to reception, is altogether less formal with an Asian fusion bent.

The access

Good wheelchair access to all areas via lifts but there are no rooms modified for disabled guests. Children are very welcome and a nanny service is available. Dogs are allowed.

The damage

Starting price for a double room is CHF 900 (400) per day based on two sharing, including breakfast, taxes, free internet, minibar, access to the Carlton Spa and transfers to the train station or local airport). Seasons in Style (seasonsinstyle.com) is offering Carlton St Moritz packages .

The address

Via Johannes Badrutt 11, 7500 St Moritz, Switzerland (00 41 81 836 7000; carlton-stmoritz.ch).

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