By Dennis Payne, ed.
Grand Hotel Kronenhof, located in Pontresina, six miles from St. Moritz, offers the best of both worlds: the chance to enjoy the glitz of St. Moritz, while staying in a peaceful mountain village.
Grand Hotel Kronenhof has a rich and interesting history, having first opened its doors in the first half of the 19th century as a guesthouse. However, the main part of the current building, which is a registered historical landmark, was built at the very end of the 19th century in Neo-Baroque style. The latest addition, completed in November 2007 and costing CHF 35 million (approximately £24 million), consists of 28 new guest rooms and a stunning spa complex covering more than 2000 square metres.
The spa is certainly one of the hotel’s highlights and has been named “the best Alpine spa” (according to Tyler Brule writing in the FT, November 2009). Facilities include a 20m indoor infinity pool with counter-current system, a flotation pool with underwater music, a wide range of saunas and steam rooms, a luxurious private suite for couples to enjoy wraps and massages together, and – for the perfect final touch – a crackling log fire in the relaxation room.
Gourmet cuisine is also a specialty at the Grand Hotel Kronenhof. Awarded the title of GaultMillau Hotel of the Year in 2009, it has three restaurants (the formal Grand Restaurant in an elegant Neo-Baroque vaulted room, Gourmet Restaurant Kronenstübli serving Italian-Mediterranean cuisine and the informal Le Pavillon for light lunches). In addition, the hotel features a 19th-century original bowling alley where Swiss raclette is served.
Finally, Grand Hotel Kronenhof is renowned for its extensive children’s activities and facilities (a kids’ playroom and Rondelle, a restaurant just for younger members of the family).
Grand Hotel Kronenhof was the Top Luxury Hotel in Switzerland in the 2016 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice® awards and placed sixth in the top hotels for service category; in 2014, it was named the Top Hotel in Switzerland, Europe and the World in the same awards. In 2015, the hotel won the title of World Luxury Ski Resort and Europe’s Luxury Family Hotel, as well as a place in a list of the top 35 best holiday hotels in Switzerland compiled by renowned Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung, was named the best five-star hotel in Pontresina for wellness, active holidays and luxury travel by HolidayCheck and was named one of the top ten “Luxury Hotels” at the 2015 Switzerland Tourism PRIX BIENVENU awards; it also entered the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame for excellence in hospitality for consistently achieving great traveller reviews on TripAdvisor. In 2014, Grand Hotel Kronenhof also won the Switzerland Tourism PRIX BIENVENU award as the most welcoming luxury hotel in Switzerland in 2014.
Both the Grand Hotel Kronenhof and its sister property Kulm Hotel St. Moritz are owned by the Niarchos family.