We stayed at the Grand Hotel Kronenhof in March 2013. The hotel was refurbished in 2008 at a cost of 33m Swiss Francs. This included the addition of a new pool, spa and fitness room, all of which are excellent. Spa treatments were included in our package, although additional treatments were on the expensive side.
The most striking aspect of the hotel is the service from the staff and the positive demeanour. Nothing is too much trouble for them and they are all unfailingly polite and cheerful. Even on our last day, the concierge insisted on taking our cases onto the platform at Samedan station and making sure that we were on the right train and in the right carriage. The Director and his wife were also present on a number of occasions and were every friendly to all the guests.
We booked on a half board package which I would recommend because the food in the main restaurant is excellent; a different choice of gourmet dishes each night, with four courses and cheese too if desired. Also, there are not many restaurants in Pontresina as an alternative. There is a cheaper pizzeria by the station, but not much else save for other hotels. The Kronenhof does have another Michelin star restaurant next door, but the prices were just ridiculous.
The wine in the hotel restaurant is very expensive, but I think this is true of Switzerland generally and they do offer some good wines by the glass.
The bar and lounge are very comfortable and again the service could not be faulted. After a couple of nights, my coffee was served as soon as we came out of the restaurant and without even being ordered.
The only downside was the ubiquitous pianist from whom there was just no escape.
We had a junior suite which was smart and well fitted. The beds were comfortable and the shower - always important to me - was top notch. The rooms were cleaned and tidied twice a day.
Pontresina itself is a small village with a few shops, but little else. There may have been the odd club but if you want nightlife, St Moritz is only 15 mins away by train, bus or taxi. The main activity in the town, at least in the season, is cross country skiing and the hotel offers a package which includes daily lessons at the school by the station. If this is not for you, (it wasn't for us) there are miles of beautiful walking routes through the woods and along the river valleys. The local bus service is also good. We took a bus trip up to Corvatsch for lunch at one of the highest points in the region.
Generally, the weather was a bit on the grey side, with only two days of sun which was a bit disappointing and did spoil the view from the top of Corvatsch, but temperatures were comfortable for those long walks.
A few words on travel. The recommended route is to fly to Zurich and then take the train, changing at Zurich HB and Chur. This works well, but it is a long train journey, although the last section from Chur to Samedan is stunning. It is worth reserving seats in a panorama car for this section. The hotel will collect and deliver at Samedan.
We were told that Swiss Air will deliver your luggage from London to St Moritz for a small additional fee and the hotel will collect it for you.
Finally, just to make the journey home more tedious, Zurich Airport is the most sprawling, badly planned, inefficient and overpriced airport I have been in. Make sure you leave plenty of time to get through it on the way home.
I did think afterwards that it might be easier to fly to Milan and hire a car.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Historic architecture, modern light-flooded rooms and suites, one of the best spas in the world and the prime location in the heart of the Swiss Alps - this unique mix exuding of the magic of a bygone era, modern comforts and stunning nature makes the Grand Hotel Kronenhof an unrivalled landmark. The Neo-Baroque building is one of the most architectonically important 19th century hotels in the Alps. After an extensive renovation in 2007 the listed historic building is celebrated as one of the best luxury and spa hotels in the world. The ambience of the rooms and suites is exclusive and comfortable where technical comfort and attention to detail leaves nothing to be desired. The views from the rooms and from the over 2000 m2 sprawling Spa provides majestical views over the glaciers of the Bernina, the charming Val Roseg as well as the surrounding pine and larch forests. In the magnificent Grand Restaurant from the year 1872, the cozy and timelessly elegant gourmet restaurant Kronenstübli or in the historic wooden pavilion offering fantastic views, the Kronenhof presents culinary variety between the classic French, traditional Italian and regional cuisine. As our guest, you can benefit from the 5 additional restaurants at the sister hotel Kulm Hotel St. Moritz and up to 8 mountain restaurants on the skiing areas of Piz Nair and Corvatsch within the Gourmet / Dine Around half board arrangement, offering the largest dining option in the Engadine. For our younger guests we offer a childrens' own restaurant, the Krönchen Kids' Club and the special V.I.K. (Very Important Kids) program, providing an exciting and versatile kids offer and many benefits for families all around. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Pontresina