Grand Hotel Kronenhof Pontresina is the only 5-star superior hotel in picturesque Pontresina, which has been one of Switzerland’s most sought after private alpine and health retreat destinations for over a century. In fact, the hotel has been welcoming guests since 1848 and while the interiors have been modernised (partly thanks to star designer Pierre-Yves Rochon) it retains its renowned neo-baroque architecture.
A visit to this hotel is akin to returning to the romantic period of a forgotten era – where a palatial residence rests in an idyllic mountain backdrop, a dedicated team of service staff greet you by name and help optimise your stay, and you look forward to a choice of three restaurants, an awarded spa and an elegant room that would impress the most discerning royalty. However, if we place the romance aside for a moment and focus on the facts, the hotel also has much going for it – from being included in TripAdvisor’s “Traveler’s Choice Awards” for 2019 in Switzerland’s Luxury Hotel & Top Hotel categories to being ranked “Best 5-star Hotel in Switzerland 2018” by Trivago and “Best Spa Resort Switzerland 2017” at the World Luxury Hotel Awards, among others.
Importantly, the hotel is also ideally suited to the times we are living in. The already spacious and private Engadine region is taken to the next level of privacy in Pontresina and thanks to the 2,000 square metre spa, expansive common spaces and sweeping outdoor areas, guests have their own space, wherever they go.
GUEST EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTS:
§ Design: Grandiose neo-baroque exteriors exude extravagance. Opulent interiors range from hues of imperial red to midnight blues, with royal patterns and refreshed styles by Pierre-Yves Rochon (designer of the Ritz Paris, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and The Peninsula Hotels). Floor to ceiling windows grace the common spaces, parquet floors can be found below your feet, chandeliers above your head and delicate design touches all around – many of them original elements, which have been restored and kept in a remarkably elegant condition.
§ Gastronomy: With three restaurants to choose from, there is something for everyone and every occasion. Whether it is an elegant dinner in the ballroom-like Grand Restaurant which has a dress code requirement of an “elegant wardrobe, suit jacket for men” or a traditional alpine dining setting at the 16 Gault-Millau gourmet restaurant Kronenstübli (renowned for its Rouen duck) or a lunch at Le Pavillon, you will be spoilt for choice. Guests now also have the advantage of an all-new Smokers’ Lounge and a bar that offers a wide range of cocktails. Our dining experience at the Kronenstübli was particularly memorable with the highlights including:
~ A romantic ambience where chalet-style wooden walls set the stage for intimate tables adorned with pink roses, silver candles and attended by a welcoming service team.
~ The first appetizer included a presentation of bread, olive tapenade, fleur de sel, vanilla butter, pistachio and goat cheese.
~ The First Chef’s Welcome was an extravagantly prepared burrata plate.
~ The Second Chef’s Welcome: A delightful chard carpaccio with grapefruit and dill.
~ First course: Green papaya salad, squid ink chips, mango presented in a creative fashion and roasted South African scampi.
~ Main course: Black Angus filet from Australia with summer truffle, broccoli, lavender, Périgord truffle shavings and a truffle sauce as well as Swiss gnocchi.
~ Pre-dessert: Pistachio and mango preparation with a hint of red pepper.
~ Dessert: Mango and apricot foam with violet flowers.
~ Post-dessert: Petit four with a delightful coffee macaron and other specialties.
~ Gifts from the kitchen: Nut mix and mints to take back to the suite.
§ Wellness area: This is one of the most impressive attributes of the Kronenhof. Past the modern stone design and large windows, guests will gaze out over the exquisite alpine setting. The wellness offer includes a warm swimming pool, water treatment area (water jets, waterfalls), a Finnish sauna, Bio sauna for women, stone grotto, relaxing and unexpected salt water grotto and various other spaces. We enjoyed the “sauna aufguss”, which included a mint, lemon and tea tree infusion with a professional sauna technician. Treatments are also, of course, available.
§ Accommodation: The Kronenhof has a selection of 112 rooms and suites. We recommend the 74 m2 Kronenhof Suite, which includes a large living space, private balcony overlooking the exquisite Roseg Valley and Glacier, an oversized bathroom fitted with luxurious marble and a Jacuzzi. The midnight blue hues are calming and restorative for the senses as are the Asprey amenities.
§ Service: Expert, attentive, welcoming and authentic. Whether it was the pickup driver in his 7-series BMW, the exceptional concierge team or the waiter at Kronenstübli (Stefano, who came from the Ritz London), guests will be in the very best hands.
§ Best time to visit: This summer! The hotel will reopen between 03 July – 18 October 2020.
§ We recommend the horse and cart ride to the end of the nearby valley offered by the hotel.
§ Personal dining experience: To make the most of your stay, we recommend a personal dining experience. One family comes for Christmas every year and hosts it in one of the charming traditional private rooms in the establishment. It is also possible to have an intimate dining experience in one of these spaces – or a meal in a traditional Engadine parlour or in a mountain hut at the Bernina Pass!
§ In the summer, guests will also be able to enjoy an outdoor barbecue on select days – be sure to plan your stay around the barbecues as they offer a wide selection of local and international delicacies.
§ The Kronenhof is now also building an outdoor yoga platform in the hill over the river. While this was not ready yet for us, it will be ready for you when the hotel opens this summer.