Swiss Heritage Meets Modern Luxury At The Kempinski In St Moritz
Having celebrated a 20-year milestone at the end of December, the Grand Hotel des Bains Kempinski is steeped in both history and mystique. Located at the foot of the Signalbahn and Hahnensee piste, guests can ski in and ski out from the picturesque Corviglia and Corvatsch ski areas. Likewise, cross-country trails and hiking paths lead directly from the hotel to the lakes and forests in the Engadine valley.
Balancing both a sense of its past and a vision for the future, this imposing St Moritz property recently renovated its lobby and central bar; refurbished its award-winning central restaurant, Les Saisons; added new high-end ground-level boutiques; and brought on board two new and innovative chefs. Poised for an invigorating next chapter, the property’s tagline, “Swiss heritage meets modern luxury,” could not be more apt.
A mix of comfort and gourmet, cuisine is a huge part of the Kempinski St Moritz. From the contemporary marble silhouette of the lobby bar—the best cocktail-sipping spot in the alpine resort town to the three distinct restaurants. There’s the award-winning Cà d’Oro, led by Chef Leopold Ott; the central control system of the hotel, Grand Restaurant Les Saisons; and casual Italian dining at Ristorante Da Adriano, led by the larger-than-life Adriano Feraco.
Not believing in following whims and fads, at the Kempinski St Moritz, “The trend is to make sure our guests are happy,” says the hotel’s skilled Executive Chef Gian Nicola Colucci.
For Leopold Ott, who has only been at the hotel for a few months, it’s all about putting his stamp on things, while maintaining the tried and tested formula that has kept guests coming back. “The degustation menu is experimental,” says Ott. Guests who previously would have perhaps only dined once at Cà d’Oro, the high-concept ultra-stylish gourmet restaurant (formerly holding two Michelin stars, something Ott is working hard to have reinstated), are now coming back two or three times during their stays. The a la carte hits “all the classics but at a very high level,” whereas the multi-course tasting menu is full of “surprises.”
A good example of that is Ott’s take on a classic mousse. The secret to his? “Polenta.” It’s something he’s adapted from a family recipe, passed down through the generations from his grandmother. “I like it because the texture is completely different to a classic mousse.” While the dish is still whipped and fluffy, “It’s more creamy, but stubborn.”
Ott has also added his own flare to a classic sourdough, using “roasted corn starch.” The results is malted and crispy on the outside and light on the inside. It also, “smells a little bit like popcorn.”
To stay inspired, Ott ensures he gets out of the kitchen whenever he can. “Every two months, I’m in one restaurant, sometimes more, sometimes less.” And these aren’t your average establishments, but havens that have “a minimum of two Michelin stars.”
Executive Chef Gian Nicola Colucci oversees all the food and beverage at the hotel, from the varied morning buffet and a la carte to room service to afternoon tea. His journey in restaurants started when Colucci was about 14 and has taken him all over the world, from Capri to Thailand to Saint Louis, Missouri.
And to create the wow factor, for Colucci practice makes perfect. “We need to read a lot. We need to study a lot. We need to keep ourselves informed and make sure we have the right knowledge.” For that fine dining excellence, “it’s all about the combination of different ingredients but with a final touch of luxury style.”