I have been fortunate to experience the beauty and grandeur of Europe. There is little that is more humbling than being surrounded by mountains. So of course, while visiting Lake Como in Italy, it made sense to drive the two short hours to reach Crystal Hotel in St Moritz.

It is an almost surreal drive. Scenic views change from the mountains and lakes of Italy to the epic peaks of The Swiss Alps, where the two countries connect seamlessly, and you encounter the beauty of glacial waterfalls in this alpine region.

St. Moritz has a long and storied history as being the playground of the wealthy and has twice hosted The Winter Olympics, in 1928 and 1948. It is a small enclave promoted and known as the ‘Top of the World’, not just because of its altitude, but moreover because visitors can choose from a range of renowned top hotels and outstanding restaurants. Among these premium properties, is the Crystal Hotel.

Crystal Hotel St Moritz Pamela Putman

Situated in the centre of this small town, it is easily accessible to exclusive shops and tourist destinations. Upon entry, guest services are exactly what you’d expect for a luxury hotel, including accommodating staff with impeccable service.

Noticeably cooler in these mountains, St. Moritz has a particularly high elevation. While the summers are temperate, the nights are cold, so it’s a great comfort to slumber in the warmth of feather beds, an amenity unique to colder European climates.room with feather bed Crustal hotel The rooms are spacious and charmingly decorated with an alpine flair, and if you’re lucky enough to secure a room with a bathtub and a shower, you can enjoy the spacious accommodations while lounging in the room for the day. If you’re feeling the need to explore, the hotel’s wellness spa is worth a visit, for any number of relaxing treatments, including Hot Stone Massage and Reiki.

The hotel comes equipped with a gym, but if you’re bold enough to brave the temperamental elements of the Swiss mountains (there can be rain, snow and sunshine all within an hour at times), there are many hiking trails and paths along with Lake Saint Moritz, which is just a short walk away.Lake St Moritz

After a day of hiking, skiing, or enjoying any number of outdoor sports, you will no doubt look forward to a fine dining experience at Grissini the exquisite hotel restaurant. Included as part of this hotel stay, was a delightful dining experience, both memorable and unique.

In Part II, we do a full-tasting menu review.