< SWITZERLAND | ST. MORITZ: Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains
At the centre of St. Moritz Bad, its sheltered location directly at the source of the famed mineral springs, the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains is steeped
in tradition and can look back on an illustrious past: The hotel was originally built in 1864 as the Grand Hotel des Bains. The destination originally became famous for its
mineral spring, discovered some 3,000 years ago. The Celts came through the Engadine in 300 – 800 B.C. and one of the most important artifacts remaining from the Bronze Ages is
a 3,500 year-old spring catchment basin now on display at the Engadine Museum in St. Moritz. The spa’s famed physician, Paracelsus, spread the mineral spring renown far beyond
the Swiss borders. He described the Mauritius water as one of the most healing natural spring of Europe. At the beginning of the 19th Century High Society from all over Europe
undertook the voyage to St. Moritz to enjoy the healing qualities of the spring. The spring is accessible once again, and guests can reach it comfortably from the hotel. A fountain
of the spring is located in the SPA area of today’s Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains.
The first renovations of the building were undertaken in 1887, aimed at giving the edifice the appearance of a sleek, northern Mediterranean palace. In 1906 the corner towers were enlarged. While the corner towers were kept in neo-baroque style, the corner bay windows display neo-gothic characteristics. In 1927, further building was done, for example, the Cà d' Oro, as well as portions of the lounge and the entrance area. These have been re-vamped in a variety of historic styles. Some centuries later the hotel presented itself as a four star hotel named “Parkhotel Kurhaus” until 2001.
The extensive renovations that give the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains its present aura began in October 2001. The work was carried out by the famed Viennese architects Franz Schnabel, under contract to the owners, the community of St. Moritz and St. Moritz Bäder AG. A total of 80 million Swiss francs and 14 months of labor were needed to completely renovate and modernize the façade and interior.
Great emphasis was placed on restoring the palace-style structure to its original elegance, harmonizing existing elements with contemporary furnishings and features that conform to the highest modern standards. Aided by old etchings and photos, original forms and colors were restored to allow the classic grandeur of the structure to reappear. Modern accents are set by a new building which houses the spa complex, conference rooms and suites. The façade reflects, with its soft pastel tones, the cool elegance of the historic structure. Imposing features typically associated with the Italian palazzo style have been softened by the two towers, while light blue shutters lend a bright and inviting note to the exterior.
The interior décor shows a flair for exclusivity with cheerful colors and modern furniture. The frescoes, which came to light during the work done to restore the Enoteca (the former Medallion room), were restored to their original design, while the room itself is outfitted with modern seating elements. A 19th-century old tiled stove adds a touch cosiness and charm.
The mixture of antiques, some dating back to the spa hotel’s founding years, along with modern details, provide a sense of airiness. The entrance hall was recreated almost exclusively based on old etchings and pictures. The chandeliers in the Les Saisons restaurant are also modeled on historic designs. The imposing entrance hall is decorated with a table from southern Tyrol dating back to the 17th/18th century. Gilded stucco rosettes and gold detailing on ceiling lights and sconces, coupled with contemporary paintings and avant-garde seating, create an impression of sleek grandeur that exudes peace and relaxation.
The Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains boasts an exceptional range of outdoor activities such as mountain biking, hiking, sailing, wind and kite surfing, riding and golf. The hotel presents itself as a High Alpine SPA & Resort and captivates with its unique location at the foot of the cable car to the Corviglia and next to the St. Moritz Casino.
Furthermore the hotel features the Kempi Kids Club, the own ski school Kempinski Alpine Sports, two awarded restaurants, the lifestyle restaurant Enoteca, the Park Café in the hotel park and several meeting & conference rooms. The mountain restaurant Chesa Chantarella completes these offers.
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