All Images Credit Paradiso Mountain Club
It’s almost as if St. Moritz created glitz and glamour, it is everywhere around you. During the winter season, the beau monde descend on this tony town for skiing on some of the best slopes in the world. After a day on the piste, they play well into the night starting with an indulgent apres ski that segues into an uber-luxe nightlife. There is one place in St. Moritz where the pretty people go for Switzerland’s most opulent daytime break between the ski runs. Located in a bolthole between Alpine peaks is the Paradiso Mountain Club & Restaurant which has a well-earned reputation as the crème de la creme of ski clubs. It could not be more well deserved; there’s simply no other place like it.
St. Moritz offers countless places for a hearty lunch or to bend the elbow during the ski day. But there is only one Paradiso. This mountain club is legendary, literally since it began generations ago as a private club and the IT spot for A-list celebs and the town’s most upper-crust elites. The wooden alpine lodge is perfectly situated on a sun-filled slope surrounded by mesmerizing views of rocky mountains, the Engadin valley, and the frozen lake below. All around there is a bevy of activity as skiers glide and snowboarders carve their way along the well-groomed pistes in full view.
The Paradiso Mountain Club is a mecca for the jet-set to see and be seen and to gather amongst their ilk for world-class music, food, and drinks after a day of skiing. There are three terraces to dine, drink, and dance and, even more plush event and party spaces inside. Every day is like a fashion show where the privileged class don the latest in ski wear, much of which was purchased just days before at a designer shop in town. It is the pinnacle of ski clubs in St Moritz and is surely among the top ski clubs in the world.
Ski clubs like Paradiso and others of its kind are actually private clubs. Memberships to places like this are uber-exclusive with an unattainable in-list for most, even for St. Moritz’s multi-millionaire with homes in the area. So if club membership is what you are after, you’re better off searching for a unicorn. Thankfully clubs such as this do allow day members which means that unless it’s full or having a private event, you can probably get in with a reservation made in advance.
This past season, Paradiso jumped into the stratosphere of ski clubs with the management of the club being taken over by the first name in St Moritz hospitality, Badrutt’s Palace. After an extensive renovation, the style and design have gone to the next level and now exudes their own brand of mountain chic. Although it oozes style and sophistication, the rustic alpine design elements allow for a comfortable and casual vibe. As gorgeous as the club’s design may be, its most stunning feature is the views over the Alps and valley below. This iconic vista is one of the most scenic views in Switzerland if not the world.
Although most guests arrive by ski, others arrive by foot or snowshoe from chairlifts which are about a half-mile hike away. Once past the most discerning of velvet ropes, they enter the Music Deck that overflows with its Ibiza meets Mykonos party vibe as the international in-crowd dance under the sunshine and blue skies. It would appear that champagne and Aperol Spritzes are more popular there than water to rehydrate.
One deck below is the High Altitude Brasserie, a simply gorgeous multi-level terrace with long wooden tables, sheepskin fur-covered seating, and rarely needed wool blankets. The ultra al fresco brasserie faces the sun and the dazzling views over the valley. It is the perfect place for friends to catch up for a long and lazy lunch. The sun rays are as delicious as the food and it is somewhat ironic to need sunscreen while surround by snow at 6,000 feet above sea level.
Indoors looks like a movie set from La Dolce Vita. There are several rooms set up for their frequently held lavish events or for dining indoors on the rare days when the weather is poor. Elaborate chandeliers, ornate flower arrangements, and function meets fabulous is the apparent design ethos. On the top floor is their entertainment space which is really a swanky club with haute mountain décor with a DJ booth in the center. The parties held there are of legend and last well into dawn.
Although day passes are attainable, there is still a line between the invited and the belongers. There are separate dining areas for club members should their nuevo guests get too rowdy as well and an uber posh private room for members. The Gucci Paradiso lounge is a members-only space that looks like it jumped out of the pages of Elle Décor magazine with exquisite Gucci lavish velvet chairs and sofas, oriental rugs, and adornments.
Gucci and luxury designer brands have always had a symbiotic relationship with St Moritz. Beyond the bevy of luxury watches and haute fashion brand shopping outposts in town, these marks are inspired by the destination itself. St Moritz, the glamour of the people, and, this privileged lifestyle are the muse and integral part of these revered brands’ DNA. Gucci has had a long tradition in these mountains since the 60s and, beyond the beguiling style of its private lounge, provides winter designer wear to the staff at Paradiso who model their latest ski wear as they work. Along with Gucci, the staff don the most stylish work uniform in the Alps, courtesy of the Fulsap.
The mountain fare at Paradiso is courtesy of Badrutt’s Palace so guests are assured of delectable culinary experiences with every bite. The High Altitude Brassie serves traditional Alpine classics with an epicurean flare such as their Black Truffle Fondue, or their Potato Salad with Imperial Oscietra Caviar. One must-have-before-you-die menu item is the Lobster Roll with seaweed butter. For something truly unforgettable, go for the Surf and Turf for two, which includes chateaubriand and grilled whole lobster. The restaurant puts a strong focus on using ingredients of the highest quality that are locally sourced.
The setting and cuisine offer a taste of the good life. To celebrate, not have a flute or two of champagne would be impolite if not downright uncivilized. There are plenty of bubbly options from their extensive wine cellar, which keeps good company with over 500 wines for meal pairing or just enjoying along the way.
The Paradiso Mountain Club & Restaurant has been the ski slope hotspot for generations. It is a magnet for jet-setters seeking to soak up the sun, and mountain views, and let their hair down while dancing in the clouds. The entire experience is a pleasure for members and fortunate guests to enjoy great food and partying on sun-drenched verandas while taking in one of the most scenic parts of Switzerland. They say that Paradiso is like being close to heaven, and after you’ve been there, you’ll find it hard to disagree.