Wealthy Gulf ski buffs can rent whole hotel in Swiss Alps

Wealthy Gulf ski enthusiasts wanting to catch the snow before the season ends can book the ultimate retreat – an entire hotel to themselves.

Starting from 70,000 Swiss francs (about Dh258,430) a night, the Carlton Hotel St Moritz can be rented exclusively.

The offer includes the winter resort’s services as well as its 21 suites, 39 junior suites, four restaurants, 1,186 square metre sun terrace and a spa spread across seven rooms.


However, for those booking ahead for next winter, prices can go as high as 158,000 Swiss francs during the high season between January 28 and February 21 of 2016.

The Carlton Penthouse is available separately with rates starting at 18,000 Swiss francs a night during the low season, which is from December 11 to 19 this year. The rates are for up to six people and include breakfast.

Owned by the Swiss operators Tschuggen Hotel Group, the nine-floor property, built in 1913, is one of five properties the group owns in Switzerland.

Besides bring a popular spot for skiing and mountain-gazing, it is also known for its medical tourism facilities with its spas and hot springs. The hotel is primarily a winter resort and closes this month, reopening in December for the winter season 2015-16.

With the weak euro, travel agents in the UAE are optimistic that more travellers from the country will head to Europe this year.

In a nod to the UAE’s importance in its tourism industry, the official Swiss tourism agency, Switzerland Tourism, opened an office in Dubai back in 2002.

 During the first 11 months of last year, Switzerland reported 253,919 Gulf tourists, up by 23.4 per cent over 2013. Of these, Saudi tourists claimed the top spot with those from the UAE second, according to Arab News. The tourists stayed for 2.89 nights, and spent 500 Swiss francs a day.

Q&A

Can I just book a room instead?

Rates for a lake view room start at 720 Swiss francs a night, including breakfast, a 100 Swiss francs food and beverage credit per adult per day, butler service, internet access and shuttle to Corviglia ski station.

What is there to do in St Moritz?

Besides skiing, the ski runs and cross-country trails offers ample activities such as snowboarding, horse riding, the cresta run, natural ice bob run, horse-drawn sleigh rides, polo and hiking. There is also a gourmet festival. In January this year, the theme was English cuisine. Next year, the chefs will showcase Japanese food. Each February there’s an event on the frozen lake called the White Turf. It includes horse-racing, gourmet catering, music and art exhibitions.

Why market the entire hotel to Gulf and UAE tourists?

The hotel is popular with Gulf guests looking for luxury travel destinations in Europe. The property offers Muslim-friendly facilities such as a non-alcoholic minibar, halal food, female-only spa facilities and prayer mats.

Tell me more about the penthouse.

The Carlton Penthouse Suite is around 385 square metres. It has five balconies, three bedrooms with three bathrooms, a kitchen, a living room with an open fireplace, a dining area, a library, office space and a walk-in wardrobe.

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