Kulm Spa St Moritz – a retreat within a retreat
The invite for a spa review from the Kulm Spa comes as a huge treat to me!
I have just had some rough weeks with little time to myself, thus I am visiting the spa not only as tester and reviewer, but as a guest in desperate need of me-time!
Hence when doing my research about the hotel and their spa, and reading “The true meaning of Kulm Spa lies in the emotions that guests experience during their visit. Peace, comfort and harmony…” on their website, it feels like a heaven sent blessing… and sounds like a retreat within a retreat.
Hotel of the Year Award
The legendary hotel has recently received the ‘Hotel of the Year Award by GaultMillau & Carl F. Bucherer’, which is one of the most prestigious awards the hospitality industry has to offer.
Yes, my expectations are high!
After I have spent a lovely weekend skiing and watching the Snow Polo on the frozen lake for which ‘top of the world’ St Moritz is famous in winter, I am entering the Kulm Hotel early Monday morning.
What a treat to be greeted in person by the hotel’s charming directrice, who escorts me personally to the spa. She tell me that the spa has been re-opened in winter 2012/13, after an eight months period of extensive renovations. The spa renovation was part of an extensive overall renewal of the Kulm Hotel over a period of 15 years. It included the renovation of all 172 rooms and suites, new residence buildings, modern underground parking, contemporary conference facilities, and a new 9 hole golf course concept.
Spa Check In
We enter the spa via a lift, that floats us down to the spa levels, and into a different world. The moment I exit the lift right next to the spa reception desk, I am enveloped in beautiful wood scent and an overall calming and soothing energy.
As expected, the check-in process was highly successful with super friendly and caring staff and a very professional approach. I was given a brief spa tour, and then left in the locker room to slip in my comfortable robe and slippers.
The tradition and authenticity of the resort can also be felt at its spa, which combines natural materials such as natural stones and indigenous arva and larch wood. This beautiful wood scent surrounds me everywhere, while I am about to explore the stylish pool and sauna area, that measures over 2000 m2.
Spa Geek Knowledge
Arva Wood and Stone Pine Wood is the same. The name ‘Arva’ is typically used in Switzerland, whereas ‘Stone Pine’ is common in Austria. I have previously written about the great health benefits of this type of wood here and here.
The 10×20 meter indoor pool (with 29 C water temperature) is of a simple square shape and excellently suited for lap swimming! A great number of relax beds surround the indoor pool and provide a magnificent view – particularly the indoor jacuzzi – over the majestic mountain panorama of this stunning part of the Engadin.
But then I am in for a big surprise and treat: the outdoor pool! Small in size and more a dip pool than suited for lap swimming, I get everything else I can possibly imagine:
an incredible view over stunning mountain ranges and the beautiful lake
plain sun hitting the spot all morning, making an outdoor temperature of just below freezing feel like a lovely summer day
warm, clear, soothing water of near 36 degree C
a variety of water features such as a swan neck massage, underwater jets, and air bubble beds
fresh, healing mountain air
and again, the view…
I must have spent an hour or so in the outdoor pool, just lying in the warm water and taking it all in. Finally when my fingertips are wrinkled like the skin of an ancient tortoise, I decide to move over to the heat experiences.
The Wellness area is divided in
– a textile are (with infrared cabin, salt water grotto and steam room),
– a ladies only area (with bio sauna),
– and the main mixed gender area (with a variety of experiences).
The use of the sauna landscape is allowed as of the age of 14 years.
I love the relaxation rooms, especially the ones with the heated water beds! I can only imagine the comfort of them after a hard day on the slopes…
But I have no time to sleep now, I want to try one of the steam rooms before my massage. I opt for the aromatherapy one in grey stone look, and take deep breaths of refreshing herbal scents in the constant flow of hot steam.
Fitness with a view
Unfortunately I have not used the gym myself for lack of time, however examined it properly. State of the art Technogym equipment, a spacious studio with props, an a variety of activities such as pilates, aqua fitness and functional training offered throughout the week. Great ambience to roll out your yoga mat too.
My Treatment – a massage from the wings of an angel
My treatment for the day is the Kulm Spa Signature Massage that I am to enjoy with Dora. Dora is an experienced personal trainer and therapist, specialised also in therapeutical massages.
My treatment room is light and sunny, adequate of space for my comfort as much as for the comfort of the therapist during the treatment. The temperature was just right, the relaxing music soft enough to be just in the background and almost overheard – as it should be!
The heated bed was sufficiently soft to be cosy, yet firm enough for a good massage.
And the linen? Baby soft, lush, silky, creamy, fluffy, smooth and velvety…
The oil massage (that excluded hands and head) is a mixture of different Asian techniques. It uses long soothing strokes with forearms more than fingers. One body half is exposed at a time to allow for the long strokes all the way from the ankles to the shoulders. The pressure is rather soft, so the effect of this massage on me was utterly relaxing and soothing, yet not tiring. I actually felt rejuvenated afterwards.
By the way, a great jet-lag treatment!
When I sit in a lounge chair afterwards, sipping a tea, chewing on dry fruit and nuts, with a warm pillow wrapped around my neck, I wish I could stay forever.
oh, and beauty treatments are offered by product lines Ericson, ComfortZone and Pharmos Natur.
Day Spa & Private Spa
The best is: you do not necessarily have to be a hotel guest to be able to enjoy the spa. Day Spa packages are available for non residents, as well as seasonal and annual memberships.
The private spa suite is gorgeous, the bed looks so comfy that you may no longer need the hotel room… just kidding.
But the space and comfort, the design and feel, are so very harmonious that I consider this private spa suite one of the most successful I have come across in a long time. A place of very personal peace.
Have a look at my little video, I am taking you around.
I am stretching the time to leave again. I come up with all sorts of different excuses. I still have to do this, and try that, and experience this again before checking out early afternoon. A time, when I have all this beautiful spa to myself.
The Kulm Spa is an oasis of calm and simplicity in the middle of this most luxurious ski resort of St Moritz. The contradiction between all the glitz and glamour wherever you go in St Mo, and the luxurious simplicity of the Kulm Spa has impressed me. This is a true retreat within a retreat. The effect on me? Not measurable, but noticeable!
If you are looking for some quality après ski, this is the place to be!
Can’t wait to go back and visit the sister hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina next time I am travelling to the Engadin.
cover picture (c) Kulm Hotel