John Webster - St Moritz - Switzerland This insider guide has been written for us by John Webster. John has been living and skiing in St Moritz for the best part of 20 years. He’s actually an Aussie, but having been in St Moritz for so long he’s as much of a local as you get. He’s given some great tips here, especially to families and beginner skiers, and his answer to “what is your favourite thing about St Moritz?” is enough to make anyone want to up sticks and move to one of the world’s premier ski resorts!

How long have you lived in St Moritz?
I’ve lived in St Moritz for 20 years now!

What is your favourite thing about the resort?
My standard answer when I’m face to face with someone here is “Look around you!” The nature and beauty of the Valley is something you usually can only dream of – and yet it is right in front of you, and real! And just about everything I need is within a short distance – The snow and the mountains for skiing and other snowsports in winter; Hiking, biking, golf, tennis, horse riding , and I could go on - It’s a sports paradise! There’s a variety of restaurants, it’s away from the hustle and bustle of major cities, but it’s a cosmopolitan resort with nightlife, cafes, and shopping. And there’s fresh air! And life’s good!

Where’s your favourite place to eat on mountain?
On the Corviglia mountain, my favourite restaurant is probably the Chadafo at Marguns – it’s a great pizzeria, and you can also get a grill there too!

Where would you ski on a powder day?
Everywhere I can until my legs give up ! (You don’t really expect me to give up the best secret of all when we’ve only just met do you?)

What is your favourite run in the ski area?
On Corviglia I really like the Plateau Nair run.

If you were to spend a full day treating yourself, what would you do?
Breakfast on the mountain before skiing, nice lunch, a bit more skiing, a re-hydration stop (just a short one of course) at the end of skiing at the Roo Bar, a massage/spa bath, and then a nice dinner, all with the right companion!

Any advice for families coming to the resort?
Try to get a hotel in the centre of town- it’s a walk to the funicular, and much easier than taking the city bus with kids. From the skiing/snowsports point of view, get an instructor. If you are good skiers, you will have a guide who can show you around the four main mountains of the area. It’s much better than wasting time trying to find things. If anyone, particularly the kids aren’t great skiers, book them into day long lessons with the Swiss Ski & Snowsports School St Moritz – they have the best beginners area, exclusively for their clients. And for kids, they have a program where they are met in the village, taken skiing for the day, and given lunch. It gives Mum and Dad the chance to have a bit more fun on their holiday too.

Where do you like to go for a few drinks after a hard day skiing?
No discussion here – for me it’s the Roo Bar on the Hauser Terrace

Where would you take beginners if you had some to stay?
For skiing to Salastrains ski school area for lessons, then to the Roo Bar to “re-hydrate” after skiing, and for dinner to either the Hauser for the Pioda (Jazz Pioda on Friday nights), or the Siam Wind Thai Restaurant at the Laudinella Hotel.

What’s your favourite piece of trivia about St Moritz?
It’s said that Errol Flynn was a fanatical Cresta rider – but they say he never finished the course, always crashing out along the way!

Any parting words of wisdom?
Try to visit outside the peak periods – the rates are better and it’s just as good, but less people trying to set first tracks on a powder day.

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