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St Moritz

 Poster: A snowHead
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Ticking St Moritz off the bucket list this year. We have high expectations for the skiing but I'm a bit apprehensive about sky high prices when trying to eat on the mountain having had the Matterhorn experience a few years ago; lovely food but...
Can anybody recommend if not cheap, affordable food on the mountains?
We're not a family of oligarchs so we are there to ski. The kids are usually happy with chips and a half an hour sit down. Is this possible (financially!) or should we plan to take a sandwich in our pocket and eat as we go?
That wouldn't be the worst option since I've read there are some pizza and beer places in the town where we can top up at the end of the day if starving.
Any suggestions most welcome.
(BTW we have a "cheap" apartment in Bever so travel home on the bus afterwards means that a cheeky après beer is also possible...) Very Happy
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It's been some years since I last went. I don't typically pay much attention to lunch prices since I don't eat a big meal for lunch. But if you want to cut down the cost of eating on mountain mid-day, packing a sandwich seems like a good idea. You can still order a soup or a drink and sit down for a bit.

I was there Easter time. So all my lunch was sitting outside.
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It’s also been a while too but I’m pretty sure that there is seating indoors at Corviglia and Corvatch to have a picnic. The Swiss are quite good at providing facilities like that. There are mountain cafeterias with the same prices as anywhere else in Switzerland. If the restaurants have fur seats best check the prices before you sit down!
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The best resorts always charge the highest prices.

Make sandwiches and picnic it, if a few extra CHF is a pain.
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Each to their own I suppose but why anyone would subject themselves to that irritating feeling of being fleeced is beyond me. Especially when you know it’s going to happen.
There’s nothing worse than being a ‘captive audience’.
Slightly related to the topic - are there any resorts in Switzerland that are renowned for their good value (compared to others in Switzerland)?
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sbooker wrote:
Each to their own I suppose but why anyone would subject themselves to that irritating feeling of being fleeced is beyond me.

It's only irritating if you want it!

Take your own sandwich if you don't want to pay someone else to take it up mountain. That's what the on-mountain restaurant charge you for. They take the food up mountain, prepare it so it's ready for you the moment when you're hungry. It's a service they're providing. If you don't need the service, fine. Just don't expect the service and moan about the cost!

The "audience" isn't "captive" unless they're too lazy to bring their own food, but are too cheap to pay the proper price, hence the "feeling" of irritation. Yes, for that kind of client, it's right to "fleece them"! Toofy Grin
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Appreciate that Switzerland is not a budget destination and St Moritz even less so. I was just wondering if there was any collective inside knowledge on mountain huts/cafes at the less expensive end of the scale?
In the past I've sat down and spent £26 for a plate of albeit tasty pasta for a hungry kid in Zermatt and £8+ for a small plate of very average chips in Chamonix. I'm not looking for gourmet catering just something hot for lunch, particularly if the weather is cold. The previous posts suggest mountain food in St Moritz is going to be pricey and a DIY sandwich is the best lunchtime option. Fair enough. If this is the case does anybody have a recommendations for somewhere near the bottom stations for a coffee or a beer?
I've been hunting down the back of the sofa and will be taking some money with me!
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sbooker wrote:
Each to their own I suppose but why anyone would subject themselves to that irritating feeling of being fleeced is beyond me.


But not everyone feels 'fleeced' so to your initial point, 'each to their own'...

I absolutely love going with the wife and having great lunches out on the mountain. When I go with the guys that happens less as it's not the desired solution, more often it's a light lunch and beer and back onto the slopes...horses for courses...
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Legend. wrote:
sbooker wrote:
Each to their own I suppose but why anyone would subject themselves to that irritating feeling of being fleeced is beyond me.


But not everyone feels 'fleeced' so to your initial point, 'each to their own'...

I absolutely love going with the wife and having great lunches out on the mountain. When I go with the guys that happens less as it's not the desired solution, more often it's a light lunch and beer and back onto the slopes...horses for courses...

Quite!

It's beyond me to understand why anyone would subject themselves to cooking and cleaning during a ski holidays!

To me, that would be more irritating than being "fleeced"! Laughing Laughing Laughing

"Each to their own, I suppose" Very Happy
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Legend. wrote:
sbooker wrote:
Each to their own I suppose but why anyone would subject themselves to that irritating feeling of being fleeced is beyond me.


But not everyone feels 'fleeced' so to your initial point, 'each to their own'...

I absolutely love going with the wife and having great lunches out on the mountain. When I go with the guys that happens less as it's not the desired solution, more often it's a light lunch and beer and back onto the slopes...horses for courses...


The feeling of being fleeced is relative in my view. I too happily eat lunches from restaurants on the mountain. And I appreciate why they’re more expensive than those in a big town in a valley.
But there are resorts that have great value food and drink ( just over the border in Italy for example) and there are resorts that are renowned for having nose bleed prices. I struggle with nose bleed so I don’t go to those resorts. I suppose some people are happy to spend lots of their hard earned in a notoriously expensive resort - I just don’t understand the mindset.
All good - I’m somewhat tight fisted in everyday life too. Laughing
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sbooker wrote:
I’m somewhat tight fisted in everyday life too. Laughing

Money has no value except on what it can buy.

So, NOT spending it on lunches on mountain, it's available for something else: one more ski trip, new skis, work less to have more ski days etc....

... Or, the mental security of having a large chunk of money in the bank, take it to the grave, leave it to your offspring...

I'm not exactly rich, so I can perfectly understand the balancing act of the former. But I struggle to understand tight-fisted mentality of the latter kind.

Quote:
I suppose some people are happy to spend lots of their hard earned in a notoriously expensive resort - I just don’t understand the mindset.

If a resort has good skiing, NOT going there because it cost more is missing out on life (ok, ski life).

It's one thing if one doesn't have the spare cash to go to certain mountain. Sure, Life is full of compromises. The amount of money can be better spend on something else that brings more joy than skiing at say, Zermatt! But it's something else to avoid a good ski destination JUST due to higher cost! I don't understand the mindset of only going to inexpensive places.
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Hence the original post.
We're going to St Mortiz because of the skiing. I have no desire to spend more than is absolutely necessary regardless of whether the restaurant has great views, comfortable seats, gourmet chips or a topless waitress. Something hot, fast, 30 minutes sit down then back on the slopes without feeling like I have just paid the owner's mortgage is all that's required. Nothing wrong with being thrifty. Without thrift I wouldn't be able to ski in the first place.
Appreciate there will be those in Mortiz drinking £200+ bottles of booze for lunch and skiing about 45 minutes in total. Each to their own (and I'm very grateful these customers are so willingly covering the owners overheads too). I'm just investigating whether there is anywhere on the 3 mountain ski areas offering relatively cheap eats?
Yes I would prefer the convenience of buying something to eat on the mountain instead of carrying a sandwich around in my pocket but not at any price...
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Cheapest place is the Coop "Bistro" (inside the supermarket)

Restaurants

Min price €20 to €30pp basic 1 Course and drink

Medium €30 to €50pp 2 course (no drink)

Expect to pay anywhere between €75 to €100pp for a good lunch/dinner
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Is it actually a good place to ski?
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FrediKanoute wrote:
Is it actually a good place to ski?
IMO yes, beautiful, variety, adventure, unique

Sausage van at base of Bad cable car was pretty cheap (outdoor/floor seating only tho!) and cafe at Fuorcla Surlej was pretty cheap (again IMO) but worst coffee ever! I quite liked the expensive hot chocolates across the area though - worth the price for the sit down (eg on the Hahnensee black run back to Bad, Salastrains on Corviglia or Hotel Morteratsch at the end of the Gletscherabfahrt waiting for the train)
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@FrediKanoute, yes, it is! Something for everyone there. It's split up into separate non linked areas, but each area on it's own is a great playing field. Maybe not if just racking up the ski miles is your thing, but I am someone who is happy to pick a slope and ski it 10 times if it has decent terrain in it.
I highly recommend spending a couple of days up on the Bernina Pass and skiing the Diavolezza and Lagalb areas. Lagalb has just a single gondola to the top and endless off piste possibilities from there. Diavolezza gives you access to the Morteratsch glacier which you can ski down to the valley on and then take the train back up. Different kind of skiing!
It's just unfortunate that St.Moritz is the playground of the ludicrously rich, but If you ignore that then it's definitely worth a visit.
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sbooker wrote:
Each to their own I suppose but why anyone would subject themselves to that irritating feeling of being fleeced is beyond me. Especially when you know it’s going to happen.
There’s nothing worse than being a ‘captive audience’.
Slightly related to the topic - are there any resorts in Switzerland that are renowned for their good value (compared to others in Switzerland)?



Posh resorts keep out the lower orders.

No unwashed yuccies cringeing it up.

With the Brexit pound worth about the same as a sheet of toiletpaper, Switzerland is never going to be cheap for a Brit.

Budget resorts in Switzerland tend to suck, like Arosa.
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abc wrote:
sbooker wrote:
I’m somewhat tight fisted in everyday life too. Laughing

Money has no value except on what it can buy.

So, NOT spending it on lunches on mountain, it's available for something else: one more ski trip, new skis, work less to have more ski days etc....

... Or, the mental security of having a large chunk of money in the bank, take it to the grave, leave it to your offspring...

I'm not exactly rich, so I can perfectly understand the balancing act of the former. But I struggle to understand tight-fisted mentality of the latter kind.

Quote:
I suppose some people are happy to spend lots of their hard earned in a notoriously expensive resort - I just don’t understand the mindset.

If a resort has good skiing, NOT going there because it cost more is missing out on life (ok, ski life).

It's one thing if one doesn't have the spare cash to go to certain mountain. Sure, Life is full of compromises. The amount of money can be better spend on something else that brings more joy than skiing at say, Zermatt! But it's something else to avoid a good ski destination JUST due to higher cost! I don't understand the mindset of only going to inexpensive places.


Very nicely put.

Completely appreciate the requirement for some for the need to be thrifty to get any sort of holiday, let alone a ski holiday. I hugely respect the sacrifices my parents made to allow me to do anything, albeit skiing was completely out of consideration for them, much like golf and other elitist activities that have only more recently become more attainable for the normal person. I've still not tired Polo though....
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hudds7 wrote:
Hence the original post.
We're going to St Mortiz because of the skiing. I have no desire to spend more than is absolutely necessary regardless of whether the restaurant has great views, comfortable seats, gourmet chips or a topless waitress. Something hot, fast, 30 minutes sit down then back on the slopes without feeling like I have just paid the owner's mortgage is all that's required. Nothing wrong with being thrifty. Without thrift I wouldn't be able to ski in the first place.
Appreciate there will be those in Mortiz drinking £200+ bottles of booze for lunch and skiing about 45 minutes in total. Each to their own (and I'm very grateful these customers are so willingly covering the owners overheads too). I'm just investigating whether there is anywhere on the 3 mountain ski areas offering relatively cheap eats?
Yes I would prefer the convenience of buying something to eat on the mountain instead of carrying a sandwich around in my pocket but not at any price...

It's been too long for me to recall the specific places I ate there. Sorry not able to help in the specific.

That said, I've gone to Wengen and 3 valley in the same time frame, I did not find St Moritz noticeably costlier. I know, I'm not comparing it to any cheap resorts. On the other hand, it's not particularly outrageous when compare to other mega resorts.

2 of the 3 (unlinked) areas aren't too tall, so it's relatively easy to come down to the bottom for lunch without losing skiing time. You'll then be paying village price instead of on-mountain price.

One tip if you're skiing the (Morteratsch?) glacier off the back of Diavolezza. Do that as the last run of the day, because the run ends in a train station. The wait for the train back can be long if you time it wrong. (it's hard to time it accurately as the run is long and the last part is quite flat -- cross country flat!). So if you do it in the middle of the day, you may potentially end up losing a lot of ski time waiting and riding the train. But at the end of the day, it's perfect for an après drink while waiting for the train. And once the train came, you can simply ride it all the way back to St Moritz (assuming you get to Diavolezza by train in the morning).


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Fri 27-09-19 16:47; edited 2 times in total
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I had forgotten that I had a meal in St Moritz last year in the Restaurant Waldhaus am See, I think I had the Ravioli plus a dessert and tea or coffee, I didn't think it was expensive or a rip off as even at today's exchange rate the ravioli would be about £15. If you like whisky you would like this hotel as they had a huge selection.
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Whitegold wrote:
sbooker wrote:
Each to their own I suppose but why anyone would subject themselves to that irritating feeling of being fleeced is beyond me. Especially when you know it’s going to happen.
There’s nothing worse than being a ‘captive audience’.
Slightly related to the topic - are there any resorts in Switzerland that are renowned for their good value (compared to others in Switzerland)?



Posh resorts keep out the lower orders.

No unwashed yuccies cringeing it up.

With the Brexit pound worth about the same as a sheet of toiletpaper, Switzerland is never going to be cheap for a Brit.

Budget resorts in Switzerland tend to suck, like Arosa.


Unwashed yuccies Laughing
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abc wrote:
sbooker wrote:
I’m somewhat tight fisted in everyday life too. Laughing

Money has no value except on what it can buy.

So, NOT spending it on lunches on mountain, it's available for something else: one more ski trip, new skis, work less to have more ski days etc....

... Or, the mental security of having a large chunk of money in the bank, take it to the grave, leave it to your offspring...

I'm not exactly rich, so I can perfectly understand the balancing act of the former. But I struggle to understand tight-fisted mentality of the latter kind.

Quote:
I suppose some people are happy to spend lots of their hard earned in a notoriously expensive resort - I just don’t understand the mindset.

If a resort has good skiing, NOT going there because it cost more is missing out on life (ok, ski life).

It's one thing if one doesn't have the spare cash to go to certain mountain. Sure, Life is full of compromises. The amount of money can be better spend on something else that brings more joy than skiing at say, Zermatt! But it's something else to avoid a good ski destination JUST due to higher cost! I don't understand the mindset of only going to inexpensive places.


I understand what you’re saying but you can get great skiing in cheaper resorts as I’m sure you know. Being from Oz I may be a little over sensitive to being gouged at the ski hill. Australian skiing is the ultimate in captive audience. I last year asked for a bit of jalapeño to spice up some tacos. They gave me 4 small pieces (which amounted to about half a jalapeño) and charged me 10 bucks!

I’ll be skiing in Aspen in February which isn’t cheap but it’s a value experience because of wonderful terrain and no crowds. There are great options on the hill and in the town for good quality value dining. But if I go around the corner to Vail there are significantly more crowds and it’s virtually impossible not to get ripped off.

To the OP - have fun in St Moritz. I guess I was assuming what I had heard was correct but wasn’t backing it up with first hand experience.
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@hudds7, try Davos instead.
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@sbooker, Aspen and Vail are VERY different in terms of skiing experience.

If you refuse to ski in Vail, you miss a unique mountain. And when the condition is right, it’s like having died and gone to skiing heaven!!!

Moreover, Aspen makes Vail feels down right reasonable in price!

(I’m not a big fan of Aspen due to the high cost. That said, I do ski there a couple days almost every year, because I have free lodging nearby that I don’t have to pay a dime if I don’t want to! Yes, the terrain is great. But if I have to pay lodging and/or lift ticket, I don’t feel it’s good value)

Still, it’s my opinion both Vail and Aspen are unique and worth checking out. Then, you can decide whether it’s worth returning FOR YOU.

There’s a long list of such unique mountains in North America that though expensive, it’s worth hunting HARD to find a way to ski them!!!
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Where we have our place in the 4 Vallées, I'd say that Swiss pic-nique facilities are very good. The bigger mountain stations all have large rooms with tables and chairs. Yes, the décor is utilitarian and they're usually in the station basement, but they're still warm and spacious. In the peak holiday periods, as a family, we actually preferred to bring our own lunch, as it was much easier to just get a table and sit down, as opposed to table-hunting and queuing in the restaurant upstairs. And cheaper, obviously. It might be worth doing some research on the resort website, to see which stations in St.Moritz have a pic-nique rooms.
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@abc,
Quote:
One tip if you're skiing the (Morteratsch?) glacier off the back of Diavolezza. Do that as the last run of the day, because the run ends in a train station. The wait for the train back can be long if you time it wrong. (it's hard to time it accurately as the run is long and the last part is quite flat -- cross country flat!).

I have not done this since 1988, so maybe the run out at the bottom has got longer. I just remember it as being a brilliant run and well worth doing. Was actually in Morteratsch as part of a MTB tour a couple of weeks ago. They have placed markers showing how far the glacier has receded since they built the railway station. Kinda brings it home to see that the glacier was basically 100m from the station in 1870. Now it is nearly 2Km away and is receding about 17m/year!
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The best bargain at Vail is the on mountain grills. You can spend $40 on not much and elbow your way to a seat at one of the on mountain lodges or you can sling a steak and a couple of beers in a backpack and grill for free at a great picnic spot or yurt.

Re Switzerland - picnic room, flask of soup and some sandwichs. Most "expensive" places can be skied more affordably if you set your mind to it and and are prepared to bear a little inconvenience
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Last year there were 2 free-to-use weber BBQ at the top of La Chapelle park.
We got some steak haché, gruyère and baguette from the supermarket in the middle of Avoriaz.
We sat in the sunshine on the benches at the top of the park, cooked and ate.
Cost of the meal for 4 of us was 8 EUR.
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Years ago we frequently skied with our children in Zermatt. Every morning, I would dispatch them to the local market with Swiss Francs in hand to buy our lunch for the day. This was a good exercise in understanding a foreign currency, making selections, finding their way around in an unfamiliar store etc. Lots of fun on the hill picnics featuring the smelliest cheeses they could find, weird looking salamis, oranges, apples, breads and crackers, and an inordinate amount of Swiss chocolate. I’d throw it all in my rucksack and break it out at lunch time in a protected, scenic spot of which there are no shortage in Zermatt.

From my experience, there are plenty of places on the hill in St. Moritz to have picnics. Just have to be a bit creative. Supplement as needed from self serve cafeterias on the mountain. Dial your spending up or down to a level that feels fleeceless.

By being thrifty then, I now am more inclined to opt for a more comfortable on-mountain dining option. There are a few over the top places at St. Moritz, but there are many slightly more reasonably priced places that are well worth enjoying at lunchtime. My only complaint is how difficult it often is to pay for your meal and get back out on the hill. The wait staff ignores you once you’ve been served and seem surprised that you don’t want to linger. Totally opposite of the the US where they want you fed and gone so they can turn the table for the next customer.
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Oh, enjoy St. Moritz. I think it’s the best skiing in Switzerland. I’m headed there in March. Staying in Pontresina which I really like as a base to get around the valley.
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Love Snowheads. Reading this has made me seriously consider St Moritz for a March trip next year. Have always wanted to go, but assumed it would be out of reach financially. Found a reasonably priced 3* hotel near to the Signal Cable Car and lift passes seem to be cheaper than Serre Chevalier, where we went this year. Just need to keep food costs down...

For those who've been, what's the intermediate piste skiing like? I think quietness of pistes is one of the key determinants of how much we enjoy the holiday. There seems to be plenty of long red and easier black descents, which is perfect for us and the scenery looks almost unparalleled, so those boxes are ticked.

Other places I was looking at were Davos, but found it harder to find reasonably priced and convenient accommodation and the plethora of draglifts was also off-putting and La Thuile as pistes meant to be super quiet, but really drawn to St Moritz now.
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@suggul, Don't be put off Davos by the drag lifts. There are fewer now and you don't need to use them on the main mountain (Parsenn) if you don't want to. Doesn't restrict your options too much.
Both resorts are great, but Davos is ahead in my opinion on many counts
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I've looked at St Moritz, the Club med seems a good option - the price of a hotel plus a lift pass seems to be not much less than the price of Club med, but they include instruction and full board. Still a fair chunk more than skiing in for instance France though
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Quote:

For those who've been, what's the intermediate piste skiing like? I think quietness of pistes is one of the key determinants of how much we enjoy the holiday. There seems to be plenty of long red and easier black descents, which is perfect for us and the scenery looks almost unparalleled, so those boxes are ticked.


skied there one day last year and found the intermediate on piste skiing excellent. It was a weekday in March, so keep that in mind, but the slopes were uncrowded.
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Same here. Rather quiet pistes.

But it was late March to early April. So not typical mid-season crowd level.

On the plus side, snow condition was very good even that “late” in the season! Smile
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@mr. mike, @abc, good to hear. I'll be going in mid-March, so out of peak season.

@DCG, I do plan to visit both eventually. I'm intrigued to know what are the many ways in which Davos is ahead of St Moritz?
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@suggul, I should start by saying that I’ve only been to St Moritz once. I enjoyed it and would happily return. However, it is not that well connected. Diavolezza is almost a separate resort - a 20 minute bus journey away AFAIR. I think they both have roughly similar quoted Kms of piste but in my recollection Davos terrain is much more varied. It also has some long runs down the valley with return by train or bus. These are great for last of the day and fairly unique in my experience. Davos also has some great marked off piste itineraries. You can ski “off the back” of several of the mountains into adjacent valleys and return home via bus after long OP runs. Finally, I think the runs on the Parsenn are some of the best I have skied. Some wonderful meadows and tree skiing down to Klosters, a fantastic black down to the hamlet of Wolfgang where the hotel Kulm does outstanding lunches and some great pistes for fast skiing on either side.
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St Moritz is basically 3 separate resorts. But each is large enough to keep me entertained for a few days. So I just broke my week long stay into chunks of 2-3 days and concentrate on one resort for those days. Then move on to sample the other resorts.

But if you're the kind that likes to clock in a large km in a day, going across multiple valleys, St Moritz isn't the right resort for you.
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Wot @abc says. I'm absolutely happy to spend a whole day just skiing Lagalb, but if racking up the Km is your thing then this is not the right resort for you.
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