Nestled in the picturesque Engadin Valley, St Moritz (that is still called a village) is a great draw for skiing enthusiasts from all over the world who throng here during the winter months. In summers when the frozen lake thaws and the valley wears a complete different verdant look, it is no less scenic and activities like golf, water sports, mountain biking and hiking are popular among the swish international set who congregate there.
Celebrating 150 years of white tourism in 2014-15, St Moritz has many interesting facts associated with its its long history of tourism - from installation of the first electric light in Switzerland in 1878 at the Kulm Hotel by hotel pioneer Johannes Badrutt to the first electric train in Switzerland to setting up of the first tourist office in the country. In the ancient times it was believed that the waters in the area had medicinal properties and attracted pilgrims through the centuries. The original official language of the region was Romansh, today people speak Italian and German. There is another factor that holds a place of pride for the citizens of St Moritz Ė it is the highest clear energy destination in Switzerland.
A walk around St Moritz will reveal beautiful graffito art on many of its buildings, including heritage structures. There is also a Leaning Tower of St Moritz, which dates back to the 12th century, while Lord Norman Foster's futuristic Chesa Futura is a modern landmark. The destination is also a shopper's paradise for upscale travellers who can find stores of all top international brands within a short walking distance in Via Serlas. From Chanel to Gucci, Prada to Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and Roberto Cavalli Ė the choice is endless. Interestingly, the locals themselves go to the nearby town of Chur to buy things for their everyday requirements as there are only designer stores in their area.
The village itself has a population of 5200 people, while a few thousand more come here during the high season (December to March) to work in the hotels and establishments that are only open during the winters. Most of the hotels in the valley are closed in May and November. Only seven-eight hotels operate throughout the whole year, including the youth hostel. The five five star properties are open during the winter months attracting the