Travel beyond COVID-19. What travel will look like during & after COVID-19. A series of interviews with our top Hospitality and Tourism partners from around the world. Updates, Awareness, Wisdom & Education.  

Interview with Thomas Citterio. Director of Sales & Marketing at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel.
St Moritz, Switzerland, Europe

To curate, plan and book your next travel experience, contact me directly. info@carlosmelia.com or +1 917 754 5515.

Badrutt’s Palace Hotel

Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, opened in 1896 by Caspar Badrutt, was the first Palace hotel in the world. For more than 115 years, it has enjoyed an international reputation of high hospitality. The Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, with its tower and the unforgettable silhouette, has become the symbol of St. Moritz. The famous hotel occupies a central but quiet location in six acres of private grounds with views of the lake and mountains.

The hotel offers 156 comfortable rooms in five categories according to size and location inclusive of 40 suites and junior suites. Dining facilities include Le Restaurant, the legendary main dining room for elegant breakfast and dinner; NOBU, the wonderful famous restaurant with a relaxed, informal atmosphere; Le Bistro, serving easy French specialties in a comfortable and casual atmosphere with modern flair; and Acapulco Snack Bar & Terrace, serving sandwiches, salads and pasta.After dark, visit the night-spot of your choice; The Renaissance Bar, the Grand Hall and the King’;s Club.

For recreation and health, the “Palace Wellness” is a refuge designed to follow the excellence, tradition and history of the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel and takes its inspiration from the wonderful natural surroundings of the Engadin. Offered are an indoor/outdoor pool, jacuzzi, saunas, ice room, mist room, aroma steam room, salt steam room, massage / rain shower, 10 specialized treatment rooms including 2 Spa Suites, two outdoor private tennis courts in summer, with professional coaching, private ice rink in winter as well as an in-house ski shop and ski school.

Book Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, directly with me via email or phone, and instantly received the following VIP Amenities listed below. Email info@carlosmelia.com – Phone. +1 917 754 5515.

  • Upgrade on arrival subject to availability

  • Breakfast Buffet in Restaurant

  • Seasonal welcome amenity and mineral water on arrival

  • $100 USD equivalent Spa Services credit to be utilized during stay

  • Round trip transfer from St. Moritz train station

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

Q&A / Travel beyond COVID-19

Q&A Travel beyond COVID-19. Insight shared from out travel partners around the globe. For follow up questions, kindly contact us directly.

When are you foreseeing your hotel opening back for tourists ?
We are opening for the summer season from 3 July until 1 September and then again for the winter from 5 December 2020 until 6 April 2021.

What measures have you taken to reopen post COVID-19 ?
Please address sterilization measures, security, mandates on staff and guests testing, transportation etc.
Swiss Federal Office of Public Health’s rules and regulations will be strictly followed but we also introduced additional measures to protect our guests and employees:

  • External guests (restaurant guests) also need to register when visiting the hotel.
  • Spa will only be open to Hotel guests.
  • Restricted number of guests allowed in elevators.
  • Personal Hygiene Box with PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) distributed as in-room amenity.
  • Thermal image tracking at the hotel entrance, staff entrance and other key areas in the hotel to detect if an employee or guest has fever. If it is an external guest, in case we detect high body temperature, we would politely explain that access is denied. For Hotel guests, we suggest an appointment with our Hotel doctor who is 24/7 on call.
  • In-room dining offer: à la carte breakfast, large selection of all day dining menu items, option to order from the restaurant menus and possibility to discuss special requests with our culinary team. No extra charge for in-room dining.
  • Restaurant Dining: Outdoor dining options. Sufficient space between tables and maximum number of guests per restaurant and table. Menus are one-way use and will be discarded after use or menus can also be electronically downloaded by the guests with a QR code.
  • Breakfast buffet in the restaurant is replaced by a varied à la carte menu. Guests have basically the same selection but have to order à la carte.
  • All contact points such as door handles and stair rails, light switches, etc. are being regularly disinfected. Cars used for transportation are being ventilated and disinfected. We offer self-parking or if we park the cars, a special seat cover is applied and gloves are worn by the staff.
  • Protective clothing such as masks and gloves are worn where required and in accordance with government rules and Badrutt’s Palace Hotel’s safety concept.
  • Twice-daily housekeeping and guest room ventilation. Guest rooms are disinfected and extensively ventilated after each stay.
  • Disinfectant dispensers are located in guest areas as well as staff areas of the hotel. Face masks are available. Plexiglas partitions are installed where necessary.
  • A local doctor and medical clinic are on hand to supervise measures and guarantee immediate assistance if necessary.

How do you plan to enforce these measures and how will you ensure compliance ?
Staff training in already going on. We will of course ask for the cooperation of our guests to comply with the rules set.

How will these measures affect the overall regular stay and experience ?
Things will of course be different but that does not mean that it would not be an extraordinary experience. To give an example, our one-way use breakfast menu (it will be printed on recycled paper and paper will be recycled again once a guest has used the menu).

Booking & Payment Flexibility Terms and Conditions during and after COVID-19 time.
We reduced our cancellation policy to 3 days which is in my opinion a fair compromise for a resort. In extraordinary situations, we can of course show even more flexibility.

Will you be offering any special promotions, packages and/or value adds?
VIP amenities – when booking directly with you as our Preferred Partner – will be offered as in the past. We did not discount rates but rather offer different packages such as a beginner golf package restricted to a maximum of 4 participants per golf clinic (5 days). The possibility to be outdoors and with distance makes it a great option. There are of course also packages for guests who already are golfers. Our traditional half board package was changed into a F&B credit and there is no restriction at all when and where to use the credit. The credit is CHF 100 per person per day and can also be used cumulatively.

How will you plan to maintain a level social distancing ?
Distance between tables and the timings of reservations. As for the guest-rooms, we try whenever possible to keep a room empty and ventilated for two days before it is assigned to a next guest. There are restrictions on number of people in the elevator. We will request that only guests from the same family use the elevator together.

Tell us about the current quarantine and restrictions within your destination ?
Switzerland is fortunately down to very few cases per day (between 6 to 20 max per day). Besides that, Switzerland has just been named by Forbes the safest country to travel to during these times (in connection with Covid-19). We do have a doctor on call 24/7 and also work with a local clinic in case assistance is needed.

Please add any additional information you believe would be helpful to raise travelers trust levels in order to visit ?
Communication to promote the summer focuses on the beautiful nature in the Engadin mountains where natural social distancing is guaranteed: YOUTUBE Video.

Now on a lighter and positive note,

Have you taken advantage of this quiet months, to curate new experiences or discover new locations/destinations? If YES Which ?
Yes, we are completely renovating 19 rooms and suites. They will be ready for the winter season. Work will stop during the opening time for the summer season and will resume after the summer season to have the new rooms ready for the winter. We have also completely renovated the wooden floor of Le Grand Hall (the “living room of St. Moritz”).

What is your favorite feature about your property and destination that you wish to share with my clients/readers ?
At the Hotel guests can experience history with a modern spirit. We will be celebrating our 125 year anniversary next year but the Hotel has never rested on its laurels and always innovated. The Badrutt Family were the inventor of Winter Tourism, the hotel hosted the first indoor tennis hall in Europe and last year, we were the first five star property in Europe offering guests a 5G mobile network. We do have the highest staff/guest room ratio in Switzerland, even now during the Covid-19 times to assure flawless service. Guests are our family and most of them keep coming back year after year because of the unique offer and the team. Almost 70% of our guests are repeat guests. Furthermore, we are the Hotel with the largest F&B offer in Europe with 8 restaurants, 3 bars and a club in the winter and 5 restaurants and two bars in the summer. 3 restaurant concepts have been created in cooperation with celebrity chefs: Matsuhisa with Nobu, King’s Social House with Jason Atherton and IGNIV with Andreas Caminada (3 Michelin stars and currently the most talked about and highest rated Swiss Chef).

As for the destination, St. Moritz and the Engadin Valley offer a lot in summer and winter. The wide valley with several lakes make it for example also a hotspot for wind- and kite surfers. 2 beautiful golf courses. Countless trails for hiking or mountain biking. A flat valley for relaxed bike tours and peaks for climbing, paragliding, etc. St. Moritz has also countless boutiques of international fashion and jewelry brands as well as art galleries.

My own Switzerland Experiences

Read more on my very own Switzerland Experiences and follow my Instagram Posts and Instagram Stories. During my most recent trips to Switzerland, I have spent time in Zurich, Bern, Geneva, Buergenstock, Lucerne, Laussane among a few others… St Moritz is still on my bucket lists. Enjoy the journey.

Helpful Resources

Some useful resources you might want to keep in mind, for your upcoming travels during and after COVID-19.

IATA Travel Center  
www.iatatravelcentre.com

US Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs  
www.travel.state.gov

CDC Center for Disease Control & Prevention
www.cdc.gov

World Health Organization
www.who.int

Homeland Security
www.dhs.gov

Global COVID-19 Flights & Travel Restrictions
app.developer.here.com

World Travel & Tourism Council
www.wttc.org/COVID-19/

World Travel Restrictions UN World Food Programme
www.unwfp.maps.arcgis.com

Observatory on Border Crossings Status due to COVID-19
www.wiki.unece.org

Health travel advice for all Countries
www.travelhealthpro.org.uk

EU Reopen
reopen.europa.eu

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