Grand Hotel Kronenhof (www.kronenhof.com) in Pontresina has created a “September Mountain Escape” package to make the most of this very special time of year, once the summer holiday crowds have dispersed. In Autumn, the Engadine enjoys warm day-time temperatures and plenty of sunshine i.e. perfect conditions for hiking up a mountain, before enjoying a leisurely lunch on a restaurant terrace and then catching a train or gondola back to the hotel (unlimited use of all the mountain railways in the Engadine/St Moritz area is included in the package) for a late afternoon pamper in the Kronenhof Spa.
For those looking to explore further afield, the Swiss National Park, part of the worldwide UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is a 45-minute drive away (guests traveling to the hotel by train can borrow a car for free – on a first come, first served basis). Eighty kilometers of footpaths and nature trails criss-cross the 170 magnificent square kilometers of National Park wilderness, offering visitors the chance to witness nature at is glorious best. Not just the landscape, but also the wild animals: ibex with their sweeping horns, cute-looking chamois, playful marmots, majestic red deer and maybe a golden eagle (six pairs are resident in the park).
For those who prefer to stick to train travel, there are plenty of day excursions to be made on the regional rail network. For example, to Chur, the capital of the canton with its car-free old town that is well worth exploring, and south over spectacular mountain passes and along scenic valley routes, with piercing blue Engadine skies overheard, to Valposchiavo, in the Italian-speaking part of the country.
Closer to the hotel, the Engadine valley hosts several events during the Autumn, including free outdoor lunchtime concerts in the woods near Pontresina (till late September), a new digital art & culture forum called Window of the World and the Bernina Gran Turismo, which is recreating the historic St. Moritz Automobile Weeks of 1929 and 1930 by staging a series of hill climbs (open to classic racing and sports cars dating from the 1930s to early 1980s) on the Bernina Pass that are sure to delight both drivers and spectators!
Offered from 31 August to 1 October, Grand Hotel Kronenhof’s “September Mountain Escape” package includes dinner, bed and breakfast, complimentary use of the hotel’s stunning spa facilities, a 10% discount on spa treatments, unlimited access to the Kulm Golf St. Moritz golf course and tennis courts, and unlimited use of all the mountain railways in the Engadine/St Moritz area. Prices start from CHF 420 (approx. £350) per night for two people sharing a beautiful double room and staying for three to five nights, with the nightly rate reduced to CHF 395 (approx. £330) for those staying six nights or more. From 1 to 18 October, half-board room rates start from CHF 455 (approx. £380) for two people sharing a double room.