Travel Two Ways: Switzerland or Vail?

One Splurge, One Steal

Two ski retreats for two opposing budgets.


Ready for a peak vacation? Join the ultimate high society on a weeklong splurge in glitzy St. Moritz. Or find a piece of powdery heaven on a quick getaway to the mountain village of Vail.

Switzerland—the Splurge

Go: Relax in fully reclined, Business Class comfort while flying nonstop between Chicago and Zurich with Swiss International Airlines. Then take a first-class seat aboard Rail Europe and traverse the dramatic, UNESCO World Heritage–designated Landwasser Viaduct on the way to St. Moritz.

Stay: Overlooking Lake St. Moritz and the surrounding alpine splendor, the 60-suite Carlton Hotel St. Moritz marked its 100th anniversary in 2013. To help celebrate, this boutique hotel welcomes Virtuoso clients with a weeklong stay in a totally refurbished Carlton Suite featuring a plush lounge with dining for six and a private balcony. Enjoy personal butler service; complimentary minibar; use of the spa and wellness center; Internet access; and shuttle service from the train station. Also includes buffet breakfast and Carlton dinner daily.

Ski: Engadin St. Moritz boasts nearly 220 miles of gloriously groomed slopes, from bunny hills to black diamonds. Explore as many as possible with a six-day ski pass.

Spa: Soothe those tired muscles with a full-body, 50-minute massage per person in the tri-level Carlton Spa.

Vail—the Steal

Go: Flying Economy Class with American Airlines leaves more reserves for après-ski and retail therapy. Nonstop from Chicago to Vail.

Stay: Set in the heart of Vail Village, The Sebastian—Vail brings sustainability to a whole new level. This stylish, 107-room property emphasizes environmentally sensitive design and building materials, while its Block 16 restaurant refines the farm-to-fork concept.

Ski: The only thing finer than three days of lift tickets for two: The Sebastian’s private base camp and ski valet offering ski-in/ski-out access. Included in package.

Spa: Revitalize with a choice of 50-minute treatments per person at Bloom Spa (shown at right), which uses indigenous plants in its holistic therapies. Included in package. After a particularly grueling off-piste day, consider an 80-minute “The Après” massage with warm compresses, stretching, and sea salt bath.

Originally appeared in Virtuoso Traveler magazine, December 2012.

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