Since its beginning, Badrutt’s Palace Hotel has had a unique ability to look forwards to a modern, magnificent future.
So, when the exclusive St. Moritz hotel embarked on an ambitious redesign of 40 rooms and suites in preparation for the start of the 2020/21 winter season, the brief to the designers was to embrace the Palace’s much-loved signature features with the contemporary requirements of today’s travellers.
“Our goal is to evolve and innovate while preserving the iconic heritage of the Palace. I believe we have achieved this excellently by modernising and at the same time integrating special elements into the interior. The result is a combination of functionality and sophisticated design,” says Richard Leuenberger, Managing Director of Badrutt’s Palace.
Textures and colours
The award-winning New York studio Champalimaud Design, which works with luxury clients around the world, including some of the most renowned hotels, was charged with creating the vision. “We thought about all the reasons people come to St. Moritz and designed around that mindset,” explains Ed Bakos, CEO and partner of Champalimaud Design.
In the new scheme, where no two rooms are the same, the colour palette features whites, soft blues and gentle camel tones with metallic accents, which creates a quietly luxurious, contemporary mood.
Chic modern features are incorporated into the design. Fabrics, including those used in the sofa upholstery and some of the curtains, are sourced from renowned European manufacturers, including The Sign Textiles based in Rorschacherberg, Switzerland. “We created custom chinoiserie wall coverings [in partnership] with Fromental for the suite entrances, each in a custom colour way,” Bakos says. Other soft furnishings include beautiful signature headboards of embroidered custom dyed leather. Mirrors and metallic accents reflect the natural daylight, while sculpture-like lighting brings the rooms alive at night.
The modern design flourishes extend beyond the choice of fabrics and are integrated into the structure of the rooms, designed to meet the needs of the modern traveller. They include spacious closets “to facilitate long stays, and recognise that guests will arrive with outdoor gear as well as evening wear”, Bakos says. The stunning marble-clad bathrooms have giant walk-in showers, while the latest technology is built into the fabric of the updated rooms, including fast fibre-optic internet.
Glamour in a modern setting
The design is underpinned by a deep reverence to Badrutt’s Palace’s rich heritage, including the Persian carpets that cover the floors, which helped inspire the rooms’ colour palettes.
“We refinished and reused many of the sideboards or credenzas that were collected by Hans Badrutt himself in the suites and corridors. We integrated them with other new custom furniture to create a bespoke residential feeling,” Bakos explains.
“There are a number of detailings from the hotel lobby that we integrated into the design,” Bakos says. “For example, a decorative leaf detail from metalwork in the lobby became the inspiration for the bathroom vanity. In addition, the stone panelling in the suite bathrooms includes embellishments drawn from the lobby.” The result is that the newly designed rooms blend seamlessly into the existing fabric of the hotel.
Inspiration from nature
The final piece of the design puzzle was to celebrate another of the hotel’s big attractions – the natural beauty of the surrounding Engadin Valley. From the moment you enter St. Moritz, you are hit by the iridescent quality of the light that bathes the town and the hotel, which sits on the edge of the lake, gazing up at the mountains. The new design capitalises on this beautifully: the rooms reflect the calm beauty outside, with natural materials such as wooden herringbone flooring softened by the Persian carpets, or marble bathrooms mirroring the icy lake outside.
“Our goal was to celebrate the richness and heritage of Badrutt’s Palace through bespoke detailing that reflects the spirit of the place,” concludes Bakos. It is something guests will feel the moment they cross the threshold and enter the magical world of the hotel.
Jessica Salter is a lifestyle and interiors journalist and editor whose work regularly appears in the The Telegraph and The Times as well as a wide range of high-end lifestyle magazines.