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Hotel and Restaurant Lej de Staz


ST. MORITZ, Switzerland — St. Moritz conjures images of palatial hotels, gourmet restaurants, designer shops, and snow sports enthusiasts decked out in fur-trimmed designer duds. But tucked into a nature reserve just a stone’s throw from the tony downtown is Hotel and Restaurant Lej da Staz, a secluded, cozy 10-room chalet overlooking a pint-size frozen lake. Guests arrive by horse-drawn carriage or on foot, skis, or snowshoes via the region’s 350-kilometer network of maintained Nordic and winter-walking trails, one of which passes by the front door. Locals begged me not to share this delightful find, but it’s too good to keep to myself, not only for the rooms (some with private bath), the mountain background, and the blissful quietude, but also for the indulgent Engadine-region cuisine (hint: try the hay soup). Midday, skiers and snowshoers crowd the terrace for lunch or après-ski drinks and nibbles. After dinner, slumber in the snow-blanketed silence of the alpine countryside. Doubles from $161 with breakfast.

HOTEL RESTORANT LEJ DA STAZ St. Moritz-Celerina, Switzerland. 011-41-81-833-60-50,