Ultimate 72-hour Escapes: Weekends Europe

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How to get there

Fly nonstop to Zurich's Kloten Airport on American, Delta, Swiss International or Air Canada. From the airport, catch a shuttle to the Zurich Hauptbahnhof and board a train to Chur, where you'll transfer to the Glacier Express to St. Moritz. The trip takes almost four hours, but it's effortless and relaxing.

Where to stay

The Kulm Hotel, on a hillside above Corviglia, St. Moritz's main slopes, is an easy walk from the tram. It's St. Moritz fashionable, but the skiing is still its raison d'être. (Note the wooden sign that indicates the day's weather and snow conditions.) The rooms are sizeable and simple, with plenty of closet space to stash gear and clothing that won't be properly unpacked ($260-$1,377; 800-223-6800; kulmhotel-stmoritz.ch).

How to ski the mountain

With respect to layout, St. Moritz can be likened to its chichi counterpart across the pond, Aspen. There are four main mountains: Corviglia is walking distance from town and is a mostly intermediate hill with wide groomers. Corvatsch, six miles away, is the most challenging-with narrow slopes, big vert and little grooming. Diavolezza offers glacier skiing and is the best option when the snow is iffy. Lagalb, the smallest, is skippable. You'll be kept busy on Corviglia and Corvatsch, anyway.

Where to rent skis

Rentstation Corviglia, with its midmountain location, has the best selection. Head up the Chantarellabahn in your ski boots, then drop the skis off at the end of your stay and take the gondola back down (rentstationcorviglia.ch/E).

Where to eat, drink, relax On the mountain, drop a chunk of change at La Marmite, a see-and-be-seen joint at the top of Corviglia's cable car where you can easily part with $100 at lunch (011-41-81-833-63-55). Less spendy, Brasserie is owned by the Marmite folks, but your tab will be half as much. For dinner, a must-try is Meierei, fondue specialists housed in a romantic old farmhouse a 20-minute walk along a lakeside promenade (011-41-81-833-20-60). If you can squeeze it in, the Daniela Steiner spa at the newly renovated Badrutt's Palace Hotel is worth the detour (011-41-81-837-10-00; badruttspalace.com).

Hassle-buster Fly Swiss International: You can check your bag directly to the train in Zurich for the ride to St. Moritz.

Contact St. Moritz Tourism: stmoritz.ch. Switzerland Tourist Board: myswitzerland.com

JANUARY 2005