Kanika Tekriwal, the Founder and CEO of JetSetGo, a private aviation and concierge service that operates a fleet of chartered helicopters and jets for affluent travellers, reminiscences her uber-luxurious solo trip to St. Moritz in Switzerland.
“I woke up one morning in January 2020 feeling really frustrated. I was working 20 hours every day. I needed a break. So I packed my bags and,on a whim,flew to St. Moritz.
The one thing that was bothering me then was this thought that I always make people’s dream holidays come true, but what do I do to live mine? This time, I designed one for myself.
24 hours to plan!
While deciding where to go that day, one of my options was Croatia, but I couldn’t find the exact property or places I’d go to. I finalised St. Moritz instead. I had been here on a work trip earlier, but never alone on a holiday.
I quickly checked the availability of flights online and grabbed the one lastfirst-class ticket available on the Swiss Air Lines. It’s weird but I will never forget this,as almost after five to six years I was booking my flight ticket. It is usually done by my office.
Next, I booked a hotel. And luckily, I got the last available room at theThe Carlton St. Moritz. Honestly, I hadn’t planned any itinerary, but that was okay as I knew that St. Moritz it is a small town and there are only a handful of things to do there.
My plan was to stay for a week at this Swiss resort town. On my first day there, I just stayed in my suite, went to the spa and chilled. I was playing it by my own rules.
On other days,I went skiing with an instructor who is also an Olympic skier. Every morning, I would wake up and have the best breakfast in the world and then I would head out for my ski lessons.
These lessons helped immensely because it helped me get to all the fancy, Michelin-star restaurants in the town, whichcan only be reachedon skis or by a ski lift. My practice sessions turned out perfectly for me because I and my instructor would ski to different, fancy restaurants every day.
Amidst the Swiss Alps, by the lake side
The Carlton is a beautiful property by the Lake St. Moritz, with the best views of the Swiss Alps. It is one of the top luxury hotels in Europe and has its interiors designed by Carlo Carlo Rampazzi (a famous designer). I had an incredible lake-facing suite with a lovely balcony.
What I also liked about this hotel is that it has a really fancy hot tub, which is half indoors and half outdoors. The spa is amazing too. I went for a Swedish massage every day.
Getting merry in an underground club!
I have never really gone to a bar or to a restaurant alone. But this changed in St. Moritz. The first night I went alone to the Renaissance Bar at the Palace Hotel, I met a group of people, from different parts of the world, who were on vacation just like me. We really hit it off and had a mad, fun night.
Another day, I discovered Dracula, an underground club in St. Moritz and decided to go there. But you can enter the club only if you are a member. Basically, all the travellers who visit St. Moritz every year are its members and that’s how they end up going to the club.
I requested my hotel concierge to, somehow,make arrangements and get me an entry to the club. Afterall, I was a solo woman traveller here. To my surprise, they made it happen! The great concierge service was one of the best parts about the Carlton Hotel.They would do everything that a guest asks for.
At the club, I made tons of friendsand ended up going with them to their hotel to party some more. I returned to my suite at 6 am the next morning, and, obviously, couldn’t attend my skiing lesson. But it felt really good to just let loose and, for once, not stress about work or anything at all.
The next evening, I went on a date with myself at Da Vittorio, a high-end, Michelin-star restaurant in The Carlton. As the hotel mostly visited byfamiliesand couples, everybody was staring at me having dinner by myself. But to be honest, I was loving it. It just felt so good to do things for yourself with nobody involved or interrupting the flow.
The next day, I took a ski lift really high up on the slopes to go to this amazing Michelin-star restaurant, El Paradiso, for lunch. After eating my heart out, I skied down the whole mountain slope. And, oh, I had about twenty falls because my stomach was so full.
Skating on black ice
I can skate well and decided to go ice skating on this frozen lake in St. Moritz one day. The advanced level of skating here is skating on black ice, a very deep part of the lake that looks black when frozen during winters. People are generally scared of exploring this side. But I took my risk and went gliding there alone, without a lifeguard or anybody beside me.
The art of retail therapy
Shopping in St. Moritz is a treat! And what’s interesting is that one can explore the whole town on foot.
Throughout my stay there, I would end theday by going shopping ona small high street. It has allthe luxury brands one canaskfor. I ended up buying some really cool ski gear and a manynew ski outfitsfor my #OOTD (outfit of the day); thestupidest thingI did as I later realised that I would only be using these things once a year.
I also bought many souvenirs and presents for people. And Switzerland’s famous Läderach chocolates for everyone back home.
I also bought myself some nice gifts from Balmain and Chopard and a watch from AudemarsPiguet that I’ve been wearing ever since.
Lessons learnt as a solo traveller
Honestly, I was scared all this time because I am not used to spending time by myself and doing nothing. This trip to the St. Moritz was like a test for me. But I really enjoyed this solo trip and the more I think about it,the more frequently I want to do it.
I also learnt that taking breaks is super critical for mental health. We live in a world shadowed by social media, where we’re always trying to please others. Being in the public eye, you tend to be very careful about everything. I think it’s important to do things for yourself without worrying about what others will say.”
Kanika Tekriwal sums up her travel quest…
The most memorable thingin St. Moritz was skiing down the blank, white slope. I felt extremely powerful in that moment.When I returned to work, I was ready to take on the world.
My biggest travel hackis that I don’t stick to an itinerary.
When deciding my luxury travel,I like to make sure that the hotel has a good concierge service, a good spa and a spacious room.
Next three destinations on my bucket list are The Khyber Himalayan Resort, Croatia and Monaco for the Grand Prix.