Royalty-Spotting: Town and Crown

Feb 1, 2006
Outside Magazine
Chairlift: Border Flight

A time-honored joy of skiing the Alps is dropping from one nation into another. But only one resort's chairlift will take you to a different country. The Furggsattel Gletscherbahn loads up to six passengers above Zermatt, Switzerland, at a knob called Trockener Steg, then rises 1,400 feet and unloads at Furggsattel - 11,040 feet up on an Italian ridge. - Rob Story


Lech, Austria
At the end of a high valley, opposite the ürhub of St. Anton, in the Arlberg Pass, Lech is geographically fortified against prying paparazzi. Helicopters have buzzed in the likes of Princess Caroline of Monaco and the late Princess Di. Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander continues Lech's royal tradition of swooping in and schussing down. See and be seen at: The intimate Gasthof Post Hotel (

Klosters, Switzerland
Prince Charles is a Klosters kind of guy. William and Harry are also regulars at this secluded village, as are international power brokers, who try to escape media scrutiny while attending the annual World Economic Forum each January in nearby Davos. See and be seen at: The Walserhof Hotel (, the choice of Brit royals.

Gstaad, Switzerland
Old-money Gstaad was reportedly aghast when Paris Hilton romped into town for vacay last year. According to the gossip mill, the resort got another scare when local homeowner Liz Taylor recently offered her palatial estate to tabloid escapee Michael Jackson. Gstaaders seem to prefer royal celebs like Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece. See and be seen at: The castlelike, très exclusive, 104-room Palace Hotel (

St. Moritz, Switzerland
Princess Caroline, the Sultan of Brunei, and George Clooney have been spotted cavorting in the Alpine capital of blue-blood chic, depicted in a memorable ski-chase scene in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service, with onetime Agent 007 George Lazenby. And where else would you find an event like the annual Cartier Polo World Cup on Snow? See and be seen at: Badrutt's Palace Hotel (, where no one thinks twice about $25 martinis.

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