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On the Powder

Nira Alpina, Silvaplana, Switzerland

The roaring engine and thwack of rotor blades fade to silence as the helicopter lifts off into the distance. You’re on top of the world, alone on the mountaintop and staring down onto a jagged sea of dazzling white: the unfathomable Swiss Alps. You brace against the cold mountain air and push off down the piste, building velocity as you careen downward, crisscrossing untouched powdery snow. Your friends shout ecstatically behind you as you push ahead. A smile breaking across your face, you feel nothing but adrenaline, speed, and the addictive pull of gravity.

"Alps on Alps in clusters swelling, Mighty, and pure, and fit to make The ramparts of a Godhead's dwelling!" Thomas Moore

THE HOTEL — One of the joys of staying at Nira Alpina, a glass-and-timber mountain sanctuary in the village of Silvaplana near the popular resort town of St. Moritz, is being able to ski right up to the entrance. A glassed-in covered walkway connects the hotel to a cable car station leading to some of Switzerland's highest mountains. The hotel appeals to summer and winter adventurers: 120 kilometers of ski runs rush down the slopes towards Silvaplana Lake, offering exceptional terrain for hiking, biking, windsurfing, sailing, and canoeing. Inside, locally sourced materials like wood and granite intermix with elegant swathes of glass, allowing unobstructed views of the mountains beyond.

Honestly, the Engadine Valley is without a doubt the most beautiful valley in the world. Between the lakes and the mountains and the topography and the greenery, it is truly magnificent. Puri – Owner of Nira Hotels & Resorts

Nira Alpina is the third hotel that Puri has opened since striking out on his own in 2008 after four decades working for some of the world’s biggest hotel brands, including Rosewood, Ritz-Carlton, Raffles, Fairmont, and Peninsula. But he was first drawn to the business when, as a young boy growing up in northern India near Delhi, he encountered the refined culture of India’s first-class hotels. The scion of a construction dynasty passed from his grandfather to his father, Puri attended Punjab University, then spent three years in Germany at a hotel management trainee program before beginning his career in hospitality.

Nira Alpina, Silvaplana, Switzerland

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