Our Story | St. Moritz Hotel and Spa Near Rock & Polzeath

St Moritz has a rich history dating back to the 1930's.

In the early 1930’s, an enthusiastic young couple, Mr and Mrs Richard Underwood, commissioned a striking house to be built on a piece of land called the ‘Greenaway’ above Daymer Bay in North Cornwall. Its situation in the North Cornwall sweet spot was simply stunning, affording views over the mouth of the River Camel and to Stepper Point beyond.

During World War II, the house became a boarding school for boys, housing evacuees from cities across the UK, but following the war, the Underwoods decided to create a hotel. After heading to the worldwide culinary excellence centre of St Moritz in Switzerland, Richard Underwood was greatly influenced. The levels of elegance, and service he found in St Moritz impressed him so much, he sent all his chefs to Switzerland to learn their trade, and named his hotel after the Alpine town to evoke its prestige.

Before long, St Moritz Hotel had built itself an enviable reputation. Politicians to poets, film stars to businessmen, bishops and writers began making annual pilgrimages to the north Cornish coast. By the time Richard Underwood was appointed head of the Cornish Tourist Board, such was the cachet of the area, even Her Majesty The Queen came to visit.

Accolades and awards were won, retained, and the hotel’s reputation for gastronomy and hand-crafted specialities grew. The hotel itself increased in size as new wings were added and a glorious Round Room, where guests, reputedly, enjoyed amazing sunshine over cream teas and evening aperitifs.

The original building no longer remains, replaced by the stunning Art Deco-inspired architecture you see today. The new incarnation, a bold £15m development which opened in 2008 was the vision of brothers Steve and Hugh Ridgway, who are committed to upholding the impeccable standards of service, ambience and gastronomy for which St Moritz Hotel has been known for more than half a century.