Most people are familiar with horse polo. But did you know that this thrilling sport is also played on snow and ice? To witness this exhilarating event, we travel to the picturesque village of St. Moritz in the Swiss Alps. Little spoiler: the Snow Polo won't be the only thing taking our breath away because we will be driving some Maserati cars!
In 1985, St. Moritz hosted the first Snow Polo World Cup championship. It was the first ever of this unique winter sport that is fast, furious and incredibly gripping to watch! Once a year in January, elite players from around the globe gather for this thrilling tournament. Today, it is still the biggest of its kind with close to 20'000 people attending the three-day event.
For the event we stay at the Grand Hotel des Bains Kempinski that has a very classic grand hotel charm. This, combined with an excellent breakfast offering, proactive staff and an extraordinary spa, make this hotel a true pleasure to stay in.
After a good night sleep, we wake up to a freezing morning. As we look out of the window, we spot an impressive lineup of Maserati cars outside the hotel. For now, they are covered in ice crystals but soon they will be warm from the fired up engines!
As we step outside, we are impressed by the assembly of the latest and hottest models from the Italian car manufacturer. Our highlight is the Maserati Levante Trofeo with 580HP. It only takes this sporty SUV with a V8 engine 3.9 seconds from 0 - 100 km/h!
We don't waste time and jump right into the beautifully designed cars to drive up the nearby Bernina Pass. Being on these winding mountain roads in those powerful cars is a dream come true!
Given the fact that Maserati mostly relies on V6 engines through the whole product range, every car is fun to drive. Also, the exhaust management is tuned to deliver the very best sound. Speaking of sound, we tested the Maserati Quattroporte SQ4 next. The luxurious sedan delivers 430HP and is equipped with AWD. It's sound is marvelous and the performance on the icy mountain roads is impressive. A very fun car to drive!
Since the iconic design of Maserati cars is already often praised, we rather want to talk about the interior. There, the Italian car manufacturer pays a lot of attention to the details. One of the latest collaborations was together with the designer Ermenegildo Zegna. Also, Maserati developed the first woven leather to provide seats that look and feel truly unique. All in all a very pleasant surprise on the inside!
On top of the Bernina Pass we stop to take in the surroundings. The "Ospizio" is located 2235 meter above sea level and marks the highest point of a pass that is considered one of the largest and most demanding passes because of its difference in height of 1'880 meters and length of 37 km. It is usually open throughout the year, which makes it very interesting for car enthusiasts. We can highly recommend you to go check it out yourself!
After a phenomenal driving experience on the winding roads of the Bernina, we get to calm down at the hotel. We get changed and ready for the Snow Polo!
Arriving on the frozen Lake St. Moritz, we go straight to the VIP area for some welcome drinks. In a big tent, guest get spoiled with champagne, a big desert selection, coffee bar and excellent catering for lunch. There is even a cigar lounge!
After a fun time networking and socializing in the VIP tent, we head to the stands to watch Team Maserati take on Team St. Moritz. A solid 30cm layer of ice covers the lake and makes it accessible to players and spectators. Even for us Swiss it is mind blowing to imagine that we are now on a lake where people swim in summer!
Compared to regular polo, the ball used in snow polo is lighter and larger than its field polo equivalent. Also, the snow and ice make all plays more unpredictable. We feel like this adds an extra level of excitement.
On the stands, people wear thick coats and parkas. Luckily, the sun is shining and it is hence not too cold to watch a whole game. Actually, the low temperatures have one advantage: the champagne stays cold and hence tastes delicious!
After the game, we enjoy an exceptional buffet with an overwhelming variety of dishes from all over the world. Visitors indulge in seafood, sushi, local delicacies and even Indian curries.
Once we finished our rich meal, we start our long journey back home. The Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz promised to be an adrenaline-fueled event and it completely lived up to it! Watching spectacular polo and great entertainment against the backdrop of the picturesque mountains of the Engadin Valley in Switzerland is something we can recommend to everyone. Also, the driving experience with Maserati made these two days extra special and memorable!