Clouds of Sils Maria locations you must visit

Richard Mellor 

Visit the magical locations seen in Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche’s multi-award-winning film – and just go fashion-shopping in Berlin


Released in May, Clouds of Sils Maria is likely to impress for a variety of reasons: the captivating performances by Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart (who won the César Award – aka France’s Oscar – as best supporting actress for her role); the costume-providing debut of a fashion company called Chanel; and the mesmerising locations, which you’ll immediately want to frequent. So exactly where are they?


Sils Maria, Switzerland

Sils Maria Switzerland

The bulk of the film takes place in the snowy Swiss Alps, in and around the titular, high-altitude village of Sils Maria (sometimes just called Sils), a place known for strange meteorological quirks which often see it enveloped in a long, thin wisp of fog – the Maloja Snake – in a harbinger of worse weather to come. Part of the remote Upper Engadine Valley and located near glamorous St Moritz, this hamlet neighbours various local lakes, including one in which Juliette Binoche’s Maria boldly skinny-dips. Rangy mountain walks along gorgeous grassy slopes are also possible, as Maria and Kristen Stewart’s Valentine oft demonstrate, practising lines as they hike around. Stay if possible at the Waldhaus Hotel – Clouds briefly shot here, too – and be sure to visit the teeny Nietzsche-Haus museum. The German philosopher brooded on loneliness, isolation and the cyclical nature of time while summering in Sils Maria, as Oliver Assayas’ film duly, ominously references. Thomas Mann, Anne Frank and Jean Cocteau were also regular visitors to the area.


St Moritz, Switzerland

St Moritz Switzerland

Production briefly stopped amid the opulence of St Moritz itself for a scene in which Maria and Valentine watch a film starring young pretender Jo-Ann Ellis (Chloe Grace Moretz), and then argue about its merits over drinks in a casino. The real-life Casino St Moritz occupies the west wing of the town’s decadent Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains. Staying guests receive free entry.


Val Gardena, Italy

Val Gardena, Italy

While Sils Maria was used, Wilhelm Melchior’s mountain house is in fact Casa Al Monte, found in the Italian Dolomites resort town of Selva, beside the entrance to the popular Vallunga valley. Nor is this the home’s first brush with celebrity: during World War II, it was here that Heinrich Himmler hid his wife and daughter. Eagle-eyed South Tyrol fans should also spy Langkofel, the highest Dolomite, backdropping various strapping outdoor scenes along with the remote Juac refuge and two top-quality places to stay: Ortisei’s five-star Gardena Grödnerhof, a distinguished spa hotel, and the century-old Parkhotel Laurin, where jazz music and regional cuisine are specialties, inside area capital Bolzano.