The Grandhotel Belvedere sits majestically on a hill overlooking Davos. It’s aptly named. The Belvedere resembles a magnificent Alpine stately home. ‘Five-star plus with old-school charm’ is how one recent guest described their stay here.
How much does a room cost? It’s impossible to say at the moment because the gilded establishment, just down the road from Klosters, is currently closed to ‘ordinary’ members of the public.
Here’s a clue, though. The going rate for basic rooms in Davos — without even a TV or desk — is currently an inflation-busting £800 a night, which gives some indication of what the guests who have been booked into the Belvedere are shelling out.
Then again, the tab they pick up at the Belvedere is little more than small change for these people: they are hedge funders, bankers, chief executives, investors — the so-called ‘masters of the universe’ — who have descended on the Swiss resort, two hours from Zurich, for a meeting of the World Economic Forum.
Nearly 3,000 conference delegates were in town for the five-day jamboree, the first in the post-pandemic era, said to provide an £80 million boost to the local economy.
But there is another ‘economy’ in Davos (pop. just over 11,000) which also receives a considerable boost from the summit — a world that exists in parallel with the earnest discussions on the debating floor of the Congress Centre, and that is the so-called ‘oldest profession in the world’.
Prostitution is legal in Switzerland, with sex workers expected to pay taxes, register with local authorities and undergo regular health checks. And business is booming.
Earlier this week, high-class escort Salome Balthus, 36, revealed how she had been booked by a delegate. Speaking exclusively to MailOnline after leaving the plush hotel where she had been staying with her client, she said: ‘Davos is all about power, money and sex, and all three make good bedfellows.
‘I have a regular client and he asked me to meet him at Davos as he was attending. I told him I was in Germany, but he arranged flights and a car for me. We stayed in a beautiful hotel in Davos, drinking champagne and eating fabulous meals.
I gave him what he required and he was very satisfied, but it’s also not just about sex, my clients like to have intelligent conversation as well.