Top 5 ways to stay in the wild mountains of Switzerland
From coveted ski slopes to quaint alpine villages, the Swiss mountains are scattered with gems for travellers.
And there’s no better way to discover some of Europe’s highest peaks than in five-star comfort. Here are five great ways to discover the region in uncompromising style.
1. The ultra-luxe
Since opening its doors in 2013, The Chedi Andermatt has gained global renown as one of the world’s finest ski hotels. Offering an authentic Asian expression of style in the heart of the Swiss Alps, the hotel’s 123 rooms and suites are designed by Jean-Michel Gathy, chief designer for Denniston International Architects & Planners, and range from 52 to 300 square metres. Over 200 fireplaces crackle throughout the hotel, while private terraces offer breathtaking views of the mountains. Beyond the rooms, an indoor and outdoor pool, Finnish sauna and hamam and 10 spa suites invite guests to relax and unwind after a day out on the Sedrun ski domain.
2. Showcasing design and lifestyle
Dramatically set against a backdrop of the Matterhorn, CERVO Zermatt aptly rises to the exalted standards of its surrounds. Within each of its six chalets you’ll find private wellbeing facilities equipped with a sanarium, sauna and outdoor whirlpool, and knowledgeable therapists are available to help relieve aching muscles après-ski. The pinnacle of its accommodation is the three-bedroom Owner’s Lodge, touted as one of Zermatt’s most exclusive addresses and offering sweeping vistas of its snow-blanketed peaks, which are best enjoyed from the private terrace or with a hot drink beside the fireplace.
3. Enveloped in history
The storied past of Badrutt’s Palace Hotel has become an integral chapter in the history of St Moritz itself, and indeed, the hotel is credited to no small degree with the emergence of the destination as a coveted winter sports getaway. It is still run by the family of Johannes Badrutt, who purchased what was then just the 12-bed Pension Faller in 1856. The property was eventually opened as a hotel 40 years later, and has welcomed notable guests including Alfred Hitchcock in the years since. Now, the hotel continues its legacy with 157 luxurious rooms and suites, many with private balconies and lake views. The premier Hans Badrutt Suite boasts connecting rooms, a Steinway piano and an Italian marble bathroom, complete with a Jacuzzi overlooking the mountains.
4. A hotel as indisputably Swiss as the Alps themselves
The story goes that the 2,222-metre ascent to Riffelalp Resort is just far enough that the stresses of daily life disappear from view. The five-star resort is home to Europe’s highest wellness centre, St Trop Alp Spa, where steam rising off the outdoor pool (also Europe’s highest) adds an even more dramatic tone to views of the Matterhorn, and a secluded grotto beckons with saline baths and waterfalls. The resort has been delivering such revitalising tranquillity amid the white-tipped mountains since the late 19th century, and invites guests to discover the untouched beauty of Switzerland with adventurous expeditions including guided hikes, heli-skiing and freeriding on glaciers.
5. An alpine spa retreat
Secluded amid pines and the majestic peaks of the Bernese Oberland, Lenkerhof Gourmet Spa Resort’s extensive spa and beauty services have established the five-star hotel firmly as a mandatory visit for connoisseurs of outstanding wellness retreats. Its approach to wellbeing looks back on 350 years of traditional bathing, and an outdoor pool overlooking the pristine surrounds is filled with sulphur water sourced from the hotel’s own mountain spring, heated to a blissful 34 degrees Celsius year-round. To complete the experience, a stay in the Alpine Spa Suite boasts a private spa complete with a whirlpool and sauna, in addition to a corner balcony, revolving fireplace and views to the mountains from its many large windows.
About Switzerland Tourism
For more than 100 years, the marketing organisation Switzerland Tourism (ST) has been promoting the demand for Switzerland as a holiday, travel and congress country at home and abroad on behalf of the federal government. The development and implementation of demand-effective marketing programs and the profiling of the strong, classically modern tourism brand of Switzerland, nationally and globally, are the focus.
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LEAD IMAGE: THE CHEDI ANDERMATT. IMAGES COURTESY OF SWITZERLAND TOURISM.