Switzerland is to the hotel industry what France is to restaurants, so it’s not surprising that some of my favourite hotels are in Switzerland. Rustic or palatial, beds are comfortable, service polished and breakfasts hearty – usually a generous buffet of cold cuts, such as excellent raw ham (Rohschinken) and air-dried beef (Bündnerfleisch); a selection of Switzerland’s famous cheeses; loaves of freshly baked bread (including the brioche-like, plaited Züpfe) and yoghurt from the local dairy. Whether it’s mountains, lakes, ancient towns or rolling green hills, Switzerland has some of the most spectacular scenery I’ve seen anywhere and a stay at any of these hotels is a great way to explore it.
Hotel des Trois Couronnes, Vevey
I always feel drawn back to Lake Geneva, especially the flower-lined promenade of Vevey. And there’s no better place to enjoy the dramatic view across the mirror-calm lake to the beautiful Savoy Alps than from this majestic hotel, which also offers Switzerland’s best breakfast buffet.
Hotel Palazzo Salis, Soglio
This quaint 17th century hotel in a remote village high up in the Swiss Alps is comfortable yet rustic and full of history. Whether viewed from a deck-chair in the hotel’s flower-filled private garden or strolling the narrow, cobbled streets, views of the soaring snow-covered peaks are truly breathtaking. Eat at nearby Stüa Granda.
Hotel Stern, Chur
Built in 1677 but extensively renovated with all mod comforts, an echo of this buildings history is still evident in the top floor attic rooms with wonderful exposed original beams, offering the best of both worlds. Located in the centre of the old town which has wonderful cobbled streets full of interesting architecture.
Once a town hall, this small refined hotel sits on a corner in the historic old town, with views back over the Emmenthal countryside and up to the impressive castle. The front bar is a great spot for a glass of Swiss wine and plate of cold cuts, while the formal restaurant offers more innovative fare.
Maison Junod, Romainmôtier
A room in this simple chambre d’hôte (French B&B) includes a continental breakfast in the quirky tea room of the neighbouring priory, in the grounds of the 5th century monastery this ancient town was built around. A great local bakery and pub, and excellent fondue in the surrounding Jura mountains, complete the picture.