Switzerland is known for its unparalleled natural beauty in all the many mountain lakes, icy peaks, and rolling meadows dotted with vineyards and lovely country house hotels. Rarely does one find such a varied range of terrain, cultures, things to do, and even languages in such a small area. A stay at a country house hotel in Switzerland is sure to provide the total reset you’re after — stimulate your senses with a great combination of wellness and some of the world’s finest natural beauties.
Where to stay at a country house hotel in Switzerland? Important destinations at a glance:
Lake Constance: Romance in four seasons and in three countries
Valais: Matterhorn & more unbelievable landscapes
Situated in southern Switzerland and home to the famous-for-good-reason Matterhorn mountain, Valais is fantastic in every sense of the word. Once one of the country’s poorer regions, this Swiss canton is now where the vacation-elite go to holiday — especially the Rhône wine valley and anywhere with a view of Aletsch Glacier. A country house hotel in Valais comes equipped with innovative design concepts — with some eco-luxury hotels offering domed pods as rooms —, perfect locations sometimes with access to private ski runs, and unfathomable views of the mountain and glaciers which dominate every glimpse. The 1898 Gornergrat cogwheel railway, which departs from Zermatt, is Europe’s highest open-air railway and a must for spectacular views of the Matterhorn and landscapes unlike anywhere else. Summer days are filled with sun and spent hiking on 8,000 kilometers of marked trail, past mountain streams and Alpine lakes to traditional eateries serving up regional wine, especially Pinor Noir and Chasselas variatals, and classic Swiss fare — like raclette cheese, which originated in the area. As the area gets around 300 days of sun per year, winters are also sunny, making for always-perfect views while skiing and snowboarding through the snow-covered paradise.
Bernese Highlands: Interlaken & mountainous wonderlands
Grisons: Slow days in the Alps
The easternmost canton of Grisons, or Graubünden, is known for its long list of unmissable destinations. It is the largest and the most undeveloped of the Swiss cantons, making it a prime location for a truly serene holiday. A country house hotel is the perfect accompaniment to a visit to this blissful corner of the world. In extremely homey interiors, cast in the soft light of a chandelier or the orange glow seeping in floor-to-ceiling windows from the sunset, look out over babbling brooks and stunning peaks, while savoring a bowl of Pizzoccheri (pasta, cheese, and vegetable stew) or Capuns (dried pieces of meat and Spätzle dough rolled in chard leaves). You may recognize some of the scenery in Grisons from encounters with the fictional character Heidi, as this was her alleged home. The world-famous Bernina Express and Glacier Express railways run through the region and take you through a different, but equally varied suite of landscapes, with the Bernina passing through three different climate zones and three different language regions. Back at your country house hotel after a time-slowing ride to St. Moritz on the Glacier Express, settle in for a steam in the sauna, a sightseeing bike ride on nearby trails, or a romantic sunset with a glass of Lafnetscha wine, a specialty of the area.
Zürich Region: Pure luxury in the city & its surroundings
Central Switzerland: Lake Lucerne & authentic Switzerland
With a 13th-century passport, a landscape of glimmering lakes and dramatic mountain peaks, and some lovely Swiss cities packed with culture and class, Central Switzerland is where you’ll get the most authentic Swiss experience. Lake Lucerne is sprawling and beautiful. A country house hotel perched prettily on the shore promises days packed with breathtaking views and nights by the fire, soaking up the old-world luxury. In the summer, the hiking trails in Engelberg, Einsiedeln, and Andermatt take you up and through the Alps and even to Mt. Titlis, Switzerland’s highest mountain. Come wintertime, the skiing capital of the world awaits: Central Switzerland boasts 568 kilometers of slopes waiting to be glided across by you and your beloved or family. The city of Lucerne itself is the once-home of poet Goethe and the now-home to a wonderful confluence of old and new, including great shopping, the 14th-century Kapellbrücke, and some lovely country house hotels dotting its perimeter.