Tel: 44 289 9999
Fax: 44 289 9998
Near everything, this late-19th-century hotel reopened in spring 2004 under new, family management after a total overhaul, blessed by Relais & Chateaux. All 22 suites are bigger than many an apartment dweller's entire home (well, in Manhattan anyway) and are coolly functional in slick neutrals with custom everything and a distinctly 21st-century aura. The restaurant and bistro are both way better than they needed to be.
27 Via Serlas
Tel: 41 81 837 11 00
Badrutt's is one of the hotels of Europe, a bastion of old-school luxury favored by celebrities and royalty since 1896. It calls itself a palace, but a better description would be a chalet fortress with Gothic chateau meets Art Nouveau styling. Guests pay (and pay plenty) for the right to use Badrutt's as their St. Moritz address. The 112 smallish rooms have no great presence, although the 47 additional suites are much more welcoming, with four-poster beds and flat-screen TVs that rise out of the furnishings at the push of a button. The Palace also offers plenty of distractions for guests who, if they ski at all, are not usually the type to attack the trails from first to last lift. It has four bars and seven restaurants, including Chesa Veglia and Nobu. In addition to a wellness center with an expansive spa, solarium, and health club, there are indoor and outdoor pools. Tennis is a popular summertime activity here. The hotel houses The King's Club, St. Moritz's key nightclub. In keeping with the resort's quaintly archaic ideas about propriety, jacket and tie are required in many public areas in the evening.
Open mid-June through mid-September and mid-December through mid-April.
Tel: 41 44 220 50 20
Baur au Lac, which has been overlooking Lake Zurich since 1844, is something of a touchstone for travelers seeking old-school elegance. And a $50 million renovation, completed in 2009, burnished this plush, 120-room landmark's reputation. Twenty-five of the hotel's rooms have been reconfigured as 13 suites, 3 deluxe junior suites, 4 double rooms, and 2 singles that all seamlessly combine Deco, neoclassical, and Louis XVI styles. While the new rooms come all dressed up with black lacquered desks, pillowy couches, and padded leather headboards, even the original rooms, characterized by their own timeless luxe classicism, don't seem dated. And the large marble bathrooms partially compensate for the hotel's lack of a spa (there is a rooftop fitness club). French designer Pierre-Yves Rochon reformatted the Pavillon restaurant, which is now open year-round, so that the rotunda dining room is framed by picture windows looking out on the hotel's park. Rive Gauche restaurant offers a relatively casual alternative to the Pavillon's modern haute menu (although casual here means grilled quail breast and lobster risotto). When the Alpine sun shines, guests tend to gather at the hotel's open-air Terrasse, where the preferred drink at the aperitif bar is, of course, ice-cold Champagne, befitting this mecca of grande dame style.—Raphael Kadushin
17-19 Place du Port
Tel: 41 21 613 33 33
On a ten-acre parkland on Lake Geneva's shore, this "elegant and subtle" Belle Époque hotel has a wooden pier left over from the steamboat days of the small port Ouchy. Cathedral-ceiling rooms have been updated with Asian carpets and bathrooms "full of marble." Chef Anne-Sophie Pic invents seasonal surprises at her eponymous restaurant, where a selection of aged Armagnacs is at hand. Stained glass windows surround the hotel's main staircase.
Tel: 41 44 456 60 00
After one of the most anticipated and ambitious hotel renovations of recent years, the Dolder Grand was relaunched in 2008 as a luxe urban resort that's almost more spa than hotel. Two incongruously modern wings designed by London architect Sir Norman Foster now flank the 1899 Belle Époque landmark on its wooded hill above Zurich. On one side, the Spa Wing houses 58 guest rooms and an explosion of amenities in the epic spa-cum–water park. In addition to separate men's and women's spas (each with a sauna, steam bath, Kotatsu footbath, solarium, and aromatherapy pools scented by relaxing jasmine and invigorating maracujá), there are a mosaic swimming pool, indoor and outdoor whirlpools, a meditation room crowned by a mirrored cupola, fitness studios, and 19 treatment rooms. The Golf Wing, which faces a nine-hole golf course, contains an additional 52 contemporary guest rooms—anodyne, art-free spaces that have a clinical feel and mammoth bathrooms that are spas unto themselves. Those looking for a `more traditional atmosphere should book one of the 63 (smaller) rooms in the original building, or head to the ornate lobby for a drink or snack beside an antique fireplace. Many of the rooms offer photogenic views of the city, as does the Garden Restaurant's terrace; for more formal meals, sample chef Heiko Nieder's exuberantly opulent dishes (think lobster with strawberries, beets, and nasturtium) at The Restaurant, which has already earned a Michelin star. Consider two caveats before booking a stay here, though. At about $850 for a standard double, the room rates can seem bloated (especially considering the relatively pared-down staffing). And getting to Zurich, which sits so invitingly below, necessitates a very expensive cab ride or a complicated combination of funicular and tram rides after the infrequent hotel shuttle stops running altogether in the evening. But that shouldn't prove too daunting for anyone who approaches the Dolder Grand on its own terms, as a complete, fully loaded retreat.—Raphael Kadushin
100 Grand Rue
Tel: 41 21 962 12 12
Looking onto Lake Geneva and the Alps, this 1906 Belle Époque gem scores perfect marks for its location near Chillon Castle. "Staff accommodate special requests with speed and skill." Restaurant La Brasserie serves up Parisian classics such as steak tartare; in the summer, La Terrasse du Petit Palais's salads draws from the hotel's own garden. "Spectacular rooms" are done in lime and taupe.
33 Quai des Bergues
Tel: 41 22 908 70 00
Fax: 41 22 908 74 00
It's hard to imagine a more natural fit than Four Seasons and Geneva: The hotel chain knows exactly what the high-flying traveler needs in order to feel not only pampered but empowered: charming service that disguises a brass tacks attention to detail, a great location, a first-rate restaurant, and top-drawer fitness facilities. The renovated Hotel des Bergues, which overlooks Lake Geneva and is just steps from the Old Town and the Financial District, now has all of the above, plus DVD players and large windows in all 103 rooms. Il Lago has a terrific wine list and an Italian menu that is a welcome alternative to the polite French cooking that defines Genevan dining. The impeccable efficiency stops short of creating a deadeningly corporate atmosphere, which is why this is the perfect place to camp out after a ski holiday in the Alps. The only misstep: No one should have to pay $23 per day for non-wireless Internet access.
Tel: 41 27 966 66 00
With "the majestic Matterhorn right there," this oversize 1870s lodge and longtime Alpinist mecca has homey rooms with murals, pine paneling, and blue and red accents. Restaurant Lusi, named for a traditional hiking lantern, serves Mediterranean fare in the fresh air and by candlelight. The Alpine spa's collection of options includes an ice grotto. With gasoline cars banned, the town's only transportation is electric cars and horse-drawn carriages.
Herman Greulich-Strasse 56
Tel: 41 43 243 4243
This sinuous navy-blue five-story block is the work of architects Romero and Schaefle, but it's the contribution of landscape designer Günther Vogt that looms largest: All 18 rooms face into the interior courtyard garden. This is half-Zen, half-Brothers Grimm, with its fairy groves of slim-trunked silver birches and its reflecting pools with floating flower heads. Inside the bedrooms, a rounded pillar contrasts with a cubic block of closets; a frosted-glass bathroom wall with a sun-flooded skylight; all in shades of white. There's a wooden-walled cigar bar, readings (in German) and other cultural events, and a Slow Food restaurantall in keeping with the intellectually socially progressive ideas of the hotel's namesake, Swiss labor movement pioneer Herman Greulich. Unsurprisingly, its neighborhood, Aussersihl, is trendy.
11 Via Johannes Badrutt
Tel: 41 81 836 70 00
This five-star hotel does not have the same high profile as its rivals, but it could be considered the most luxurious. Originally built in 1913, this historic resort has re-emerged, after an extensive refurbishment, as St. Moritz's first true boutique hotel. Swiss interior designer Carlo Rampazzi has transformed the rooms into 60 suites (all with lake views) in a blaze of red, green, and orange, with giant leather headboards, antiques, and reproductions of the original 1913 carpets. Facilities include a spa with six treatment rooms; as well as two restaurants (the Romanoff and the new Tschine which serves Asian fusion dishes).
Open mid-December through early-April and mid-June through September.
Tel: 41 44 250 2626
If, instead of joining the Zurich design revolution, you hanker after old-Europe romance, this 16th-century patrician merchant's house is more your speed. The 33 rooms have quilted counterpanes on brass bedsteads, floral or striped walls, drapes and chairs, and antique or repro furniture in styles ranging from Georgian to Biedermeyer. Rooms under the eaves on the top floor are further prettified by sloping walls and grand rooftop views. Among them are the two Junior Suitesthe only air-conditioned rooms. Outside it gets even cuter, with a divine leafy, flowery garden with flagstones, wrought-iron chairs and tables, and the Neptune Fountain carved in 1770. Good, fresh Italian-Swiss market-driven food is served out here and in the cozy restaurant. The location, too, is good and central, by the university.
Tel: 41 44 297 99 99
Perched on the banks of the Sihl River in the hip Kreis 4 neighborhood, the 16-room Hotel Helvetia has become a hub for the city's edgy art community, many of whose members have made the cozy street-level café-bar cum lobby their preferred hangout and also pack the hotel's candlelit restaurant, reached via a sturdy oak staircase, for the comfort food of Zurich native chef Françoise Wicki, a rising culinary star. The hotel, which occupies a circa 1900 apartment building, has fun living up to its tongue-in-cheek motto, "Home Sweet Helvetia," with a new take on Swiss cozy that runs to dove-gray wainscoting and gray-, cream-, and olive-striped wallpaper in most rooms, beds made up with plump duvets, and retro architect's lamps. The friendly young staff create a relaxed, homey atmosphere, and there's a great terrace overlooking the river for good-weather idling.
14 Via Veglia
Tel: 41 81 833 31 37
A more relaxed and informal (not to mention less expensive) alternative to St. Moritz's surfeit of grand hotels, the Trivella family's little lake-view inn at the heart of Dorf, St. Moritz's central village, is a family-run joint all the way—from the clan's array of ski trophies in the lobby to the buffet breakfast served atop a 17th-century wedding chest. The hotel occupies a former patrician home (in a tip of the hat to irony, built by the founder of the Kulm Hotel), and its 22 rooms reflect that Swiss minimalist style of knotty pine and oak paneling, clean white duvets, and straight lines.
Open July through mid-October and mid-December through late April.
6 Via Dim Lej
Tel: 41 81 836 60 60
This comfortable three-star hotel lies in an elevated position above the village of Dorf. It has a sauna, steam room, solarium, and great views of Lake St. Moritz from its 53 cheerful bedrooms decorated in modern Swiss minimalist style with white duvets and pine furniture. Its three restaurants have a sound reputation for hearty mountain fare at reasonable prices, including the atmospheric Stübli which specializes in typical Swiss Alp favorites such as raclette (melted cheese, boiled potatoes, and dried meat) and fondue Chinoise.
27 Via Mezdi
Tel: 41 81 838 30 34
Soon after the concept of a Swiss Alp vacation became fashionable in the middle of the 19th century, St. Moritz welcomed this grand hotel—located next to the mineral spring that made it famous—in 1864. Overhauled by Kempinski in 2002, this elegant five-star resort, in Bad village, continues to draw the trendiest of the modern jet set. (Generally, the younger well-heeled clientele stays here, while the old-money old timers opt for Badrutt's, Kulm, and Suvretta House.) Rooms tend to be a bit larger than at some of the town's other luxe properties, and many feature beamed ceilings that contrast with amenities such as in-room Sony PlayStations. If you chafe at the haughty refinements and rules of St. Moritz's other five-stars, this is the place to book.
Open mid-June through mid-October and mid-December through late April.
18 Via Veglia
Tel: 41 81 836 80 00
The 183-room Kulm—opened in 1856 as the first of St. Moritz's five-star grande dames—is ideally located a short walk from the ski train to Corviglia mountain. More sedate than the trendy des Bains and over-hyped Badrutt's, the hotel's rooms and suites are decorated with fine fabrics and have the latest electronic wizardry discreetly hidden away. Some might find its attitude and dress code a bit old-fashioned—eveningwear and dinner jackets are required in public areas after 8 pm—but the level of service is unrivaled. A trio of restaurants and an indoor pool and spa, as well as the curling rink, nine-hole golf course (summer only), and famed Cresta Run, ensure the Kulm's popularity.
Open late June through early September, and mid-December through early April.
Tel: 41 44 380 8010
The peculiar name makes sense when you learn that the Lady is indeed First if she wants a room with a view and a spathe top two floors are for women only, along with steam, sauna, and treatment rooms and a rooftop lake-view terrace. A 19th-century town house near the opera was renovated by architect Pia Schmid in a minimal, if colorful, style. Public rooms have slate-blue floors and brick-red walls; the 28 bedrooms (women's and coed alike) have unadorned herringbone parquet floors, spiky steel furniture, and walls painted plum or eggplant with a big graphic beige rectangle or just left white with the original moldingsand that's about it. There's a TV but no a/c and limited room service. The best rooms have big windows and a few have little balconies too. The net effect is welcoming, especially if you're a Lady.
Tel: 41 27 486 6060
A chalet-like building of wood and stone, with terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows in nearly every room, LeCrans is by far the most exclusive spot from which to appreciate this posh ski resort's dramatic views of the jagged Alps. These vistas are also found at the buzzing restaurant, a dining room with a roaring fireplace and gray cedar walls and beams, and the intimate Cinq Mondes spa, with a lap pool made from Vietnamese green stone and an outdoor Jacuzzi. The 13 guest rooms are richly furnishedit's clear that the designer, Christophe Decarpentrie, didn't cut any cornersand are named after mountains and ranges: The airy, light-filled Everest Junior Suite, for instance, is green and gold with high ceilings, a charming tropical-themed mural on the wall behind the bed, and a fireplace. It's also clear from the eyepopping rates that the hotel expects its guests to appreciate such fine details, despite the fact that the deluxe and superior rooms are on the small side. You pay to be coddled in such a privileged location, just 300 feet from the slopes in a glitzy resort studded with Chanel and Hermès boutiques.
Tel: 41 22 715 7000
It takes a lot to stand out from the crowd of old-world luxury hotels on the shores of Lake Geneva. Following a complete renovation, Le Richemond has got the goods, with its superb location, beautifully decorated rooms, excellent spa, and terrific Italian restaurant. What really makes this handsome 1863 hotel so appealing, however, is that designers Olga Polizzi and John Stefanidis have given the old gal a new visual identity without compromising her inherently genteel nineteenth-century personality, like a Park Avenue granny discovering the fun of a little flash: gold mosaic tiles in the elevators, and in the guest rooms, crystal sconces, chrome floor lamps, and curvy fifties-style chairs mixed with more traditional furnishings. Bathrooms are bliss, with oversized showerheads as well as piles of thick towels. Italian linen sheets and classy mixes of prints and patterns make all 109 rooms here a treat to nest in, too. Though some details rankle—$30 is steep for Internet access, and the service still needs some polishing—Le Richemond not only spins circles around other recent local renovations but gives the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues a run for its money.
Tel: 41 61 260 50 50
This 1844 grande dame on the banks of the Rhine reopened last spring following a 20-month renovation, and once again it's the most prominent address in town—the place to gossip over espressos on the riverfront terrace, to broker business deals in the firelit bar, to throw lavish dinner parties among the silver rose bowls and candelabras in the formal restaurant, Cheval Blanc. The 101-room hotel isn't an exact restoration but rather a tribute to the sumptuousness of Belle Epoque grand hotels, with heavy wooden doors that glide shut, chandeliers bigger than most men, and marble columns crowned with gold. Guest rooms are just as nostalgic—especially those in the 1904 Art Deco wing—but still manage a few discreet modern touches (Wi-Fi, heated bathroom floors). The service is flawless, from the tuxedoed waiters to the housekeeping staff, who at turndown leave behind pitchers of water, chocolates, and—surprise!—kiwis.
1 Quai Turrettini
Tel: 41 22 909 00 01
This "stylish hotel with modern amenities" on the Rhône has Adam Tihanydesigned public spaces that include a "dramatic, sweeping staircase." Modern, Asian-influenced lines and a "boutique feel" pervade rooms in bold colors and earth tones. Rasoi by Vineet uses Indian spices"the tasting dinner was one of our all-time favorites." "The efficiency and friendliness of the staff add to the appeal."
Auf dem Fels
Tel: 41 27 966 71 71
Dramatically perched on a rock shelf over-looking the stylish Alpine village of Zermatt, the 30-room Omnia coins a new idiom for sky-high Swiss lodgings. After ascending 148 feet in an elevator bored into the rock, you're greeted in the light-filled lobby by a staff outfitted in Marc Jacobs–designed uniforms. American modernism, including the works of Raymond Lowey and Mies van der Rohe, inspired the hotel's warm but streamlined look; and New York–based designer Ali Tayar worked with gray granite, white oak, and custom-designed furniture by the Swiss firm USM Modular to give the rooms—all with balconies—a clean-lined serenity. In addition to two sundecks, the striking fitness center includes an indoor-outdoor pool and an outdoor Jacuzzi with a view of the Matterhorn. Set to open this summer, the hotel bar is a glass-and-steel cube submerged in a pool of water.
Tel: 41 416 10 08
Tel: 41 416 16 16
"Central to everything," this century-old neoclassical hotel on Lake Lucerne takes its design cues from the blues, greens, purples, and oranges of the surrounding lake, mountains, and evening sky. Rooms come with sleek headboards and nightstands, bold prints, and Murano glass fixtures. Jasper delivers sophisticated Mediterranean fare and a lake view.
Tel: 41 43 883 1234
Fax: 41 43 883 1235
In the financial district near the main shopping boulevard, Bahnhofstrasse, on the site of a former parking garage, stands this 142-room deluxe number. It opened in 2004 and was the first newly built five-star in Zurich in three decades. The place has all the Park Hyatt signature elements: big rooms with tan-taupe color schemes and lots of timber, walk-in closets, vast floor-to-ceiling windows, flattering lighting on dimmers, and every comfort, from desks with ergonomic chairs, broadband access, and dual voltage points to Bang & Olufsen multichannel satellite TV with DVD and CD. Oversized bathrooms have deep soaking tubs, separate showers, and unusual Blaise Mautin products. There's a fitness center, two restaurantsone fancy, the other fancierand a bar-lounge, all hung with color-rich abstract modern canvases. There's really nothing you can say against itif a modern, ultracomfortable, not awfully personal hotel is your bag, this is going to hit the sweet spot.
1 Via Chasellas
Tel: 41 81 836 36 36
Perched above a little forest in an area of private chalets about a mile west of St. Moritz's main villages (i.e. Bad and Dorf), Suvretta House has excellent views of the Engadine valley. The Belle Epoque castle has 189 rooms and suites, and shares some of the superior service, elegant modern decor, and chilly formality of its rival, the Kulm; including the bit about requiring gentlemen to wear a suit and tie in the evenings in the hotel's public spaces (though the Suvretta does have a lobby bar/restaurant where you can slouch in casual wear). The hotel has its own ski lift tied into the mountain network (it also stores the skis and entire winter wardrobe of regular guests), as well as an indoor pool, spa, and an elaborate children's program.
Open late June through late September and mid-December through early April.
Tel: 41 33 828 2828
Two 19th-century hotels made one, this property looks out on Interlaken's large central green and an "extraordinary Alpine view." "The service is typical Swiss: prompt and efficient." Rooms contrast original Belle Époque details with sleek new finishes. New in 2010, the Sensai Select Spa added a Finnish sauna and an "enormous pool that allows you to swim to the outside from indoors." Jungfrau Brasserie uses ingredients from Swiss suppliers only.
Tel: 41 44 224 2526
One of the earlier examples of Zurich's new design wave just celebrated its tenth birthdayand it's aging beautifully. Architect Tilla Theus constructed the hotel on the bones of a row of eight Augustiner Quarter medieval town houses, all designated historic monuments, and the result is a benign labyrinth of levels and nooks, connected by steel and glass stairs, porticos, and surprising little courtyards. The 49 rooms are very variedone has a checkerboard wall of ancient beams; another a fresco and a Corbusier lounger; yet another has a flagstone floor and a 17th-century four-poster; rooms in the Haus zum Pferch have ornate Baroque wood paneling. All have Bang & Olufsen electronics, cable TV, and a/c and at least some exposed beams or stone walls to remind you where you are. The views from the various roof decks are stunning; service discreet and complete.