The stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age loved the Swiss ski hotels – which’ve held onto that fabulous air of old-school glamour, winning all manner of gourmet and wellness awards along the way.
And when even the budget options come with piano lounges and spas (often both), you’ll find that – as with chocolates and watches – the Swiss do ski hotels a cut above the rest.
Chalets may now be the “traditional ski holiday”, but Swiss hotels are where things first kicked off. The Kulm in St Moritz, is where Alpine tourism took root (in 1864), and put up most of the Winter Olympians in the 1928 games. Look for the family crests on the walls of the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof (one for each of the farming families who built it in 1879). Or get really historical in the Monte Rosa, where Edward Whymper pored over maps before his 1865 ascent of the Matterhorn.
Most half-board hotels provide an a la carte menu. Michelin stars and Gault&Millau points are a common feature of the finest Swiss hotels: with the highest density of gourmet eateries in the Alps, Zermatt has its fair share of dining finery – last time we checked, Mont Cervin Palace had a Michelin star and a whopping 34 G&M points between its restaurants.
The Club Med hotels in St Moritz and Villars are all-inclusive, so all the food and drink you’ll need is included in the overall cost of the hotel. This can often be one of the most cost-effective ways to ski Switzerland, where the prices of eating out in resort can be quite high.
If anyone does luxury to the nth degree, it’s the Swiss. Here you’ll find the finest lodgings in the Alps, where gourmet and spa awards are the norm.
For a taste of olde worlde Swiss glamour, Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof is a fabulous old Edwardian hotel looking over the UNESCO-listed Jungfrau peaks from Grindelwald.
For something discreet and understated, Klosters has some fabulous 4* properties like Hotel Piz Buin. Or if you want to rub shoulders with the glitterati in Verbier, Hotel Vanessa is right in the middle of the star-studded action.
Some of the spas you’ll find in Switzerland are out of this world - Arosa’s Waldhotel National has a stonking 1100m² of wellness heaven in its ‘Aqua Silva’ area for a fabulous week of pistes and pampering. See all of our luxury Swiss ski hotels here.
Whether you come here for the chic, cosy atmosphere, the mighty good meals or to test the waters of the shiny new indoor pool, chances are you’ll join the hundreds before you who’d quite happily see out their days here. Mirabeau’s management are diligent about details from the bedroom design to the dinner menu – and it makes for a terrific stay.
A lot keeps guests returning to Hotel Alex: there’s the history (it’s run by the descendants of Peter Taugwalder, who famously first climbed the Matterhorn), the boutique-y feel (from the lounge bar’s carefully chosen armchairs to the ornate woodwork in the bedrooms) and of course the grotto swimming pool surrounded by fabulous spa facilities. And that’s before we mention the food – it’s long been said that you haven’t properly visited Zermatt if you haven’t had a meal here…
Hogging quite possibly the most scenic spot in Wengen, the Beausite’s big floor-to-ceiling windows bring the great Jungfrau peaks indoors to the bedrooms, dining room, spa and lounge. But if you’re morning view was a breeze-block wall you’d likely still come back here – it’s the food and service guests gush about time after time.
This elegant Edwardian hotel’s one of the oldest buildings in the region, sitting bang in the middle of Wengen – face to face with the mighty Jungfrau mountain. Its old-style charm lives on, safe in the hands of a devoted team whose warm smiles and wonderful cuisine get glowing reviews from food critics and guests alike.
When you’re staying in Murren, you don’t want to spend a second away from those sensational views. Which is where Hotel Eiger comes in handy, looking out to the holy trinity of the Monch, Eiger and Jungfrau peaks. Soak up the sights resting in your bedroom, feasting in the restaurant, paddling in the pool or sunning on the terrace.
Take it easy and enjoy – the Eiger is all about having some time to yourself, devouring delicious cuisine, relaxing in the wellness centre and heading out to explore the magnificent Jungfrau area.
1100 square metres of glorious spa is moments from your room in the Waldhotel National, where we could while away hours on the sun deck and eat our weight in food every mealtime in the gourmet restaurants.
You’re staying in a piece of skiing history in the Kulm. Winter tourism began here (with a bet, don’t you know) and the site saw the first electric light in Switzerland, the building of the Cresta run and meeting place of the iconic St Moritz Tobogganing Club. This is easily one of the most luxurious ski hotels on earth, with Gault&Millau endlessly praising the cuisine, a sensational spa and famously fabulous service.
Wake up to wondrous views of sky high peaks, stroll to the ski lifts in seconds and - when you’ve had your fill skiing Saas-Fee’s snow sure slopes - come back to the Bristol for hearty home cooking and service reviewers rave about.
In peak position on the Davos promenade, the Seehof has seen a lot since it opened as a health resort in 1869. Many a high-profile guest has entered its grand foyer over the years, and many come back - drawn perhaps by the BellaVita wellness area, the original artworks or the socking great sun terrace.
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