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.
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