THE FIVE BEST LUXURY HOTELS IN SWITZERLAND

Text by: Amanda Laframboise

Text by: Quartz Co. Editorial Team

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Switzerland, with its many glistening lakes and snowy Alpine peaks, is a paradise for outdoor lovers, as well as those looking to live an unforgettable experience of luxury and refinement. Indeed, many Swiss hotels have won numerous awards and distinctions, making them the perfect place to spend a few indulgent days away from daily life. Here is our selection of the best luxury hotels in Switzerland you can book for a unique and refined stay.

The Kulm Hotel has cultivated the highest standards of luxury since its inception. At the time of its 1864 opening, it was the resort town’s first hotel. Since then, it’s become the scene of great milestones: Switzerland's first light bulb was lit there in 1879, and the Kulm Park hosted ceremonies and events at the 1948 Olympic Games. This spirit of excellence has carried into the 21st century, as evidenced by the Swiss Gault & Millau Hotel of the Year 2018 award it received. Guests of the hotel's 164 rooms and suites can enjoy fine dining at seven restaurants, including the Michelin-starred The K by Tim Raue, as well as a 2,000 square meter spa with heated swimming pool and salt grotto. And since St. Moritz enjoys an exceptional 322 days of sunshine a year, all seasons lend themselves to experiencing luxury at the Kulm.

Nestled on the banks of Lake Geneva, the Hôtel Beau-Rivage has perfected the art of hospitality since it opened its doors in 1865, priding itself on offering a personalized welcome to guests from all around the world. Could this be why many great names have taken up temporary residence here over the years? Eleanor Roosevelt even wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights during one of her stays. Take advantage of its central location in the heart of the Ville-Monde to indulge in a little shopping, stopping at Chaussures Aeschbach to try on a well-cut Quartz Co. winter coat before returning to the hotel to enjoy a meal at Chat-Botté, which boasts a Michelin star and is run by Chef Dominique Gauthier. With less than one hundred keys (72 rooms and 23 suites), you have assured an attentive service that lives up to the hotel's boutique promise.

A true architectural gem, the 7132 Hotel was designated a historic monument just two years after its launch in 1996. The original design by Pritzker laureate Peter Zumthor was revisited by Japanese architects Tadao Ando and Kengo Kuma and, more recently, by American architect Thom Mayne, also a Pritzker laureate. The 7132 Hotel offers an exclusive experience from the very beginning of your trip with a private shuttle service by limousine or helicopter. You can also fly to the slopes by helicopter, before returning to the hotel for a 10-course meal at 7132 Silver, a double Michelin starred restaurant led by Chef Mitja Birlo, capping off the day with a well-deserved moment of relaxation at the 7132 Therme spa, which beautiful setting was featured in the 2015 film Youth by director Paolo Sorrentino. 

The resort of Gstaad has no shortage of luxury hotels, but the Alpina redefines the very meaning of luxury. Embracing both nature and tradition, the hotel is accessible via an underground entrance that runs under the mountain. Opened in 2012, the Alpina is the first luxury hotel built in Gstaad in a century, and the hotel proudly displays its contemporary identity. Its renowned collection of contemporary art is showcased throughout the hotel and houses Megu, Switzerland's best Japanese restaurant. The hotel also features gourmet restaurant Sommet, which under the leadership of Chef Martin Göschel has been awarded a Michelin star; and the 2,000 square metre Six Senses Spa with its outdoor swimming pool and Tibetan relaxation lounge. All this refinement and luxury is to be enjoyed by just 56 rooms for a private luxury experience. Add to all this the fact that its location is just 850 metres from the Gemsstockbahn cable car and you’ll see why the Alpina earned the Swiss Gault & Millau Hotel of the Year 2017 title. 

The Tschuggen Grand Hotel can also lay claim to offering the epitome of a refined stay. The interior design by Carlo Rampazzi sets the tone for an unbridled take on luxury which inhabits all of the hotel’s offerings to guests. A 5,000 square metre spa spanning four floors, designed by architect Mario Botta, is one of the most grandiose wellness areas in Europe, with indoor and outdoor swimming pools as well as twelve treatment rooms and several saunas. Several fine dining options are available at the hotel, including a gourmet restaurant with a Michelin star, La Vetta. But the real highlight is the Tschuggen Express, a private cable car that whisks you away to more than 225 kilometres of ski slopes in a mere four minutes.