Where to Stay in the Swiss Alps

October 13th, 2022

Where to Stay in the Swiss Alps

Switzerland has four distinct seasons, each offering unique charm and outdoor adventures. But in winter, the country’s top mountain resorts are abuzz with travelers who flock from all over the world in search of pristine powder, festive Christmas markets, fresh mountain air, and, of course, belly-warming seasonal cuisine like raclette and mulled wine. Here are the most scenic destinations in the Swiss Alps to put on your radar—plus 6 mountain accommodations for every traveler.

Why Zermatt?

The Matterhorn is one of the world’s most iconic mountains, and in Zermatt, travelers have views of the shark-tooth peak at every turn. But that’s not the only reason to visit. World-class skiing, buzzy dining (including a handful of Michelin-starred spots), and an enchanting car-free old village are among other draws. In winter, outdoor pursuits range from snowshoeing, ice-skating, skiing (you can even ski over the border to Italy), even curling … the options are endless!

Mont Cervin Palace for postcard-perfect mountain views

Located in the center of Zermatt at the foot of the majestic Matterhorn mountain, the Mont Cervin Palace is one of the resort town’s most prestigious addresses. The 170-year-old grand dame exudes Alpine elegance, with chateau-style interiors, three gourmet restaurants, and a fabulous spa with an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, sauna, treatment rooms, and modern fitness center. There’s also an ice grotto ideal for soothing sore legs post-skiing. Biggest perk? Guests of Mont Cervin Palace get exclusive access to ski the Matterhorn before anyone else on Thursday mornings.

Schweizerhof for a high-style ski lodge

Fresh off an extensive renovation, the Schweizerhof is a modern take on a traditional ski lodge, with 95 Alpine-chic rooms and a setting at the foot of the Matterhorn. Interiors are cocoon-like, done up in fleece, leather, and white marble surfaces, and there’s also a decadent spa and an indoor swimming pool. The centerpiece is arguably the show kitchen at the hotel’s main restaurant, where chefs grill exquisite cuts of meat and prepare dishes with Valais origins — one of the hottest tables in town! For families, the Kid’s Club has everything a child could dream of including arcade games, a climbing wall, and movie nights. Sports gear is available to rent and an in-house ski expert can assist first-timers.

Monte Rosa for boutique flair and a deep sense of history

At the Monte Rosa hotel, travelers can stay at the very address where tourism in Zermatt was born. Dating to 1839, the property still channels the glamor of yesteryear, with its beautiful Belle Epoque dining room and just 26 individually styled rooms and 15 suites, which offer views of the Matterhorn and the mountain landscapes of Zermatt. Did you know? The property is famous for being the unofficial headquarters of the Alpine Club, an association of English mountain climbers. In July 1865, a group of seven climbers, including famed mountaineer Edward Whymper made it to the top of the Matterhorn for the first time before a rope broke and four of them fell to their death. The tragedy was front-page news around the world and made Zermatt famous, sparking a tourist boom that has continued ever since.

Why Crans-Montana?

Since it became a tourist resort in 1893, Crans-Montana has drawn visitors near and far, thanks to its picturesque setting overlooking the Rhone Valley, 300 days of sunshine per year, and fresh mountain air, which is said to be the purest in all of the Alps. Its high-altitude slopes attract powder hounds who beeline for the Plaine Morte Glacier (located 3,000 meters above sea level!), while families delight in the child-friendly activities, like the Etoile Bella Lui winter festival (December 2-January 8).

Crans Ambassador for ski-in/ski-out access and a decadent spa

A trio of iconic snow-capped mountains—the Eiger, the Mönch, and the legendary Jungfrau—set the scene for a seriously breathtaking stay at Crans Ambassador, a 150-year-old property that practically offers ski-in/ski-out access in winter and hiking paths just 200 meters from the hotel. For apres-ski, enjoy mountain views, mulled wine, and Swiss specialties like raclette and fondue at the Lounge Bar 180°. Guests can also unwind with pampering massages and body treatments at the spa, which has a large heated indoor pool, a fitness center, and a sauna.

Why Davos?

The largest resort in the Alps, Davos is a paradise for winter sports enthusiasts, with 58 ski lifts, 300 kilometers of slopes, 150 kilometers of cross-country ski tracks, and 150+ kilometers of snowshoe and winter hiking trails. Off the pistes, you can take the Schatz-Funicular up the mountains to explore the Alpine Botanical Gardens (open May through October), located at 1,900 meters and home to 5,000 species of plants. Families will love the town’s themed nature trails, like the Sculpture Path, which features stone installations and tree carvings by local artists.

AlpenGold Hotel for architecture-lovers and families

With an oval shape and an undulating steel facade, the AlpenGold—the largest hotel in Davos—was designed after a pinecone found in a nearby forest. The striking property is located at an altitude of 1,600 meters, where it looks out over Lake Davos and the lush mountain valley. Families will want to check out the nearby Adventure Park Davos Färich, which has a rope park, a skate bowl, and two children’s playgrounds. Back at the property, there’s also a Kids Club offering 2,500 square feet of child-friendly space, including a ‘Mini Club’ where kids can make, paint, club, and place—and make a few friends along the way. The property also offers regular shuttles to the town of Davos, a short ride away.

Why Interlaken?

Interlaken translates to “between the lakes,” so you know the mountain town is spoiled for natural beauty! Visitors can swim, kayak, or take a relaxing cruise along Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Or they can get a jolt of adrenaline by skydiving in front of the Eiger mountain or trekking along the 200-meter glass-bottomed pathway—aptly named the Thrill Walk— suspended high in the sky at the Schilthorn summit. Most visitors choose to punctuate their trip with a scenic train ride to Jungfraujoch, aka the Top of Europe, home to the continent’s longest glacier.

Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa for mountain luxury and hyper-local cuisine

This Belle Époque beauty dates to the mid-1800s and boasts an unbeatable location with commanding views of the snow-capped peak of Jungfrau. It’s even hosted esteemed guests including Goethe and Byron. The Belle Époque property features renovated accommodations, opulent salons, trickling marble fountains, six tennis courts, a 5,500-square-meter spa with a vaulted indoor swimming pool, an outdoor saltwater pool, and a garden terrace. It’s also an ideal jumping-off point for outdoor adventures like hikes, zip-lining, and paragliding. Don’t miss the hyper-local dishes at new restaurant Radius by Stefan Beer, where the Swiss chef and his team create tasting menus with ingredients sourced within a 50-kilometer radius of the hotel—a rigorous sourcing method that has led to partnerships with independent producers and the discovery of unexpected ingredients.  Other restaurants include the Ristorante Pizzeria Sapori for stone-baked pies, hearty pasta dishes, and freshly caught fish, and La Terrasse Brasserie for authentic brasserie cuisine with a Swiss twist.


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