Written by Anna Timbrook for MonaCorona.com.
Switzerland is world-renowned for breathtaking sceneries and efficient transportation, but those in the upper crust know how top-tier experiences can get in this country. Think about glamour, opulence, over-the-top extravagance, and flawless service – all done with the country’s impeccable Alpine backdrop.
There may be no bad place in Switzerland, but here are the most sought-after destinations for travelers craving for a lavish, luxury Switzerland trip:
Luxury Chalets, Switzerland Ski Resort Towns
There’s nothing more iconic in Switzerland than hitting many of its powdery white slopes. Skiing is bar-none the most popular activity in Switzerland, but not all ski experiences are equal.
Often dubbed as the pioneer in winter tourism, St. Moritz is a glitzy town best known for some of the best slopes surrounded by some of the most luxurious hotels, shops, and restaurants. This A-list destination draws A-list personalities all-year-round. St. Moritz also hosted the Winter Olympics twice, so this resort town is not just about the glamour – it has some serious runs for serious athletes, too. However, St. Moritz is ideal for beginners and non-skiers with its profuse collection of international festivals, prestigious events, and outdoor activities.
Connected to St. Moritz by the legendary Glacier Express, Zermatt is another must-visit for everything it has to offer. Sitting at the foot of the famous Matterhorn, Zermatt is an ideal destination at any time of the year. The crowd is more relaxed in Zermatt, but the experiences are no less than 5-star. Dotted with luxury hotels and stylish bars, this mostly car-free town oozes with historic and Swiss charm. There are miles of off the beaten path and beautiful terrain to explore, but its Zermatt’s pistes that draw the most crowds. It has some of the highest slopes in Europe, and some of the pistes connect to Cervinia in Italy. Zermatt also has some of the best mountain restaurants in the Alps, so make sure to complete your trip with many of the town’s fine dining opportunities.
Relatively new to the ski scene, Verbier is the place to be if you’re looking for an after-party. It’s home to the largest ski region, Les Quatres Vallees, boasting 400 kilometers of perfectly groomed downhill runs. With an altitude of 1,500 meters, snow is guaranteed in Verbier, making it a popular luxury ski destination despite only being one in 1970. When the sun sets, the town comes alive with the legendary Verbier apres-ski – the town’s nightlife scene that’s almost as famous as its slopes. If you have the budget for it, you can also book helicopter tours for a picnic up in the snowy peaks.
Luxury Switzerland Spa and Wellness Destinations
Switzerland sets the standard for luxury spa experiences. Known for its highest level of service and hospitality, Switzerland’s best spa destinations aren’t just about massages. They offer state-of-the-art treatments in vast and immersive facilities. If you’re looking for the fountain of youth, you might just find one in Switzerland.
The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is top tier as top tier goes. Its home in the 200-year-old spa town of Ragaz by the ancient Tamina Gorge creates the most peaceful and breathtaking setting for a week of absolute bliss. The retreat is known for its comprehensive medical health center and spa, focusing on holistic healing with science-based treatments and therapies. At 7,500 square meters, it’s the biggest spa and wellness facility in Switzerland. Guests can enjoy thermal spa treatments, thalassotherapy, beauty rituals, and detoxifying therapies with expansive facilities that include natural spring pools, indoor pools, and gym facilities.
The Clinique La Prairie is known as one of the world’s leading medical spas. It opened its doors in 1931 in the Alpine village of Verbier and has since treated the most discerning (and richest) guests to many of its multi-day therapies and rehabilitation programs. It houses 50 doctors to ensure that every guest gets the best care. With its programs starting at USD 30,000, expect only the best service and treatments to boost the immune system and improve both physical and emotional wellbeing. Most treatments also include nutritious meal packages and limousine service.
Zurich‘s regal property is not only its most iconic hotel but also one of the country’s most luxurious spa and wellness centers. The Dolder Grand has a colorful past as the favorite destination of many European royals. Today, it retains its old-world charm while proving to be an innovative and modern spa facility. Its 4,000 square-meter facility is open to both hotel guests and outside patrons, offering unique spa treatments and fitness facilities that aim to put guests in the best state of rest in one of the best cities in Switzerland.
Best Places to Stay in Switzerland: Unique and Iconic Accommodations
It’s difficult to find bad accommodations in Switzerland, but it’s extremely easy to find luxurious ones. Each town has its collection of grand luxury hotels and resorts that you probably will never want to live anywhere else. Aside from opulence, however, some of Switzerland’s accommodations also offer unique experiences and surroundings.
The rustic town of Basel is the perfect destination for those looking to immerse themselves in the country’s history and culture. At the heart of Basel is Hotel Les Trois Rois, one of the oldest hotels in Europe. It sits right by the Rhine River, bearing witness to docking ships that transport produce from the Rhine to all over the world. It was built in 1681 as a private gentleman’s club and was transformed into a hotel in 1844. It houses a Michelin-star restaurant and sees a continuous stream of illustrious guests from around the world.
Hôtel Palafitte, Lake Neuchâtel
Hotel Palafitte is a far cry from Switzerland’s traditional lakeside resorts. The hotel was built in 2002 as part of the Swiss national exhibition Expo 2.0 as a work of art, evident in the hotel’s unique architecture. It’s an homage to the area’s history wherein the oldest houses in Switzerland were built on stilts. Now, Hotel Palafitte is literally built on top of Lake Neuchatel, the largest lake in Switzerland. Its lake pavilions provide guests with intimate access to the lake, both in its vast windows and a ladder on the room’s private terrace that goes into the water.
Whitepod Eco-Luxury Hotel, Valais
Whitepod was built in 2004 with sustainability at its core. Everything at the property is done with the least impact on the environment possible but proves that luxury doesn’t have to be done at the expense of nature. The geodesic pods are unique in design but provide a cozy atmosphere nestled right into the mountains of Valais. The color of the pods also adapts to the season, white in winter and green in summer, creating a truly unique experience where nature provides luxury.
The Swiss, who are known for luxury set a high standard for upscale tourism in Europe. No matter where you stay, or which Switzerland itinerary you choose, you will be surely pampered in the most opulent of ways. The beauty of Switzerland is inescapable, and to fully indulge in its surroundings is the best way it can be enjoyed.
About the author: Anna was born to travel the world having studied languages all her life. Although she has traveled the world, she now calls Switzerland home and spends her time writing about her experiences on Expert World Travel. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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2 thoughts on “Luxury Switzerland – Where to Ski, What to See, Where to Stay”
I usually stay in more budget to mid-range but occasionally stay in luxury but it depends where I am. Next time in Switzerland I think I’d love to stay in the Whitepod Eco-Luxury Hotel in Valais. Thanks for showing me this beautiful place.
Wow. The luxe life in Switzerland looks incredibly amazing and I love all the great options you’re shared. Can’t wait to try some of them out when I finally make it to Switzerland.