The Most Epic Hotels in Switzerland You Have to See to Believe

Star gazers should book a night at the highest hotel in the Swiss Alps
Star gazers should book a night at the highest hotel in the Swiss Alps | Courtesy of 3100 Kulmhotel / Expedia
Photo of Sean Mowbray
30 March 2021

Stay in an igloo in Zermatt, a lake cabin in Neuchâtel or a circular tube near Bern. With the impressive Swiss Alps, glittering lakes and cosmopolitan cities including Zurich and Geneva, it’s no surprise that Switzerland is home to some truly jaw-dropping hotels. Book one of these unforgettable experiences with Culture Trip.

Riffelhaus 1853

Hotel
Map View
Riffelhaus 1853 ed62e5c8
Courtesy of Riffelhaus 1853 / Expedia

Riffelhaus 1853, one of the oldest hotels in Zermatt, offers spectacular views of the Matterhorn — should you choose the right room. This ski-in, ski-out hotel, situated at 2,500m (8,202ft), specialises in quality Swiss fare. Restaurant Riffelhaus prepares cheese fondue, naturally, plus heaps of rösti (a hearty fritter-style dish). Fill your belly after a day on the slopes, then hit the spa, where you can soak in the open-air heated whirlpool with the Matterhorn in the near distance.

Badrutt's Palace Hotel

Hotel
Map View
Badrutt's Palace Hotel 8c848d2d
Courtesy of Badrutt's Palace Hotel / Expedia
In St Moritz, winter sports come with the freeze. When warmer weather melts the ice away, you can sail on the lake. Badrutt’s Palace, a ritzy 157-room hotel, is fairly gothic in character, with green-tiled rooftops and pointy towers. This castle-like landmark is an exceedingly classy place to stay; choose a room with a lake view. Make sure you bring formalwear, which is required for dinner (but not breakfast) at the property’s restaurants. The spa, carved out of solid rock in the basement, features a stunning indoor pool (plus a heated outdoor pool) with floor-to-ceiling windows, overlooking the natural backdrop outside.
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Kameha Grand Zurich, Autograph Collection

Luxury, Chain Hotel
Map View
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Courtesy of Kameha Grand Zurich / Expedia

If staying in Zürich and you’re after a unique hotel experience, look no further than the Kameha Grand Zurich, Autograph Collection (named after a Hawaiian king). The flashy interiors come from the creative mind of Dutch designer Marcel Wanders. The ridiculously oversized golden cowbells in the main lobby are of particular note. Door handles look like security vault handles, while doors resemble giant chocolate bars. The 245 rooms all strive to create a unique theme as far as decor goes, as do the artfully themed suites (Diva, Burlesque, Poker Face and more). Swing by the smoking lounge with fine cigars and whisky on hand, if that’s your scene.

7132 Hotel

Luxury
Map View
7132 Hote 79756034
Courtesy of 7132 Hotel / Expedia

Vals, an Alps-surrounded valley and a haven for hot spring enthusiasts, is home to 7132 Hotel (named for the area’s postal code). The surrounding oak trees give this hotel a contemporary, homely feel. The sleek, mineral-dense thermal baths, featuring local quartzite rock, are a big attraction here. If you number among the jet set, this design hotel has its very own helicopter landing point. Why drive when you can fly?

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The Cambrian, Adelboden

Spa Hotel, Hotel
Map View
The Cambrian 7bd6bc41
Courtesy of The Cambrian / Expedia

Nestled in the ski resort of Adelboden, The Cambrian Hotel is famous for its spectacular views of the Swiss Alps that surround it on every side. It’s one of the few places that can compete with the Villa Honegg for the best-placed pool in Switzerland. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the downstairs lounge offer unparalleled views of the Bernese Oberland. Book the Snowdon Suite for its sun terrace and spacious living area.

morosani fiftyone, Davos

Hotel
Map View
Morosani fiftyone 8b28e435
Courtesy of Morosani fiftyone / Expedia

Imagine a hotel with no concierge or no reception desk whatsoever and that’s what you’ll find at the morosani fiftyone, a completely autonomous hotel experience. Bookings are made online and when you arrive, you check-in to your room at a computer, which promptly dispenses your electronic key card. If you’ve watched one too many sci-fi movies and fear the rise of the machines, don’t fret – the hotel owner is nearby in case of any “I-can’t-let-you-do-that-Dave” incidents.

Iglu-Dorf Zermatt, Valais

Ice Hotel
Map View
KU Iglu 2019
Courtesy of Iglu-Dorf Zermatt

What better way to enjoy the world-renowned Matterhorn than from an igloo? At the Iglu Dorf, all the accommodation is made of ice and snow. You’ll even sleep on a snow bed (with a sleeping bag, of course). A system of tunnels connects all the rooms in the snow hotel. There are a whole range of rooms, ranging dramatically from standard to the luxurious hot-igloo. Packages include a cheese fondue dinner, guided night-time snowshoe trek and time to relax in the hot tub.

Swiss Tubes, Gwatt

Hotel
Map View
Swiss tubes TCS Camping Gwatt
Courtesy of TCS Camping Gwatt

Above Lake Thun, you can sleep in a Swiss Tube, made out of concrete and lined with wood. It’s not as uncomfortable as it sounds – each one is equipped with comfortable bunk beds, large windows and an ensuite bathroom. They rest atop one another but are securely fastened down, so there is no chance of you rolling off down a slope during the night. Onsite, there’s the Seebistro Thunersee with a great sun terrace, serving wood-fired pizzas.

Hotel Palafitte, Neuchâtel

Hotel
Map View
Hotel Palafitte, Neuchâtel 47d22be8
Courtesy of Hotel Palafitte / Expedia

It’s guaranteed that you won’t come across many hotels like Hotel Palafitte in the whole of Europe, as it’s built on stilts. The hotel rooms sit on top of Lake Neuchâtel, just outside of Bern. Each one has its own balcony and step-ladder, so you can clamber down at sunrise for an early morning dip during the summer. Inside, interiors are luxurious Scandinavian-style design with plenty of wood and glass.

Hotel Whitepod, Monthey

Eco Hotel, Hotel
Map View
Hotel Whitepod, Monthey f46635f3
Courtesy of Hotel Whitepod / Expedia

The Whitepods may look tiny from the outside, but stepping inside is entering into a little eco-friendly world of luxury. All of the pods are built on stilts with a geodesic tent dome structure. This is glamping at its finest, as each suite includes wooden floors and ensuite bathrooms. Choose the Zen suite with its Japanese-style circular bathtub, or the James Bond-themed 007 suite. Open year-round, it’s recommended that you visit in winter for incredible snowy views across Valais.

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  • Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli, Weissbad

    Cabin
    Map View
    Berggasthaus Aescher
    Courtesy of Berggasthaus Aescher

    Over 170 years old, the Berggasthaus Aescher sits in a rather precarious place on its mountain ledge. It was originally built as a resting place for farmers looking for new pasture for their livestock. Now, it’s far more easy to get there by cable car, followed by a short hike. Just be aware, it only sleeps two. If you can’t book a room, the restaurant is worth a visit on its own, serving Aescher sausage with potato salad and beef ragout.

    3100 Kulmhotel, Zermatt

    Hotel
    Map View
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    Courtesy of 3100 Kulmhotel / Expedia

    Star gazers should book a night at the Kulmhotel Gornergrat, the highest hotel in the Swiss Alps at 3,120m (10,236ft) above sea level. As you may expect, every one of the 22 rooms comes with spectacular mountain views. Almost perpendicular to your window, you’ll see the glacier hugging the mountain side. There are two observatories nearby as well, where astronomers regularly visit to take advantage of the starry skies.

    Hotel Villa Honegg, Ennetbürgen

    Hotel
    Map View
    Hotel Villa Honegg, Ennetbürgen
    © Hotel Villa Honegg/ Timo Schwac

    Few views rival that of the Villa Honegg, particularly from the comfort of its outdoor heated pool that overlooks Lake Lucerne and the surrounding mountains. The hotel itself has been open since 1905 and has since been given a modern makeover to bring into the 21st century. Book a table at the highly regarded fine-dining restaurant; alongside the gourmet menu, there is also a cocktail and cigar list.

    Felsenhotel La Claustra, Airolo

    Hotel
    Map View
    Screenshot 2021-03-11 at 14.29.16 copy
    Courtesy of Felsenhotel La Claustra

    Ever wanted to stay in an abandoned army bunker? Well, in the Swiss Alps, you can do just that. La Claustra is a fortress hotel that is buried inside the Gotthard Massif near Andermatt ski resort. Despite its rather sombre look, the hotel has a welcoming ambiance, especially within its illuminated restaurant. Take a dip in the cave sauna after a day hiking or skiing down the surrounding mountain.

    Bertol Hut, Evolène

    Hotel
    Map View
    01-bertol
    Courtesy of Bertol Hut

    The Bertol Hut is more of a mountaineers’ hut than a hotel, that just happens to be 3,311m (10,863ft) above sea level. It was built in Geneva in 1898 and now sits precariously on a rocky peak, offering phenomenal views of the Dent Blanche, the Matterhorn and beyond. Alongside runs the 201km (125mi) Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt, so this is a common pit stop for ski tourers and climbers. Inside, you’ll find a family atmosphere in the rustic cafe-restaurant and simple dorm rooms. Make sure you bring your own sleeping bag.

    Carl Pettit contributed additional reporting to this article.

    These recommendations were updated on March 30, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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