Home to luxury brands such as Rolex, Swatch and Victorinox, Switzerland has long been associated with high quality and attention to detail. Its most luxurious hotels maintain the country’s high-class reputation, too, offering guests everything from Michelin-starred restaurants to helicopter rides. Whether you’re heading to the mountains of Gstaad or fashionable St Moritz, here’s our pick of the most luxurious hotels – bookable with Culture Trip.
Even by the standards of a five-star hotel, the activities offered at the Gstaad Palace are exceptional. Enjoy a helicopter ride over the Matterhorn, including champagne and lunch served at 3,000m (9,842ft) and tennis lessons with Australian tennis legend Roy Emerson. Equally memorable, have lunch or dinner accompanied by fine Swiss wines at the Walig Hut, an 18th-century Alpine lodge situated 1,700m (5,577ft) above the village of Gsteig.
Set in landscaped gardens halfway between the lake and the pedestrianised Schanzengraben, the palatial Baur au Lac has been owned and run by the same family for six generations. Attention to detail is evident in its rooms and suites, which range in style from Louis XIV to English Regency, and showcase fabrics and furniture custom made in France, Belgium, Germany and England. All rooms have huge marble bathrooms and most have lake, city or canal views.
Guests at the waterfront Fairmont Grand have access to Geneva’s largest indoor swimming pool and the cool nightclub, Java, where the beats don’t stop until 5am. The rooms have a modern and elegant feel, the gold and red hues providing a regal tone. The signature Lake View doubles look over the Old Town and Mont Blanc, with floor-to-ceiling windows making the most of the views. On the dining front, choose from Italian dishes at Il Vero, some of Geneva’s best Chinese food at Lou One and traditional Swiss cuisine at Le Grill.
The Aplina Gstaad’s Megu is Switzerland’s best Japanese restaurant, according to the Gault & Millau gourmet guide. The interior is inspired by the temples of Kyoto and dishes include lamb marinated in whisky soy sauce and crispy green asparagus with chilli and lemon. It also has one of the country’s largest sake cellars. The hotel’s other restaurants don’t let the side down either. The Sommet, which has a Michelin star, offers a globally-inspired menu from executive chef Martin Goschel, and Swiss classics such as fondue come with a twist at the Stubli restaurant.
Frequented by the high-flying and political elite who regularly visit Geneva, La Réserve aims to redefine luxury. Rooms are tastefully decorated and there’s health spa and fitness centre which promises to strip away stress and leave you feeling fresh and reinvigorated. The hotel complex also has three restaurants including the Michelin-starred Le Tsé Fung.
Basel’s most luxurious hotel has sat on the Rhine river bank for over 300 years. Don’t let its age deter you, as Les Trois Rois has kept up with the times. The culinary experience is exquisite especially the Cheval Blanc, a three-starred Michelin restaurant run by culinary genius Peter Knogl. If you are visiting the historic city of Basel and want to treat yourself, this is the hotel for you.
The Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains offers all the glitz and glamour of the St. Moritz ski resort and easy access to ski slopes close by. Each of the 184 rooms or suites (and chalet suite) come with vintage antiques and wooden interiors which provide a cosy, rustic feel. The hotel is only open at certain times during the season so check the website for opening and closing dates.
Located in the swanky ski resort of Gstaad, frequented by A-list celebrities, this five-star resort hotel offers comfortable suites from junior through deluxe, signature and presidential. Each of them, and the upscale residences, are kitted out with all the amenities you will need for a relaxing stay. Enjoy a romantic gourmet dinner at the Duchessa restaurant or relax after a day on the slopes at the wellness centre.
Perched on the edge of Lake Geneva. the elegant Beau-Rivage has hosted famous figures such as Victor Hugo, Charlie Chaplin and Nelson Mandela, to name a few. Each of its rooms is individually styled, ensuring a highly personalised experience. The outstanding culinary offering includes Le Mayako, a sushi bar, and the two Michelin starred Anne-Sophie Pic restaurant.
Steeped in history, and a stone’s throw from Lake Geneva, the 12th-century Château d’Ouchy is a great hotel to experience the beautiful city of Lausanne. All of the hotel’s 50 rooms are artfully decorated, in tune with the Château’s prestigious heritage. The restaurant and bar offers exquisite dishes including the speciality perch meunière which comes from the lake.
The Chateau Gütsch is an icon of Lucerne. The building which was constructed in 1888 doubled as a home and hotel. Today, it is one of Switzerland’s most charming boutique hotels. The stylish interior effortlessly matches the Chateau’s Belle-Époque exterior, where luxury intertwines with pomp and elegance. Wonderful views of the city, lake and mountains from the terrace are worth a visit alone.
The views from Villa Honegg’s outdoor heated pool are magnificent. A short distance from Lucerne, the Honegg is perched on a hilltop overlooking Lake Lucerne and surrounded by nature. The hotel has been called a hideaway hotel for the blend of comfort and nature experiences it offers.
This sprawling hotel, perched above Zurich, with views spanning the city and the distant mountains, is a top pick. Prices may be steep but what’s on offer here is everything you could hope for from a luxury hotel. There’s a choice of suites and rooms, an on-call butler service and two restaurants, including a two Michelin starred restaurant overseen by chef Heiko Neider.
Mark Nayler contributed additional reporting to this article.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.