If you’re exploring the Swiss Alps, you’ll want to do it in style. From the ritzy ski slopes of St Moritz to the chocolate-box village of Zermatt, Switzerland is home to some fantastic boutique hotels – from a 12th-century castle to a mountainside property overlooking Lake Lucerne – all bookable on Culture Trip.
A trip to the Swiss Alps is focused around two things: the mountains and the food. Hike past glacial lakes in the summer or ski through snow-laden trees in winter. To fuel your adventures, you have to try traditional cheese fondue and a rösti (potato fritter), topped with a fried egg, bacon and more cheese. And that’s before you’ve got to the Swiss chocolate.
Located in the centre of Zermatt, where the well-heeled come to ski, the Backstage Boutique Hotel offers a sophisticated stay. Its airy, striking design shows the owner’s architectural background. When it comes to amenities, this hotel goes all out; they include a cinema, an art gallery and a well-appointed spa. It’s perfectly located to explore the town by foot, the hotel is less than a five-minute walk from the Matterhorn Museum.
This one-of-a-kind, castle-like hotel — complete with turrets — stands sentinel over the town of Thun and dates back to 1190. Refined rooms offer city, lake or mountain views; you can even choose to stay in the castle tower or the former prison. A small spa offers a Finnish sauna and steam room. In the winter, enjoy home-made mulled wine while sitting around an outdoor fire in the courtroom.
Set in the ritzy Swiss ski resort town of St Moritz, this polished hotel is ski-in/ski-out, thanks to a private walkway connected to the Corvatsch cable car station. This mountain retreat lets you take in the mountain and lake views from your room. If you’re not into skiing, the friendly staff can suggest picturesque high-altitude hiking and biking trails, plus the spa awaits when you’re in the mood for pampering.
This chic alpine-style hotel is nestled in the charming ski town of Saas-Fee. Cosy up by the roaring fire in the lounge with a hot chocolate or stretch out those ski legs with a yoga lesson in the downstairs studio. The Brasserie serves elevated, seasonal alpine fare in an unpretentious setting. If you’re celebrating something special, try to book a private table in the atmospheric wine cellar, which has an impressive array of Swiss Chasselas wine.
One of Switzerland’s most luxurious and acclaimed hotels, the Chedi Andermatt lies at the epicentre of the Alps in the small town of Andermatt. The design offers a striking blend of alpine style and Asian sensibility. Snowed in? Not to worry, because you won’t ever have to leave the hotel. The property features three fine-dining options (including a Japanese restaurant), a cigar bar, wine library and outdoor courtyard. The expansive spa gets rave reviews for its bespoke Asian and mountain-inspired treatments.
Set on a rocky mountain outcrop above Zermatt, the Omnia offers enviable views of the iconic Matterhorn. Access the hotel via an underground tunnel that leads straight to the lobby. The spa has a large indoor/outdoor pool, Finnish sauna and open-air hot tub. The restaurant offers unfussy, alpine food — think raclette and rösti — and is regularly frequented by locals. You’ll feel like you’ve found your own secluded mountaintop retreat, even though the town is just a 10-minute walk away.
Set in the Bernese Alps, in the hamlet of Gstaad, this plush, chalet-style property is just 1.6km (a mile) from the ski hills. The luxurious mountain retreat has won numerous awards, both for its two Michelin-starred restaurants and its acclaimed Six Senses Spa. Foodies won’t want to miss the gourmand tasting menu at Restaurant Sommet. A complimentary chauffeur is offered in your choice of luxury vehicles. Would you rather a Land Rover or a Tesla?
This family run, three-star boutique hotel is located on a south-facing mountainside in the Samnaun Valley. The refined, alpine-style property prioritizes relaxed, intimate service. The comfy, laid-back restaurant is set in an old farmhouse and features a creative five-course set menu that changes daily. The hotel also offers complimentary bus rides to the nearby ski villages. Outdoor lovers will appreciate the hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking nearby.
It’s not every day that you get to sleep in an igloo, with the Matterhorn only a short distance away. But that’s exactly what you can get at the Iglu-Dorf, or “igloo village”, in Zermatt. While the beds are made of ice, you’ll be cosy warm in a thick sleeping bag on top of a warm sheepskin blanket. All the rooms are connected by a series of tunnels that lead to an indoor bar and restaurant. A cheese fondue dinner, guided night snowshoe trek and time to enjoy the hot tub under the stars come as standard.
Villa Honegg is one of those Swiss hotels you have to see to believe. Built in 1905, it stands proudly on the mountainside, high above Lake Lucerne – best viewed from the astonishing outdoor infinity pool. Inside, there are just 23 rooms, decked out with plush bed linen and homely touches, such as fireplaces and fresh flowers. Art lovers will appreciate the onsite gallery with original works, plus the contemporary sculptures dotted around the garden. Other key highlights include a 20-seat cinema, fine dining restaurant and luxurious spa.
Hotel Firefly looks like a traditional alpine lodge from the outside, but the interior design blends contemporary design with the four elements of earth, fire, air and water. Rooms are chic, decked out with marble bathtubs, floor-to-ceiling windows and crisp white sheets. Large groups should book the Skylight Loft (sleeping 12) with its fireplace, private sauna and Matterhorn views. Downstairs, take advantage of the wine cellar and cigar lounge, primed for a night cap.
Another top boutique hotel in Zermatt, the Coeur des Alpes is owned and run by Leni and her husband, Thomas. You’ll be sure to receive a warm welcome. Choose from a comfortable range of rooms — from snug doubles to spacious self-contained apartments. In the summer, you’ll be drawn to the picturesque terrace, decorated with flowers, sofas and candlelit tables. To top it off, there is a fine dining restaurant and a wellness centre to expunge all those aches from tackling the Zermatt’s slopes.
A night at Whitepod might look like camping, but the geodesic domes at this boutique hotel in Monthey are decked out like a luxury hotel room. Despite their miniature appearance, the Whitepods are actually spacious on the inside. Each one features wooden floors, solid double beds and private bathrooms — the Zen pod even includes a circular Japanese bath. There are 25km (16mi) of hiking trails stretching across the mountains from the hotel, plus the slopes of Les Portes du Soleil are just a 35-minute drive away.
Hotel Chesa Stuvi Colani can be found in the beautiful Engadine valley in the Swiss canton of Graubünden. This carefully preserved historic building dates back to the 17th century, with 13 rooms and suites to choose from. After a day exploring the region, kick back in the spa, complete with a sauna, hammam, salt room and jacuzzi. The glam ski resort of St Moritz is also nearby. Don’t leave without sampling the creative cuisine whipped up by chef Paolo Casanova and his wife Stella Guarneri.
For more inspiration, take a look at our article on the most amazing hotels in Switzerland you have to see to believe, or the best hotels in Verbier for every traveller, bookable on Culture Trip. Heading to Andermatt? Check out these top hotels there. For more options, discover these boutique hotels in Lucerne.
Sean Mowbray contributed additional reporting.
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.