Lan Eden au Lac Zurich Reserve, Zurich
La Réserve Eden au Lac Zürich is a magnificent Belle Époque mansion that has stood elegantly on the shores of Lake Zurich since 1909 and has recently been given a makeover by the brilliant Philippe Starck. It is filled with wonderful playful design touches, all under the overall concept of a yacht club. We love everything about it, from the blue-and-white stripes on the awnings and lounge chairs on the rooftop to the wood-beam floors and canoes dangling from the vaulted ceiling of the La Muña restaurant. It is designed to look like a harbor master’s office.
We dined in this beautiful space where the talented chef Domenico Zizzi presented us with all sorts of delicious Peruvian-Japanese creations. These included super fresh and tangy ceviches, which were matched by the sommelier with Swiss wines, including a wonderful local rosé, DW Rosé Zürich.
It also has two incredible roof terraces where we saw the surrounding view of the lake and the city.
The waterfront hotel has just 40 rooms and we stayed in a lake view suite with a double balcony that was the perfect perch for our delicious breakfast the next morning. We ate with the doors open and watched the activity on the lake. One of Zurich’s most popular badis (bathing areas), the Utoquai, is located right in front of the hotel, which guests are encouraged to use.
Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, St. Moritz
The historic Badrutt’s Palace Hotel in the Engadin valley is set in an incredible mountain and lake landscape and is intertwined with the birth of winter tourism. We were met by Maximilian Busch, sales coordinator for the prestigious alpine resort, which has hosted endless famous guests, for a tour. He told us that St. Moritz was where alpine winter tourism began after local hotelier Johannes Badrutt made a bet with English guests in 1864 that they would like the mountains as much in winter. If they didn’t, he would reimburse them. They loved it, of course, and the resort’s peaks have been a magnet for wealthy snowbirds ever since. His son Caspar opened Badrutt’s Palace in 1896.
Perched high above the lake, all tall turrets and turrets, the hotel has a traditional, grand hunting lodge feel, with its great hall decked out with antlers, antiques and art. There is a roaring fire, a tinkling pianist and large windows overlooking the lake. The service is exceptional.
The Palace has several restaurants, including three in Chesa Veglia, an old Engadin farmhouse a short walk away. We ate at Patrizier Stuben, which serves traditional food and the wines of the valley. We ate barley wheat soup, capuns (chard-wrapped spätzle dough served in a cheese sauce), locally caught freshwater fish and Zurich Geschnetzeltes, a sliced veal fillet in a mushroom and cream sauce with magnificent rösti. A small glass of the delightfully named pflümli (plum brandy) concluded an enchanting meal.
More local touches followed as we returned to find an Engadin nut tart in our room and locally made chocolate in the shape of the hotel’s tower.
Our large and elegant suite had a balcony with stunning views of the lake and mountains, where I once again had breakfast (brought to my room in a procession of silver domes). While Joe enjoyed a dip in the lake, I headed down to the pool and spa, which you access via a tunnel cut into the rock. With granite cliffs and views of the stunning landscape all around, I felt like I was swimming in a sparkling alpine lake.
Chedi Andermatt, Andermatt
Dark and profoundly modern, the Chedi Andermatt is not your typical mountain hotel. Owned by Egyptian entrepreneur Samih Sawiris, it opened in the Urseren Valley in 2013, where its Alpine chic met an Asian-inspired aesthetic, and has since put the sleepy Swiss village on the luxury tourism map. It’s quite a contrast to the old-fashioned elegance of Badrutt’s Palace, but our entrance was no less memorable. Stepping past a row of supercars into the grand lobby, we were presented with trays of cold towels, small bowls of spiced tea and chocolate before being shown to our rooms, passing through a lounge filled with contemporary glass walls and fur-covered sun loungers. .
Our suites are huge, with terraces overlooking the green slopes where we see a toy-like red train rolling down the mountain. Throw blankets and pillows are close at hand to curl up by the glass-fronted electric fireplace, with a low table set with a complimentary bottle of Swiss wine, chocolates and fruit. iPads control everything, including blinds.
We had dinner in The Restaurant, which serves Asian-inspired dishes seasoned with Swiss ingredients. After taking a look inside the five-meter-high glass-walled cheese tower filled with 43 cheeses from Uri and Switzerland, we made a note to revisit at breakfast.
The hotel also features the Michelin-starred The Japanese Restaurant and its high-altitude mountain outpost, The Japanese by Chedi Andermatt, accessible by the Gütsch Express cable car from July to October.
For us, the hotel’s signature feature is its sumptuous spa – an almost too good to swim in 35m pool that stretches out behind glass beyond the lounge and leads to an outdoor pool and sun terraces around a pond. One level below the large hydrotherapy area has huge saunas, various steam rooms and a series of Balinese-style pools. It’s heavenly.
Omnia Mountain Lodge, Zermatt
Describing itself as a modern interpretation of a traditional mountain lodge, Omnia overlooks beautiful Zermatt from a cliff-top perch. The entrance is through a tunnel carved into the rock: it feels as if we are entering a secret mountain hideaway. It is a unique and special boutique hotel, where the aesthetics of an alpine chalet mixes with a modern American mountain cabin. It only has 30 rooms, including 12 suites, and we felt very lucky to have bagged the last one.
After a welcome glass of Valais sparkling wine on the sun terrace, overlooking the spa with its indoor pool spilling out, we were shown to our room – it was the Omnia Roof Suite and possibly the best hotel room we’ve ever had. There’s a balcony overlooking the Matterhorn with a telescope for stargazing, an in-room sauna and a freestanding wooden bathtub that we soak in and gaze out the window across the valley. The scenery is so perfect that it looks like a framed picture. An egg-shaped wood-burning stove, day beds, Aesop skin care products, a decanter of bourbon and design books are just the kind of lovely touches that really set The Omnia apart.
We ate in the hotel’s acclaimed restaurant, where restaurant manager Timo Muchenberger proved to be a great host – he explained that chef Tony Rudolph’s cooking masters seasonal alpine ingredients with meat and fish treated more like sides. We were keen to try the tasting menu, the Mountain Lodge Experience, with meat and seafood. As a side note, we mentioned that we wanted to try a traditional Valais raclette before we left, and we were delighted to find the most exquisite and delicious part of it among the parade of exquisite dishes that arrived at our table . Swiss wines are flawlessly matched by Timo, including an incredible Fendant reserve and petite heirloom from Valais.
Read more about Jodie’s trip The model-turned-racing driver takes a ride through the stunning Alpine scenery with her fiance in a Porsche 911 and vintage Maserati.
For more ideas on luxury places to stay, check out the Grand Tour Deluxe Itinerary and download the Grand Tour of Switzerland app for itinerary ideas and even a soundtrack to listen to while you drive. When it comes to life’s luxuries, Switzerland has so much to offer, from gourmet restaurants and private clinics to the best luxury hotels, scale the pinnacle of Swiss luxury and find out more at MySwitzerland.