SWISS HOSPITALITY AT ITS BEST
Start small with a stay at the 40-room Coronado. Housed in a vintage building just a short tram ride from both the city center and the international airport, the hotel has an old-style exterior that gives no hint to the modern, hip design inside (try to book room 504 and enjoy the dual skylights). Expect friendly service from a staff that knows the value of the personal touch. www.welcomegroup.ch/en/coronado
PARK HYATT ZURICH
This contemporary monument to sleek elegance is just steps from Zurich’s financial hub and its main shopping district. But inside the Park Hyatt, all that moneychurning hustle and bustle is reduced to a quiet murmur. Chic and upscale, the Park Hyatt is Zurich at its monied best, stylishly displaying its wealth without flaunting it. Want to feel like a million bucks even if your bank account is a wee bit smaller? Sit near the hotel’s off-lobby fireplace — a piece of art in itself — and enjoy a cocktail. You’ll almost feel your financial portfolio growing. The breakfast buffet is the perfect way to begin your day, while the hotel’s Parkhuus restaurant and the Onyx Bar make for a sublime nightcap. At the Park Hyatt, impeccable meets excellence, with world-class results.
EDEN AU LAC
In a world where electronic key cards are the norm, the Eden au Lac is a charming throwback to the days when real keys opened old-fashioned locks with a satisfying click. This century-old hotel is the grande dame of the city, near the opera house and facing Lake Zurich with a graceful and refined mien. Walk to your room (superb and inviting accommodations) with the comfortable heft of a golden key fob in your hand. The hotel’s Restaurant Eden will satisfy your more practical needs (don’t miss out on the black-and-white ravioli with king prawns), while the Eden Bar will give you the chance to display your Continental savoir faire. www.edenaulac.ch/en
VICTORIA-JUNGFRAU GRAND HOTEL & SPA There’s an excellent reason why Grand is this hotel’s middle name — it’s quite likely the first word that will pop into your head when you glimpse its impressive and stately edifice. It is the only thing in the Interlaken valley that can compete with the majesty and magnificence of nearby mount Jungfrau, the 13,642-foot-tall peak that draws visitors from around the globe. With a history that stretches back nearly 150 years, the Victoria-Jungfrau has had plenty of time to perfect a sense of timeless grandeur that peacefully coexists with an air of relaxed athleticism. Interlaken is where Europe comes to play, and the resort is an unbeatable place to begin a postcard-perfect day on the slopes. Don’t skip breakfast at the hotel’s La Terrasse restaurant, where you can enjoy a stunning mountainscape along with your juice and eggs. For those seeking a little more pampering, the V-J’s award-winning spa is a tonic for both body and soul. www.victoriajungfrau.ch/en
PALACE LUZERN The Palace likes to describe itself as “the pearl of the hotels in Lucerne.” It’s hard to find fault with a description like that when you’re standing on the shore of Lake Lucerne, wondering whether there is a more beautiful backdrop of water and mountains in all of Europe. Regal in its bearing, the Palace lives up to its name by offering outstanding service, sumptuous accommodations and a location that’s just a few minutes from both the train station and the Old City. Dinner at the hotel’s Jasper restaurant is a phenomenal treat that goes down as smooth as fine Swiss chocolate. At the Palace, you have a rendezvous with luxury. www.palace-luzern.ch/en
RAIL EUROPE There are other ways to get around Switzerland, but why bother? Rail Europe will speedily get you to and from all the cities mentioned in this article (and plenty more) with minimal fuss and maximal efficiency and cleanliness. English is spoken with great fluency, and directions and timetables are easy to decipher. A variety of pass options and deals are available at www.raileurope.com.