Winter, like its watches, its cheese, and its chocolate, is something that Switzerland does extremely well. Think the world’s best (and prettiest) ski resorts, cozy winter chalets, magical wonderland of snow, some of Europe’s finest Christmas markets, cafés with the “crème de la crème” of hot chocolate, exciting activities for all ages to list a few. The overall experience is very different from that in the spring and summer, which is why many come back for a taste of both seasons. Whether it’s your first time or your 10th time back, here are our favorite places to cozy up in the frostier months of the year.
1. Sleeping Over Water
Neuchatel is not often on the tourist radar, unless you’re a watch amateur. However, this medieval lake-side town has much more to offer than its knowledge of watch-making: cute cafés, an astonishingly well-preserved castle dating back to the 12th century, an untouched countryside, its proximity to the capital city of Bern and a lake-side pavilion hotel, which is pretty much a destination of its own. Each of its “lake rooms” are perched over the lake, giving you the unique feeling of literally, “sleeping over water”. This is one of the only places where you’ll be ordering room service on your private terrace night after night.
2. The Most Typical of Chalets in the Most Typical of Sceneries
Gruyeres, unlike Neuchatel, is very much on the tourist map. And rightly so for its picturesque village, breath-taking views of the nearby alps, and let’s not forget that this is where the oh-so-delicious Gruyeres cheese comes from! But for those who want to enjoy the beauty of the region without the crowds, there is no better place than this luxury chalet, hosted by an unforgettable, welcoming character – just make sure you have your 4×4 to be able to drive up the unbeaten path to get there! There’s nothing else around you except for mother nature. Not in the mood to go out for dinner? We don’t blame you. Luckily, you’ll have a resident chef waiting to welcoming you for fondue or a delicious French menu you won’t forget so soon…
3. For the Experience Seekers
For those looking for the instagramable experience, this place is your heaven. Whether it be the views, the uniqueness of your room, the thrill of the activities, or perhaps the food, you’re in for a treat. But don’t say we didn’t warn you, you won’t ever want to leave…
4. Some R&R, Bitte!
To add to the list of the things Switzerland does extremely well, let’s talk about its spas. We’ve been lucky enough to travel to many places around the world, and never have we found the quality of Swiss spas anywhere. And this place, has our favorite one of all. Nestled in the Bernese Oberland, between two excellent ski resorts, is this wonderful five-star wonderland of pure relaxation, boasting a heated outdoor pool overlooking the alpine panorama, design rooms, nightly Gault-Millau gourmet experience, topped off by live music and cocktails in the evening. What more could one ask for?
5. Ski in, ski out