If you follow me on the ‘gram you may have noticed my feed being populated by all things Swiss a few weeks alongside the lovely Andy, Camille and Lucy. In just under a week I managed to train across Switzerland, hike in the Swiss Alps (granted it was more of a hill), devour the most luxurious BBQ known to mankind, sail across Lake Lucerne, stay in a hotel room twice the size of my Parisian apartment and dine at not one, but two Michelin-starred restaurants – all with The Leading Hotels of the World. It was pretty mind-blowing to say the least.
The aim of the game was to skip the obvious summer plans (such as a coastal holiday along the Mediterranean) and take the road less travelled, seeking out the most uncommon experiences along the way. It was my first time in Switzerland and I was completely blown away by it’s natural beauty. To be honest it reminded me a lot of home (New Zealand) – just with European architecture. The entire country just felt so lush and spacious; for anyone craving fresh air and spectacular scenery, this is the place to go.
As you can probably tell by the name, The Leading Hotels of the World don’t exactly cater to those back-packing through Europe. The hotels we stayed at were beautiful, however it’s just as much about exploring a city, town or village with a fresh perspective and seeking out the remarkably uncommon as it is about luxury. Plus with over 400 independent hotels on their books, the odds are there will be more than a few locations that tickles ones fancy.
As one would predict, Swiss trains are punctual, reliable and clean as a whistle. Hands down the quickest (and easiest) way to get around the country. The views from the train window make it a trip in itself. The Leading Hotels of the World actually bought champagne on board for our first leg of the trip and let’s just say I’d highly recommend others doing the same.
Lakes, mountains, villages, it’s fair to say Switzerland is pretty diverse. So bring a jacket, sunscreen and everything in-between.
When to go
Switzerland in the summer is pretty different to it’s snow-covered-self come winter. Summer hits late so go no earlier than June and be prepared for serious snow in the height of winter. As a rough guide, one of the villages we visited, Andermatt, closes most of it’s roads in winter so it pays to do a bit of research and be prepared – there’s nothing worse than being snowed in when you have a big trip planned.
Stay The Chedi Andermatt, booked via The Leading Hotels of The World
Nestled amongst the Swiss Alps The Chedi is the epitome of Alpine chic, as you can see in the first six images. With its luxurious chalet vibes the spacious hotel is packed with beautiful details, fireplaces and cosy corners to relax in. All with views of the snowy-peaked mountains from pretty much every room.
Do Hike through the Swiss Alps
As part of The Chedi’s incredible service, they organised a guided tour with a local Alpine expert who took us amongst the mountains and cows (cows featured heavily on this trip) to explore some of the edible foliage in the Alps. It was local, organic eating at it’s most literal.
Eat Dine alfresco with a BBQ cooked right in the Swiss Alps
Hands down one the of highlights of this trip was our post-hike barbecue in the mountains. Growing up in New Zealand I’ve had more than my far share of BBQ’s, but with the local produce, breath-taking views and beautiful table-setting this one takes the cake.
Stay Park Hotel Vitznau, booked via The Leading Hotels of The World
It’s safe to say that Park Hotel Vitznau knows a thing or two about unadulterated Swiss luxury. A huge, castle-like establishment with incredible views over Lake Lucerne, it was pretty much Instagram-worthy moments at every turn. Each room is completely unique – mine featured beautiful rooms totalling 90 square meters – that’s almost twice the size of our place here in Paris. Basically, it was deliciously spacious.
Do Sail on Lake Lucerne
Rather impressively, Park Hotel Vitznau has three yachts ready and waiting to be booked by guests. We took to the lake with a little picnic, champagne and of course plenty of excitement. Sadly no-one jumped in (it’s a little brisk to say the least) but we did all climb up the front for maximum hair-whipping and interrupted views of the area.
Eat PRISMA, Park Hotel Vitznau
Park Hotel Vitznau has not one but two Michelin-starred restaurants which is no mean feat. With views over the lake we made our may through twelve carefully considered and delicious courses. The food was fresh and the mood was light which made for a fun night, which is the whole point of dining out, right?
Eat Focus, Park Hotel Vitznau
Dining at this two-Michelin starred restaurant was an event in itself. We were lucky enough to dine at the Chefs table (aka down in the kitchen where the magic happens) and enjoy a 9-dish culinary experience. The food was unparalleled – easily one of the best meals I’ve ever had – let’s just say Head Chef Nenad Mlinarevic knows his way around the kitchen.
Created in collaboration with The Leading Hotels of The World