Photo courtesy of Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa
Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa
Situated between two lakes at the bottom of the Jungfrau mountain in the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland, this venerable five-star hotel and spa, which dates back to 1865, offers scenery and comfort in equal measure. Subtly balancing tradition and modernity, the rooms are bright, spacious, and brimming with refined furnishings and fabrics, and all come with picturesque views across the town of Interlaken or the Harder Kulm mountain. There are several higher-end suites to choose from; modernists might like the clean lines of the stylish Bel-Air suite, while hedonists will love the lavish Tower Suite, with its two terraces, kitchenette, bar and dining room.
The hotel’s three restaurants serve everything from modern nouveau cuisine to Swiss classics and Italian food, and there’s a handsome bar and a gloriously expansive spa for further diversion.
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Interlaken is a well-established holiday and conference resort. Countless entertainment opportunities are on offer throughout summer and winter. In addition to skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and hiking, sights include the Cloister Interlaken, the Harder Alpine Wildlife Park, the Town Hall in Unterseen, and Kursaal Gardens. Kids can also go llama trekking or visit the stalactite-studded St. Beatus Caves. For events, try the Snowpenair, Switzerland’s biggest winter music festival, featuring pop artists such as Bryan Adams and Kim Wilde.
Need to Know
Rooms: 224 rooms. From $396. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Restaurant La Terrasse serves international gourmet cuisine as well as lighter, health-conscious dishes in an elegant environment of starched white tablecloths and chandeliers. The traditional Jungfrau Brasserie hosts a Swiss Brunch every Sunday to the accompaniment of live music, while the modern Quaranta Uno serves Italian cuisine. The hotel’s Intermezzo bar stocks fine Swiss whiskeys and holds regular whiskey tastings. There is also a fumoir for cigar fans. Spa and gym details: The luxury ESPA has more than 30 holistic treatments, steam bath, a biosauna for women and men, a women-only area, and a private spa for two with massage area, sauna, steam bath, flower bath, and a relaxation area for undisturbed privacy. The Sensai Select Spa Kanebo offers special treatments using a combination of water from Japanese hot springs and the therapeutic powers of Koishimaru silk. There is also a “heat experience zone” with a candle lounge (complete with fireplace) and an ice fountain hewn from quartzite. A beauty team is also on hand for facials, makeup, and dermatological laser treatments. For sports enthusiasts there’s a gym and five tennis courts.
Who it's for: Refined sophisticates, snow-loving aristocrats, and ski and snowboard fanatics. Our favorite rooms: Bollywood enthusiasts can spring for the Yash Chopra Suite, officially inaugurated by the director himself in 2011 and featuring black leather sofas, superlative views, and posters of the director’s favorite film, Veer-Zaara. Tippler's tip: Buy a bottle of whiskey from the hotel bar and you get a lockable compartment for at least one year, four glasses, and a sign for the bottle. You can even have the glasses and bottle personally engraved.