Intimate and refined, Switzerland’s boutique and design hotels boast a delightful combination of individuality and style. Whether you prefer a 17th-century building packed with history and minimalist furniture or an alpine-chic mountain lodge with an award-winning spa, travelers with an affinity for architecture and culture will feel at home in these well-designed properties.
Located throughout the country in major cities and small towns alike, it’s possible to find hotels characterized by their refreshing personalities and creative architecture just about anywhere you look in Switzerland. Each property has something distinctive to offer, including award-winning culinary experiences, five-star wellness amenities, and beyond. Here are five handpicked examples to inspire your next stay.
A contemporary classic in Geneva
Set in a charming 17th-century residence, Hôtel Les Armures welcomes its guests with an inventively modern take on traditional Swiss architecture, mixing exposed beams, stone walls, and vaulted cellars with warm colors, of-the-moment furniture, and marble bathrooms. One of Geneva’s most popular and storied properties, the refined hotel has hosted prominent figures such as John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton. Hôtel Les Armures’ restaurant, which serves Swiss specialties like raclette and fondue, has even become a local landmark itself. Plus, with a prime location in the heart of Old Town, many of the city’s top attractions, including Lake Geneva, St. Peter’s Cathedral, and shopping on Place du Bourg-de-Four are mere steps away.
A reborn icon in Zurich
Boasting a reputation for stellar hospitality that stretches back more than 650 years, Storchen Zurich represents the best of Switzerland’s largest city. Now, a recent minimalist redesign has made one of the country’s most legendary hotels that much more spectacular. Rooms and public spaces feature soft pastel hues, large-scale artwork, and marble bathrooms. Sensuous materials and soft shapes like velvet chairs and brass lamps add to the cozy ambiance. The only property in central Zurich that overlooks the Limmat River, the hotel attracts guests for its gorgeous water views, particularly from the stylish rooftop bar. After an aperitif, enjoy dinner at La Rôtisserie, the hotel’s Michelin-star restaurant.
A sky-high haven in Zermatt
A distinctly contemporary take on the classic mountain lodge, The Omnia towers over Zermatt on a cliff in the center of town at more than 5,400 feet above sea level. The hotel, inspired by the surrounding Swiss Alps, deftly combines handcrafted, custom-made furnishings from Valais with the design sensibility of European-born, American modernists such as Mies van der Rohe, Vladimir Kagan, and Eero Saarinen. Guests can pamper themselves at the exclusive spa, dine by the restaurant’s open fireplace, curl up with a book in the library, and relax in the wellness area’s whirlpool while taking in unobstructed views of the Matterhorn.
A waterside retreat in Lugano
Decked out in chrome-steel finishes, teak floors, and floor-to-ceiling windows, The View Lugano evokes the serene atmosphere of a private yacht. And, as with a world-class ship, guests might feel a bit tempted to stay put and enjoy the property’s ample amenities, including a 7,500-square-foot spa, hammam, indoor pool, and Michelin-star restaurant. The views are just as dazzling as the hotel’s interior; all 18 suites feature a private terrace overlooking Lake Lugano and the Ticino Mountains. Should you choose to explore the area, the resort provides complimentary electric bikes and SMART cars.
A cultural hub in Basel
Nomads will feel at home at this distinctly urban and inspiring property in the heart of Basel, which boasts Switzerland’s highest concentrations of museums. The Nomad Design & Lifestyle Hotel, built in a former apartment house from the 1950s, channels the city’s creativity through its exposed concrete walls, warm oak wood, unique furniture, and colorful kilim rugs. In the Eatery, enjoy dishes from around the world, listen to live music on weekends, and linger in the jungle-like courtyard. Free bikes and a city travel pass for public transportation are provided with every stay, making exploring Basel a breeze.