The Best Hotels in the Alps

Whether you’re basing your stay in Switzerland, Austria, or Germany, the Alps offer a range of accommodations. Spend the night at a trendy hotel in the city, relax in style at a lake resort, or sleep slope-side in a mountain chalet.

Talstrasse 1, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
This esteemed, five-star hotel, set in its own park overlooking Lake Zurich and the Alps, has a remarkable history. Opened in 1844 by Johannes Baur, the property hosted the world premiere of Wagner’s Die Walküre (Wagner himself performed), and Alfred Nobel’s former secretary, Bertha von Suttner, came up with the idea for the Nobel Peace Prize in one of the hotel’s salons.

The 119 rooms are individually decorated with styles ranging from Art Deco to French Louis XVI and English regency, but all feature exclusive fabrics and furnishings from Europe, plus marble bathrooms with heated floors. The amenities are many, from valet parking and on-demand, chauffeured limousines to a round-the-clock concierge and even car-repair and flower-purchasing services.

There are two renowned restaurants on-site, along with an inviting bar and an idyllic garden.
Kurhausstrasse 65, 8032 Zürich, Switzerland
This landmark hotel, built in the Swiss rustic style popular at the turn of the 19th century, has hosted Winston Churchill, Arturo Toscanini, Albert Einstein, the Shah of Iran, Henry Kissinger, and the Rolling Stones, among others. Situated high above Zurich, with a sweeping forest and a golf course for company, it offers breathtaking views of the city, the lake, and even—on clear days—the Alps.

Renovated in 2008 by Lord Foster for a cool 385 million Swiss francs, it now features a bold, contemporary edifice that wraps around the turreted original, two entirely new wings (the Spa Wing and the Golf Wing), and a completely revamped interior. While the rooms in the Main Building (the historic structure) are appointed with traditional furniture and hand-painted wallpaper to give a regal, turn-of-the-century feel, the newer rooms are equipped with balconies and bathrooms of white marble or sand-colored Jura limestone. Imagined by London-based United Designers, they also come with flat-screen televisions with integrated Bang & Olufsen CD and DVD players.

The four signature suites sprawl over hundreds of square meters and feature steam showers, whirlpool baths, and even (in one case) a grand piano. The hotel also offers an expansive spa and wellness center.
Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort, 6363 Obbürgen, Switzerland
After nine years and nearly $600 million, it’s not an exaggeration to suggest that the re-opening of the iconic Bürgenstock resort—set on 148 acres of ridgeline above Lake Lucerne—was one of the most widely anticipated of the decade. Originally opened in 1873, the family-owned resort grew into a moneyed playground, where Hollywood royalty romped (Sophia Loren lived here for many years) and wed (Audrey Hepburn married Mel Ferrer in a chapel on the property). It then endured several years of decline, after which Qatar state fund bought the property, closed it, and began planning a stunning transformation. Bürgenstock now includes four hotels, 12 restaurants and bars, 67 residences, and a 107,000-square-foot spa featuring three pools (including a heated outdoor infinity pool overlooking the lake), hammans, saunas, and private treatment rooms. Both the 102-room Bürgenstock Hotel and the 160-room Waldhotel—the latter a state-of-the-art medical spa and hotel—are brand-new, five-star additions. The historic Taverne 1879 and Palace Hotel, built in 1904, have also undergone considerable refurbishment. The real star, however, is the dramatic view, optimized from every angle—including at the Spices Kitchen and Terrace, which cantilevers out from the Palace Hotel as if it’s floating above the lake. Speaking of the lake, even getting to Bürgenstock is like something out of a James Bond film, quite fitting since the crew of Goldfinger spent a month here during filming. After crossing the lake by boat, you take a funicular up the face of the mountain and into the Bürgenstock Hotel, landing on the terrace with its arresting views.
Alpinastrasse 23, 3780 Gstaad, Switzerland
Opened in 2012, the Alpina is one of only two newly built, five-star hotels in Gstaaad in more than a century. Situated in a wealthy hilltop area in Oberbort, the hotel offers stellar views of the Bernese Alps (including the Spitzhorn and Oldenhorn) and the valley scenery of the Saanenland—as well as an impressive amount of discreet luxury. Built in traditional Swiss chalet style, the limestone-and wood-structure contains 56 rooms and suites that pair antique and artisan furnishings (wardrobes, tables, carved ceilings) with contemporary design pieces. All rooms have great views, though the higher the better; on the 5th and 6th floors, you’ll find the jaw-dropping, duplex Panorama Suite, with separate dining and working areas, and a fireplace. Furthermore, throughout the hotel’s public spaces, guests can see art by famous artists like Barbara Kruger, Tracey Emin, and Bosco Sodi.

The hotel facilities are some of the best in Switzerland, ranging from an authentically Cuban-style cigar lounge to multiple Michelin-starred restaurants. The hotel’s Six Senses spa spans a whopping 21,500 square feet and includes an 80-foot-long lap pool, while an immaculately landscaped garden, designed by French garden designer Jean Mus, brims with Alpine plants and corresponding fragrances in the summer.
41 Höheweg
Situated between two lakes at the bottom of the Jungfrau mountain in the Bernese Highlands 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. Plus, 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 two restaurants serve Mediterranean-inspired dishes from the south of France and Italy, and there are two handsome bars and a gloriously expansive spa for further diversion.
Chemin de Beau-Rivage 21, 1006 Lausanne, Switzerland
In operation for almost 160 years, this renowned Belle Époque resort on the shores of Lake Geneva in Lausanne is steeped in important history and culture. The treaty that broke up the Ottoman Empire was signed here in 1923, and guests have included everyone from Charlie Chaplin and Gary Cooper to Rod Stewart and Nelson Mandela. From 2012 to 2014, the hotel received a nearly $30 million makeover, helmed by famed interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, which complemented the timeless elegance of all 168 rooms and suites with such luxuries as Murano glass chandeliers, expansive mirrors to bring the views indoors, and entertainment screens discreetly embedded in bathroom mirrors. There are four restaurants on the property, most notably the exquisite Anne-Sophie Pic, which has two Michelin stars. In the summer months, the hotel also serves dinner on its own turn-of-the-century, steam-powered paddleboat as it plies the waters of the lake. The state-of-the-art spa, offering a wide selection of restorative treatments, opens up onto the resort’s 10-acre park and includes separate saunas and hammans for men and women, a Jacuzzi, two heated pools (one indoor, one out), and two tennis courts.
Auf dem Fels, 3920 Zermatt, Switzerland
Built into a mountainside with uninterrupted views of Zermatt and the Matterhorn, The Omnia is a contemporary take on a mountain lodge, envisioned by the late modernist architect Ali Tayar. From below, the glass, metal, and larchwood exterior—and, most strikingly, the slanted roofline—seem to echo the great mountain itself. Entering the hotel is similarly dramatic; from the street, guests walk through a softly lit tunnel to glass elevators, which lift them out of the rock toward the hotel lobby, with dizzying views of the village below. Inside the 30-room property (12 of which are suites), Tayar employed soft, neutral colors to harmonize with the surroundings and create a sense of understated luxury. No two rooms have the same layout, yet all but one have balconies with views. A freestanding fireplace separates the granite-and-leather-accented lobby from a small library stacked with oversize art and design books, while two outdoor terraces are perfect for sipping coffee with views of the Matterhorn. The spa features an outdoor whirlpool, Turkish bath, and steam room as well as an enclosed heated pool that opens to the outdoors through a glass wall on one end.
Gotthardstrasse 4, 6490 Andermatt, Switzerland
Opened in 2013, The Chedi Andermatt enjoys a unique location in the charming village of Andermatt in the Ursern Valley. Designed by architect Jean-Michel Gathy, the luxurious hotel draws on both Alpine and Asian influences, spanning traditional styles and materials (oakwood paneling, local stone, murals inspired by 17th-century European artist Rubens) as well as contemporary elements like soft leather chairs. Rooms are full of light thanks to panoramic windows (which also afford views of the Swiss Alps, Andermatt Village, and Furkapass, where the James Bond film Goldfinger was set), but also cozy at night with fireplaces. In the plush bathrooms, guests will also find large tubs, heated stone floors, and rain showers. The hotel has all the perks you could dream of, from an indoor lap pool and relaxation lounge with several fireplaces to four dining outlets, The Wine and Cheese Cellar, and a walk-in cigar humidor. This is one of those places that’s almost impossible to leave.
Via del Segnale 10, 6612 Ascona, Switzerland
Nestled in scenic parkland near the northern section of Lago Maggiore, Giardino Ascona is an intimate retreat. The hotel’s 72 rooms and suites are spacious and decorated with chic, modern furnishings set against bright, breezy color schemes. Balconies or terraces offer great views of a water-lily-filled pond and the nearby Ticino Mountains., and all rooms include conveniences such as minibars, flat-screen TVs, and DVD players. Bathrooms come with Dipiù cosmetics as well as bathrobes and slippers. As gorgeous as the rooms are, you may find yourself outside most of the time, sunning by the pool, getting pampered in the spa, or exploring the olive and lemon trees of the Mediterranean-style garden. There are also two excellent restaurants, one with two Michelin stars, and frequent wine degustations in the wine cellar.
Via Serlas 27, 7500 St. Moritz, Switzerland
Since opening in 1896, this Gothic Revival ode to Continental elegance has remained the place to see and be seen in glitzy St. Moritz. Caspar Badrutt almost single-handedly created the concept of “Alpine winter tourism” here in the late 19th century, drawing celebrities and moneyed guests like Greta Garbo, Aristotle Onassis, and Alfred Hitchcock (who honeymooned at the hotel). Today, all 157 rooms (37 of which are suites) come with butler service for the duration of your stay, free lift tickets, and the option to be picked up at the train station or airport in one of the property’s Rolls Royce limos. The hotel also boasts eight restaurants—including Nobu Matsuhisa’s Japanese-Peruvian eatery that occupies what was Europe’s first indoor tennis pavilion—as well as five bars, most notably the King’s Club, which is the oldest nightclub in Switzerland and one of the hottest tickets in town (although it’s only open during the winter). With this level of luxury, it’s no surprise that Palace Wellness, the hotel’s spa, was voted the best in Switzerland at the World SPA Awards in 2017.
In Elmau 2, 82493 Krün, Germany
Schloss Elmau, set at the foot of the craggy German Alps, has a fascinating past. A German theologian opened the hotel in 1916 as a place for visitors to commune with nature while attending religious lectures, public readings, and classical music concerts. In the aftermath of World War II, he lost the property to the U.S. Army, but it was eventually returned to his family. Then in 2005, a fire swept through the original Schloss (castle), causing severe damage, and the owners saw the disaster as an opportunity to rebuild and add another, all-suite hotel on the property to serve as a cultural gathering place. Today, Schloss Elmau still hosts music and literary events—more than 170 each year—and, impressively, served as the site of the G7 Summit in 2015.

Impeccably furnished in shades of soft red, cream, and gold, the 162 rooms are elegant yet understated so as not to distract from the sweeping views of the meadows and mountains beyond. Families will appreciate the larger rooms in the new building, but couples may enjoy soaking up the grand feeling of the original property. The real attraction here, however, is the spas. There are six in all, including one for families, with a large indoor pool and five different types of saunas; the adults-only Badehaus, with three pools, saunas, a yoga center, a beauty salon, and relaxation rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and open fireplaces; and the Shantigiri spa, featuring separate pools and facilities for adults, families, and “ladies.” Another spa is set on 40 acres with a stream. Once you’re sufficiently blissed out, there are 10 restaurants to choose from, including the Michelin-starred Luce d’Oro.
Getreidegasse 37, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Nestled among the boutiques and restaurants that line the city’s main shopping street, the historic Hotel Goldener Hirsch has all the hallmarks of a Tyrolean hunting lodge right in the heart of medieval Old Town, from vaulted ceilings and mounted antlers to staff dressed in lederhosen and dirndls. Vintage guest-room keys are embellished with stag silhouettes, and even the tableware and linens in the two restaurants (one a former blacksmith, the other a goldsmith) feature the signature leaping-deer motif. Both serve hearty local fare—stop in for schnitzels, beef goulash, and bratwurst with sauerkraut, then call it a night in one of 70 cozy guest rooms, which balance cheerful country textiles and antique furnishings with modern amenities like flat-screen TVs, minibars, and free Wi-Fi.
Untere Bachgasse 8, 93047 Regensburg, Germany
The Hotel Orphée, in the medieval city of Regensburg, oozes 19th-century French glamour. Centrally located to Regensburg’s cobblestone streets, local shops, restaurants, and small squares, it’s decorated in a Baroque palazzo style. Each large, reasonably priced room is styled differently, but nearly all feature antiques and four-poster beds. Also on-site is the Orphée Restaurant, a French bistro that’s been in operation since 1896. Surrounded by its authentic wood wainscotting, tin ceiling, old French posters, and overall patina, you’ll feel transported to a distinctly different era—a time when sitting in a small café, drinking wine and watching passersby, could be the grand plan of your day. Note: In the summer, the narrow streets surrounding the hotel get very noisy, so if you’re a light sleeper, this may not be the place for you.
Av. Claude-Nobs 2, 1820 Montreux, Switzerland
Building on Montreux’s growing popularity as a tourist destination in the early 1900s, two Swiss hospitality pioneers joined an existing hotel with a newly constructed palace section, creating what was then one of the most cutting-edge hotels around—with such “modern” touches as electricity, heating, and private bathrooms. Officially opened in 1906, Le Montreux Palace went on to host everything from glamorous masquerade balls to the signing of international peace treaties, and everyone from New York tycoons to Indian maharajas.

The history lives on in today’s incarnation, which has been under the Fairmont umbrella since 2007. Following several years—and stages—of renovations, the Palace is as majestic as ever, with the 236 rooms and suites all featuring classic décor and balconies showcasing the lake or Alps. The hotel’s location at the edge of Lake Geneva is echoed in the seafood dishes at on-site restaurant MP’s Bar & Grill, where fresh catches (and fine cuts of meat) pair well with top Swiss wines. Additionally, both La Palmeraie and the seasonal La Terrasse du Petit Palais offer flavorful menus backed by spectacular views. Nightlife is big here, particularly at the Montreux Jazz Café and Funky Claude’s Bar, both of which serve casual cuisine, potent cocktails, and a good time. As a partner to the famous Montreux Jazz Festival, Claude’s also hosts live music six days a week, including jam sessions with festival members. Recuperate at the lakeside spa, which has indoor and outdoor pools, a gym, saunas, and a lengthy menu of face and body therapies.
Obergass 68, 7414 Fürstenau, Switzerland
Why we love it: A foodie hideaway from a three-Michelin starred chef

The Highlights:
- A Michelin-starred chef overseeing operations
- Gourmet—yet affordable—fare at the on-site restaurant
- A lovely setting in the Rhine Valley

The Review:
The Rhine Valley village of Fürstenau may officially be the world’s smallest city, but it does boast the famous Schauenstein Schloss restaurant and castle hotel—and, since 2018, this more casual and contemporary option set in the castle’s former stables. Designed by Spanish-born interiors guru Patricia Urquiola, Casa Caminada is, like its parent restaurant and hotel, overseen by Swiss chef Andreas Caminada, who can often be spotted bustling around the property.

Given the hotel’s foodie cred, most guests come for the eats—whether they choose the fine-dining option at the castle or the restaurant at the Casa, which offers similarly elegant Swiss fare at more wallet-friendly prices. Breakfast is included in the room rate and features epic breads from the on-site, traditional-style bakery. After all the great meals—and some bracing hikes along nearby trails—relax in the guesthouse’s garden with a glass of wine, then retire to one of the 10 rooms. While they’re all different sizes and shapes, each is awash in warm woods, simple furnishings, and crisp Italian linens, and equipped with a private balcony that lets the views take center stage.
More from AFAR
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
AFAR Journeys
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: United States
Journeys: Sports + Adventure