The Most Luxurious Experiences in Switzerland

A visit to Switzerland wouldn’t be complete without indulging in some of its most luxurious local experiences. High-end eateries dot the streets of Geneva and Zurich, while hidden in the stunning Swiss mountains are some exquisite Michelin-starred restaurants. Think it’s time to purchase one of the world’s best watches? Switzerland’s affluent cities boast a plethora of opportunities to find your perfect luxury timepiece—maybe an Omega, Rolex, or Tag.

This champagne bar looks like a mirage as you’re coming down the last stretch of the narrow Sunnega run back into Zermatt. A classic après-ski spot, it’s where the local instructors gather at day’s end. The Cuban-born bartender is always playing great music, from Bob Marley to Jack Johnson, while skiers stay warm with heat lamps, fur blankets, and, of course, multiple glasses of Veuve Clicquot.
Ovronnaz, 1911 Leytron, Switzerland
When the Romans arrived here in 15 b.c.e., they brought their thermal bath culture, and you can still see the ruins. But newer bains thermaux also abound. The village of Saillon has a Rivière Thermale, like a water park’s lazy river, lined with grottoes, steam rooms, and saunas. In Ovronnaz, end the day in bubbling thermal pools while watching the alpenglow recede across the mountain range. ovronnaz.ch. This appeared in the January/February 2014 issue.
St Moritz, Switzerland
In a country full of swanky resort towns, St. Moritz takes the crown with its wide array of five-star hotels, designer stores, and award-winning restaurants. The town is also home to such exciting activities as skijoring and ice cricket, which help to keep all the celebrity visitors entertained.
Lucerne, Switzerland
Throughout Luzern, so many of the buildings have crazy, wild paintings all over them. Loving it! Wish more buildings in Brisbane were like this!
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.
Schweizerhofquai 2, 6004 Luzern, Switzerland
Max Chocolatier, a boutique chocolate shop in the heart of Lucerne, creates exquisite hand-made chocolate that is meant to be savored. The store is located on a high-end shopping street near the lake. While I normally don’t gravitate to “fancy” chocolate boutiques, something about this place beckoned. It is an intimate shop and the friendly staff is happy to explain the types of chocolate that best suit your preferences. Max Chocolatier uses local, 100% natural ingredients, so the chocolate products vary by season: there are spring, summer, fall and winter “collections” with different ingredients and recipes. In addition to basic chocolates (milk, dark, hazelnut, caramel, orange, etc.), there are also more exotic types with ingredients such as pumpkin, chili, and edelweiss providing some international flavor. Beautifully, lushly-packaged boxes of chocolate line the shelves. Clearly these sweet tidbits are lovingly crafted to please all your senses. While not inexpensive, each small bite delivers a rich, intense taste with a luxurious mouth-feel. Well worth it! www.maxchocolatier.com
1636 Broc, Switzerland
Switzerland is, and always will be, synonymous with the finest, smoothest, and above all, most delicious chocolate on earth. No wonder then that the Swiss indulge in this luxury more than any other country in the world. While each town creates its own unique taste of champagne, orange and other cocoa flavors, Zürich-born Teuscher, located on Bahnhofstrasse, is world famous and exports its chocolates to cities around the world, including Beverly Hills and New York. For the full history of Swiss chocolate Maison Cailler in Broc is great and offers a for a fully-interactive, automated tour with the added incentive of a tasting session at the end. The complete experience includes a train journey from Montreux on the Chocolate Train.
Dufaux-Strasse 1, 8152 Opfikon, Switzerland
Remember at Christmas catching a glimpse of that huge gift under the tree and reading your name on the tag? That’s the feeling I had walking down Kameha Grand Zurich’s dimly-lit corridor and seeing my bedroom door: huge, silver and reading 2046 Space Suite. Inside I stepped along a soft, silvery carpet, through a hallway twinkling with stars and into a murmuring room with a levitating bed. I’d just entered outer space. Well, almost. Kameha Grand Zurich’s Space Suite offers an experience as close as you’ll find anywhere. Designed by German photographer Michael Najjar (the first artist to have trained as an astronaut), this room leaves no space rock unturned with details running down to the finest margin. As well as the floating bed, silver seats, an astronaut’s glove emerging from the wall and carpets printed with Milky Way images, you’ll encounter delightful details. The light options range from moonlight to starlight, spotlights clustered on the ceiling resemble rocket engines and no windows give the feeling of utter solitude and zero gravity. Each guest receives a personalized log-in card and can spend the evening watching a selection of intergalactic movies on the curved plasma or reading the selection of space literature. Before you go, remember to add your details to the log book. Other themed rooms at the Kameha Grand Zurich range from a Gentlemen’s Suite with a roulette table and rotating TV to a sultry Burlesque Suite ideal for a romantic break.
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