JUST in time for the holidays, a handy pocket guide has been published by the Swiss Heritage Society. Part of its popular series of “Switzerland’s Loveliest” booklets, the country’s most beautiful hotels are now in the spotlight.
I love this collection of handy-to-carry A6-format paperbacks because they make it easy to discover off-the-beaten-track cafés, holiday homes, museums, swimming locales–and now hotels–of architectural significance, as well as parks, gardens and walking trails of outstanding beauty. The purchase of these booklets also supports the Society’s efforts to preserve the country’s important architectural landmarks. That’s something close to my heart.
Unique hotels, are off-the-beaten path
In actual fact, Switzerland’s Loveliest Hotels is now in its 4th edition and this latest update adds 27 new hotel discoveries and 13 B&Bs to the original list of 51 hotels featured in earlier issues.
In making their selection, the Society chose hotels that take a “global cultural approach” that encompasses a distinct architectural style that reflects the region in which the establishment is found, a “convincing” management concept and a warm welcome. The layout and furnishings of the rooms are also given careful consideration.
The Society isn’t looking to follow the trend for boutique and designer hotels offering a standardized luxury but instead focus on character, authenticity, quality and an identity that’s strong, original and regional.
Of course, their selection may not be to everyone’s liking: some of the rooms are sparsely decorated and not all the furnishings reflect modern tastes. While some accomodations are located near urban centres, many are firmly rooted in rural areas, hence “off the beaten track”.
New layout, clear presentation
The layout of “Switzerland’s Loveliest Hotels” has also been revised and harmonized. Pictograms indicate the seasons when the establishments are open/closed for business, whether there’s a simple or sophisticated restaurant on premises, the price category, contact info., and a short description of the properties history (date of origin and subsequent renovations).
So whether you’re looking for an urban hotel style, a bucolic country inn or a cottage steeped in history this pocket guide could help you find what you’re looking for.
The Loveliest Hotels in Switzerland
91 boutique hotels & B&Bs.
Various architecture genres from over the centuries.
Booklet of 96 pages in A6.
French and German. CHF16 (CHF8 for Swiss Heritage Society members).
Main photo caption: Room at the Palazzo Salis, Soglio GR (photo: James Batten, Patrimoine suisse)