The Best Three Star Hotels in the Swiss Alps

Last winter the Swiss newspaper, the Sonntags Zeitung, published a list of the best hotels in Switzerland. The full article is here, but I have listed what they consider the best three star hotels:

skier gets ready to hit the piste

1. (Last Year: 4) Alpine Lodge,Saanen-Gstaad BE
Tel 033 748 41 51,
Doubleroom from 360 Fr.

2. (1) Waldhaus am See,St. Moritz GR
Tel 081 836 60 00,
Doubleroom from 310 Fr.

3. (3) Romantik Hotel Schönegg, Wengen BE
Tel 033 855 34 22,
Doubleroom from 380 Fr.

4. (2) Krone, La Punt GR
Tel 081 854 12 69,
Doubleroom 250 Fr.

5. (5) Misani, Celerina GR
Tel 081 839 89 89,
Doubleroom from 230 Fr.

6. (6) Jungfrau, Wengernalp BE
Tel 033 855 16 22,
Doubleroom from 440 Fr.

7. (8) Hotel Kernen,Schönried-Gstaad BE
Tel 033 748 40 20,
Doubleroom from 320 Fr.

8. (-) Chesa Randolin,Sils Baselgia GR
Tel 081 830 83 83,
Doubleroom from 236 Fr.

9. (11) Eienwäldli, Engelberg OW
Tel 041 637 19 49,
Doubleroom from 280 Fr.

10. (-) La Couronne, Zermatt VS
Tel 027 966 23 00,
Doubleroom from 256 Fr.

11. (7) Sporthotel, Pontresina GR
Tel 081 838 94 00,
Doubleroom from 250 Fr.

12. (13) Bella Vista, Zermatt VS
Tel 027 966 28 10,
Doubleroom from 235 Fr.

13. (12) Parkhotel Schönegg, Grindelwald BE
Tel 033 854 18 18,
Doubleroom from 340 Fr.

14. (16) Alphubel, Saas-Fee VS
Tel 027 958 63 63,
Doubleroom from 314 Fr.

15. (15) Chesa Grischuna, Klosters GR
Tel 081 422 22 22,
Doubleroom from 439 Fr.

16. (20) Alpenblick, Fiesch VS
Tel 027 970 16 60,
Doubleroom from 150 Fr.

17. (9) Le Mont Paisible,Crans-Montana VS
Tel 027 480 21 61,
Doubleroom from 220 Fr.

18. (14) Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl, Samedan GR
Tel 081 842 82 32,
Doubleroom from 240 Fr.

19. (18) Adler, Adelboden BE
Tel 033 673 41 41,
Doubleroom from 308 Fr.

20. (19) Müller Mountain Lodge, Pontresina GR
Tel 081 839 30 00,
Doubleroom from 300 Fr.

21. (24) Meisser, Guarda GR
Tel 081 862 21 32,
Doubleroom from 230 Fr.

22. (17) Bodmi, Grindelwald BE
Tel 033 853 12 20,
Doubleroom from 294 Fr.

23. (10) Homann,Samnaun-Ravaisch GR
Tel 081 861 91 91,
Doubleroom from 290 Fr.

24. (21) Europe, Zinal VS
Tel 027 475 44 04,
Doubleroom from 200 Fr.

25. (25) Alphorn, Gstaad BE
Tel 033 748 45 45,
Doubleroom from 252 Fr.

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Vind je het leuk om te gaan skiën?

Well, if you understand that title, you probably would be interested to hear that our companion web site, Swiss Winter Sports, is now available in Dutch at I toyed with calling it the more vernacular “Zwitserse Wintersport”, but decided to stick with the same branding as far as possible.
ski en snowboard website
The site features both the NL suffix and Dutch language text. It also has road distances from the Netherlands and content on the top bar specifically targetted for Dutch winter sports enthusiasts. Some of the minor resorts on the English-language site have been dropped to keep a focus, as it is unlikely somebody planning a visit to Switzerland from Holland would be interested in a resort with just a couple of surface lifts. The site is a work in progress and the translations are largely machine-generated, so I would be interested in finding a native Dutch speaker to review the text for me. If you know of somebody, please get them to get in touch with me and quote a price.

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Learn the Lingo – Common Foreign Language Expressions

Although English is widely spoken in most major ski resorts, often the more rustic restaurants, family-run hire shops and even front-of-office ski school staff do not speak it. And isn’t it appropriate to at least make an attempt to speak in the language of your hosts? And what if you want to fraternise with the locals?
Waking up with your ski boots on and somebody else in your bed
Summer is a good time to decide both your target winter sports destination and also to brush up on the local lingo in good time. If you want to learn a language, I’m a great fan of the Michel Thomas system. You can do it in the car or on the train, in fact just about anywhere you can listen to it and without the need to read a book or follow the text in a book.

For those who don’t want to learn the language, but could do with some useful phrases, I will provide some in French, German and Italian in the next few weeks.

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February Snow Conditions and Deals

Family skiing in the AlpsThe winter sports season is approaching its peak period, and the prospects for snow conditions are promising. Temperatures have dropped, new snow is forecast throughout the Alps and conditions are generally good. However the outlook is still for the weather to be warmer than the seasonal average and not particularly sunny, with the northern Alps possibly experiencing the dreaded Föhn, with its potentially dramatic increase in temperatures. Meanwhile the southern Alps has a considerable risk of avalanches, possibly rising to a high risk.

Looking around the resorts, all but a few of the low-lying resorts are fully or near-fully open. Across over 150 open resorts in Switzerland, the average snow depth at the valley stations is 50cm, with many reporting over a metre. The top stations average 105cm and Andermatt has a massive 4 metre base at the top. There seem to be no resorts covered by the Snow’n’Rail scheme that have anything less than good snow conditions.

With it being peak period, the deals and discounts around are not so plentiful. Swiss Railways has some interesting discounts in February for tobogganists, though, with a 30% discount on combined travel ticket, lift pass and toboggan hire at Fräkmüntegg (Pilatus) and Preda/Bergün. Futhermore there is massive 50% discount on the same offer for Klewenalp.
kids tobogganing
Bergün is probably the best place in the world to toboggan, amidst the dramatic scenery of the Rhaetian Railways UNESCO-recognised section. Klewenalp is probably the best place to toboggan in central Switzerland with a 9 km run from Klewenalp to Stockhütte-Emmetten and a tough 4km airboard and toboggan run near the Chälen chairlift.

There is also a 30% discount on travel and a return lift journey at Engelberg-Brunni, the sunny side of the valley, during February – mainly aimed at people wanting a walk and a meal in the mountains. Both the Klewenalp and Engelberg offers may be sufficiently attractive for some people to use in combination or even instead of Snow’n’Rail – for example for a mixed group of skiers and non-skiers.

Further details on the February Swiss Railway discounts at their web site.

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