5 Ways to Experience the Swiss Alps

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5. Taste

Get a sense of the Swiss Alps through locally inspired cuisine on one of Alpenwild’s foodie tours. This tour operator offering walking, hiking, trekking and culinary experiences in the Swiss Alps is taking advantage of the area’s emerging French-, Italian- and German-inspired culinary scene with food and chocolate tours showcasing the finest regional cuisine while sprinkling easy walks ranging from 3- to 5-miles a day.  Each night guests enjoy cuisine, which is often at a Michelin-starred restaurant. In fact, Switzerland has more Michelin starred restaurants per capita than any country in the world. Lodging is provided in boutique, 3-, 4- and 5-star inns and hotels.

On the 9-day Cheese, Chocolate, and Wine in the Scenic Alps itinerary, for example, guests have the option to make artisan alpine cheese over a crackling open fire followed by hearty farm breakfast; ascend snowy Jungfrau by cog railway to Europe’s highest railway station overlooking the Alps’ longest glacier; work side-by-side with an artisan chocolatier in a studio near the birthplace of chocolate to craft hand-dipped chocolate truffles; and walk through an ancient terraced vineyard in Lavaux before going on a guided wine tasting. Rates for all of Alpenwild food and chocolate tours start at $3,595 dbl; ($3,894 sgl). For more information, visit alpenwild.com.

4. Sight

Guests of The Chedi Andermatt, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, can discover the best of the Swiss Alps, with its picturesque villages and pristine mountain beauty, through a series of brand-new summer offerings catering to outdoor enthusiasts, golf experts, foodies and spa-goers. One of the experiences in particular—a cable car ride—puts the area’s pristine landscapes front and center giving guests get a bird’s-eye view of the region’s canyons, waterfalls and mountain lakes. The day-long excursion, available now through Oct. 15, 2017, includes lunch in a cozy chalet-style restaurant at the top of a mountain and a visit to a local farm for an Alpine cheese and cured meats tasting. Package rates start at $1,336 pp based on a minimum 2-night stay. For more information, visit thechediandermatt.com.

3. Touch

This spring, the Burgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne debuted its newly renovated golf course at the Burgenstock Alpine Golf in a picturesque setting 3,000 ft. above Lake Lucerne amid a forest of fir trees. Guests can try their hand at the 2,175-yard par 33 course open from April through the end of October. The course’s signature hole 5 is a par 3 with a challenging water hazard guarding the front right and a 2-tiered green. Green fees for hotel guests start at $71 for nine holes on weekdays and go up to $111 for 18 holes on the weekends.

In more recent news, the Burgenstock Hotels & Resort Lake Lucerne is opening two hotels at the end of the month. On Aug. 28, the four-star superior Palace Hotel and five-star superior Burgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa will make their grand debut. The later of the two features 102 guestrooms and suites plus sweeping 180-degree views of Lake Lucerne and the Swiss Alps. Situated high on a forested ridge, the five-star superior hotel, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, also offers a Lakeview Bar & Lounge, a 66-seat private cinema, a wine cellar, cigar lounge and private dining room.

This fall will see the opening of the 107,000-sq.-ft. Alpine Spa featuring three pools with an Oak Grill and Pool Patio restaurant, as well as the 106-room Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence with its and Verbena Restaurant. Rates at Taverne 1879 start at $155 per night. Rates at the Palace Hotel start at $455 per night. For more information, visit buergenstock.ch/en.

2. Smell

Artisanal markets such as the Laret Market and Dorf Markt weave through the villages of Pontresina and St. Moritz attracting locals and visitors alike with the aroma of grilled sausages with mustard, gypsy-style kebabs with bread, plus sweet temptations such as homemade cakes, waffles, and magenbrot. Among the other goods offered at Pontresina’s Laret Market are Engadine specialties such as jewelry, hand-painted toys and raclette bread with pickled onions. Similarly, the products from Dorf Market at St. Moritz comprises of fine specialties in the Engadine and neighboring regions. Laret Market is open bi-weekly on Thursdays through Aug. 24. Dorf Markt is open on Aug. 5, 19, and Sept. 2.

For accommodations, consider the nearby Kulm Hotel St. Moritz, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, which first opened its doors in 1856. Kulm Hotel St. Moritz features 172 guestrooms, six restaurants (including formal dining, French fine dining and an Italian restaurant, a spa with an indoor pool with underwater music, various saunas and steam room, and a Jacuzzi. Rates during the summer season start at $537 per night. For more information, visit kulm.com. Or, book the Grand Hotel Kronenhof, where rates during the summer season start at $460 per night. Located in Pontresina, four miles from St. Moritz, the hotel has a rich and interesting history having first opened its doors in the first half of the 19th century as a guesthouse. For more information, visit kronenhof.com.

1. Hearing

Your clients who love classical music will be heading for the “hills” around a small Swiss Alpine village in the Bernese Oberland when they find out that the area is hosting the 61st edition of the Gstaad Menuhin Festival. The Alpina Gstaad—a five-star superior hotel nestled on an exclusive hilltop area of the village—is offering a 2-day Menuhin Festival in Motion package for two through Sept. 2 that includes two tickets to a performance, accommodations for two nights in a Deluxe Room with breakfast, transfers and a culinary credit of about $1,818 to be used in any of the hotel’s restaurants or bars.

Some 70 concerts, with renowned musicians such as mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli, soprano Diana Damrau and violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, will all appear in Gstaad for the first time. Performance will take place in a Festival Tent and in several 13th and 14th century churches in the surrounding Sannenland. The 2017 festival’s theme, “Pomp in Music,” highlights music for celebrations and commemorations. For more information, visit thealpinagstaad.ch.