While I was traveling through Switzerland in September of last year, I had the opportunity to visit the Appenzell and Lake Geneva regions of the country. Along the way, I stayed in four different hotels.
In Switzerland, there is a specific emphasis on wellness and holistic care, and, as a result, there are many health spas located throughout the country. Hotel Hof Weissbad is one of these wellness spas, which means that it is not only a place to spend the night but also a place to receive holistic care and a wide variety of spa services. I did not take advantage of any of the spa-specific services, but I was a huge fan of Hotel Hof Weissbad anyway.
Conveniently located about a quarter mile away from the train station, Hotel Hof Weissbad is set in a small, quaint town at the base of the Pre-Alps. Two more train stations up the road is a cable car that leads high into the mountains to a maze of hiking trails. The hotel also has manual and electric bikes available on a complimentary basis for guests. Needless to say, the area surrounding the hotel begs for guests to get outside, enjoy the mountain air and indulge in some sort of physical exercise.
But back to the hotel … One of the first things I noticed about my room is that the windows opened, and there were no screens. I had a fantastic view of the hotel’s garden out back. My room was decorated in warm colors and dark woods. It was simple and comfortable with a small sitting area and spacious, clean bathroom.
I found Hotel Hof Weissbad to be extremely welcoming and open. Staff members spoke English, and the lobby area was a nice place to sit for a pre-dinner drink. I thought one of the highlights was the breakfast buffet, which was a huge spread of healthy, natural and organic cheese, fruits, yogurt and juices. Guests have the opportunity to dine indoors or outdoors, but it was too chilly to enjoy breakfast outside while I was there. Dinner at Hotel Hof Weissbad was an awesome journey in local eating. About 95% of the menu is locally grown or produced and includes dishes that are in season.
Located at Im Park 1, CH-9057 Weissbad
Grand Hôtel des Bains – Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland
Grand Hotel des Bains is a massive, beautiful hotel with classy, modern touches. I loved the huge ceilings in the lobby area and the mood lighting throughout the common areas. Clearly a good choice for meetings and conferences, the Grand Hotel des Bains is large and simple but elegant and welcoming.
Like the Hotel Hof Weissbad, my room at the Grand Hotel des Bains was impressively plain, which I really liked. The colors again were particularly warm, and I had a small balcony with a table and two chairs. We had dinner at the hotel, which was prepared by a French-trained, Mediterranean-inspired chef. The breakfast spread was simple with yogurt, fruit and cereals.
Grand Hotel des Bains’ main draw is the fact that it is located on a thermal hot spring. There is a local thermal center near Grand Hotel des Bains that includes a variety of pools, saunas, massage treatments, physical therapy and more. Guests can gain access to the services at the center for a small fee.
Located at Avenue des Bains 22, 1400 Yverdon-les-Bains | Company website
Of the four hotels I stayed in in Switzerland, Prealpina was my least favorite. Situated near Lake Geneva, the hotel offered a lovely view of the area, which overlooked the vineyards, homes and roads winding up and down the hills in the Lake Geneva area. The view from Prealpina is by far this hotel’s best feature.
To me, Prealpina felt more like a hostel than a hotel. There wasn’t much of a lobby and internet access from the one computer in the small lounge area wasn’t particularly reliable.
My room was located down a dark hallway. Again, it was made up with simple linens, but it didn’t have much in the way of additional amenities – no desk, no chair and barely any space beyond the bed. The bathroom was small and relatively nondescript.
Though I didn’t really care for the hotel itself, I was definitely able to overlook the simplicity of Prealpina. What I struggled with the most was the fact that it was so hot in my room. The radiator was located in the bathroom, and I couldn’t figure out how to regulate the temperature in the room, so I ended up opening the door to my balcony so that I could get some cool air circulating throughout the night.
Located at Route de Chardonne 35, 1071 Chexbres | Company website
I know, I know … It’s a Best Western. I had the same thought when I saw that we were going to stay at a chain hotel, but, seriously, this hotel was actually really fantastic.
This is an urban property, located on the corner of a well-traveled road. I found it to be a pretty standard Best Western property with basic furnishings, bedding and amenities. It was comfortable and standard – nothing to be particularly impressed with but definitely sufficient and worth checking out if you need a place to stay in Lausanne.
I think the Best Western’s main draw is definitely its location. The city is a hot spot for attractions and museums, and I found the hotel to be in the ideal spot in town. It is located within a few blocks of the Swiss rail line and also near the free underground line that allows people to travel from the top of the city to the bottom. I would rather walk around a city than hop on the subway, and I also found this hotel to be centrally located and easy to access on foot from most places in Lausanne.
Located at 31, Avenue de la Gare, 1003 Lausanne | Company website
My trip to Switzerland and my stays in these hotels were compensated by the Switzerland Tourism Board, but all opinions are my own.