Tips and Inspiration for your European holiday

Accommodation costs make up a big part of any holiday and there's nothing worse than arriving at your pre-booked (and pre-paid) hotel or apartment to find that it's not quite what you expected. Nothing beats a personal recommendation so following on from my previous articles in which I recommended accommodation in the UK and France, here are my picks for where to stay in Switzerland.

Switzerland recommended accommodation

After several visits to Switzerland, there are a number of hotels, apartments and campsites that I can confidently recommend. I'd definitely stay at these places again, so here are my recommended accommodations in Switzerland.



Geneva, Switzerland

Hotel Novotel Geneve Center

After staying at the Novotel in 2010, I booked the hotel again for our one night stay in 2013. The Hotel Novotel Centre is about a five minute walk from both the main railway station and Lake Geneva (in different directions).

On our most recent stay, we'd booked 'Executive' rooms which included free mini bar access (beer was the only alcohol included), free WiFi and late check out. The room also contained an X-box (which we didn't use), a Nespresso coffee machine (which we did), a nice bathroom with bath tub and separate shower, and a separate room for the toilet. The buffet breakfast was excellent.

After a fantastic dinner at the hotel on our first visit we again decided to eat dinner here the second time. Whilst we probably didn't enjoy the meal as much the second time around (our expectations may have been too high), the food was still beautifully prepared and very tasty.

Parking is available at a nearby undercover public car park (charges apply).

Check latest prices for Hotel Novotel Geneve Center here | Click here to read more about Geneva

Novotel Hotel Geneva, CentreThe hotel was dressed up for Christmas when we stayed the first time.

Zurich, Switzerland

Renaissance Zürich Tower Hotel

I stayed at this hotel, part of the Marriott chain, as a guest of Switzerland Tourism when I attended their Asia Pacific Workshop in 2012. It is definitely a 5 star hotel - beautifully furnished and with all mod cons.

The hotel is in the trendy suburb of Zurich West and is about a 5 to 10 minute tram ride into the city centre and main railway station (tram stop a 5 minute walk from hotel). In the nearby vicinty there's a number of shops and cafes and a supermarket.

The breakfast buffet at the Renaissance Zurich Tower Hotel is superb and there's a bar where you can buy snacks and drinks throughout the day. In-room WiFi is expensive but there are a couple of computers in the lobby which provide free internet access.

Click here to check latest prices at Renaissance Zurich Tower Hotel


Hotel Renaissance Tower, ZurichThe 5* Renaissance Tower hotel is a little way from the centre of Zurich but the excellent Swiss public transport options mean that reaching the city is easy.

Crowne Plaza Hotel (Zurich West)

My three-night stay at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Zurich West was very pleasant. Compared to the rates other hotels were offering at the time, I thought it was excellent value.

Read my review of my stay at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Zurich West here | Check latest prices for the Crowne Plaza Hotel Zurich West here

Marriott Hotel

After staying at the above two hotels, I then moved to the Marriott Hotel for the first night of a Trafalgar Tour of Switzerland I was doing. I'd been impressed with the other two hotels but the Marriott was up another notch again. This is truly a 5 star hotel.

It's a huge hotel with two interconnecting buildings and it offers everything you would expect of a top class hotel. WiFi (like in most Swiss hotels) was very expensive - CHF30 per day!! - but computers are available in the lobby where you can access the internet for free. 

My luxuriously appointed room had tea and coffee making facilities, a fridge, safe and elegant bathroom with bath tub, and after a good night's sleep, there was plenty of choice at the breakfast buffet.

One of the best features of the Marriott Hotel, though, was the location. Situated alongside the Limmat River, I reached the centre of Zurich after a leisurely 15 minute walk.

Click here for current prices at Marriott Hotel Zurich

Sorell Hotel Zurichberg

When choosing where to stay for a two night stay on my recent (July 2017) visit to Zurich, I decided to move away from the city centre and opted for a hotel with views. After a brief search, I decided on the Sorell Hotel Zurichberg and I’m so glad I did.

The hotel is located in one of Zurich’s suburbs, high on a hill overlooking Lake Zurich.  With open parkland on either side and a forested area to the rear, you couldn’t get a quieter location.  Access to the city centre is great, with a tram stop just a few hundred metres from the hotel (15 minutes to the city), and those who drive to the hotel can use the undercover car park.

We chose a lake view room and weren’t disappointed.  The room was a good size with a queen size bed, small table and chairs, a large desk, and a great balcony (also with table and chairs) which overlooked the terrace restaurant and Lake Zurich.

Added extras included a selection of fresh fruit and chocolate on arrival, a Nespresso coffee machine (with capsules provided) and a pillow menu.  Also in the room were a TV, free WiFi, safe and a modern bathroom with a bathtub.  There was no air conditioning but our room contained a large fan.

Sorell Hotel Zurichberg Our double room with lake view at Sorell Hotel Zurichberg was a good size with all modern amenities.

Buffet breakfast is included at all Sorell Hotels in Switzerland and the selection at Hotel Zurichberg was excellent.  Diners can choose from a cold buffet selection including fresh fruit, cereals (including a delicious Bircher muesli), yoghurts, breads, pastries, muffins, cheese and cold meats. Eggs can be cooked on request.  All the jams are home made and herbs are grown in the hotel’s herb garden.

On our final night we treated ourselves to dinner at the terrace restaurant and it was superb.  The restaurant is popular with the locals (especially on weekends) so it is wise to book ahead, especially if you want to sit outside on the terrace.

The friendly, helpful staff at Sorell Hotel Zurichberg really helped make our stay a very enjoyable one.

Click here for latest prices at Sorrell Hotel Zurichberg

Sorell Hotel Zurichberg viewThe view from our balcony overlooking Lake Zurich.

Interlaken, Switzerland

Lindner Grand Hotel Beau Rivage

My two-night stay at the Beau Rivage was also hosted by Switzerland Tourism. The hotel is housed in a Belle Epoque building and retains its 'old world' charm despite its modern furnishings. Perfectly located just a few hundred metres from the Interlaken railway station, the hotel is within easy reach of a supermarket and the main shopping strip.

Surprisingly, my room (and I assume all others) didn't have tea or coffee making facilities or an iron or ironing board provided.

Free WiFi was available in the lobby. A cosy bar offers a great spot to unwind at the end of the day and our group enjoyed a delicious meal in the hotel's restaurant. There was also a good selection on offer at the breakfast buffet.

Check latest prices for Lindner Grand Hotel Beau Rivage here | Click here to read more about Interlaken 

Hotel Lindner Beau Rivage, InterlakenThe lovely belle epoque Lindner Grand Hotel Beau Rivage is located in the heart of Interlaken.


Bern, Switzerland

Hotel Pergola

During a visit to Bern to see my husband's auntie, we chose the Hotel Pergola as it was quite close to where she lives. Accommodation in Bern is pretty expensive so being able to book a family room to sleep the four of us was a big advantage as it meant we didn't need two hotel rooms.

Having said that, the room was very tight. Once the sofa bed was folded out there wasn't much space between it and the double bed but as we were hardly in the room, it wasn't too much of a problem. (Obviously if we hadn't needed to use the sofa bed, the room would have been more spacious.)

The bathroom, whilst also pretty small, was modern and clean. Our rate included a cold buffet breakfast which gave us a good start to the day.

From the Hotel Pergola you can reach the centre of Bern by tram in just a few minutes or do as we did and walk - it took around 15 minutes. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful which probably explains why the hotel was voted the most friendly hotel in Bern in 2013.

Check latest prices for Hotel Pergola here
| Click here to read more about Bern

Lucerne, Switzerland

Hotel Seeburg Luzern

As the oldest lakeside hotel in Lucerne, the Hotel Seeburg has a great location. Overlooking not only the lake but also across to Mt Pilatus, views from the hotel are stunning.  We stayed during December and loved waking up to those views with the added bonus of snow everywhere.

The Seeburg Hotel is about 5km from Lucerne's old town and the railway station but buses stop out the front of the hotel regularly for the ten minute trip into central Lucerne. The more energetic can walk via a path alongside the lake, past the Transport Museum, and into the old town.

Despite its history, the hotel is very modern inside and was last renovated in 2012/13. The rooms are really comfortable (ours faced the lake and had a balcony) and include bath/shower, safe, cable TV, tea and coffee making facilities and free WiFi.

The buffet breakfast was first rate and we also enjoyed lunch in the restaurant on the day of our arrival - one of the best meals we've enjoyed in Europe.

If you are staying in summer, you can take advantage of the hotel's own private lakeside beach.

Check latest prices for Hotel Seeburg Luzern here
| Click here to read more about Lucerne

View from Hotel Seeburg, LucerneThe view from our room at Hotel Seeburg Lucerne was gorgeous.

Brunnen (near Schwyz) on Lake Lucerne

Seehotel Waldstatterhof

With a perfect location right on the shore of Lake Lucerne* and just a five minute stroll to the town centre, Seehotel Waldstatterhof is a great choice if you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Brunnen. 

*The German name of Lake Lucerne is Vierwaldstattersee which roughly translates as four forests lake.

A number of room types are available and I booked a superior double room with balcony and lake view for our two night stay.  Rooms include tea and coffee making facilities and complimentary mineral water, free (fast) WiFi, TV, safe, bath/shower and hairdryer.

Our balcony, overlooking the lake, also had a small table and two chairs.

Seehotel Waldstattersee Brunnen viewSeehotel Waldstattersee is right on the lake front at Brunnen.

An excellent buffet breakfast - with both hot and cold choices - is included in the room rate and the hotel also provides complimentary tea, coffee and fruit all day in an area on the 1st floor.

Seehotel Waldstatterhof has its own spa and sauna facilities (additional cost) and there is a private lake-side bathing/swimming area for hotel guests.  Car parking (free) is available for guests.

The hotel’s Seeterrace restaurant (open in good weather from Spring through to late Autumn) is excellent, but not cheap, but when you are dining alfresco with the lake right beside you, you can almost forget about the price!

With friendly staff, and a good location in a non-touristy part of Lake Lucerne, we really enjoyed our stay at Seehotel Waldstatterhof.

Click here to check current prices for Seehotel Waldstatterhof.

Lake view from Seehotel WaldstatterhofWaking up to views like this every morning was wonderful.  

Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

Camping Jungfrau

Lauterbrunnen is right up there with my favourite places in ALL of Europe and the setting for Camping Jungrau has been a big part of me falling in love with the village. I've stayed at this beautiful camping ground in Lauterbrunnen on five occasions and would happily return again and again.

You can read why I love Camping Jungfrau here | Check latest prices here

1 bedroom apartment in Luterbach complex

On my July 2017 visit to Lauterbrunnen I decided to stay in a self-contained apartment instead of at Camping Jungfrau where I had stayed on previous visits. The 1 bedroom apartment I booked for our week-long stay was in a complex of chalet-style buildings, just across the river from Camping Jungfrau on the Stechelberg road.

There are about seven buildings in the complex, each containing five or six apartments of varying sizes (1, 2 and 3 bedrooms).  Each apartment is privately owned. Our apartment was on the top floor with views of the Staubbach Falls and the mountains.

The apartment had been recently renovated and was beautifully furnished throughout.  It featured a large bedroom, fully equipped modern kitchen with dishwasher, Nespresso coffee machine, stove and oven, a bathroom with bathtub, washing machine and dryer, and a large living area with TV and stereo.

Kitchen of Lauterbrunnen apartmentThe kitchen of our Lauterbrunnen apartment was really well equipped.

A balcony with table and chairs was accessed from the living room and had views across open fields to the mountains.

The apartment included free WiFi, central heating and car parking. There was no air conditioning but fans were provided.

Lauterbrunnen’s village centre can be reached via a couple of different pathways (20 minute leisurely walk) or by bus (bus stop on the Stechelberg road).  The small supermarket at Camping Jungfrau is a five minute walk away.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in the apartment would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Lauterbrunnen.  Update:  We returned again in 2018 and stayed another week in this beautiful apartment.

Click here to see prices of similar apartments | Click here to read more about Lauterbrunnen

Balcony view Lauterbrunnen apartmentThe balcony was the perfect spot to enjoy a meal or a glass of wine at day's end.


Mirabeau Hotel and Residence

When I was searching for places to stay in Zermatt my main criteria was that my room had a view of the Matterhorn.  After considering lots of different hotels, I decided on Hotel Mirabeau and it was a great choice.

The hotel is located only a five minute walk from the train station but on arrival we were met by the hotel’s porter in an electric taxi and transferred to the hotel.

There are two parts to the hotel - the main building and the Alpine Residence, a separate building which is connected by a covered passageway.  I had booked a superior double room with Matterhorn but on check in was told we had been upgraded to a Junior Suite with Matterhorn view in the Alpine Residence.  Win!!

Our room was large and beautiful and featured a balcony with doors on two sides.  Of course there was a table and chairs on the balcony to sit and gaze at the Matterhorn.

Inside, the room had tea and coffee making facilities, a safe, TV and WiFi.  The bathroom had a large tub as well as a separate shower and WC. Room rates include a delicious buffet breakfast in the restaurant in the main building.

Matterhorn view from Mirabeau HotelIt was worth getting at sunrise to see the golden glow of the Matterhorn from our balcony.

The hotel’s restaurant, Restaurant Veranda, offers dining each night and there’s also a more casual dining option at Marie’s Deli were lighter meals and snacks can be purchased throughout the day. 

The bar area is a great place to enjoy a drink and unwind after a day of sightseeing or skiing. A nice touch is a free piece of cake when you purchase a tea or coffee from the bar.

Mirabeau Hotel and Residence also has its own Wellness Centre which includes a heated pool and sauna.

I highly recommend the hotel for its great location, beautiful rooms and friendly staff.

Click here to check current prices for Mirabeau Hotel and Residence, Zermatt.

Alpine Junior Suite Hotel Mirabeau ZermattOur Alpine Junior Suite at Mirabeau Hotel and Residence in Zermatt was lovely.

Chur, Switzerland

ABC Quality Hotel

Our decision to stay at Chur was purely based on the fact it was mid-way between Varenna on Lake Como and Fussen in Germany. I chose the ABC Quality Hotel for its central location and for a one night stay, we couldn't have been happier.

The modern rooms are quite spacious with a lovely bathroom which includes a bath tub, hairdryer and toiletries. The bedroom area featured a really comfy bed, TV, desk, fridge, Nespresso coffee machine, iron and ironing board and free WiFi. On-site parking is available for CHF12 per day. A cold buffet breakfast was included in our nightly rate and the staff were very friendly and helpful.


The hotel is located opposite the railway station (we heard no noise from the trains) and is just a five minute walk to the pedestrianised Altstadt (Old Town). There are lots of shops, restaurants, cafes and a supermarket within 100 metres.

Check latest prices for ABC Quality Hotel Chur here


The Cambrian, Adelboden

Having seen photos of its infinity pool with incredible mountain views, there was only one place I was ever going to stay when I visited Adelboden.  That hotel was The Cambrian.

I’ll start by saying that the pool was a little underwhelming - it was a lot smaller than I expected and at first glance I thought I was looking at the spa not the pool. However, the views were stunning and those that prefer a larger pool to swim laps can use the indoor pool. There’s also a spa in the indoor wellness area.

The Cambrian Hotel pool

Aside from my initial disappointment at the size of the pool, everything about our stay at The Cambrian was wonderful.  The staff were extremely friendly, the public spaces and decor were very tasteful and the rooms were well equipped. 

Our room, a deluxe double, was a good size and included free WiFi, flatscreen TV, DVD player, a desk, tea and coffee making facilities, refrigerator with complimentary water and soft drinks, and a lovely bathroom.  Whilst our room didn’t have a balcony, it did have a nice view to the Wildstrubel mountain.  Rooms with balconies, and suites, are also available.

We stayed at the hotel during a particularly hot period of weather and the staff found us a fan to keep our room at a more pleasant temperature as the hotel is not air conditioned.

Full buffet breakfast was included in our nightly rate and the choice of food was excellent.  Both hot and cold options were in abundance and guests also have the option of eating on the outdoor terrace beside the infinity pool in warmer weather.

Deluxe double room at The Cambrian

The hotel also has a bar which serves light meals and a restaurant which opens in the evening. There’s also a terrace where guests can enjoy a drink or snack with views to the mountains.

Parking costs CHF18 per day.

Note: As a courtesy to guests, photos can only be taken in the infinity pool between 8 and 9am and 12 and 2pm.

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at The Cambrian and would highly recommend it.

Click here to check current prices at The Cambrian

View from our room at The Cambrian

Brissago (Lake Maggiore)

Sunstar Hotel Brissago (formerly called Villa Caesar)

I spent a lot of time choosing where to stay on Lake Maggiore in Switzerland’s Ticino region and it definitely paid off. With lake frontage or a lake view a requirement, I finally settled on the Sunstar Hotel at Brissago, a few kilometres from Ascona and just five kilometres from the Italian border.

Our stay got off to a great start when we were warmly greeted on arrival with a welcome drink and also invited for aperitifs at 6pm that evening.  The hotel’s owners/managers Oliver and Rita were on hand to tell us about the hotel and the area and serve drinks and snacks in the grotto. (The welcome evening is held every Friday at 6pm.)

Balcony view Sunstar Hotel Brissago

The hotel definitely has an Italian feel to it and the rooms were furnished in a traditional, bold Italian style.  Our room, a junior suite, was a good size with lots of cupboards, free WiFi, TV, a desk, couch, coffee table, small fridge and tea and coffee making facilities. Added bonuses were the ceiling fan and balcony (with table and chairs and two sun lounges) that overlooked the pool and the lake.

The bathroom included a full size bath.

Breakfast was included in our nightly rate and was served poolside, either indoors or out.  There was a large selection of hot and cold foods available.

Dinner is also available at the restaurant and each morning at breakfast guests are shown the menu for that evening’s meal and asked to nominate if they wish to dine at the restaurant.  We ate there one evening and enjoyed our dinner beside the pool whilst live music was played.

The swimming pool, as you will have noticed, is central to the hotel’s outdoor space and is a great place to cool off on a warm day.  The hotel also offers an indoor wellness centre with indoor pool, sauna and spa, and a small private deck on the lake front which is only 50 metres away.  Both undercover (a small charge applies) and outdoor parking is available. 

Junior Suite Sunstar Hotel Brissago

Hotel guests receive a ‘Ticino Ticket’ on arrival which provides free public transport and discounted admission fees in the area. (You can find out more about the Ticino Ticket in this article.)

As the hotel is quite small - there are just 32 rooms - Oliver and Rita make it their business to get to know their guests.  At least one of them is in the restaurant each morning and evening, ready for a chat or to pass on tips on what to see and do in the area.

If you are looking for a comfortable hotel in a great location and where you are made to feel at home, you can’t go past Sunstar Hotel Brissago.

Click here to check current rates at Sunstar Hotel Brissago

Sunstar Hotel Brissago pool

I have personally stayed in all of the above accommodations and would gladly return for another stay. All of the stays were paid for by me except where mentioned otherwise.


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 Recommended accommodations in Switzerland



















# Carolyn 2015-01-22 14:32
Quoting Jo:
What some amazing places you've stayed at. You've got me yearning for Europe. Ahh, I'd go back to Interlaken in a flash and the Jungfrau - sigh. However, I think the Grand Hotel Zell am See would be the place I'd love to get to first though.

You have good taste, Jo! The Interlaken region (especially Lauterbrunnen) and Zell am See are two of my favourite places in Europe. Hope you get to visit again soon.
# Jo 2015-01-22 01:25
What some amazing places you've stayed at. You've got me yearning for Europe. Ahh, I'd go back to Interlaken in a flash and the Jungfrau - sigh. However, I think the Grand Hotel Zell am See would be the place I'd love to get to first though.
# Carolyn 2014-05-09 17:09
Quoting Madeleine:
Oh I loved Austria on my first Europe trip would love to go back one day. Awesome post!

It really is beautiful, isn't it Madeleine? Hope you get back there one day soon.
# Madeleine 2014-05-09 15:21
Oh I loved Austria on my first Europe trip would love to go back one day. Awesome post!
# Carolyn 2014-05-09 12:18
Quoting Annabel Candy:
You've got it all covered here from luxury to camping! I like the look of the Grand Hotel Zell am See for fab water views - amazing!

You certainly can't beat the water views at the Grand Hotel Zell am See, Annabel. It's in the perfect location.
# Annabel Candy 2014-05-09 09:48
You've got it all covered here from luxury to camping! I like the look of the Grand Hotel Zell am See for fab water views - amazing!