Quality. Efficiency. Beauty. Cleanliness. These are words that spring to mind when I think of Switzerland. But when searching for accommodation in Switzerland recently, another word jumped out at me. Variety.
Holidays past have seen me staying in some of Switzerland’s finest hotels and my favourite-ever camping ground but these styles of accommodation are just the tip of the iceberg.
Hostels and backpacker lodges, holiday apartments and B&Bs are other popular accommodations but did you know that in Switzerland you can sleep on straw, stay in a yurt or Tipi (teepee) or spend the night in a Benedictine Monastery?
That’s what I call variety!
Obviously not all these options will be available year round (it would be a little chilly sleeping on straw during a Swiss winter!) but regardless of when you plan on visiting Switzerland, you’ll certainly have plenty of choice when it comes to accommodation.
And the best thing about having a variety of accommodation options to choose from is that means there’s something to suit every budget. Holidaying in Switzerland need not be expensive.
Unique places to stay in Switzerland
For something a little out of the ordinary, a number of Swiss farms offer the chance to sleep on straw. Guests sleep on straw (BYO sleeping bag) in a barn and have access to a common room with kitchen and toilet facilities. Breakfast (made from the farm’s own produce) is usually included in the price and rates start from around CHF25 per person per night.
Another unique experience is staying in a Mongolian Yurt high above Lake Geneva. Or relive your childhood by staying at one of Switzerland’s Tipi villages. On-site facilities are very basic (most sites offer a toilet, shower and a place to cook) but it’s an experience you’ll never forget.
If you prefer a solid roof over your head, why not follow in the footsteps of pilgrims from years gone past and spend the night in a monastery? A number of working monasteries in Switzerland have opened their doors to visitors and these include the Benedictine Monasteries in Einsiedeln and Mustair.
The Mustair monastery dates back to 775 and is featured on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list largely due to its magnificent frescoes and Carolingian architecture.
A nine-room guesthouse is open to travellers at Mustair who can choose which activities (if any) they wish to participate in.
For something totally different, how about sleeping in a wine barrel? At sites in in Maienfeld and Jenin, two 8,000 litre wine barrels have been converted into accommodation. One barrel serves as the living space and the other is used for sleeping.
Both located in the wine-growing region of Bündner Herrschaft, this is one experience every wine lover should enjoy.
Another out-of-the-ordinary accommodation option is to stay in a monument. In Switzerland, your choice includes everything from ancient wooden houses to a 200 year old castle. There are currently around 20 monuments that can be rented for holiday stays and each has been restored in an effort to combine heritage preservation and tourism.
Those that love the outdoors will enjoy the opportunity to stay in one of Switzerland’s alpine huts. More than 200 huts, with over 9,000 beds, are available for visitors to stay in across all of Switzerland’s alpine regions. These offer basic but comfortable accommodation and are popular with not only climbers and mountaineers but also families and nature lovers.
Switzerland also boasts Europe’s only hotel built on stilts. Situated at Neuchâtel and built over the lake of the same name, the Hotel Palafitte comprises 40 beautiful rooms all with lake views. Each Lake Pavilion room has its own direct access to the lake via a small ladder from the private terrace as well as views of the lake from the bathtub! (Click here for current prices.)
If that’s not enough variety, you can always revert to the more traditional styles of accommodation for your Swiss holiday like hotels, holiday apartments, B&Bs camping and hostels.
All these options too cozy? Why not stay the night in an Igloo. There are Iglu-Dorf villages in Zermatt, Engelberg, Gstaad, and Davos Klosters, where you can stay the night in a frozen masterpiece that takes some 3,000 hours to create each winter.
There are igloos for everyone, from simple dormitory-style igloos to romantic three-room suites that include a hot jacuzzi tub, private toilet, and good morning tea served to your sleeping bag. You can even get creative and build your own igloo with the help of an expert.
But if sleeping in a house of snow is just a little much for you, why not try a heated igloo-shaped tent instead?
With so much variety and so many unique places to stay, is it any wonder that so many travellers are #inLOVEwithSWITZERLAND?
What style of unique accommodation will you choose for your Swiss holiday?
This article is written in conjunction with Switzerland Tourism but all words and opinions are my own.
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