Sunday, October 9, 2011

SWITZERLAND-General

(does not include cities of Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lucerne, Verbier & Zurich)

SERVICES
Veloland – 34 Spitalgasse (Bern); 011-41-031-318-0128; veloland.ch; printable maps offered in English; includes information about “electric” bikes.
Swiss Trails – 8 Chlupfstrasse (Oberweningen); 011-41-043-422-6022; swisstrails.ch; biking & hiking trip planning.



TRAIN TRIPS
Davos/St. Moritz to Zermatt – “Glacier Express”; 011-41-027-927-7777; glacierexpress.ch or raileurope.com; breathtaking, 7.5 hour ride from St. Moritz or Davos to Zermatt; 291 bridges, 91 tunnels, over Rhine & Rhone Rivers & Oberal Pass (6.67'); see Matterhorn.
Thusis to Tirano – “Rhaetian Railway”; travels through Italy; comprised of 2 historic rail lines (now UNESCO site), Albula & Bernina; crosses 80 miles in Swiss Alps, from Thusis via St. Moritz to Tirano; 55 covered galleries and tunnels, as well as 196 bridges and viaducts.



AARGAU
HABSBURG
Sights & Sites
Schloss Habsburg – 30 Schlossgasse; 011-41-084-887-1200; schloss-habsburg.ch; vertical stone fortress that would not be out of place in Arthurian legend or Monty Python sketch; built in 1020 & gave name to 1 of Europe’s greatest ruling dynasties.



BASEL-STADT
RIEHEN
Sights & Sites
Beyeler Museum – 101 Baselstrasse; 011-41-061-645-9700; fondationbeyeler.ch.



BERN
GRINDELWALD
Hotels
Grand Hotel Regina – 1 Talstrasse (Am Bahnhof); 011-41-033-854-8600; grandregina.ch.

GSTAAD (includes Zweisimmen)
Hotels
Alpina – 23 Alpinastrasse; 011-41-033-888-98888; thealpinagstaad.ch; hand-built stone fireplaces in rooms fitted with reclaimed wood; Six Senses spa.
Grand Hotel Park Gstaad – Wispilestrasse; 011-41-033-748-9800; grandhotelpark.ch; 100 year-old hotel with contemporary restoration; Turkish steam room; saltwater swimming pool; encourages children.
Gstaad Palace – Palacestrasse; 011-41-033-748-5000; palace.ch; looks like fairy tale castle.
Restaurants
Chosterli – 3783 Grund Bei; 011-41-033-748-7979; chosterli.com; Alain Ducasse-designed, now managed by different, Michelin-starred chef; housed in 300 year-old chalet; Mediterranean-influenced.
Posthotel Rossli – Promenade 10; 011-41-033-748-4242; posthotelroessli.ch; beautiful address in famous Promenade; no decor change since 1920.
Sights & Sites
Obersimmentaler Heimathuus & Museum (Zweisimmen Museum) – Kirchgasse; 011-41-033-722-1133; museums.ch/org/de/Obersimmentaler-Heimatmuseum; in small village 20 miles from Gstaad; open since 1927, museum is in farmhouse preserved almost in original state from 1647; antique living room; farming and handicraft commodities; small medieval garden.

INTERLAKEN
Hotels
Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa – 41 Hoheweg; 011-41-033-828-2828; victoria-jungfrau.ch; Belle Epoque, airy, spacious building with lakefront position and snowcapped mountain views.

LAUTERBRUNNEN
Hotels
Hotel Bellevue-Wengen – 1437 Galliweidli; 011-41-033-856-6655; bellevue-wengen.ch; built in 1890.
Sights & Sites
Staubbach Falls – of 72 waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen valley, this is most famous.

MADISWIL
Hotels
Gasthof Baren – 1 Kirchgassil; 011-41-062-957-7010; baeren-madiswil.ch; 11-room, exposed-timber inn that is “e-biker” mecca.
Restaurants
Gasthof Baren – 1 Kirchgassil; 011-41-062-957-7010; baeren-madiswil.ch; good, solid Swiss food.

MAIENFELD
Shopping
Kunz-Keller – 2 Flescherstrasse; 011-41-081-330-1555; kunz-keller.ch; wine store selling locally produced Pinot Noir.
Sights & Sites
Heididorf – 011-41-081-330-1912; heididorf.ch; Heidiwood? But, also, access to great hiking.

MEIRINGEN
Hotels
Parkhotel du Sauvage – 30 Bahnhofstrasse; 011-41-033-972-1880; sauvage.ch; hotel from which Sherlock Holmes departed to meet with Professor Moriarity.
Sights & Sites
Sherlock Holmes Museum – 26 Bahnhofstrasse; 011-41-033-972-1880; sherlockholmes.ch.

Mürren
Sights & Sites
Mürren – Bernese Oberland; traditional Walser mountain village at elevation of 5.413'; unreachable by public road; view of 3 towering mountains: Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau; population of just 450, but has 2K hotel beds; 4 cable cars, known as Luftseilbahn Stechelberg-Mürren-Schilthorn (LSMS), provides transportation from Mürren downhill to Gimmelwald & Stechelberg & uphill to Schilthorn summit & revolving restaurant Piz Gloria (principal filming location for James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969, George Lazenby, Telly Savalas & Diana Rigg).

WENGEN
Hotels
Beausite Park Hotel – 011-41-033-856-5161; parkwengen.ch.



FRIBOURG
GRUYERE
Bars & Nightclubs
Giger Bar – 2 Rue du Château; 011-41-026-921-0800; hrgiger.com/barchur.htm; bar themed and modelled by Swiss artist H. R. Giger; interiors are themed in biomechanical style, based on Alien films (whose sets he designed); chairs, fittings, roof, and walls all modelled by artist; high-backed, prominent chair design originally intended as Harkonnen throne for abandoned Dune film project.
Hotels
Hostellerie Saint-Georges – 22 Rue du Bourg; 011-41-026-921-8300; st-georges-gruyeres.ch; peaceful hideaway is region’s best place to stay; building dates from 1500s; well-furnished bedrooms, all with bathrooms and new beds; cozy cafe suitable for drinks, light lunches, and snacks; also old-world dining room.
Restaurants
Hostellerie Saint-Georges – 22 Rue du Bourg; 011-41-026-921-8300; st-georges-gruyeres.ch; old-world dining room where specialties include filet on slate platter, duck breast with green peppercorns, and Gruyere (duh!) quiche.
Hotel du Ville Jean-Luc Dumas – 29 Rue du Bourg; 011-41-026-921-2424; hoteldeville.ch; notable for fondue.
Sights & Sites
H.R. Giger Museum – Château St. Germain; 011-41-026-921-2200; hrgigermuseum.com; in 1980, H.R. Giger, Swiss artist, won Oscar for Best Visual Effects for Alien; museum in medieval Gruyères’ center; biggest existing collection Giger works: film sets; furnishings; paintings; & sculptures.



GENEVA
COLOGNY
Sights & Sites
Villa Diodati – 9 Chemin de Ruth; where Lord Byron lived.



GRAUBÜNDEN
CHUR
Bars & Nightclubs
Giger Bar – 23 Comercialstrasse; 011-41-081-253-7506; hrgiger.com/barchur.htm; bar themed and modelled by Swiss artist H. R. Giger; interiors are themed in biomechanical style, based on Alien films (whose sets he designed); chairs, fittings, roof, and walls all modelled by artist; high-backed, prominent chair design originally intended as Harkonnen throne for abandoned Dune film project.

DISENTIS
Bars & Nightclubs
Nangijala Bar & Cafe – 43 Alpsu; 011-41-081-936-4460; nangijala.ch; après-ski hangout.
Hotels
Disentiserhof – 1 Via Disentiserhof; 011-41-081-929-5700; disentiserhof.ch; 157-apartment hotel with indoor pool and sauna; picks up groups of 2 or more at Zurich airport (5 hours away).
Hotel Cucagna – Via Alpsu; 011-41-081-929-5555; cucagna.ch; has 1 of town’s few bars.
Restaurants
Die Stiva Grischuna – 3 Via Cavardiras; 011-41-081-947-5236; excellent Italian-Swiss food; polenta-based; try polenta alla nona (polenta with baked pears, veal, and cream).
Hotel Alpsu – Via Alpsu; 011-41-081-947-5117; hotelalpsu.ch; try bizochel (buckwheat noodles) and/or capun (spinach-filled pasta dough).
Nangijala Bar & Cafe – 43 Alpsu; 011-41-081-936-4460; nangijala.ch; good hamburgers.

FLIMS
Sights & Sites
Lake Cauma Park – hike pine-studded path to funicular, which drops down to Lake Cauma, where can rent paddle-boats.

GRAUBUNDEN (includes Klosters & St. Moritz)
Hotels
Badrutt’s Palace – 27 Via Serlas (St. Moritz); 011-41-081-837-1000; badruttspalace.com; 1896 hotel famous for Gothic tower in heart of town; mountain views.
Walserhof – 141 Landstrasse (Klosters); 011-41-081-410-2929; walserhof.ch; Relais & Chateaux property.
Hotel Paradies Hideaway Resort – Ftan; 011-41-081-861-0808; paradieshotel.ch;
Restaurants
Post Haus – 3 Via dal Vout (St. Moritz); 011-41-081-833-8080; post-haus.ch; modern riffs on classic seafood dishes.
Walserhof – 141 Landstrasse (Klosters); 011-41-081-410-2929; walserhof.ch; Relais & Chateaux property.

UORS
Restaurants
Casa da Luzi – Surcasti; 011-41-081-931-2459; casa-da-luzi.ch; elegant and lovely, both in terms of décor and setting; freshest ingredients and skilled chef.

VALS
Hotels
Hotel Therme Vals – Therme; 011-41-081-926-8080; therme-vals.ch/en.
Sights & Sites
Thermal Baths.



NEUCHÂTEL
LA CHAUX-DE-FONDS
Sights & Sites
Musee International d’Horlogerie – 29 Rue des Musées; 011-41-032-967-6861; mih.ch; dedicated to horology; considered among world’s broadest and most comprehensive clock and watch museums; exhibits include full size replicas of Giovanni de’ Dondi’s Astrarium (fabled, clockwork-driven, 14th Century mechanism showing moon, planets, and sun’s movement.

LE LOCLE
Sights & Sites
Musee d’Horlogerie du Locle – 65 Route des Monts; 011-41-032-931-1680; mhl-monts.ch; municipal museum specializing in horology; located in country manor house (“Chateau des Monts”); museum collection’s core made of: Collection Maurice Yves Sandoz (18th & 19th Century, Swiss-made automatons, including mechanical music or singing bird automatons); Collection Henri Jeanmaire (marquetry clock cases by Charles André Boulle under Louis XIV); Collection Alfred Huguenin (focusing on Neuchâtel style pendule history); park-like garden features several sundials and larger, sculptural clocks, including al-Jazari Elephant clock replica.



NIDWALDEN
ENNETBURGEN
Hotels
Villa Honegg – ; 011-41-041-618-3200; villa-honegg.ch/en; overlooking Vierwaldstättersee, this posh hotel built in 1905 is 2.4 km from Bürgenstock mountain & 24 km from Kapellbrücke bridge; features lake- or mountain-view balconies, stylish upmarket rooms with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs & Nespresso machines; separate house is also available; breakfast, parking & loaner bikes are complimentary; amenities include fireplace lounge, upscale regional restaurant, magnificent infinity pool, fitness room & spa offering beauty & massage treatments.



OBWALDEN
BRUNIG
Hotels
Brunig-Kulm – Brunig Pass (Meiringen); 011-41-033-971-1708; perched half-way up Brunig Pass; typically Bernese Oberland chalet (only 17 years old); at 1K m, view is, when clouds allow, pure picture-postcard; ask for room with window view over 7 waterfalls in valley; at Reichenbach falls that Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty tumbled to their deaths; restaurant.



ST. GALLEN
BAD RAGAZ
Hotels
Grand Hotel Quellenhof Bad Ragaz – Bernhard-Simon-Strasse; 011-41-081-303-3030; resortragaz.ch.

RORSCHACH
Sights & Sites
Badhutte – Lake Constance; wooden bathhouse from 1924; only one left on Lake Constance; open to public and popular swimming spot.

ST. GALLEN (includes Appenzell)
Restaurants
Confiserie Roggwiller – 17 Multergasse; 011-41-071-222-5092; roggwiller.ch; open since 1826; tearoom; try Gallen Biben (ginger-bread-honey-almond confection).
National Zum Goldenen Leuen – 30 Schmiedgasse; 011-41-071-222-0262; national-zum-goldenen-leuen.firmen24.mobl; 400 year-old building, houses tavern ideal for lunch.
Sights & Sites
Abbey of St. Gall – 6 Klosterhof; 011-41-071-227-3381; stiftsbibliothek.ch; built in 9th Century; convent is UNESCO World Heritage site; make sure to see Irish library.
Appenzell – appenzell.ch; to outer world, village best known by Landsgemeinden institution (democratic assemblies held in open air, in which every male and female citizen (not being disqualified) over 20 must (under financial penalty) appear personally & vote).

ST. MARGRETHENBERG
Restaurants
Bergrestaurant Buura-Beizli – Familie Blochlinger-Wyss, 1 Hof; 011-41-081-302-2815; buura-beizli.ch; farmhouse restaurant serving organic food in beautiful setting; try veal goulash and barley soup.



TICINO
BRIONE (VERZASCA)
Sights & Sites
Ebelin Bucerius House – Brione Sopra Minusio; architectuul.com/architecture/bucerius-house; private residential villa built by American architect Richard Neutra from 1962-66; house built for Gerd Bucerius, German newspaper Die Zeit founder; house among 4 in Switzerland that Neutra designed in last decade of his life; Bucerius House’s high cost partially attributable to its location in forest atop mountain; Neutra’s original plans for house lost in 1964 fire that destroyed Neutra VDL Studio & Residences, his house in Silver Lake, California, in 1964; house renovated & restored by Villa Nova Architekten in 2005; not open to public.

LOCARNO
Sights & Sites
Castello Visconti – 2 Piazza Castello; 011-41-091-756-3180; locarno.ch/pages/uff_content.aspx?id_contenuto=430; includes archaeological museum; may have been designed by Leonardo Da Vinci.
Gambarogno Riviera – line of villages in Switzerland that extend to Italian border.
Old Town – walking distance form main square; Medieval.
Santuario della Madonna del Sasso – 2 Via del Santuario (north of town center); 011-41-091-743-6265; perched high above Locarno; “pilgrimage” to church, by funicular, is worth trip.

MENDRISIO
Shopping
Mantero Outlet – 18 Via Angelo Maspoli; 011-41-084-882-8888 (for all factory outlets); mantero.com; silk.



VALAIS
CRANS MONTANA
Hotels
LeCrans Hotel – Plans-Mayens; 011-41-027-486-6060; lecrans.com; spa and hotel with panoramic views from Mont Blanc to Matterhorn.

ZERMATT
Hotels
Cervo Zermatt – 156 Riedweg; 011-41-027-968-1212; cervo.ch/home.
Grand Hotel Zermatterhoff – 55 Bahnhofstrasse; 011-41-027-966-6600; zermatterhof.ch; in Matterhorn’s shadow; 19th Century hotel promises Alpine skiing outside door; rooms have murals and wood paneling; renovated in 2007.
Mont Cervin Palace – 31 Bahnhofstrasse; 011-41-027-966-8888; mont-cervin-palace.com; 5 stars.
Hotel Monte Rosa – 80 Bahnhofstrasse; 011-41-027-966-0333; monterosazermatt.ch/en/monte-rosa; according to Edward Whymper (Englishman who conquered Matterhorn), best hotel in Zermatt in 1865; now among most welcoming and traditional; stone posts, lintels, and red shutters around windows; lounges have parquet floors, thick rugs, and crackling fireplaces; antique armchairs are beautifully upholstered in stripes and patterns; midsize to spacious bedrooms, decorated with Victorian prints and cabinetry, are among most comfortable in Zermatt; rooms facing south are most desirable, expensive, and difficult to come by.
Omnia – Auf dem Fels; 011-41-027-966-7171; the-omnia.com; traditional mountain lodge; highly regarded.
Restaurants
Bergrestaurant Blatten Zermatt – 66 Postfach (Blatten); 011-41-027-967-2096; rhone.ch/rest-blatten; sits on grassy mountain plateau with Matterhorn view; easy 15 minute hike up from Zermatt; try puff pastry-topped mushroom soup.
Bergrestaurant Fluhalp Zermatt – 7 Steinmattweg; 011-41-027-967-2597; fluhalp-zermatt.ch; mountain restaurant (at 8.5K'); set slightly off main piste as ski from Rothorn to Gant; traditional alpine chic in wooden building with quaint red shutters; Matterhorn view impressive; if too cold, dinner in ground-floor dining room is lovely.
Franz & Heidi’s Findlerhof – 62 Wiestistrasse (Findeln); 011-41-027-967-2588; findlerhof.ch; best mountain restaurant near Zermatt; despite remote location on steep mountainside, very popular; roof and sun terrace; faces Matterhorn; meat and salmon carpaccio, salads laced with salmon and scampi, and excellent pasta dishes.
Le Gitan – 64 Bahnhofstrasse; 011-41-027-968-1940; legitan.ch; neither most formal nor most glamorous restaurant in town; despite that, reservations during winter ski season sometimes booked week in advance and virtually everyone picks it as favorite; street level in well-managed, 3 star hotel; interior is cozy, with open fireplace and room for no more than 50 diners; wide selection regional and Swiss specialties, with emphasis on grilled meats; savory fondues served in bistro in front of restaurant.
Heimberg – 84 Bahnhofstrasse; 011-41-027-967-8484; heimberg-zermatt.ch; rustic, all-wood space with modern touches.
Whymper-Stube – 80 Bahnhofstrasse (at Hotel Monte Rosa); 011-41-027-966-0333; monterosazermatt.ch/en/monte-rosa; for fondue and/or raclette.
Zum See – 44 Wichieweg; 011-41-027-967-2045; zumsee.ch; in picturesque hamlet above Zermatt; seats inside and outside on terrace, summer and winter; traditional and Mediterranean influenced food; if nothing else, order cremeschnitte and hot chocolate.



VAUD
LAUSANNE (includes Coppet, Lavaux, Ouchy, St. Bernard Pass & Vaud)
Hotels
Hotel d’Angleterre – 11 Place du Port (Ouchy); 011-41-021-613-3434; angleterre-residence.ch.
Beau-Rivage Palace – 12 Place du Port; 011-41-021-613-3333; brp.ch; splendid 1861 landmark on Lake Geneva.
Restaurants
Au Chat Noir – 27 Rue Beau-Sejour; 011-41-021-312-9585; for authentic French cuisine; charming bistro.
Le Bleu Lezard – 10 Rue Enning; 011-41-021-321-3830; bleu-lezard.ch; café-restaurant upstairs and nightclub below.
Cafe Romand – 2 Place Saint-François; 011-41-021-312-6375; cafe-romand.ch; Swiss fondue and raclette.
CGN – 17 Avenue de Rhodanie; 011-41-021-601-1666; cgn.ch; vintage ferry operator that offers combined dinner-excursion experiences.
Services
CGN – 17 Avenue de Rhodanie; 011-41-021-601-1666; cgn.ch; vintage ferry operator that offers combined dinner-excursion experiences.
Shopping
Durig – 15 Avenue d’Ouchy; 011-41-021-601-2435; durig.ch; organic chocolate truffles.
Le Ferme Vaudoise – 5 Place de la Palud; 011-41-021-351-3555; lefermevaudoise.ch; cheese, produce, spirits, and yoghurt.
Sights & Sites
Avenue d’Ouchy – leafy, Beaux-Arts neighborhood; #57 (“La Villa”) is where Dickens sons took French.
Cathedral of Notre Dame – 6 Place de la Cathedrale; 011-41-021-316-7161; sacred-destinations.com/switzerland/lausanne-cathedral; most beautiful church in Switzerland.
Chardonne – small village.
Chateau du Coppet – 3 Chemin du Murs (Vaud); 011-41-022-776-1028; swisscastles.ch/vaud/coppet/ and stael.org; Madame de Stael’s mansion.
Fondation de l’Hermitage – 2 Route du Signal; 011-41-021-312-5013; en.fondation-hermitage.ch; paintings in magnificent setting, itself worth visit; old Cite quarter views as stroll around park surrounding manor; cafeteria in former attic room; organized tours for public on Thursdays and Sundays.
Grandvaux – small village.
Lavaux – small village; UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Musee de l’Elysee – 18 Avenue de l’Elysée; 011-44-021-316-9911; elysee.ch; photography museum.
St. Bernard Hospice – Bourg-St-Pierre (St. Bernard Pass); 011-41-027-787-1236; gsbernard.ch; accessible in winter only by snowshoe hike; monestary run by monks with accommodations (dormitory-style rooms) and communal dining; beautiful chapel (dates to 11th Century) and interesting museum.
Villa Rosemont – 14 Avenue Tissot; swisspassport.ch/?page_id=129; where Dickens 1st lived in Lausanne; original building gone; now art deco building, Grand Rosemont.
Vinorama Wine Museum – 2 Route du Lac (Rivaz); 011-44-021-946-3131; lavaux-vinorama.ch; Switzerland’s 1K years of vintnery.

MONTREUX (includes Veytaux)
Hotels
Montreux Palace Hotel – 100 Grand Rue; 011-41-021-962-1212 or 888-590-0005; fairmont.com; used as hospital for Allied soldiers during WWI and WWII; Belle Epoque design; set on Lake Geneva; spa; Vladimir Nabokov lived here for 16 years.
Services
Clinique La Prairie – 142 Rue du Lac (Clarens); 011-41-021-989-3311; laprairie.ch; spa.
Sights & Sites
Chateau de Chillon – 21 Avenue de Chillon (Veytaux); 011-41-021-966-8910; chillon.ch/en; medieval fortress with turrets rising, apparently from Lake Geneva’s waters.
Montreux to Interlaken Train – among most beautiful train trips in Switzerland.
SIERRE
Sights & Sites
Fondation et Musee Rainer Maria Rilke – Maison de Courten, 30 Rue du Bourg; 011-41-027-456-2646; fondationrilke.ch.

VEVEY
Hotels
Hotel des Trois Couronnes – 49 Rue d’Italie; 011-41-021-923-3320; montreux.ch/trois-couronnes; Henry James lived and set part of Daisy Miller here.

VILLARS-SUR-OLLON
Hotels
Lonhea Alpine Clinic – 85 Avenue Centrale; 011-41-024-495-3888; lonhea.com; luxury health spa.



ZURICH
WINTERTHUR
Sights & Sites
Museum Villa Flora – 44 Tosstalstrasse; 011-41-052-212-9960; villaflora.ch; between 1907-1930, Hedy and Arthur Hahnloser-Bühler built French-Swiss art collection extraordinary in quality; main focus on young Swiss artists, Fauves (Manguin, Matisse, and Rouault), and Nabis (Bonnard, Vallotton, and Vuillard), as well as their forerunners (Cézanne, van Gogh, Redon); in collectors’ former home.

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