Switzerland’s 11 most spectacular spas
To experience some of the country’s most beautiful spots, you have to head inside to one of its world-class hotel spas.
From the majestic Alps to the shores of Lake Geneva, Switzerland is renowned for its natural beauty. But as wellness enthusiasts know, to experience some of the country’s most beautiful spots, you have to head inside to one of its world-class hotel spas.
As the birthplace of high-end skincare lines like La Prairie, Valmont, and La Mer as well as the home of cutting-edge aesthetic centres and performance-driven wellness clinics, Switzerland regards wellness as much a part of Swiss tradition as cheese and chocolate.
Here are 11 gorgeous places to relax, refresh, and get pampered—Swiss-style.
The Dolder Grand
With its lush hilltop setting overlooking Zurich, museum-quality art collection, and striking design by London-based Foster + Partners, it’s clear the iconic Dolder Grand holds aesthetics in high regard.
You’ll find further proof in the award-winning spa — a 43,000-square-foot oasis with a sleek central pool, outdoor hydrotherapy and relaxation nooks, and a spa library and café. Head to the Aqua Zone to detox in the stream or sauna, refresh in the ice room, and settle into an oversized tub filled with hundreds of heated rocks — a take on a Japanese therapy designed to ease tight muscles. Treatments feature products from Kerstin Florian, La Prairie, and Amala and range from mineral soaks and marma-point massages to targeted facials performed with ingredients like gold and caviar.
Treatment to book: The 90-minute Nature’s Organic Seasonal Facial, which starts with a foot bath infused with herbs from the Dolder Grand’s gardens, using ingredients like wild blue lotus and Swiss mountain herbs to leave skin glowing.
Park Hotel Vitznau
Don’t let the Park Hotel Vitznau’s 100-year-old, castle-like exterior fool you: Inside lies a sleek and modern haven with a Michelin-starred restaurant, unique themed suites, and James Bond–level technology. You’ll certainly feel as if you’re in a Bond film when swimming in the spa’s heated infinity pool, which juts out toward the Rigi mountains high above Lake Lucerne. Sweat it out in the Finnish sauna before taking a dip in the main pool or indoor-outdoor whirlpools, or relax in the low-humidity sanarium (kept at a constant 140 degrees Fahrenheit). Treatments pamper skin with luxurious Swiss-made La Prairie products and massage sore muscles with warm stones or herb-filled heated pouches.
Treatment to book: The Ultimate Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Facial, a 90-minute service that works anti-ageing magic on the face with La Prairie products and healing rose-quartz crystals before relaxing the back with Hawaiian-style lomi-lomi massage.
Starchitect Mario Botta didn’t want the 54,000-square-foot Tschuggen Bergoase spa to disrupt the lush mountain landscape above the town of Arosa. So, he hid it underground, making its striking, sculptural skylights the only perceptible structures among the forested hillsides.
Inside, however, is a wellness wonderland, with 12 treatment rooms, a gym with Techogym and Kinesis equipment, yoga and meditation areas, and multiple terraces and lounges, including one with a fireplace. Relax in indoor and outdoor pools or take a turn in the therapy circuit, outfitted with a Kneipp foot-massage track, a rock grotto bath, a “snow terrace,” and saunas of various temperatures. The menu includes everything from anti-cellulite treatments to milk-and-honey baths to traditional Indian Ayurvedic oil massages. A full medical-wellness program is also available.
Treatment to book: The Skier/Mountain Climber Massage, which soothes weary muscles with a mountain-pine-infused soak and a foot and leg massage.
For more than 160 years, the Kulm Hotel has helped define winter travel in St Moritz, attracting generations of jet-setters and VIPs with its proximity to snowy activities like skiing and tobogganing. Whether you visit in winter or summer, save time for the spa — a pioneer of the Swiss wellness scene. The 21,500-square-foot space focuses on water-based therapies, with an indoor pool (where music pumps through underwater speakers), outdoor pools with massaging jets, a saltwater grotto, and a variety of steam rooms and saunas, including an infrared cabin. Best of all, you can soak up the panoramic views of Lake St Moritz and the Engadin Mountains while soaking in the warm waters.
Treatment to book: The LPG Lipomassage by Endermologie uses a vacuum-suction roller to stimulate the skin and connective tissue, helping to drain fluids and tighten skin. This can be performed on the body or face to smooth skin and diminish the appearance of wrinkles.
The Chedi Andermatt
Head nearly 1500 metres above sea level to find a little slice of Asia in the heart of the Swiss Alps at the Chedi Andermatt. As a nod to the roots of the GHM hotel brand, which is based in Singapore, noted architect Jean-Michel Gathy infused this 123-room hotel and residential complex with plenty of Eastern design touches, along with warm woods, soft leathers, and glowing lanterns, resulting in one of the most unique versions of Alpine chic in the country. The hotel’s spa is Asian-inspired, too, with 26,000 square feet of serene amenities including a dimly lit Tibetan Relaxation Lounge and services that draw from Indian, Balinese, and Himalayan traditions. Hot and cold plunge pools, bio-saunas, and a sleek indoor-outdoor pool add to the calming vibe.
Treatment to book: One of the four Indulgent Oriental Rituals, which run from 120 to 180 minutes. Some use imported techniques and ingredients—like Balinese- and Thai-style massages and Himalayan crystal scrubs—while the Alpienne Mountain Ritual uses regional high-altitude herbs in a body scrub, facial, and whirlpool bath.
Grand Hotel Bad Ragaz
In the mid-13th century, Benedictine monks discovered hot mineral water gushing from between the rocks of the Tamina Gorge at the foothills of Pizol Mountain, in what is now known as the St Gallen Rhine Valley. Though the monks’ original bathhouse was a bit treacherous to access — bathers had to be lowered into the gorge by rope or be carried down in sedan chairs — by the 1800s, Bad Ragaz had become home to one of the top mineral-spring centres in Europe, and the site of the continent’s first indoor thermal pool.
Today, the Grand Hotel Bad Ragaz offers plenty of distractions for guests — from golf to gambling — but wellness is still at its heart. In addition to a full medical-health and dermatology clinic, there are two spas — one open to the public, another exclusive to hotel guests—that offer dozens of treatments, multiday itineraries, fitness programs, and thermal springs therapies. With Thermal Water World, Sauna World, bathhouses, and more, you’ll need a few days to explore it all.
Treatment to book: The recently launched two-hour haki Grounding Ritual, which begins in the mineral-water-based Room for the Senses and Rain Hall, and then continues to a hotel-guests-only treatment room for a full-body cleansing, scrub, warm oil treatment, and a special massage-stretch therapy designed to align the back, neck, and core.
Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa
What started as a small inn at the foothills of the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau mountains has more than 150 years later grown into one of Switzerland’s top hotels. Enjoying a prime location in the charming town of Interlaken, the belle époque–style Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa has hosted royals, artists, and regular folk alike looking to ski, hike, or golf. Since its spa’s opening in 1991—and subsequent expansions in 2002 and 2009—the resort has also attracted wellness seekers.
Today, the 59,200-square-foot complex features a large main pool; beautiful hydrotherapy, sauna, and steam areas; a gym; and a spa café, along with a warren of dimly lit treatment and relaxation rooms. Most services use products by Nescens, an anti-aging brand created 15 years ago at the Centre for the Prevention of Ageing at the Clinique de Genolier in far-west Switzerland. Personalised multiday programs overseen by a team of experts in nutrition, fitness, osteopathy, anti-aging, and preventative medicine are also available.
Treatment to book: One of the signature Nescens skin treatments, which range from 1-hour facials focusing on hydration to a 105-minute firming body massage and anti-ageing facial.
Grand Hotel Kronenhof
Located just outside the village of Pontresina, in the lush Engadin Valley, the Grand Hotel Kronenhof has been a Swiss favourite for more than 165 years for its proximity to summer and winter activities, its gourmet dining options, and its historic wine cellar, which kept guests and locals supplied with Veltliner wines through both World Wars. To find the hotel’s 21,528-square-foot spa, guests pass through a modern, all-glass rotunda with windows framing views of the valley and mountains. Inside lies a vast pool, multiple saunas, and a hydrotherapy circuit with a salt inhalation steam room, Kneipp foot baths, and a muscle-easing salt grotto. The treatment menu ranges from high-tech (anti-cellulite machines) to traditional (hands-on services using local honey and alpine herbs).
Treatment to book: The Private Spa Suite, where couples can indulge in a 50-minute de-stressing massage before enjoying an extra hour to make use of the hydro-jet tub, water bed, and steam shower — all while sipping glasses of bubbly. Guests looking for even more privacy can book the entire pool and hydrotherapy areas for themselves after 8 pm.
Le Grand Bellevue
Though Gstaad’s elegant Le Grand Bellevue — one of only a handful of Swiss hotels with a “palace” distinction—underwent a total revamp in 2013, the news didn’t stop there: In June, the property unveiled its 32,300-square-foot Le Grand Spa, a wellness facility whose soothing décor is inspired by the hills and valleys of the surrounding Bernese Oberland. The veritable spa playground features 17 different wellness and thermal areas, including a hay sauna, a Himalayan salt grotto, and an invigorating ice fountain. Head outside for the large pool and hot tub, Kneipp foot bath trail, sun terrace, and fragrant alpine garden. Treatments use products from Swiss brands like Cellcosmet and the British organic line Bamford, which is based on sustainable ingredients and botanical healing.
Treatment to book: To ease body pains, jet lag, and altitude headaches, try the Alpine-tradition-based Alp Hay Bath in which you’re wrapped in warm blankets and placed on a bed of scented local hay.
Even a country full of five-star hotel spas has room for one more. Slated for completion this October, the Bürgenstock Resort will house three wellness facilities in one location, making it one of the largest of its kind in Switzerland. The centerpiece will be the 107,000-square-foot, indoor-outdoor Bürgenstock Alpine Spa, set within the frame of an original 1981 building crafted in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright. The Spa will boast 15 treatments rooms; private spa suites; a 24-hour fitness center with Matrix equipment; yoga, Pilates, and barre studios; and a wet area with saunas, hydrotherapy, and a hammam. Both the 1,400-square-foot heated infinity pool — which will wrap around the exterior — and the glass-walled indoor pool will look out onto sparkling Lake Lucerne and Bürgenstock mountain. Treatments will use products by La Prairie, Ligne St. Barth, and Susanne Kaufmann — the latter created by a local of the Alpine Bregenzerwald valley.
Treatment to book: The official menu is still to come, but we’re excited about the signature Susanne Kaufmann skin treatments, which use products full of organic and active herbal ingredients, along with targeted massage techniques.
Set on the banks of Lake Maggiore, Eden Roc is a slice of the Mediterranean in Switzerland, with a private lakeside beach that invokes a sense of the Amalfi Coast — albeit with snowcapped mountains in the distance. Though the resort’s 21,500-square-foot spa might seem small compared with the behemoths at Dolder Grand and Bürgenstock, it packs a big punch in the world of wellness with a hydro-pool, a Kneipp foot massage circuit, a large indoor-outdoor swimming pool, and both mixed-sex and women-only steam rooms and saunas.
Treatment to book: The 90-minute Swiss Contour Body Firming treatment, which smooths and firms skin using Swiss-made Cellcosmet products high in potent cellular, marine, and herbal ingredients.
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March 3, 2021