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SUISSE news Winter 2017 / January 2018

Travel News (January 2018)
Switzerland Tourism

Top News

Switzerland – Upgrade your Winter!

Looking for an upgrade of your winter? In Switzerland, the home of snow sports, the slopes are simply a bit higher, the trails a touch firmer and the winter hiking landscape just that little bit more enchanting. And thanks to 30 Swiss ski resorts, you can upgrade your winter season every day: their Upgrade Your Ski Day“ initiative allows holders of day- and multiple-day cards free access to  mountain railways and ski lifts the previous day as of 3 pm. So you can already get a taste of the ski resort, enjoy a mountain restaurant and have a first downhill run in the late afternoon.

Learn Skiing in One Day!

Ready to learn how to ski in just one day? Not a problem in Switzerland, thanks to the „First Ski Experience“. It is a one-stop-shop offer, which includes your ski outfit, equipment, lessons from a professional ski instructor and the lift ticket. This package provides those curious about skiing with little or no experience with a gentle, guided start to winter sports in Swiss skiing regions. The simple introductory offer gives inexperienced guests their first taste of sports on the slopes, leaving them wanting more. And ­­– of course ­– lots of fun in sun and snow are guaranteed.

Edelweiss Expands its Destinations.

There is a new direct flight connection from San Diego to Zurich twice a week. Edelweiss, Switzerland’s leading leisure airline, is further expanding its route network to North America and operates this flight together with Swiss International Air Lines, from June to September. In 2018, Edelweiss will expand its flight destinations in North America even more: As of January 16, Orlando is the airline’s second destination in Florida after Tampa. New destinations also include Denver, where the airline will fly to twice weekly, from June to September. As of summer 2018, it will fly to Vancouver up to 4x weekly.

Vancouver to Zurich – Non-stop!

As of January 2018, Air Canada flies non-stop from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to Zurich Airport (ZRH), three times per week. The carrier already has two flights between Canada and Switzerland: Montreal–Geneva; and Toronto–Toronto.

New Swiss Travel Pass Highlights.

As of January 1, new highlights will be fully included in the Swiss Travel Pass: the Schilthorn
(Piz Gloria) with its stunning view of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau as well as the
FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich.

Bike Back to Nature.

We won’t re-invent the wheel the next two years and keep focusing on our “Back to Nature” theme. Speaking of wheels: In Switzerland, roads up to legendary alpine passes promise an exhilarating challenge for any cyclist; spectacular single-track trails will thrill every mountain biker; idyllic routes through gentle landscapes and along lakes and rivers suit leisure cyclists and e-bike riders perfectly. And they all have one thing in common: a glorious natural backdrop of mighty alpine peaks, rolling hills or wide-open expanses, scattered with villages and towns full of character.

Hotel News

Arosa: Valsana Hotel Sets Sustainability Standard.

On December 7, the Valsana Hotel & Apartments opens in Arosa. The state-of-the-art property is at the forefront of sustainable hospitality through its use of cutting edge, carbon-neutral technology, and is the first hotel in Switzerland to be powered by an "Ice Vault," a large underground Thermal Energy Storage system that allows excess thermal energy to be stored and used by extracting the energy from the water until controlled freezing takes place. Bordering the forest at the entrance of Arosa, the hotel is surrounded by majestic views of the lake and Graubünden mountains.

First Hard Rock Hotel in Switzerland.

The “Spenglers” in Davos, which opened in the middle of December 2016, will be converted to a Hard Rock Hotel at the end of the year. The 4-star hotel will have 111 redesigned rooms, including 31 one- to three-room apartments. It is due to open its doors on December 1.

Millennials Welcome in Lenzerheide!

The Revier Mountainlodge Lenzerheide, the first 'new generation hotel' in the Alps, is due to open this winter. Located right next to Rothorn valley station, it is to be the first in a series of Revier hotels in the Alps. The innovative design is geared towards the changed travel habits of younger and particularly active guests.

New Resort on Bürgenstock.

A trendsetting new destination opened this fall: Set on a forested ridge 2,800 feet / 854 meters above spectacular Lake Lucerne with views of the Rigi and Pilatus Mountains, the car-free Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne is spread over 148 acres / 60 hectares and will be open year round. The Bürgenstock Resort encompasses 383 rooms in four hotels, 67 residences, 13 restaurants and bars, a 107,000 square feet / 9940 square meters spa and wellness center, meeting space for 900 people – not to mention the highest outdoor elevator in Europe – and a funicular that deposits guests directly inside the hotel. A nine-hole golf course, three championship tennis courts, a curling rink, 43 miles / 96 kilometers of hiking and biking trails and a private lido on the lake for water sports will keep active guests busy and happy.

New Gastronomy Highlights in Verbier.

The gastronomic offering from Verbier now includes a micro-brewery, the first of its kind in the area. You find it at the “Vie Montagne” . The fine dining restaurant on the prestigious Rue de Medran has two floors: the ground floor houses a wood fire and charcoal grill, while the top floor offers a luxurious dining experience with the aim of being among the best in the village.

New Spa at the Capra.

On December 1, a new unique 6450 f2 / 600 m2 oasis for relaxing the body, mind and soul opens the 4-star “The Capra” hotel in Saas-Fee. Indoor and outdoor pool, saunas, relaxation rooms and treatment rooms. It was built using local wood and stone.

Another 25hours for Zurich.

On April 1, Zurich’s second 25hours Hotel opened at the intersection between the bustling Langstrasse and the new Europaallee quarter. The hotel, with its 170 guest rooms, is situated a stone’s throw away from the main station and underscores the stark contrast between banks and red light district, between art and commerce. At the heart of the hotel are the eclectic NENI restaurant and the Cinchona Bar, situated on the ground floor, offering a meeting place for hotel guests and visitors alike.

Lots of Design for Little Money.

Summer 2017 saw the opening of Zurich’s first hotel from the budget designer hotel brand, Motel One. With 400 guest rooms, this establishment in the heart of downtown Zurich will be one of the three largest hotel complexes in Switzerland. 

Culinary News

Horse around with Fondue!

Ready for the most romantic fondue you have ever had? In Gstaad you can now eat a local fondue, riding a horse carriage through winter wonderland for an hour. And thanks to the covered and heated carriage you will stay warm. If you want it less romantic: it seats up to 20 people – so you can bring your whole family, or all your friends.

New Chocolate Museum.

In October, a new chocolate museum opened in Courtelary in the Bernese Jura. “Chez Camille Bloch” is from Camille Bloch, who you might know as the manufacturers of the famous Ragusa and Torino chocolate. The new visitor center has space for 100,000 guests annually and offers courses, tastings and a seminar center.

Sweet Cruise in Lugano.

Are you craving Swiss Chocolate? And do you want a hands-on experience? A new mini-cruise takes you from the city center of Lugano to a typical local restaurant (grotto) directly on Lake Lugano. Enjoy a fine glass of wine and marvel at the view of the lake, while you help creating exquisite pralines and truffles, together with the chef. You’ll go home with fond memories and... a box of your own masterpieces!

Dig into Ticino Specialties.

This new culinary tour takes guests through the historic center of Lugano, where they make several stops to sample various Ticino specialties and dishes from other cantons. All accompanied by an exquisite Merlot. Guests learn of the anecdotes and curiosities of many characteristic inns, bars and restaurants of the “Pearl of Ceresio”. This 3.5-hour walk is more than just a tasting tour, it is a menu come to life.

Eat at the Gourmet Tower in Grächen.

A slope vehicle, a kitchen and a chef – gust the right ingredients for a culinary experience on the slope. Grächen in the Valais Region is the first ski resort in Switzerland to offer guests mobile dining with its Gourmet Tower. The roof of the 540 PS machine is accessible and can also be used as a DJ podium or a dance stage.

Enjoy Real Swiss Spirits.

The Morand Distillery in Martigny has been producing quality spirits, liqueurs and cordials for four generations. You can now discover the history of the distillery and learn about the unique, intense taste of its Williamine (pear) and Abricotine (apricot) spirits on a guided tour. And of course, tastings are part of the experience.

Future News

Celebrate Winegrowers in Vevey.

In Vevey, there is a unique festival, which encourages community spirit, helps to maintain the area’s artistic life and provides a sense of cultural continuity while facilitating the know-how of master winegrowers: the Fête des Vignerons. The wine growers festival takes place only every 20 years and involves mainly volunteers who spend several years preparing for it. Transmission occurs within families and by the not-for-profit association the Vevey Brotherhood of Winegrowers, which coordinates the festival and whose members include winegrowers and the general public. The next festival will be in 2019.

The Lake Geneva Region to Host Winter Olympic Youth Games 2020.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has named Lausanne to host the third edition of the Youth Olympic Games exactly 100 years after the establishment of the IOC in Lausanne, known as the Olympic Capital. The Lake Geneva Region's varied landscape is ideal for the winter games.

Highest 3S Lift in the World.

The new high-performance 3S Lift carries 2,000 guests to nearly 13,100 ft./ 4,000 m every hour. With a view of the Matterhorn summit 4.5 mi/ 7 km away. Starting point: Trockener Steg (9650 ft./ 2,939 m); Destination: Matterhorn glacier paradise (12,740 ft./ 3,883 m). The 25 six-seat cabins are a Pininfarina design and run parallel to the large aerial tramway. The construction time is 100 days in each of the summer seasons from 2016 to 2018. An information pavilion at Trockener Steg and the construction diary document the construction of the lift. The construction started in May 2016.