Where to stay in Switzerland
High quality hotels in Switzerland range from luxury to family to simple pensions. A service charge of 15% is included in hotel bills, and an additional tourist tax may be payable depending on the location.
Grading: There is the Hotelstars Union grading system from 1 to 5 stars.
Note: Most hotels in Switzerland are affiliated to the Schweizer Hotelier Verein (SHV or Swiss Hotel Association). Hotelleriesuisse is responsible for hotel classification and guides. Membership of the SHV is voluntary, and there may be some first-class hotels, which do not have a star rating. There are many hotels with no actual star classification that are recognised by, and are members of, the SHV as well as Country Inns, Unique hotels, Aparthotels, Mountain Inns/Traveller's Lodges and Low Service hotels.
Bed and breakfast
There are extensive bed and breakfast hotels in Switzerland, information on these can be found from Bed and Breakfast Switzerland (www.bnb.ch). A service charge of 15% is included in bills, and an additional local or tourist tax may be payable (depending on the location).
There are approximately 380 campsites in Switzerland according to www.camping.ch. Camping outside of designated areas is against the law with fines of €10,000 applicable if you’re found guilty. Local area laws and fees vary. A list of campsites is available online (www.camping.ch), and the Swiss Camping Association website also lists campsites and important planning information for camping (http://www.swisscamps.ch/en/home). Many campsites are part of the Swiss Touring Club (TCS).
Information regarding the self-catering in Switzerland, rental of chalets, houses, flats and furnished apartments is available from local tourist offices and estate agents in Switzerland. A list of holiday rentals is available from Switzerland Tourism.
Specialist accommodation includes golfing hotels, mineral spas, over 40 family-oriented Kids Hotels, igloo villages and ‘sleeping on straw’ farm accommodation. Basic accommodation for climbers and hikers in the mountains takes the form of alpine huts or chalets. Search on Switzerland Tourism for availability. Further details are available from the Swiss Alpine Club (www.sac-cas.ch).
Visitors holding membership cards of a national organization affiliated with the Hostelling International network are entitled to lower prices. Advanced booking is advised in summer. A list of hostels is obtainable from Switzerland Tourism, together with details of Backpackers’ Hotels (www.swissbackpackers.ch) for those on a tight budget.