Switzerland is picture postcard perfection. I had heard it was beautiful but couldn’t have fathomed exactly how true that would prove to be. We had a 9 hour rail journey from Venice (Italy) to Engelberg (Central Switzerland) and I was mesmerised by the storybook scenery along the way.
We met our lovely host Susanne at Hotel Edelweiss and were taken to a corner suite with a big comfy doona (each!). We awoke the next morning and caught our breath as we took in our beautiful surrounds. The room had floor to ceiling windows that overlooked the sleepy little village nestled among pine trees. There was a thin blanket of cloud at eye level separating the homes below from the snow-capped mountains above. It was serene and a moment I will never forget.
After rugging up, we decided to go for a walk and explore the village. I loved the gingerbread-style buildings and quirkiness of the stores. We walked to the outskirts of the village (it’s only very small) and saw some fluffy-eared cows. Even they looked happy to be in Switzerland!
We decided to swing by Schaukäserei Kloster Engelberg after seeing a good review, and watch how they made the Engelberger Klosterglocke (bell-shaped cheese). Entrance to the cheese factory is free and it was really interesting to see them turn large vats of milk into cheese. We ordered fondue for two (the cheese variety) along with some sausage and bread for dipping. It was really rich and smacked you in the mouth, but enjoyable in small portions.
The next day at breakfast, Susanne greeted us all smiles saying it was a good day to venture up the mountain. We took three cable cars to reach the summit of Klein Titlis (3,028 m) from Engelberg and we were blessed with a beautiful view. It was -5°C but with the sun shining on our layers of thermals, it was somewhat ‘warm’. We took the Titlis Cliff Walk (the highest elevation suspension bridge in Europe) and walked through the illuminated glacier cave.
Three cheek kisses later from Susanne, we were on a train again headed for our next stop in Switzerland. Lucerne (or Luzern as its spelt there) is about an hour north of Engelberg and is built on the shore of Lake Lucerne. We stayed at the Art Deco Hotel Montana in a suite that overlooked this very lake with the Swiss Alps in the distance.
Art Deco Hotel Montana is a four star superior hotel with membership in the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. This hotel has serious credibility receiving the 2013 HolidayCheck Award. Apart from its gorgeous location, I can vouch for the impeccable service of the staff too: that night we ate dinner at Scala Restaurant where our waitress scraped stray crumbs off the table between courses with a little silver instrument! Everything at this hotel screams service and luxury.
There’s something for the boys too with the recent opening of the Hemingway Lounge with an exquisite variety of rum, as well as cigars. The Louis Bar on the other hand, is the only bar in Switzerland to boast a range of over 130 single malt whiskies including the largest selection of rare bottles. There was a live pianist filling the room with smooth jazz tunes when we were there, and the guests were loving it.
If you’re considering a destination wedding, then Art Deco Hotel Montana would be a serious contender. The stylish Art Deco Hall has a seating capacity for over 110 people and can be divided into different rooms, which makes it the ideal venue for larger to more intimate wedding receptions. Ceremonies can be held on Scala Terrace with a panoramic backdrop of Lake Lucerne, and it’s not far to travel for a honeymoon should you wish to indulge in one of their luxury Penthouse Spa Suites upstairs.
To this day, when I’m asked what my favourite country from our trip was, my answer is Switzerland. Sure I have a very close second, third, and fourth answer, but there is simply something about Switzerland that makes you feel like you have been transported to another world. The mountains. The snow. The lakes. As for Switzerland for honeymooners, you’ll love it because everything is storybook.
Engelberg Images taken by Mr + Ms Chevron.
Lucerne Images provided by Art Deco Hotel Montana.