Switzerland Tourism x Konfekt | Monocle

Switzerland Tourism X Konfekt

The high life

Sloping from Lake Thun up to some of the sharpest peaks of the Alps, the region of Bernese Oberland is defined by its altitude. Awaiting travellers who make the ascent are Belle Époque hotels and rugged mountain huts, cosmopolitan resorts and villages without phone signal, meandering meadows and snow-capped slopes – all perched together on this dizzyingly scenic plateau.

The regions
1 Jungfrau Region
2 Gstaad
3 Adelboden-Lenk-Kandersteg


Region 1 –– Jungfrau Region

The last stretch of civilisation before the Bernese Alps turn almost vertical, the Jungfrau Region is a destination for ardent adventurers. Elegant new hotels has introduced luxury to the area without altering its off-piste spirit: some villages remain inaccessible by car and only reachable by train or cableway.


After transiting through Interlaken, visitors are transported to the remote villages of Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Mürren and Haslital through successively more stunning scenery. In a feat of Swiss engineering, the railway runs all the way up to Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe, a mountain pass 3,454 metres above sea level with the highest station in Europe. The mountain peak overlooks a glacier and is blanketed in white year-round. Above and below the snow line, the possible excursions are endless: in addition to a web of vertiginous hiking trails, the northern back of the Jungfrau Region also accommodates those who get their adrenaline rush from rock climbing, mountain biking or paragliding.

1 — Grand Hotel Belvedere

The first five-star hotel in Wengen has two restaurants and an onsen-inspired spa. It will welcome its first guests this autumn.

2 — Hotel Drei Berge

This irreverent new hotel in Mürren overlooks three of Switzerland’s highest peaks and draws guests eager to climb them.

3 — Mönchsjochhütte

Perched 3,650 metres above sea level, this Alpine hut includes meals and a litre of tea in the nightly rate.

Region 2 –– Gstaad

When in need of summer escapism, a Gstaad sojourn is hard to beat – actress Julie Andrews once called it “the last paradise in a crazy world”. Many who visit are tempted to stay for good: in the 1960s, the number of hotel rooms in Gstaad went down because those who arrived as guests soon decided to buy or build their own chalets.


Just over 1000 metres above sea level and two hours by train from Geneva, Gstaad is the easiest to reach of Switzerland’s main Alpine resorts. Compared to the bustle of St Moritz, the town retains a relaxed, friendly character, especially in the off-season summer months. Days are best spent wandering Saanenland’s tranquil, unspoilt landscape, strewn with flowering meadows, the odd sleepy village and as many cows as it has inhabitants. An equally excellent option is to soak in the sun with a leisurely lunch on one of the region’s Michelin-starred terraces. For more than a century, Gstaad’s restaurateurs and hoteliers have refined their approach to hospitality – and it often involves a fondue or flambé.

1 — The Mansard

This recently opened boutique hotel exudes a casual yet comfortable atmosphere. Indulge at the Miradi restaurant or enjoy a unique perspective on Gstaad from the Vane sky bar.

2 — The Alpina Gstaad

This five-star institution has four restaurants including the Michelin-starred Sommet by Martin Göschel.

3 — Posthotel Rössli

Opened in 1845, six decades before the arrival of the railway, Gstaad’s oldest guest house is a bulwark of traditional Swiss hospitality and cuisine.

Region 3 –– Adelboden-Lenk-Kandersteg

Laid out neatly side by side, the three valleys that are home to Adelboden, Lenk and Kandersteg form an ideal tract for high-altitude exploration. Many have discovered a love for mountaineering here: after hiking up a waterfall, Mark Twain wrote “the snow-peaks had always been remote and unapproachable grandeurs, hitherto, but now we were hob-a-nob.”


Adelboden-Lenk-Kandersteg forms a modern network of ski slopes and hiking trails that carry the identity of an earlier, secluded time: the villages all speak their own German dialects. There is no wrong way to enjoy the pristine slopes, adorned with turquoise waterfalls and Edelweiss. Traverse the Engstligental, Kandertal and Simmental valleys on an active itinerary or stay put and pampered in one of the region’s historic spa hotels with outings to Oeschinensee, Blausee and the Engstligen waterfalls. At any pace, the crisp air and crystalline water of Adelboden-Lenk-Kandersteg leaves visitors rejuvenated and reluctant to leave.

1 — Lenkerhof

Built around a spring renowned for its healing properties, the bathhouse of Lenk first welcomed guests in the 17th century.

2 — The Cambrian

With a refurbishment completed last year, this Adelboden classic now boasts 72 rooms as well as a restaurant, bar and Susanne Kaufmann-equipped spa.

3 — The Brecon

This new boutique hotel in Adelboden is accepting reservations this summer.


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