Buds will soon be on the trees, and our juices will start flowing, so it’s time to plan a romantic getaway with your sweetheart. Here are 5 love-struck suggestions.
By Bill Harby
Ascona-Locarno, Ticino Canton
Nesting: The Art Hotel Riposo in the heart of Old Town Ascona offers intimacy amid fine design with its own trattoria and wine bar. Each room is uniquely decorated, and most have a view of the town and Lake Maggiore. From the pool on the rooftop terrace you can also gaze down on the lake.
A Table for Two: In Ponte Brolla, the rustic terrace of Ristorante da Enzo with its stone walkways and secluded tables under the bridge is so enticing you’ll want to linger for hours, which is no problem thanks to an amazing menu of regionally-inspired dishes.
Exploring Hand-in-hand: On the larger of the two Islands of Brissago in Lake Maggiore, the gorgeous sub-tropical botanical gardens come alive in spring, watched over by swans. The restaurant offers fine Mediterranean cuisine, and if amorous thoughts follow lunch, you might even be able to get a room at the hotel.
Sensual Seduction: The luxurious Termali Salini & Spa in Locarno features a “bathing ritual” of multi-tiered saltwater baths among its many options, including private massages for couples.
Lausanne, Vaud Canton
Nesting: Shouldn’t every couple eventually spend a night in the luxurious bedroom of a castle? Chateau d’Ouchy on the lake in Lausanne began life in the 12th century. Today it is considerably more comfortable as a charming 4-star hotel. Ask for a room in the old part of the chateau. The ghosts of the knights and ladies who walked there will be so jealous.
A Table for Two: Escape on Lake Léman for a gourmet lunch or dinner aboard an historic Belle Epoque steamship. Menus are based on ingredients from the local area, including wines from the famous vineyards of Lavaux you’ll glide past. This won’t be the most intimate dining experience you’ll ever have, but the romance of cruising along the beautiful shoreline in spring is sure to leave you feeling floaty.
Exploring Hand-in-hand: Lausanne isn’t particularly picturesque as Swiss cities go, but you can set out in almost any direction and find something interesting – the lakeside promenades, the cool Flon quarter, the food trucks on the Place de la Riponne, all the good neighborhood cafés tucked away here and there. Lausanne also has an embarrassment of exceptional museums with exhibits on everything from the Olympics to photography, and riveting art created by psychologically … different artists mirroring their minds.
Sensual Seduction: The Chateau d’Ouchy has a pool and a wellness center with a sauna and hammam. Also, for CHF 25, guests have entrée to the exquisite Cinq Mondes Spa up the hill at the 5-star Beau-Rivage Palace hotel.
Gruyères village, Fribourg Canton
Nesting: Though this hotel has probably the most unromantic, uninviting name of any hotel you’ve ever considered, Gruyère Rooms offers spacious rooms handsomely decorated in traditional Swiss style – and each room is different. The hotel is in the center of medieval Gruyères village. Yeah, the one famous for the cheese.
A Table for Two: When in Gruyères, the main menu item is fondue. Don’t even try to resist. Take a terrace table at any restaurant in the village and you won’t be disappointed.
Exploring Hand-in-hand: Tour the 13th century castle at the top of the cobblestone street. Stroll the formal garden. Take a selfie of you two smooching on the castle walls with the backdrop of the verdant valley far below.
Sensual Seduction: It’s all about slurping up the hot, melted cheese and wine concoction over a fondue pot built for two.
Hermance village, Geneva Canton
Nesting: It’s hard to believe that the Auberge d’Hermance, in the heart of this medieval village is just minutes from bustling Geneva., This enchanting little hotel blends tradition with modern style. The hotel and the village are a treasure, especially for Geneva couples seeking a quick getaway.
A Table for Two: The hotel’s little restaurant offers international cuisine using fresh local ingredients according to the season, including perch from the lake. A big Sunday brunch, too.
Exploring Hand-in-hand: Wander this medieval village on the border of France. Get lost. Have a picnic wherever you find yourself.
Sensual Seduction: Jump into the lake from the stony village beach. Yes, it’s cold in spring. Go for it! (At least up to your ankles.)
Zeneggen village, Valais Canton
Nesting: You have the top floor to yourselves at the little bed & breakfast chalet, The Art of ZENagain. The apartment, with natural wood walls, is decorated in mostly traditional furnishings. The terrace offers stunning alpine panoramas, and just below is an intimate garden full of flowers and herbs with comfy chairs for sunning.
A Table for Two: The breakfast buffet at ZENagain, prepared fresh every morning by chef-proprietor, Desiree, is a high point for guests.
Exploring Hand-in-hand: The tiny village of Zenneggen offers quiet strolling, a bistro and corner store. Trails for hiking up and down the mountain are all around. You’re really getting away from it all up here on the mountainside above the town of Visp.
Sensual Seduction: Sleep late, soak together in the enormous bathtub, climb back in bed for … philosophical conversation. Repeat.