Letter From the Editor, December 2016


Having been to Switzerland numerous times, on my recent trip I decided to bypass most of the major cities, including Zurich and Bern. Instead, I constructed a circular two-week itinerary designed to focus on two of the country’s major lakes and its most spectacular mountain scenery. Travel in Switzerland is always extremely enjoyable and hassle-free. Everything is clean; everything works; and the people are invariably well-dressed, dazzlingly multilingual and conscientiously hospitable to strangers. The roads are excellent, and the rail network is one of the most comprehensive and efficient in the world. Also, it is not a big country — slightly larger than Maryland, but less than half the area of Maine — and the driving distances tend to be small.

Switzerland is famous for its Belle Epoque grand hotels, but on this occasion I went primarily in search of hideaways. Although I suffered a few disappointments, I discovered a charming boutique hotel in the Old Town of Geneva, a striking art nouveau villa high on a mountainside above Lake Lucerne, two delightful family-owned inns set amid the unspoiled scenery of the Engadine valley and an idiosyncratic family-owned property in Zermatt with unobstructed views of the Matterhorn.

View of the Matterhorn from Coeur des Alpes in Zermatt - Photo by Hideaway Report editor
My seat in a panorama car of the Glacier Express - Photo by Hideaway Report editor

Having traversed the country from west to east by car, I retraced my steps by train, first taking the famous Glacier Express from St. Moritz to Zermatt. The scenic narrow-gauge line goes through 91 tunnels, crosses 291 bridges and reaches 6,706 feet at the top of the Oberalp Pass. Although the journey is a distance of less than 200 miles, it takes 8½ hours.

To research the second story in this issue, I passed an exceptionally agreeable week in the dramatic Canadian city of Vancouver. I stayed in four different hotels — two of which I enjoyed — and sampled delicious Asian-fusion cuisine in a number of new restaurants. I also found time to visit several galleries, to hike in Capilano River Regional Park and to take a foodie tour of Granville Island Public Market.

Albacore tuna crudo at <em>Kissa Tanto</em> in Vancouver - Photo by Hideaway Report editor
Collection of masks, stone carvings and wall hangings at Coastal Peoples gallery - Photo by Hideaway Report editor
By Hideaway Report Editor Hideaway Report editors travel the world anonymously to give you the unvarnished truth about luxury hotels. Hotels have no idea who the editors are, so they are treated exactly as you might be.
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