If you are looking for a new hotel experience, probably unlike any you have had in Switzerland, then take a few moments to read this review and perhaps a few days to discover one of the two Hamilton Lodges (or both!), nesting in the hills above Zweisimmen by Gstaad.
Ten years ago a Dutch couple, John and Jacqueline Wegink, abandoned life as they knew it to undertake a journey into the hotel business in the Swiss Alps. The first Hamilton Lodge opened its doors on the Belalp (car-free village at 2100m) in Oberwallis, just above Naters, in 2003. December 2012 saw the second Hamilton Lodge receive its first guests on the Rinderberg above Zweisimmen near Gstaad.
Not only is it the prime location of both hotels that makes them so very special, but also the interior decoration and atmosphere, which Jacqueline has created with the utmost attention to detail. As soon as you step over the threshold, you feel bathed in something soothing and comforting. The friendly and smiling staff welcome guests to this hotel that is elegant yet cosy, minimal yet warming to the soul. It certainly lives up to their motto: "Hamilton Lodge: feels like home".
An open fi replace, numerous scatter-cushions, comfortable armchairs just where they should be, stylish wooden furniture along with perfect lighting and background music – it all makes for a special atmosphere. Even the tableware at the Zweisimmen Lodge was produced exclusively for the hotel's theme: Hip Heidi. The iconic Swiss girl rides blue elephants across a white background, with the theme of Heidi goes on Safari.
In summer, the green hills are fragrant with Alpine flowers, grazing cows, while miles of hiking and biking trails await the curious and the adventurous. River rafting, Scherenschnitt (papercutting) courses, village architecture tours, visits to a cheese-making farm – these are just some of the many activities on offer. Or you can simply enjoy the peace and serenity on the terrace of both locations.
Hamilton Lodge Belalp boasts a spa with outdoor jacuzzi, sauna and massages. The Zweisimmen hotel is a mere stone's throw away from top-notch summer cultural and sporting events in the sophisticated and glamorous village of Gstaad. Both locations are sure to take your breath away, with magnificent views of contrasting landscapes. What could be more refreshing and satisfying, than enjoying a cocktail at sunset on the outdoor patio in the cool mountain air after a day of discoveries and adventures?
Hamilton Lodge Belalp will reopen for the summer on 14 June and Zweisimmen on 28 June. Belalp is accessible only by gondola, Zweisimmen by gondola and in summer by car as well. Both hotels are also equipped for workshops and seminars For more information on Hamilton Lodge, visit their website:
For information about cultural and sporting events in the Gstaad area (Menhuin Classical Music Festival, Country Night, Beach Volleyball tournament, Tennis Tournament, Polo, etc):
Photo: Riitta Burri