We’ve brought you the best lakes and rivers in Switzerland but what’s a Swiss summer experience without Swiss mountains and a stay in a typical Swiss hotel?
Located at the heart of Central Switzerland, Mount Rigi is easily accessible from all four points of the compass. From hiking trails to breathtaking views, from miniature golf to mineral baths, Mount Rigi is the perfect place for couples, families and nature lovers, especially during the warmer months. It is no wonder that Mount Rigi has been the quintessential Swiss mountain destination since the 18th century, attracting the likes of Mark Twain and Johann Wolfgang Goethe.
A trip to Mount Rigi is made even better with a stay at one of its hotels in the mountain to fully experience the wonders of nature. If you’re looking for a typically Swiss hotel in Mount Rigi with delicious local food, look no further than the Kräuter Hotel Edelweiss.
Built in 1906, this family owned 3-star Swiss hotel in Mount Rigi sits at 1550 meters above sea level. The Kräuter Hotel Edelweiss is a children and pet-friendly hotel offering its guests a typically Swiss experience. The original building is now used as the family home and staff quarters. It also houses the reception area and a little shop. A newer wing, using predominantly Swiss wood, has been built to house the 19 guestrooms for the hotel in Mount Rigi.
There are 2 family rooms that can accommodate up to 4 persons, 2 single rooms and 15 double occupancy rooms with en-suite bathrooms. The Southern wing rooms offers panoramic views across the Swiss Alps and Lake Lucerne while the Northern wing rooms face the Swiss plateau with views over Zug.
All rooms come with a complimentary carafe of herb-infused water, herbal footbath, homemade hand soap and organic body wash & shampoo. There is also free wi-fi in all rooms, flat-screen TV, radio, writing desk, mood lighting and books about Mount Rigi for your reading pleasure. You can also select your choice of pillows including Tempur pillows.
There are no minibars in the rooms as an effort to conserve energy. However, there is a big fridge fully stocked with Swiss wines and beers as well as complimentary snacks and organic fruits at the Snack Corner on the first floor of the hotel.
Children up to 12 years stay for free in the room with two adults (maximum of 2 children). Baby cots are provided at no cost. Dogs are also permitted in the hotel.
A small spa is also available with a whirlpool filled with fresh water, a sauna and massage services – all with a stunning view of the Swiss Alps!
The hotel’s guests tend to come for a couple of days to hike up Mount Rigi and relax over leisurely meals often with their dogs and kids. The restaurant is buzzing during lunch time with visitors to Mount Rigi. In the afternoons, it is generally less busy with everyone going on hikes and exploring the mountain. Weekends tend to get busier and the restaurants are usually packed with bigger groups and couples.
As a family run business, you’ll come across the owners’ children playing in the restaurant and reception areas during the day. There is a homestay feel to the place.
The vibe in this quaint hotel in Mount Rigi is casual, even in the gourmet restaurant during the evenings.
Restaurant Regina Montium
The One Michelin Star Gourmet Restaurant Regina Montium, under the helm of Chef Benjamin Just, exclusively uses Swiss products and mostly organic ingredients for its entire menu. Drawing inspiration from the fresh herbs found in the Rigi Herb Garden, Chef Just creates original recipes using traditional Swiss and modern techniques that ensures the flavours of the herbs and fresh produce remain the centerpiece of each dish.
The creations are seasonal depending on the produce available and are carefully paired with alcoholic beverages and wines selected from all around Switzerland. The Chef’s 5 or 9-Course tasting menu is a surprise each day but you can expect fresh fish caught from Lake Lucerne, organic beef from the local farm, artisanal cheese and homemade condiments using herbs from the garden.
Your taste buds will be delighted with all the fresh produce, elevated by the use of herbs. One of the standout herbs on the tasting menu this season is the Oyster Leaf (Mertensia maritima) paired with Aloe Vera. This precious spoonful tasted like the real deal, replicating the oyster’s brininess and earthiness.
Restaurant Regina Montium is closed every Monday and Tuesday and reservations are highly recommended for dinner service on Fridays and Saturdays.
Enjoy typical Rigi classics such as sweet crepes or savoury galettes while taking in the panoramic surroundings.
RIGI HERB GARDEN
Kräuter in German literally translates to Herb in English. It comes as no surprise where the name Kräuter Hotel comes from. Upon arrival at the hotel, one of the first things you will notice is the expansive herb garden right by the train tracks.
The Rigi herb garden is located at 1550 meters above sea level. With over 450 different edible herbs and plants in this alpine garden, you’ll discover various types of edible leaves, berries and even Mediterranean and Asian variants growing high in the Swiss mountains.
The garden is open to the public and you can wander around freely to discover the aromas and fragrances or request for a guided tour from Kräuter Hotel Edelweiss to learn more about the various plants, its tastes and origins. Most of the herbs and vegetables are used in the hotel’s restaurants on a daily basis so you’ll also get to see where part of your food comes from.
The Rigi herb garden is open from May to October from 09: 00-17: 00. Admission free.
WHAT WE LIKED
The fact that the entire area atop Mount Rigi is car-free, one has the chance to breathe in fresh mountain air and enjoy the tranquility of the hotel and its surroundings.
The in-room herbal footbath is also a welcome treat for the feet after a long day of hiking.
We also liked the little shop in the hotel selling homemade products using herbs from the alpine herb garden such as Elderflower Berry Mustard, Kombucha Vinegar to alcoholic mixers. All products are free from preservatives, colouring and artificial flavours, which you get to sample in the menu.
We recommend trying the Rigi Cola while you’re there. Made from the Artemisia Cola Plant, this isn’t your typical soft drink.
Kräuter Hotel Edelweiss is offering a special Dine & Stay promotion throughout September to October 2018 as below:
2 Nights Package for CHF620.00 for two persons
3 Nights Package for CHF900.00 for two persons
4 Nights Package for CHF1190.00 for two persons
Package includes a double balcony room for two persons, daily buffet breakfast and 4-course gourmet dinner throughout the stay. Guests who wish to experience the 9-Course Gourmet Menu at the One Michelin Star Restaurant Regina Montium can do so at a discounted rate of CHF90.00 per person (Usual Price CHF105.00 per person).
For bookings on Saturday to Sunday, there will be a surcharge of CHF20.00 per person. This surcharge does not apply to bookings under the 4 Nights Package.
GETTING TO KRÄUTER HOTEL EDELWEISS
Staffelhöhenweg 61, 6356 Rigi Kaltbad (View in Google Maps)
Cars are not allowed up on Mount Rigi. The only ways to get up the mountain is either by cogwheel railway or by cable car, depending on where you want to stop. The best option to get to Kräuter Hotel Edelweiss is by cogwheel railway from Vitznau.
-A4 motorway : Exit (no. 36) at Küssnacht, and take the main road to Vitznau
-A2 motorway : Exit (no. 36) at Altdorf/Flüelen, Axenstrasse to Brunnen, and take the main road to Vitznau
Covered parking spots are available next to the train station and costs CHF8/day.
SBB Trains depart from train stations across Switzerland. The nearest stops to Vitznau would be via Brunnen or Küssnacht am Rigi where you’ll have to take a bus to Vitznau (see below).
Alternatively, take the train to Arth-Goldau followed by the cog railway to Rigi Staffel. From there, you either walk 10-minutes downhill to the hotel or wait for the cogwheel train heading down to the direction of Vitznau and exit at the first stop at Staffelhöhe Station. Search your preferred route and the best prices here.
Take Bus No. 2 from Schwyz, Brunnen, Gersau, Weggis or Küssnacht towards Vitznau. Check the bus timetable here: AAGS timetable
Ferries leave regularly from Lucerne (approximately 1 hour) and other towns around Lake Lucerne. Disembark at Vitznau Pier and walk across to the Rigi Bahn Train Station. Check out the ferry timetable here: SGV timetable
Upon reaching Vitznau, make your way to the Rigi Bahn Train Station. Tickets can be purchased on the day itself or online here. Alight at Staffelhöhe Station and you will immediately see Kräuter Hotel Edelweiss.
Top Tip: Sit on the left side of the train going uphill for the best views.
You haven’t really been to Switzerland until you truly experience a typically Swiss hotel in Mount Rigi and the Kräuter Hotel Edelweiss promises just that!
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