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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Go Ferry-Hopping Across Lake Zurich

Venture outside Switzerland’s largest city to find quieter shores with top-tier restaurants, placid swimming holes, and historic towns, all without renting a car.


1. Where to Stay

Rooms at B2 Boutique Hotel + Spa feature oak parquet floors and matte-black lamps designed by Tom Dixon.   

Wake up to the sun glinting off the water at Romantik Seehotel Sonne (from $209), just five miles south of Zurich, where you can dine on classic Swiss dishes in the shade of chestnut trees at the outdoor restaurant. Though the building dates back to 1641—Thomas Mann and Carl Jung stayed here in the past—its 40 rooms are superbly maintained and maximize the waterfront views with large windows.

Stroll out the front door of Hotel Schwanen (from $215) and you’re right on the waterside boardwalk of Rapperswil, a historic town on the lake’s eastern shore. The renovated rooms face the lake, and a select few have a balcony as well. The hotel’s older section is well preserved, with rooms named after their original use, like the Taubshchalg (pigeonry), a compact room that’s ideal for single travelers.

Go industrial at the B2 Boutique Hotel + Spa (from $350, breakfast included), which opened last year inside Zurich’s former Hürlimann Brewery. The brewery’s skeleton has been smartly incorporated into the hotel design, from the 36-foot-high ceilings of the Library Lounge (which serves Hürlimann beer) to the handsomely designed rooms and suites, built in the old mash house and cold storage. The on-site Thermal Bath & Spa (from $33 for entry) is one of the city’s best, featuring a rooftop pool and a view of Üetliberg Mountain.

Published on Jun 27, 2013 as a web exclusive.

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