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 1641Thomas Mann and Carl Jung stayed here in the pastits 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.