Switzerland certainly isn’t shy when it comes to showcasing its breathtaking natural landscapes, from cow-dotted meadows to towering 4,000-meter peaks and crystal clear glacier-fed lakes. But what about hosting events in this Alpine wonderland?
When it comes to hosting exceptional events, from high-profile conferences to inspiring incentive trips, Switzerland stands out as a bucket-list destination. With awe-inspiring landscapes and a renowned commitment to hospitality excellence, it’s a dream destination for event planners aiming to create truly unforgettable experiences.
This summer, we had the privilege of being invited by Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau of Switzerland Tourism to explore the captivating Swiss cities of Lucerne and Davos. Our four-day trip involved visiting various venues and experiencing team-building activities, unveiling why Switzerland is the perfect choice for our clients seeking to host international meetings, incentives and corporate events.
Day 1: Lucerne’s Lakeside Charm
Our journey began after landing at Zurich Airport, where we embarked on a 45-minute train ride to Lucerne. Swiss rail travel is an absolute delight – punctual, clean and efficient; the entire country is crisscrossed by a frequent and efficient network that’s a breeze to navigate. The trains are incredibly comfortable with tables, footrests, and charging points. Plus, their large windows frame stunning scenic views at every turn. And extra bonus; Switzerland’s electrified network, powered mostly by clean hydro-energy, ranks among the world’s most energy-efficient, helping you create sustainable events.
The mountain-framed lake city of Lucerne is a great destination for groups and an ideal starting point for many excursions to the highlights of central Switzerland. We got to explore the city whilst enjoying a wine safari, a fun and educational way to discover the local delights including the medieval Chapel Bridge which forms the centrepiece of Lucerne and is considered to be one of the oldest covered wooden bridges in Europe.
Lucerne’s charm lies in its mesmerising natural beauty, best experienced from the water. Numerous options, from paddle steamers to private dining cruises, make it effortless to explore the shores.
Our group then took the sustainable Bürgenstock shuttle solar boat, followed by a funicular, for a grand arrival at the Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne. This extraordinary destination, perched 500 meters above Lake Lucerne, offers two hotels, The Bürgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa as well as the Waldhotel Health and Wellbeing. The venue features 211 rooms of sky-high luxury, ten restaurants and lounges as well as one of the world’s most fabulous spas. The historic part of the resort, The Heritage, hosted the wedding of Audrey Hepburn in 1954; today it offers 360 rooms and suites with stunning views of Lake Lucerne or the Swiss Alps, complemented by a modern 2,200 sqm conference center for more than 450 guests and a choice of business rooms. Aperitifs on the terrace of the Parisa restaurant with persian cuisine, and a swift coach transfer back to Ameron Luzern Hotel Flora wrapped up a memorable evening.
Day 2: Majestic Peaks and Thrills
The following morning, we boarded another seamless train; this time to Mount Pilatus for a visit to the Pilatus Kulm Hotel. This historic destination, once graced by Queen Victoria herself on horseback, now offers a remarkable experience. The world’s steepest cog railway, a feat of engineering since 1889, carried us to the mountain’s peak in just 30 minutes, offering panoramic views of forests, meadows and rock faces.
At the summit, Pilatus Kulm Hotel, perched at a breathtaking 2,132 meters above sea level, welcomed us with its seven seminar rooms featuring awe-inspiring mountain and lake views. Originally built in 1890 and fully renovated in 2010, the hotel offers 27 Superior double rooms and 3 Junior Suites, each with breathtaking Alps views.
Following our hotel tour, we ventured into an exciting adventure at Fräkmüntegg. This outdoor haven, boasting central Switzerland’s largest rope park, is an ideal destination for groups seeking an adrenaline rush. With the longest summer toboggan run in Switzerland at 1,350 meters and the unique forest-fly experience of the Dragon Glider, you can immerse yourself in mountain thrills doing more than one activity, as many of our group did, all in a single morning.
Afterwards, we returned to Lucerne for lunch at KKL Luzern, a breathtaking architectural gem situated just steps from the railway station. Offering stunning lakeside views, KKL Luzern hosts over 600 events annually in its concert halls, auditoriums for 2,000 guests, terraces, and smaller meeting rooms.
Next, we embarked on a shuttle to the alpine town of Davos, one of the world’s most famous MICE cities and host of the World Economic Forum. As the highest town in Europe (1,600 meters above sea level) it’s a destination guaranteed to elevate your event.
Upon arrival, we explored the AlpenGold Hotel in Davos, often regarded as the town’s finest. This architectural marvel, resembling a golden spruce cone, rests at the foot of the Flüela pass. It offers chic, contemporary accommodation, state-of-the-art conference facilities sprawling over 1,500 square meters and multifunctional rooms accommodating up to 900 guests. The 216 uniquely designed rooms and suites feature parquet flooring, plush accents, and private balconies providing stunning Alpine views and of course a top-rated spa to relax in. Dining options abound, including the Cheese Factory, serving traditional fondue and raclette. However, our culinary adventure led us to Atelier Vert, a vegetarian gourmet pop-up within the hotel. We indulged in a 6-course tasting menu, each dish crafted from ingredients sourced from their garden or local Graubünden producers. The creative presentation and surprising pairings made for an engaging dining experience that fostered group conversations throughout the meal.
Day 3: Mountain Biking and Alpine Reflections
On the third day, we awoke with a touch of nervous excitement, knowing that our activity involved a mountain bike tour through the Swiss Alps. Our apprehensions quickly dissipated as we hopped on e-bikes, making those uphill climbs a breeze. What followed was more than just an adventure; it was a fantastic team-building experience. As we effortlessly (more or less!) navigated the terrain, we grew closer as a group and embraced the stunning Swiss countryside, creating enduring memories.
Even though the bike ride was easier than expected, we were still grateful when we reached our rest stop, the Schatzalp Mountain Resort. Originally built as a sanatorium, the art-nouveau-style hotel has a wonderful retro charm that wouldn’t look out of place in a Wes Anderson film as it’s retained plenty of original fittings, giving it a unique atmosphere. And in fact, the hotel has been featured in multiple films, offering an unparalleled backdrop with sweeping views of the valley and Graubunden mountains. Situated in the middle of largest private hotel grounds in Switzerland it makes for a really unique location for creative conferences and events.
Following lunch, we embarked on a less physically demanding but equally engaging adventure at the Christoffel Royal Distillery. Led by the founder, Patrick Christoffel, we discovered the cherished family tradition of handcrafting cherry liqueur with a secret blend of ingredients. We had the unique opportunity to bottle our own liqueur and enjoyed it in a cocktail paired with traditional cheeses and meats at the Rotali shop. It was an informal yet authentically memorable meal, standing out as a highlight of our trip.
Day 4: Final Surprises: Llama Trekking
After checking out of our hotel, the Morosani, we made the short transfer to Klosters for our final ‘surprise’ activity. The group had spent the night before at the Hard Rock Hotel discussing what the activity might be but none of the group had come up with the answer; llama trekking! It was a wonderful surprise, as we accompanied the gorgeous fluffy herd along the river we were forced to slow-down, and it was a great opportunity for quiet reflection whilst enjoying the mountains.
Our journey concluded with two final venue visits: Arena Klosters, located in the town center and featuring two versatile event halls accommodating up to 3,500 people, and Piz Buin Hotel, a modern, spacious gem situated alongside the Landquart river. With 53 stylish rooms and suites designed in a contemporary Alpine fashion, each with its own balcony, it offers an intimate space for smaller groups.
And then just like that our Switzerland adventures were over and it was time to depart, taking the train from Klosters Platz to Zurich via Landquart and one more chance to admire the efficiency of the Swiss trains and the rolling landscape.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to our incredible hosts for making this trip truly unforgettable and allowing us to experience firsthand how these venues and experiences will work for our clients in their next incentive trip or event in Switzerland.
Hosting events in Switzerland
Ready to create an extraordinary event or incentive trip in Switzerland? If you’d like additional information about hosting events in Switzerland or on any of the venues we’ve mentioned or need assistance with sourcing a venue internationally, get in touch with our team today. Contact us now to explore the possibilities and start planning your unique experience.
How To Get There
- Direct flights to Zurich, Geneva or Basel-Mulhouse
- Alternatively take the Eurostar to Paris then take a high speed TGV from Paris to Geneva (3h05), Lausanne (3h39), Bern, Basel (3h03) or Zurich (4h03) and experience great scenery on the way.
- And when it comes to getting around in Switzerland, it couldn’t be easier: ONE ticket for all of the railways, buses and boats across the entire country.
For more international events or incentive travel ideas or information about hosting incentive trips, meetings or events get in touch with the team.
TEL : 020 7610 2808 – EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org