Switzerland and Italy in October

Jul 6th, 2012, 12:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,620
The Grand Hotel Kronenhof is a perfect, charming hotel for a honeymoon. Muottas Muragl is not as romantic - they renovated the hotel recently and unfortunately drove all the charm out. Although they used lots of Swiss pine wood the ambience is rather stylish and cool, unfortunately this seems to be the trend in the Swiss Alps (see Hotel Albris in Pontresina or others all over the Swiss Alps). Also, it is in very isolated position, inconvenient for excursions, the elevation is not for everyone (not for me, cannot sleep well above 2000 m).

Btw, there are also horse-drawn carriage rides from Pontresina into the Roseg valley (from the train station) to Hotel Roseggletscher which enjoys a fantastic location with views of the glaciers and has a yummy dessert buffet (not sure about your travel dates, though, and the carriage ride itself is mostly in the woods, so not as scenic as in Fex Valley).
Ingo is offline  
Jul 6th, 2012, 10:57 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 81

I know it's tough to narrow things down! The 4 places max is just my opinion, of course--maybe 5 would be fine for you. Any hotel changes you can eliminate will make things easier. I'm not as familiar with Switzerland, so I don't know if it's possible to pick one place as your "base" there and do day trips to your other Swiss destinations?

If you think it is at all possible that you will be traveling to the European continent again (I don't know where you live, so of course that makes a difference), maybe you could consider saving some of your itinerary for another trip?

I've never been to Milan, though I don't blame you for wanting to go there as it sounds like that's the one place your fiancee is insisting on.

I prefer Rome to Florence (though I'm sure many would disagree with me). I've been to Florence once, for a few days, and felt that was enough--I adored seeing the David and other works of art that Florence is famous for--and it is certainly worth visiting for that reason, if nothing else. But as a city, it feels more like a place that exists mainly for tourists. Rome, although it has plenty of tourists, feels more like a real place where real people live, and seems more chaotic and unpredictable (in a good way), charming, exciting, and breathtaking than Florence does.

BTW, I love the small hotel in Rome where I've stayed twice, but it might not be as upscale as you're looking for. It is Albergo del Senato--google it and you'll get their website. The rooms are small but well designed and clean and in my opinion it is in the perfect location--in the same piazza as the Pantheon. It has a tiny, quiet rooftop deck with a bar, and when you sit there with your cocktail at sunset it's very special--you're at the same level as the roof of the Pantheon, and you feel as though you can reach out and touch it. Also the staff there are incredibly warm, friendly and helpful. I think they do have some suites though, so those might be worth looking into. If you tell them you're on your honeymoon and you ask for a suite in the front of the building, overlooking the Piazza della Rotunda, you can't go wrong!
RMMR2 is offline  
Jul 8th, 2012, 03:24 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 23
Cool fall days are great for a fondue meal. Find a traditional Swiss restaurant to order fondue. It's a nice way to share a meal, especially with your new spouse! Raclette is another great Swiss meal that you should try while in Switzerland.

My Swiss friends took us to a traditional Swiss restaurant in Montreux called Caveau des Vignerons. We ordered fondue and it was very good.

En guete!
Lynne7 is offline  
Jul 8th, 2012, 07:19 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 61
Ingo - Thanks for the clarification; I have been looking into the Grand Hotel Kronenhof and am really excited about staying there. It looks very romantic and seems to portray Switzerland just as I had hoped it would be. Will definitely make sure we take one of the horse drawn carriage options available, they Fex Valley option does sound very romantic but we will see how much convenience comes into play at the time!

RMMR2 - Unfortunately, we live in Australia and there are still many places in the Northern Hemisphere we are yet to visit so another trip will not be probably for many years. I guess we will just need to pace ourselves - I guess we are looking at having a relatively leisurely honeymoon (in the way of not packing too much into every day), until we visit Rome where we will use up the last of our energy! I looked at the Albergo del Senato and it does seem like it is in a perfect location - however, it seems very expensive in October (even though we are not going until next year I am looking at this year for comparison) at 300 euro a night for a double room? I will look again closer to our travel date to see if this is any lower next year.

Lynne - Sounds delicious! And if you were taken there by Swiss friends - must be good. I will be sure to visit.
keedm002 is offline  
Jul 9th, 2012, 04:54 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 978

Your schedule is interesting, but where are the risks, and are you ready to take them...

To unwind in Montreux is OK, early October, 400 m asl, walks along the lake, maybe cross the lake to see Evian, have your Chocolate Train Daytrip. You have a fair chance for good autumn weather, maybe an occasional shower.
Then, I would cut pretty short on Zermatt and St-Moritz. These stations are very attractive at 2 moments of the year. First in winter, with the entire XMas atmosphere and hype, snow activities and so on, second in the summer for hiking. Outside these periods, both villages are near dead, boredom is guaranteed, and you have seen the place in half a day...
Autumn weather in Zermatt (1620m asl) and St.Moritz (1820m asl) in Mid-October can be capricious. I would plan the St-Moritz to Zermatt Glacier Train, but without spending more than the necessary nights in St.M. (before the early morning departure) and Z.(the late afternoon of arrival) to keep the pace. You could at least win 4 nights between ST.M and Z., 6 at the best.

Milan is OK to visit. I could understand your wife wants to do some shopping there... As for the football game, games are mainly played on Saturdays and/or Sundays. If there are midweek games, that would be on Tuesdays ore Wednesdays. You could also do a Saturday morning market somewhere in town, always fun, at least to me... I would prefer Milan to Varenna, just to get into the atmosphere of the city.

In October, Bernadette's proposal for northern Italy might interest me. I would be south of the Alps, with a fairer chance of good autumn weather. It is true that Vicenza, Verona and also Padova are nice little towns. Personally, I would choose Venice as a base for some 5 days and daytrip Vicenza or Padova by train. It is always nice to be in Venice in the evening when the day tourists have gone and wander through the alleys.

Then Florence and Rome, yes, as long as possible, as long as your schedule permits. At least 4 nights in Rome, 5 if possible.
baldrick is offline  
Jul 9th, 2012, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 741
I would second (or third) the hearty recommendations for Venice. It is a really romantic city and truly unique.

It is also quite easy to navigate. You can walk almost anywhere you would want. If you get tired, you can catch a vaporetto (water bus) and shorten your walk. A vaporetto pass for 1 or more days is very helpful.

I do think a water taxi is worth it from the airport to your hotel (and vice versa), especially if you have appreciable luggage -- also since you are on your honeymoon. However, you would need to make sure your hotel has a private dock.

I went to Venice early last fall for the third time, this time with my boyfriend. We had several romantic dinners and a gondola ride at dusk. I can provide more recommendations if you like.
Delaine is offline  
Jul 9th, 2012, 09:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,620
Disagree with the previous post on Zermatt and St. Moritz - fall (early-mid October) is VERY popular for hiking in the mountains. The foliage especially in the Engadine is spectacular - although more yellow/gold (larch trees) than red. But the contrast to the blue lakes, the snow capped mountains and the (hopefully) blue sky is amazing. Usually the weather is quite stable there in October, but of course you never know and it might happen it's snowing all the time. One more reason for a great, romantic hotel.
Ingo is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2012, 11:40 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 81

I sympathize very much with you--I live on the east coast of the U.S. (about an 8-9 hour plane ride) and I always wonder if my next trip to Italy will be far in the future--so I can only imagine what it must be like travelling from Australia.

I believe we paid around 280 euro for a double at Albergo del Senato in late May 2010, so 300 euro in October 2013 sounds like it's in line with that. At least it's within your stated budget of 350 euro per night(though admittedly not a luxury suite). How much was the suite? Also they usually discount the rate somewhat if you stay longer--say 3 or more nights. But maybe it's too soon for them to have those discounts posted.

Another option is to rent an apartment in Rome. Italy vacation apartments are usually a lot less expensive than hotels and often only require a 3-night minimum. There are some really nice ones--and since you're not travelling until next year, you'll have a lot to choose from. I would start on Flipkey, to see ratings of apartments by previous travellers (it's operated by Tripadvisor, so it's a similar format), and then, if Flipkey lists a website for the property manager or owner of an apartment you like, use that website to inquire about the apartment.

I also have a restaurant recommendation--La Rosetta, in Rome. It is mainly seafood and fish (so perhaps not a great choice if you do not care for those), but we thought it was wonderful--especially the seafood risotto and the wine. I don't recall the address but it was not far from the Pantheon. I believe it has a website so you can google it.

Have a wonderful time!
RMMR2 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 74
Albergo del Senato is a great location, worth the money to us last year!
tarheeltravler is offline  
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