The ten best Alpine hotels

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The Independent Travel

Biohotel Stanglwirt, Going am Wilden Kaiser

Doubles £157-345 (half board)

This 250-year-old Tyrolean mountain hotel produces all its own dairy products and bread. There are 20 Lippizaner horses to ride and 14 tennis courts (six indoors). While parents relax in the wellness centre or take a massage, children over three can be looked after by registered nannies.

Biohotel Stanglwirt, Going am Wilden Kaiser, Austria (00 43 5358 2000; www.stanglwirt.at)

Gstaad Palace Hotel, Gstaad

Doubles £268-409 (half board)

Gstaad's only five-star deluxe hotel, sited on a hill above the village, offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. With five restaurants, you're spoilt for choice, and both bars have live music. For pampering, the wellness centre offers two saunas, a hammam, a solarium, massages and beauty treatments.

Gstaad Palace Hotel, Gstaad, Switzerland (00 41 33 748 5000; www.palace.ch)

Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel, Interlaken

Doubles £378-414 (exc breakfast)

Britons have been staying at this grande dame of a hotel for more than 140 years. It has been sensitively modernised without diminishing its character. The swimming pool is stunningly designed, and the hotel opened a new spa with 16 treatment rooms a year ago. If the unobstructed views of the Jungfrau massif tempt you, the hotel organises nights in an igloo, with a thermal sleeping-bag provided.

Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel, Interlaken, Switzerland (00 41 33 828 2828; www.victoria-jungfrau.ch)

Hotel Riffelalp, Riffelalp

Doubles £167-286 (half board)

The world's highest five-star hotel can be reached only by the rack railway that climbs from Zermatt to Gornergrat, followed by the hotel's own linking tramway. There has been a hotel on this remote spot overlooking the Matterhorn since 1884, but most of the current building is modern, although in traditional style. The peace and quiet that attracted the Rockefellers is still guaranteed. (Closed until mid-December.)

Hotel Riffelalp, Riffelalp, Switzerland (00 41 27 966 0555; www.riffelalp.com)

Imperial Grand Hotel, Levico Terme

Doubles £86-186

Situated in a 37-acre park, the hotel was once the summer residence of the Hapsburg monarchs. Though situated in the lovely Trentino, this is a place for indulgence and therapies: the Princess Sissi spa is one of the most prestigious in Italy, offering such treatments as mud baths for rheumatism and arsenic ferruginous baths for stress.

Imperial Grand Hotel, Levico Terme, Italy (00 39 461 706104; www.imperialhotel.it)

Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains, St Moritz

Doubles £148-220

Opened in December 2002, this was created out of one of St Moritz's grand old hotels; it offers exceptional luxury and facilities, with exemplary attention to detail. Its spa and wellness facilities include an indoor pool, solar and regular saunas, aroma-grotto, laconium, sanarium and solarium. And you can almost ski to the door of the hotel.

Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains, St Moritz, Switzerland (00 41 81 838 3838; www.kempinski.com)

Hotel Haus Paradies, Ftan

Double rooms: £193-210

Dine on scallops with mushrooms and a chilled mousse of guavas in the two-Michelin-starred restaurant overlooking the mountains of Graubunden. Located in one of Switzerland's most beautiful valleys, and modern in style, the hotel hosts concerts in the lounge, and the rooms have original paintings by Engadine artists.

Hotel Haus Paradies, Ftan, Switzerland (0041 81 861 08 08; www.relaischateaux.ch/paradies)

Bürgenstock Hotels

Doubles Palace/Grand £127-214; Park £223-300

This group of jointly owned and contiguous hotels enjoys such impressive views over Lake Lucerne and Queen Victoria's favourite mountain, the Rigi, that Sophia Loren was enticed to live in a nearby house. The Palace Hotel and the Grand Hotel still stand as they did when first constructed at the end of the 19th century; the new Park Hotel was built in 1991.

Bürgenstock Hotels, Bürgenstock, Switzerland (00 41 41 612 9010; www.buergenstock-hotels.ch)

Les Fermes de Marie, Megève

Doubles £156-444

Close to the centre of the French ski resort of Megève, the hotel still resembles the Savoyard farm it once was. Public rooms and bedrooms rely heavily on the warmth of old wood, and some bedrooms still have an open fire. Among the regional dishes on offer at its three restaurants is crayfish from Lake Geneva with black truffles.

Les Fermes de Marie, Megève, France (00 33 450 93 03 10; www.fermesdemarie.com)

Le Mirador Kempinski, Mont-Pélerin

Doubles £173-360

Celebrating its centenary as a thermal hotel this year, Le Mirador is the perfect place for a relaxing break in idyllic surroundings, overlooking Lake Geneva and the Mont Blanc massif. There are walks in surrounding woods to the sound of cowbells, and the hotel even has its own yacht on the lake.

Le Mirador Kempinski, Mont-Pélerin, Switzerland (00 41 21 925 1111; www.kempinski.com)

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