Which parts of Switzerland have the best (and worst) rated hotels?

Which parts of Switzerland have the best (and worst) rated hotels?

Fancy a quick overnight stay or a full-blown holiday in Switzerland, but aren’t sure which region offers the best hotels? A new study conducted by the Tages-Anzeiger claims to have the answer. Their report found that the quality of hotel stays varies wildly across the country, with high prices not necessarily meaning better service.

90 percent of tourists in Switzerland use hotel reviews

To create the study, the Tages-Anzeiger team evaluated 1,04 million Google reviews regarding 3.134 different hotels based in over 137 Swiss cities, cantons and districts, to find out which region puts the biggest smile on tourists’ faces. Specifically, each hotel’s reviews were collated with all other holiday accommodations in the area to create an “average” for each location.

Speaking to the newspaper, Monika Bandi Tanner, head of the Tourism Research Centre at the University of Bern, said that while just 10 to 20 percent of travellers write reviews, “Up to 90 percent of all guests look at reviews like those from Google before a trip, that’s why such portals have a huge influence.”

What are the main criticisms of Swiss hotels? 

She added that while “80 percent of all ratings and reviews [of hotels in Switzerland] are positive” and the national average hotel review score sits at 4,4 stars out of five, quality can vary hugely between regions. The newspaper found that the most common pet peeves regarding Swiss hotels are a lack of cleanliness, the age of the accommodation or facilities and the price.

In fact, the Tagi found that the most expensive hotels are often not the best-rated. Bandi Tanner explained that five-star hotels “often cannot meet the very high expectations”, whereas with three or four-star hotels, “there is still potential for surprise quality."

Thal has the highest-reviewed hotels in Switzerland

In all, the town of Thal, Canton Solothurn, was rated as having the best hotels in Switzerland, with an average score of 4,77 out of five. The area is mainly known for its outdoor activities, playing host to the stunning Thal Nature Park.

The Schaffhausen district of Unterklettgau took second place with an average score of 4,7 out of five. Andelfingen, Canton Zurich, completed the podium with 4,65.

Which areas of Switzerland have the best hotels?

In all, here are the towns and districts in Switzerland with the highest-rated hotels:

  • 1. Thal, Solothurn (4,77)
  • 2. Unterklettgau, Schaffhausen (4,7)
  • 3. Andelfingern, Canton Zurich (4,65)
  • =4. Viamala, Graubünden (4,58)
  • =4. Hinterland, Appenzell Ausserrhoden (4,58)
  • 6. Appenzell Innerrhoden (4,57)
  • =7. Berina, Graubünden (4,55)
  • =7. Kulm, Aargau (4,55)
  • =7. Münchwilen, Thurgau (4,55)
  • 10. Vorderland, Appenzell Ausserrhoden

Of the five largest Swiss cities, Basel did best in 78th with an average review score of 4,3 out of five, followed by Bern in 89th (4,28), Zurich in 111th (4,18), Geneva in 118th (4,14) and Lausanne in 119th (4,13). Overall, Cantons Graubünden and Valais did best, a fact attributed by the newspaper to the smaller hotels operating in the mountains and the more personal connection said hotels have with guests.

Worst hotels in Switzerland are in suburbs and the Romande

From best to worst: in the analysis, the newspaper found that the worst-performing hotels are based in the suburbs of Swiss cities, smaller commuter cities and in French-speaking Switzerland. Bandi Tanner explained that larger hotel chains tend to perform worse in reviews and that the shorter a person stays in a place, the more likely they are to write a negative review. 

Therefore, as French-speaking Switzerland is home to larger hotels than the rest of Switzerland on average, and guests in Romande tend to opt for shorter stays than those in the rest of the country, it would explain why reviews are worse - Bandi Tanner said regions in Canton Zurich and Aargau performed poorly for the same reason. 

Vinzenz van den Berg, spokesman for the Hotelleriesuisse association, added that guests in the Romande tend to be more diverse, making it harder to cater to everyone’s needs. “Cultural differences can lead to misunderstandings and thus to poorer ratings”, he explained.

Which Swiss regions have the worst-rated hotels?

In the ranking, the area around the stunning town of Stein am Rhein was found to have the lowest average hotel reviews in Switzerland at 3,4 out of five. In a shock second place with a score of 4,01 out of five was the second largest city in Canton Zurich and the sixth largest in the country, Winterthur.

In all, here are the regions of Switzerland with the worst average hotel reviews:

  • 1. Stein, Schaffhausen (3,4)
  • 2. Winterthur, Zurich (4,01)
  • 3. Liestal, Basel-Land (4,04)
  • 4. Gäu, Solothurn (4,05)
  • 5. Biel / Bienne, Bern (4,07)
  • =6. Zofingen, Aargau (4,08)
  • =6. Lavaux-Oron, Vaud (4,08)
  • =6. Mendriso, Ticino (4,08)
  • =6. Martingy, Valais (4,08)
  • =10. Broye-Vully, Vaud (4,09)
  • =10. Pfäffikon, Zurich (4,09)

For more information about the study, and to see how other parts of Switzerland faired, check out the official report (paid article).

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

Read more



Leave a comment