Romantik Hotel Säntis, AppenzellThe steep gabled roof, lace-curtained windows, and elaborately painted façade of Appenzell’s leading hotel anchor one side of the town’s famed Landsgemeindeplatz, site of the annual open-air public voting. Inside, the dark wood paneling, marble floors, and comfortable leather-covered furniture— all the finest materials—establish a tone of understated, countrified luxury. Commanding the dining room is an extraordinary carved-wood mural of life in Appenzell, done in 1956 by local artist, Hans Neff.

Guestroom Number 358, a spacious, nonsmoking, junior suite offers a separate seating area and desk, and large bath with tub, shower, and two wash basins. “Romantic” rooms, such as Number 354, are somewhat smaller, but have the charm of blonde wood beams and slanting ceilings. Regular double rooms have the same amenities but come in a more straightforward package with a smaller bath and no sofa. Each room projects its own personality through a variety of attractive features, such as four-poster beds and carved armoires. All offer wireless Internet access. We were reassured, on our fourth visit over the past 25 years, to note the hotel is still in the capable hands of the Heeb family.

For those who seek the best, and want to be in the town of Appenzell, the Säntis is the choice.

Daily Rates: Singles CHF 150—190 doubles CHF 230—270, half board CHF 40 per person. Free parking.

Contact: Romantik-Hotel Säntis, Landsgemeindeplatz 3, CH-9050 Appenzell, tel. +41/071/788 1111, fax 788 1110, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Proprietors: Stefan and Catriona Heeb.

Rating: Quality 16/20, Value 12/20