Many consider the Bay of Spiez to be one of the most beautiful in Europe, with its 11thC tower of a chateau, its 12thC church and white sailboats on the water. Markus Schneider agrees, and likes nothing better than to sit in the Strandhotel's flower-filled garden, sipping a chilled Riesling-Sylvaner vintage from the vineyards within view just across the bay. Along with fellow manager Rosmaric Sciler-Bigler, he supervises weekly grill parties. Our reporter reckons these must be better than the average barbecue because the Swiss Butcher's Association has its school next door. The association also owns the hotel and paid for a total overhaul in 1992.
The restaurants serve fish from the lake and light, easy-to-digest dishes. The Blue Room, used for breakfast, is very grand with high ceilings, twin grandfather clocks and blue velvet floor-to-ceiling curtains. Inlaid woods, silks and antique curiosities throughout create a refined atmosphere. Bedroom decoration follows subtle flower themes. In number 206, for example, light from three bay windows floods on to a pretty rose-patterned bedspread.