It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and I’ve been waxing nostalgic about that trip we took 20 years ago to Switzerland. Remember that sunny August day years ago, when we visited picturesque Lake Thun in the Interlaken region?
We explored shops in the city of Thun by foot and walked along the medieval ramparts of Castle Thun, where we climbed its corner towers for dramatic views over the city toward the mountains.
Later, we did the rest of our sightseeing with our feet up—on a lake cruise. As we sailed past castles surrounded by green lawns and colorful arbors, we drank in the views of the Bernese Alps and sipped a local Riesling. Or was it handmade peach ice cream? Probably both.
Floating on the lake, we daydreamed about snuggling like royals in a posh castle room overlooking the water with the mountains in the distance.
Fairytale Castle on Lake Thun
Well guess what? Now our dream really can come true. One of those castles we photographed 20 years ago was recently renovated, and it opened in 2019 as a grand hotel. It’s called Schloss Schadau (remember: Schloss means “castle” in German) and it has breathtaking mountain views and a romantic restaurant with pretty outdoor seating. Schadau Castle was built between 1846 and 1854 for the wealthy Neuchâtel banker Denis Alfred de Rougemont.
Located on the southern banks of Lake Thun where the River Aare flows dreamily out toward the lake, this romantic castle has views of the iconic Swiss Alps.
Schadau Castle actually dates back to 1348, when it was built as a house. In 1638 it was rebuilt as a manor house, and two centuries later, that structure was demolished and the castle-like structure I hope to stay in was created.
The estate is landscaped in the English style with a tree garden and spacious meadows. During WWII, vegetable fields were planted to augment wartime food supplies.
And, I’m happy to report that Schadau Castle is listed and protected on the Swiss Inventory of Cultural Property of National and Regional Significance.
This noble house may be historic, but it’s furnished with modern comforts. Each of the boutique hotel’s nine uniquely decorated rooms sound dreamy: featherbeds with satin sheets, cuddly bathrobes, Swiss chocolates on the pillows!
I’ve got my heart set on one of the corner room with two balconies: one with a spectacular lake view to the Eiger, the Mönch, and the Jungfrau peaks; the other to the River Aare. reflects the history of past eras—with all the modern amenities.
I can just picture us sitting in the chaise longue or armchairs, gazing out on the lake we explored all those years ago. Can’t you?
Delicious dishes await, served fresh from the castle kitchen. Whether it’s a decadent brunch, afternoon tea, or fine dining in the evening, we’ll dine like royalty indoors or out on the terrace. The restaurant serves culinary classics, highlighting French Mediterranean cuisine.
I know how you love your muesli in the morning, and there are fresh-baked breads, and decadent omelets as well, so we certainly will not go hungry.
And, If we can possibly tear ourselves away from the castle, there are tons of activities in and around Thun, including hiking, skiing, sledding, cycling, or a day trip by cog rail to the high Jungfraujoch, called the “Top of Europe” because at 11,332 feet above sea level, it’s Europe’s highest altitude rail station.
Well, my dear, I’m certainly yearning to return to Thun, Switzerland, aren’t you? Please address my Valentine card to: Schloss Schadau, Seestrasse 45, 3600 Thun, Switzerland.
Love, your World Traveler,
PS: It’s not too late to book a reservation at Schloss Schadau:
Phone +41 (0)33 222 25 00