Enjoy the last rays of a late summer by taking in the view from these spectacularly situated mountain huts.
Even if you haven’t visited Äscher in Appenzell, you probably recognise it. The hut has graced the pages of almost every premium travel magazine, thanks to its striking location clinging the edges of the Alpstien cliffs. It’s not an easy walk, but offers some spectacular scenery as it winds from gentle green hills up dramatic rocky mountain paths. Once you reach the top, you get to give the legs a rest and take the cable car down again, but not before stopping off at the Äscher. The views are stunning, the food good - the classic Swiss dishes - and there’s a side of history to be had as well, with a short stroll through the Wildkirchli caves, hermitage and the chapel, where herdsmen and hermits used to reside.
Paradishutte, Pontresina, Graubunden
This sweet and simple hut in the Engadin is relatively easy to reach, you can take the Languard cable car from Pontresina village, and walk from the upper station along a clearly defined pathway. It’s mostly rolling, with a few steeper sections before the hut - just to make sure you really earn a slice of one of their famous fruit tarts. The walk takes you through ‘Marmot Eldorado’, so keep your eyes peeled for the furry folk, or their larger alpine neighbours, the Ibex, who also frequent the area. If you want a tougher challenge, walk up instead of taking the cable car, or start further down the valley at Muttos Muragls.
Monte Rosa, Zermatt
The Monte Rosa hut itself offers a pretty spectacular view. The entire structure is clad in aluminium, and the south side is covered in photovoltaic panels. It’s a collaboration between the hut and the ETH Zürich, and covers 90% of its own energy requirements. It sits at the foot of the Month Roda massif. The hike takes visitors over the Corner Glacier up into the mountains with views over more glaciers and the Matterhorn. A mountain guide is essential, as there is a glacier crossing - ask Le Bijou’s James to organise one.
Just 10 minutes from Zürich, this is the one to pick if you want a quick foray into the mountains without really leaving the comfort of the city. You can take the cable car from Adliswil and either partake of some short, child-friendly walks along the ridge, or head straight in for lunch overlooking the lake. The menu is classic Swiss dishes done well and the best tables are at the edge of the terrace. Take a jacket: the sun might be shining, but the altitude adds an autumn chill. The restaurant is open through October, but the cable car and walks operate year-round.
Grandhotel Giessbach, Lake Brienz, Berner Oberland
A lot of the views mentioned cover sweeping Alpine panoramas, looking over wide valleys and sapphire blue lakes, but there’s something to be said for the views upwards as well. The Grand Hotel Giessbach isn’t so much a hiking hut, although you can walk up, but the setting is worth making the ascent, whether by foot or funicular. There are three restaurants in a leafy patio, with views of the impressive Giessbach waterfalls, which are as worth a look as any lake.