La sophistication dans les Alpes

Iyna Bort Caruso

Ski chalets with views of the Alps. Historical castles near medieval towns. Riverfront properties in cosmopolitan cities. Switzerland provides a cornucopia of luxury residences in breathtaking settings. Endowed with mountains, lakes and meadows, its Western European setting is a geographic dream. The international, multi-lingual society includes French, Italian and German cultures, each with its own foods, customs and traditions.

Switzerland's coveted quality of life makes it a sanctuary enjoyed by international businesses, diplomats, the financial elite, lovers of culture and outdoor enthusiasts. The Swiss lifestyle and tax advantages draw foreign buyers seeking both principal and vacation homes.

The largest city and Switzerland’s economic engine is Zurich, a wooded lakeside metropolis with a lively cultural that is the country's most popular tourist destination.

Geneva, the nation’s second largest city, is a sophisticated urban environment with manicured parks and Alpine villages surrounding Lake Geneva. Leisure activities include dining at local cafes, perusing museums and spending evenings at the Grand Theatre.  Geneva is also punctuated by a rich history, with centuries-old castles, churches, amphitheaters, Roman ruins and archeological sites. Yet it is a vibrant modern hub for more than 30 international organizations, the United Nations, more than 250 non-governmental agencies and numerous multinational corporations.

Trophy developments, such as the Du Parc Kempinski Private Residences an hour from Geneva in UNESCO-protected vineyards, have striking views of Lake Geneva and a wealth of amenities right down to a cigar lounge and private wine cellars. In Leukerbad, a scenic Alpine village known for its therapeutic mineral waters, traditional chalets combine with modern luxury residences which feature private in-house spas that use the thermal waters.

St. Moritz, the world-renowned ski resort, home to the Cresta Run and a former Winter Olympics site in the Upper Engadine Valley of the Swiss Alps, is synonymous with the global jet set. Private landing strips reign. Horse racing, polo and cricket are played Swiss-style on the frozen lake. In warmer weather, lures include golf, biking and walking trails.  With land scarce, demand for dream properties in Switzerland is strong.