If you’re searching for a restaurant to share a special meal with loved ones, look no further than the historic Jugendstil-Hotel Paxmontana in the Swiss canton of Obwalden.
Opened in 1896, the Hotel Paxmontana has a colorful façade with dark green, brick red and goldenrod yellow accents. Located about 20 minutes by car from Luzern, its two towers become visible as you climb the hill. When you reach the small village of Flüeli-Ranft, the driveway to the hotel features an attractive vine-covered pergola. During our visit, the leaves had taken on their brilliant fall colors, nearly matching the shades of the hotel.
Paxmontana Hotel & Guesthouse
The Paxmontana consists of two properties – the grand hotel, with 83 rooms; and the cozy guesthouse (where we stayed), with 16 rooms. After checking in at the front desk, the receptionist gave us cards redeemable for a welcome drink. From the garden terrace, which offers spectacular mountain views, we enjoyed our fruity non-alcoholic drinks with our family and friends in the most peaceful setting.
The interior of this Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) hotel is just as spectacular as its dramatic exterior. The hotel bar has elegant plaster molding with gold leaf on the ceilings. The “Veranda” restaurant’s large picture windows that overlook the Sarneraa Valley.
The Historic Restaurant Veranda
Added in 1896, two years after the initial construction of the hotel, the Restaurant Veranda has carved wood paneling and pastel-colored Impressionist-style paintings. Our party of eight was seated at the very end of the dining room at a large table with a crisp white tablecloth.
The menu at the Restaurant Veranda features typically Swiss specialties, such as rösti and Cordon Bleu, with locally-sourced ingredients. You’ll also find regional dishes. These can include Obwaldner dried meat, alpine cheese or Apfelrösti (pan-fried apples, bread and raisins).
Since our visit took place in the prime of Wildsaison (German) or La Chasse (French), Switzerland’s autumn obsession with wild game, I chose a Wildteller, but without meat. Instead, the plate focused on all the traditional “garnitures” (side dishes) of the season. These included spätzle, chestnuts, mushrooms, braised red cabbage, Brussels sprouts and more. Beautifully presented with a mixture of sweet and savory flavors, I would definitely order this dish again.
For dessert, I couldn’t resist another popular autumn dessert in Switzerland: Vermicelles. These soft, sweet chestnut “noodles” were served with whipped cream, crushed meringues and a whole candied chestnut. After my large main course, I opted for the mini version of this dessert. It was just the right size and a perfect finish to an excellent meal, with great service.
While you’re there:
In addition to the Hotel Paxmontana, the village of Flüeli-Ranft was once home to Niklaus von Flüe, known as Switzerland’s national saint. You can visit both the home where he was born, and where he raised his family — until he abandoned his wife and 10 kids to become a hermit in the nearby Ranft Gorge. Brother Klaus, as he became known, lived out the remainder of his days in a sparse cell attached to a tiny chapel. From there, he provided advice and spiritual counsel to those in need of support. This pilgrimage site also sits on the path of St. Jacob’s Way.
Jugendstil-Hotel Paxmontana, Dossen 1, CH-6073 Flüeli-Ranft, +41 (0)41 666 24 00, firstname.lastname@example.org