Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

She has the key to access the underground ruins in one church...
Suryo Wibowo | January 8, 2023

Wendy Perrin’s travel specialists never disappoint.

Our trip to Switzerland was perfectly arranged by Nina and team. Simon was extremely nice and gave fast response to our requests.

We went to Vals, Luzern and Zurich. All hotels were great, but the guides were really the stars of the trip. We spent more time with the guide in Vals, Thomas Rot, and he is an excellent guide. He knows everything in the area. Vals is not really a touristy destination in Switzerland and we chose Vals because of the hotel that has a very nice thermal bath, so it is quieter than the other two cities we visited. Thomas planned every day trip nicely without any problems. He gave an excellent service, fun and very helpful. We couldn’t do the snow sledge due to lack of snow in the area. However, during our helicopter tour to Corvatsch the next day, he arranged an extra helicopter day trip to Sils Maria and St. Moritz. That way we could visit St. Moritz and shopped a little bit as we spent a half-day there. During one dinner, he also sent his special cheese that he provides to some restaurants in the area.

We spent New Year’s Eve at Luzern, and the previous guide sent us a note to our hotel, very nice touch. Simon arranged a dinner cruise to spend New Year’s Eve on Lake Luzern. It was special, but spending 4.5 hours on the boat with all programs in Swiss-German language is tough. Luckily it ended up nicely, as we could see the fireworks from the lake.

Simon also informed us that the official fireworks in Luzern would be on 1st January at 8:15 pm. During that time, we also had our dinner reservation in a restaurant by the lake, which gave us a chance to see the fireworks again front-row. Thanks for keeping us updated.

The guide in Zurich, Adriana, was also a great guide, and we felt bad that we only spent one day with her. She is very informative and she gave us the chance to visit places not accessible to public. She has the key to access the underground ruins in one church and another underground ruins in Lindenhof. That was amazing.

Would like to thank you all for this amazing journey.

Everything we booked was personalized and incredible because of our trip planner
Danyelle Overbo | December 31, 2022

We planned a big trip to Switzerland for our 20th anniversary together. We originally tried to go in 2021 but decided to postpone due to Covid. We are glad we decided to go this year, though things were still busy even into October. We usually love travel in October during our anniversary, because there are fewer crowds. There were fewer crowds, but it was definitely much busier than trips to Europe in previous years during the same time.

Our trip planner did an amazing job with all of our requests. In fact, they kept everything we told them in mind, from the type of information we wanted to get during our tours, to the places we preferred to stay. We never ever would have gotten to do half the things we did if we hadn’t gone through this agency.

Switzerland was extraordinary, and everything we booked was personalized and incredible because of our trip planner. Every tour guide had information about us and what we wanted before we even met them. They took us on unique experiences we wouldn’t have even known about otherwise.

We got one-on-one guided tours through the Gotthard Pass, where they built bunkers into the mountains during WWII. We drove through the Lake Thun region with the most beautiful water and mountains we’ve ever seen. And yet another wonderful guide drove us around the gorgeous Appenzell region, where we got to see the Abbey Library of Saint Gall (omg, no words will ever do that location justice!). The travel planner even introduced us to the manager of the historic hotel in Bern where we stayed, and arranged for him to give us a personal tour of the hotel (a big deal as I’m a writer and used the trip to research locations for my book). It was a trip like no other. We can’t wait to go back! I highly recommend working with Nina’s office for any trip or activity in Switzerland. They are experts!

An in-depth tour of a cheese factory followed by a wonderful lunch just for us; a private musical performance featuring the Hackbrett, a kind of hammered dulcimer...
Stephen Behnen | October 30, 2022

A two-week trip to Switzerland and Milan, from 26 Sep 22 to 8 Oct 22.

In short, the trip was a delight. The plan that Nina and her team put together for our family matched our interests perfectly. We had asked for a trip that would provide insight into the culture and history of Switzerland. And we wanted to start our trip in Milan, where we could visit its key attractions, including da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.”

The plan succeeded in every respect. Some highlights were: walking through villages in the Bavona Valley where people live without benefit of electricity; making our own chocolate bars from scratch at perhaps the best boutique chocolatier in Switzerland; getting an in-depth tour of a cheese factory followed by a wonderful lunch just for us where we could enjoy their products; a private musical performance featuring the Hackbrett, a kind of hammered dulcimer; and of course a visit to the charming town of Zermatt with amazing views of the Matterhorn.

There were numerous moving pieces to this trip. We were provided Swiss rail passes, which we used extensively. Many train rides required car transfers to and from hotels. Guides met us in a variety of locations, not just in our hotel, but also at train platforms across Switzerland. In every case the logistics were handled without a hitch.

Our guides were top-notch. It was their efforts that brought the trip alive and made our visit unforgettable. One guide, Pascal, even replanned our day on the spot when a miscommunication prevented us from getting both a long-anticipated tour of the Sasso San Gottardo fortress and our WOW Moment. As part of the new plan, he drove us off-road through parts of Switzerland generally accessible only to hikers. We wound up at a picture-perfect Swiss Alpine Club hut where we enjoyed what was perhaps the best lunch of our trip. Pascal turned what might have been a disappointing day into one of our more memorable experiences.

We did have one guide that was not up to the usual standard. It turned out she was a last-minute substitute. Nina has informed us that this guide will not be used again.

Our accommodations were generally well suited to our needs. An exception was the Marktgasse Hotel in Zurich, chosen for its excellent location in the old town. We stayed in a Historic Room, which turned out to be unsuitable for people over 6 feet tall or for people in their 70s.

On the other hand, the Castello del Sole in Ascona was exceptional, one of the best hotels we have ever been in. Every aspect of the hotel excelled: the luxurious room, the extensive grounds, the sporting facilities, the excellent restaurant, the friendly staff, and an exceptional breakfast. Our only regret was that we had to leave after only two nights.

Nina and her team took pains to make sure that we stayed connected throughout our trip. When we arrived at a new hotel we would find a note welcoming us to that part of Switzerland. At one hotel, we found autographed copies of “Swiss Watching,” a delightful and irreverent historical journey through Switzerland. It was a thoughtful gesture that we very much appreciated. In short, we were fortunate that Wendy’s WOW List connected us with Nina. We would happily use her team to plan another trip.

Met a local farmer at the cooperative-owned cheese grotto and rode through the countryside in a horse-drawn carriage
Diane Thormodsgard | October 11, 2022

My husband and I, along with another couple, wanted to see more of Switzerland before joining a group in September 2022 to attend the Passion Play in Oberammergau. David and Nina arranged a wonderful scenic Switzerland tour for us. All the arrangements including lodging, transportation, local guides and scheduling were very thorough and top notch.

After arriving in Zurich, we traveled to Wengen and stayed at the most charming boutique hotel, Maya Caprice. The views of the Alps from our rooms were spectacular, service was super, and the food was excellent. We wouldn’t have found this hotel without David and Nina’s recommendation, and the stay was a highlight of our trip.

Our day trip to Jungfraujoch was guided by a retired mountain/ski expert who provided great insights. He had the day planned from handling the train tickets to exploring the mountaintop.

We also visited Gstaad, where we had a lovely village tour, met a local farmer at the cooperative-owned cheese grotto, and rode through the countryside in a horse-drawn carriage before boarding the scenic Golden Pass Panoramic train. While we were exploring Gstaad, our luggage was driven to our hotel with a lake view in Lausanne.

Arrangements had been made with Nicolas to accompany us to a private, family-owned winery overlooking Lake Geneva for a wine tasting and tour. He was very knowledgeable about the family and wine making in the area, and also took us to a local restaurant for fondue.

Everything was extremely well organized and coordinated with great attention to each detail (like transferring our luggage), selection of top-quality boutique hotels, extremely knowledgeable and friendly local guides and a thorough itinerary document.

Switzerland is truly a beautiful country. We loved the itinerary planned for us with the charming hotels and expert local guides.

October is a fabulous time to visit. We ran into very few tourists, got to see the beautiful green countryside...
Lynn Herrick | October 10, 2022

We just came home from a wonderful trip in Switzerland. I think October is a fabulous time to visit. We ran into very few tourists, got to see the beautiful green countryside, and still experienced enough snow by visiting the Matterhorn and other sites. Our travel planners (Ana, Simon and Nina) were very helpful. We really gave very little direction, but they created a perfect itinerary that enabled us to visit Zurich, Appenzellerland, the Rheinfall, Zermatt and Lucerne in our short 7-day trip. They were also very flexible with schedule changes and reworked the entire itinerary when we changed airports at the last minute. While we were busy every day, there was still time for relaxing and enjoying each place. In Zurich, we took an informative “insider” walking tour our first day and felt completely oriented to the city by the end of our 3 hours. We also had a special WOW Moment dinner in a private vineyard hut overlooking the city. The rain only added to the romantic ambiance of the evening. Thanks Wendy! Appenzellerland was very special and very Swiss! We saw cows returning from the Alps, were invited into local homes and marveled at the customs and traditions of this region. Our drivers and guides were (of course) prompt, courteous and knowledgable. We enjoyed getting to know each one of them. We loved our time in Zermatt. The recommended hotel was unusual (our bed was suspended in glass over the main floor) but charming and our guide took us on a hike that resulted in the PERFECT photo of the Matterhorn. Lucerne was a very quick visit, but the stop at Chronoswiss was very special, and expensive after we fell in love with these unique Swiss watches. As with every trip we have booked with a Wendy Perrin travel expert, all details were taken care of and we did not ever have to worry about anything. Unfortunately, we left our passports in Zermatt by mistake (have never done that before), and Ana Marquez saved the day for us. It was a very stressful moment and she was very calm and found a solution. We remain very grateful as we had to catch a flight from Frankfurt to the US the next morning. We would love to visit Switzerland again in the future and will certainly reach out to Ana, Nina and Simon when we do. If you are considering Switzerland as a vacation destination, I say go for it.

Boat rides on various Swiss lakes, chocolate-tasting tours, cable car, and cogwheel trains
Sandra Horowitz | September 13, 2022

PANDEMIC TRAVEL This trip destination was Basel, Bern and Zurich, Switzerland, but also included Interloccan, Lucern, Gstaad, Gruyeres, Mt Rigi, boat rides on various Swiss lakes, chocolate-tasting tours, cable car, and cogwheel trains. The dates were August 26, through Sept 10, 2022. Travelers are Sandy and Steven Horowitz.
We had a lovely trip around Switzerland, but we had only one contact with Nina Mueller, as she assigned David Ziegler to do all the planning and arrangements. We had a conference in Basel, so going had nothing to do with Covid concerns. Luckily no one in Switzerland was afraid of Covid, and only a handful of people wore masks. All the drivers were perfect, professional and punctual. One was a professional Yodeler and demonstrated in the Canyon and gorges (Lauterbach). Another driver was also a concert flutist, and was the CEO of a professional orchestra, but also had a hobby of making working replica models of boats. We had similar hobbies and make videos for YouTube, so we became penpals ever since. He suggested the HR Giger Alien museum in Gruyeres, which we went to. David Ziegler made good suggestions of where and what to see, and the arrangements worked out well. The hotels were all good and sufficiently comfortable. All convenient to travel in those particular cities. The trams made getting around very easy, and cabs were outrageously expensive. David kept in touch with us during the trip, and one time there was an unavoidable change in the schedule, which he did, and asked us if it was all right. All the walking tour guides were excellent and well versed in the city and history. The art museums in all the cities were world class. I would highly recommend Nina and David as tour planners.

Planned an almost perfect itinerary that matched our needs
Matt Cohen | July 15, 2022

PANDEMIC TRAVEL  This is an email we sent to Nina and David Zinger following our trip:
“Cheri and I just want to personally thank you for putting together the most incredible and extraordinary vacation. It felt so good to finally spend time in Switzerland after delaying it for so long. We were extremely impressed with how perfect everything came together and how logistically sound the entire 11 days were. The planning and execution were absolutely perfect. We both realize how complicated and challenging planning the logistics of such a trip is, and we very much appreciate all of your hard work to make it seem flawless and seamless to us. We can’t say enough good things about you and looking forward to return to Switzerland again soon.”

Needless to say we were very impressed with Nina’s office. We originally planned this trip for 2020, but obviously this didn’t happen due to Covid. They were very generous and allowed us to move our deposit to 2021. Again, we couldn’t do it last summer either, as Covid restrictions were still in place when we had to make a decision about our 2021 travels. So, David and Nina allowed us again to move our deposit until this summer 2022.

We worked on most of the details with David, who is their Apline specialist. He was extremely attentive and very detailed. He always got back to us very quickly via email or we set up Zoom calls to discuss ideas and changes. Once we were in Switzerland, he made himself available for on-the-spot questions and last-minute planning ideas. I think its important to note that David and Nina were great listeners and got a real sense of how we like to travel, what we like to do, and the type of accommodations we like to stay in, and then planned an almost perfect itinerary that matched our needs.

My wife and I highly recommend Nina’s team and must say they were one of the best travel planners (maybe “the” best) we’ve ever worked with.

In Neuchatel, we visited a family-owned clock master repairman—who had invented a unique clock
Andy Kaplan | July 3, 2022

PANDEMIC TRAVEL  We worked with Nina Mueller to plan a trip for my wife and me to Switzerland. It was a bit of a late planning session because our original plans to go to Japan were cancelled due to Covid.

Nina was terrific! The trip went well beyond our expectations. Switzerland is a bit under the radar and I think not that well known, but it really should be!

Nina planned us a wonderful two week trip taking us to 4 different regions of the country. I didn’t really understand that the regions were *so* different – Swiss German, French, Italian – and the itinerary and guides really gave us the flavor and appreciation for each area and the unique county as a whole.

Nina was amazing at taking into consideration our personal interests, traveling style, and Covid concerns. For example, we went to some less visited areas and never stayed less than 3 nights in a hotel (both important to us). She listenend closely to our goals for level of activity (vs. relaxation), guided time (vs. on our own), and the overall amount of scheduling. It was a great balance, just what we were looking for.

The guides were excellent – highly knowledgable, engaged, very happy to have any (and all) discussions….and they obviously love their country and showing it to us.

The experiences Nina planned were all fun, enjoyable, and enlightening. Some examples: During our visit to the Appenzelle, we had a chance to meet some musicians and farmers and spend real time talking with them about what they did. During our time in Neuchatel, we visited a family-owned clock master repairman—who had invented a unique clock. In Interlaken, we experienced Jungfrau with a great local mountaineering guide, we went to a special cheese manufacturer in Emmental (with a phenomenal lunch and cheese tasting in the staff dining room), and we took a hike with an author that had written a bestseller about Swiss culture for outsiders. Finishing in Ascona was a great and relaxing conclusion where we could rest and enjoy the lake and rich Italian culture.

When we ran into a transportation hiccup (cancelled train), Nina quickly made alternate arrangements, even before we knew there was a problem. She also added a couple of last minute things we requested when we were already on our trip (e.g. paragliding) with excellent providers.

We could go on forever — it was a really great trip. And we brought home 25 pounds of chocolate to boot! (Turns out all our guides had their favorites among the many boutique chocolates made in Switzerland.)

Made everyone in our family happy. Not an easy task with an 8- and 11-year-old!
Tara Robertson | May 1, 2022

PANDEMIC TRAVEL Our Switzerland trip with Philipp and Nina was incredible. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone who is going to this beautiful country. They accommodated all of our requests including staying in a hotel using our points at one stop, going to a specific town to see friends, and most important, they planned a trip that made everyone in our family happy. Not an easy task with an 8- and 11-year-old! We were supposed to take this trip pre-COVID and had to postpone. Philipp worked with us for over a year until we could actually travel. He was always responsive and helpful to everyone we needed and planned a well thought out trip for Spring that really showed us diverse aspects of Switzerland. We could not have asked for a better agent!

We took great comfort knowing he was working his magic--sometimes in the foreground, but mostly in the background
Stan Fry and Jay Sisco | December 12, 2019

We couldn’t have asked for a better Swiss holiday after working with Nina Muller and David Zingler. Nina kicked off the planning by initially asking about our travel preferences (both likes and dislikes). David fine-tuned them and suggested multiple and varied itineraries that hit upon our requested combination of 5-star and Swiss charm accommodations; top tourist and off the beaten path towns–and all at our chosen slow-ish pace. Neuchatel (e-biking around the lake and a private Absinthe distillery tasting with the owner) and Ascona (Bavona Valley guided walking tour and two surprise birthday celebrations, one on the lake and the other a mountainside 4-course lunch were beyond memorable) stand out. David is the ultimate listener and logistics master. Everything ran like clockwork and we took great comfort knowing he was working his magic–sometimes in the foreground (securing a reservation at a top restaurant on short notice), but mostly in the background. And we never would have predicted how much we would learn from and bond with the private guides he selected for us. They were extremely knowledgeable, flexible and friendly. This was our first custom trip and it was well worth it. We experienced Switzerland like we never would have on our own. David spoiled us and we are grateful!

The perfect destination for a father-son week with my 15 year old…
Matt Johnson | August 10, 2019

I was looking for the perfect destination for a father-son week with my 15 year old. After deciding to explore the Swiss Alps, we reached out to Nina for help. With only a couple of weeks to work with, she planned a week that we will never forget. We started in Zürich and enjoyed being in the old town. We originally planned to make our way to Chamonix, but Nina recommended we head east instead and she was right! Ladina and Villa Flor were just the special touch you expect from a knowledgeable agent and just the right spot for us, as opposed to being in St Moritz itself. In particular, our stay at Couer des Alpes in Zermatt was ideal and the staff were all extremely nice and helpful. The location is great and the view, perfect. All of the activities (helicopter to top of Matterhorn, mountain biking down, tuk tuk tour of Zurich and more) really held my 15 year old’s interest, which was critical! But the real clincher was Nina arranging for us to drive an Aston Martin through the Alps for three days. Needless to say, the car was a particular highlight! Happy Birthday to me!!!

We especially enjoyed our day in vineyards of Lavaux…
Michelle and Nicholas Golubov | July 31, 2019

Nina planned an excellent trip for my husband and me to Geneva and Lausanne this past July. The hotels and rooms were excellent. The transport top notch. The tours and guides excellent. We especially enjoyed our day in vineyards of Lavaux with our guide Nicolas. We would definitely recommend her and use her again.

A fantastic job listening to our preferences to avoid the usual tourist spots and spend time more off the beaten path…
Gary Reading | July 14, 2019

Nina and David did a fantastic job listening to our preferences to avoid the usual tourist spots and spend time more off the beaten path. Communication with them throughout the process was collaborative, helpful, and easy. Prior to our departure we received a detailed itinerary with full descriptions and instructions (where to meet drivers, timelines etc.). David also kept track throughout our trip and assisted when unexpected things arose (train late in Italy) so that we had no worries. The hotels they suggested (Villa Orselina, Coer de Alps and Guarda Val) were all exceptional. The views from our room in Villa Orselina and Coer de Alps were amazing and we truly enjoyed the Mountain Hut experience suggested by Nina/David at Guarda Val. Service at all hotels they suggested was wonderful. They also had guides arranged for us and all were great. Particularly Anna in Ticino (Bavona Valley – magical walk through a beautiful place and Bellinzona – also arranged for dinner reservations at the castle for us), Nikki in Zermatt who was a delight and took us on a great hike and gave ideas for our next two days hiking, and Albert in Zurich who suggested a side trip to Rapperswil which was very enjoyable. Nina and David’s suggestion for a first class Swiss rail pass was excellent. We used it for boat rides in Ascona, Zurich and Lucerne, a bus ride in Ticino, and side train trips to Bellinzona, Lucerne, and Rapperswil. Well worth it! Restaurant suggestions from guides and hotels along the way were all excellent. Particularly the staff at Coer de Alps who suggested SonnMatten dinner on their terrace which was a highpoint. Overall an exceptional trip. Nina and David did a fantastic job. Highly recommend!

Parasailing in Grindelwald, a Canyon Swing, a Jet Boat in Interlaken, a private cave tour, glacier trekking…
Travis Schmitt | June 30, 2019

We just returned from Switzerland ( June 2019), so this review is hot off the press!

We worked with Nina Müller and Philipp Kaegi and began setting up our trip. The process was very straightforward….I talked with Nina on the phone for about 30 minutes explaining where we would like to go, the activities and a preliminary budget. With this framework, Nina and Philipp created an itinerary that included many excellent suggestions that we were not aware of, even though I had done a fair amount of research on my own to know what Switzerland had to offer.

We made some tweaks from their suggestions (most of which were excellent) and they were very receptive to the modifications.

Parasailing in Grindewald, a Canyon Swing, a Jet Boat in Interlaken, a private cave tour, glacier trekking, helicopter transfer from Jungraujoch to Gstaad, Via Ferrata in Murren, Corner Gorge adventure in Zermatt, along with many other activities….AWESOME!

The execution of the trip was flawless. Drivers and guides were on time and very professional and fun.

When the helicopter landed in Gstaad in a grassy field, the driver was right there waiting for us. Flawlessly executed.

The activities, pacing and hotels were also all fantastic. Even the weather was great.

There would’ve been no way to plan our trip on our own and have everything run as smoothly as it did.

Also, Nina corrected a hiccup at the Alpina Gstaad….they charged us for an additional person in the room, which had already been paid. Nina took care of this immediately. Another advantage of having a “fixer” on your side.

If you want a great trip in Switzerland……get ahold of Nina and Philipp….you will be very glad that you did!

I always felt the priority was in designing a trip that I would love…
Mark Hoffman | June 21, 2019

I initially met with both Nina and David Zingler to discuss the trip details. They were both very attentive and listened to what kind of experience I was looking for and offered very helpful feedback. Because initially we were going to be driving for the entire trip, I worked with David as that is his expertise. Working with David was very enjoyable. The complexity of the trip meant numerous iterations to get everything to work out. I always felt that David’s priority was in designing a trip that I would love and there was never any pressure to quickly settle on a final itinerary. To me that is very important and it came through in every interaction with David. Whenever I had a question, he always responded quickly with a well thought out and well researched response. The result was a perfectly planned and executed trip. David worked it out so that we got to see and do everything that we wanted to do. The trip went off without a hitch – so we did not need any assistance while on the trip.

I could not recommend Nina and David enough. They were very personal and very easy to work with. I especially liked how they always listened to my feedback and were able to implement it flawlessly. No push back or trying to sell me on something I did not want. I felt like we were a team in planning the vacation.

Perhaps the best trip we have ever taken
Jack Berryhill | January 26, 2019

This is a much delayed review of our trip through Switzerland in September – October 2018.

It was superb. My family can only say that it was one of the best — perhaps the best — trip we have ever taken.

The guides we had were all first-rate: Albert Schoch who met us in Zurich; Andrea Matossi and Nicole Buess in St. Moritz; Anna Bezzola who gave us a simply marvelous walk through the Bavona Valley (I was so happy we included this in our itinerary); and Judy (I think this is her name — I didn’t get her card) in Zermatt.

Thomas and Lin — proprietors of the Hotel Coeur des Alpes in Zermatt were perfect hosts.

We were also very happy that we included La Sagne and its beautiful valley — where we met and visited with Simone Perrenoud. We must be related because our mother was a Perrenoud, and her grandfather came from La Sagne to America. We also visited the church in La Sagne where a number of Perrenouds are buried.

I think the Hotel Palafitte in Neuchâtel was our favorite.

The only change we would have made to the itinerary would be to have spent only two nights in Interlaken rather than three. The Jungfraujoch was spectacular, but we decided not to go to Murren and the top of the Schilthorn because that would have been somewhat a repeat of the Jungfraujoch. Instead we enjoyed a leisurely tour of Thun and its castle on the way to Neuchâtel.

One less night in Interlaken and, instead, an extra night in Geneva would have been perfect.

By the way, the only travel glitch we had was getting to the Hotel les Armures in Geneva. Our navigation system directed us to a street that was blocked by bollards. We did not know that if you drove up to the bollards, they would automatically go down. So we had to park on that street and call the Edel & Stark rental car person to come from the hotel and drive our vehicle to the hotel — which he did. But, as a result, we had no time to explore any of Geneva.

In sum, the tour exceeded all our expectations, and once again we thank you both, Philipp and Nina, for putting it all together for us and making the excellent arrangements.

Bien joué! Merci beaucoup.

She was honest about when we needed a guide and when we could do things on our own
Rebecca Wolf | December 24, 2018

We used Nina for our family trip (my husband and myself and 3 kids ages 18, 16, 11) to Switzerland this past June. She planned a great trip for us, with perfectly located hotels, and she was honest about when we needed a guide and when we could do things on our own. She suggested some fun things like a chocolate workshop in Bern, and hiking with a Swiss St. Bernard dog in Zurich. She was particularly helpful with kosher food — our biggest travel obstacle — and arranged to have kosher catering for us delivered to our hotel in Zurich, with the hotel warming it up. We would be happy to book with Nina again!

Our best travel experience ever
Jerry and Janet Kline | September 21, 2018

Throughout our marriage, we have vacationed dozens of times in Europe, the Caribbean, Canada, and the U.S., and never felt the need for a travel agent. We’re old hands at clipping travel articles in magazines and newspapers and consulting travel guides.

But Switzerland, we knew, would be different. The country overflows with magnificent scenery and boasts an extraordinary transportation system, but it’s also famously expensive for visitors. We were determined to make this experience the trip of a lifetime. We enjoy touring by ourselves and wanted to take advantage of Switzerland’s rail system. It was time to turn to experienced trip planners.

We contacted Wendy Perrin. She suggested that we talk to Nina Mueller in Zurich. What a fortuitous suggestion that turned out to be! Nina, who phoned us to discuss our interests and expectations, and Philipp Kaegi, who worked closely with us to design the trip and answer our many questions, were outstanding and indispensable. The two-week-long tour turned out to be our best travel experience ever. Nina and her staff deserve all the credit.

Two examples of their careful attentiveness to our needs:

When we told Philipp that we planned to look for an ATM at the Zurich airport when we arrived, he responded with directions and maps for both the airport ATM as well as the ATM nearest to our hotel. He also alerted the guide who would meet us at the airport.

When a receptionist at one hotel insisted that our stay did not include breakfast, though we thought it did, we emailed Philipp. In less than 10 minutes a hotel representative informed us that the hotel had received a call from Philipp. He said our breakfasts were indeed included and apologized that we had been misinformed.

We stayed at five different hotels. All were excellent and met our requests for balcony views, breakfasts included, showers, and convenient locations.

The complicated itinerary relied on a total of 15 tour guides, drivers and taxis to meet us at the Zurich airport, train station arrival platforms, and hotel lobbies. Remarkably, everyone showed up on time. Most arrived early and were waiting for us. We strongly suspect this resulted from frequent monitoring by the travel agency.

Nina’s staff armed us with a Swiss Rail Pass, and we were off. The carefully designed train and tram instructions for each city were detailed to the point that we knew the schedule for each train, which tracks our trains would leave from, and when they were scheduled to reach their destinations. We also had information about the next trains in case we missed one. If we did miss a connection, we had emergency phone numbers to call. Thankfully, we never did.

Here are a few highlights of the trip:

The tour began in Zurich, where Nina (“as a courtesy”) upgraded us at the fine Hotel Marktgasse to a junior suite with roof terrace and a view over Zurich. What a way to start!

The fondue and wine Tuk Tuk tour were delightful, thanks to our charming and knowledgeable guide, Attila, who seemed to know half the citizens who waved as we drove by.

Britta Nydegger was outstanding during our day trip to St. Gallen, focusing on the Cathedral, and the magnificent Abbey Library. We learned much about this fascinating city.

Our days seemed to get better and better. We enjoyed the tour of Basel with Rose Marie Schulz-Rehberg. She’s a delightful person, warm, friendly, and so knowledgeable. Again, we couldn’t have had a better guide. We loved Basel.

Marie Therese Lauper was lots of fun and extremely impressive. We learned about the mechanics of the Bern tower clock, her work at the Cathedral, and her role as the “keeper of time.” She gave us an excellent grounding in a very short time span.

During our stay in Montreux, Nicolas Abundo outdid himself guiding us through Gruyeres. We enjoyed meeting his friends Gerard and Aurelie at Aurelie’s chalet and farm. They gave us a tour of the farm and explained the fascinating traditions of cheese making. We had a lovely midmorning coffee with them (including double cream and chocolate). Nicolas also chose an excellent restaurant at the Gruyeres Castle for a delicious raclette lunch. Later in the day, he took us to the medieval Tower Marsuns for a wine tasting in the heart of Lavaux wine country. We couldn’t have had a better day.

The next day, we spent a memorable morning visiting Tolochenaz, the village where Audrey Hepburn lived for the last 30 years of her life. Our driver, Carlos, was very helpful taking us to the sites associated with the actress. Nina’s team made the experience even more memorable by reserving lunch for us at the beautiful Chateau d’Ouchy and making reservations on the Lake Geneva restored belle epoch boat back to Montreux.

Sylvia Fournier met us in Sion on a very warm day and gave us a fascinating tour of the city— the cathedrals, old town, Roman inscriptions, and history. She accomplished a lot in a short timespan.

Julie Guidotti was wonderful. Meeting us at in Brig, she scooped up our luggage and accompanied us on the outstanding centovalli train. She told us all about Switzerland’s Ticino area and made sure we arrived safely in Ascona.

We had a beautiful day for a private boat ride on Lake Maggiore. Vincent, our captain, walked us to the boat dock and we took off, enjoying champagne toasts halfway through the ride. No rough waters, just great views. Vincent made sure we took in the delights of the lake.

The Gotthard panoramic rail route was amazing. We can’t imagine how that railroad route was constructed. What an engineering and construction feat!

We loved the boat ride to Lucerne. We had a beautiful ride on the lake and an excellent lunch. Like so many details involved in this trip, Nina ensured that we had a reserved table for lunch. Cristina Tschuppert met us at the boat dock. While walking us to our hotel, she told us about Lucerne, its history, wonderful bridges, and the River Reuss.

We saved the best for last. How can we describe our trip to Stanserhorn? Its beauty is beyond description. We had gorgeous weather and clear views of the surrounding mountain ranges. The funicular and astounding open-air cable car were great fun. Again, another engineering marvel. We didn’t want to leave Stanserhorn.

In the afternoon, we walked to Lucerne’s incredible Rosengart Museum and had a lovely time among the dozens of Picassos and Klees.

We’re glad to be home, but we already miss Switzerland. What a fantastic experience it was. Thank you, Nina and team. And thank you, Wendy Perrin, for introducing us to them.

She had great ideas for tours and other fun things
Carrie Nussbaum | August 10, 2018

Nina really listened to what we were looking for during our vacation. She came up with a few itineraries and then we chose one. She had great ideas for tours and other fun things. During the actual trip, everything went super smoothly. She made is very easy for us to sit back and relax. the guides we had were knowledgeable and nice people we were happy to spend time with.

I would not hesitate to contact Nina and her team
Kathryn Barden | July 30, 2018

We had a wonderful trip to Europe and have Nina and her team to thank for much of it! Originally we were planning to go to Switzerland but when plans changed, Nina’s team was knowledgeable and also able to use their contacts in other cities to find us great hotels, restaurants, activities and a guide.

Nina and her co-worker Yumi were in touch right away and had great ideas right from the start. When our plans abruptly shifted they shifted right along with us. Their answers to my many questions along the way of the booking process were complete and with care. My only issue was that the time differences delayed our communications.

Nina and Yumi recommended fantastic hotels in Copenhagen, Hamburg, and Amsterdam and all 3 greatly added to our trip enjoyment. They were all unique, service and locations were terrific.

Hopefully, we will finally do that trip to Switzerland and I would not hesitate to contact Nina and her team.

Perfectly located hotels
Rebecca Wolf | June 26, 2018

Nina planned a great trip for us, with perfectly located hotels, and she was honest about when we needed a guide and when we could do things on our own. She suggested some fun things like a chocolate workshop in Bern, and hiking with a Swiss St. Bernard dog in Zurich. She was particularly helpful with kosher food – our biggest travel obstacle – and arranged to have kosher catering for us delivered to our hotel in Zurich, with the hotel warming it up.

Wendy, thanks again for your travel advice — I love your website and use it for every trip!

If you want to fit a lot into a relatively short amount of time
Sarina Vetterli | February 5, 2018

I absolutely loved working with Nina initially, and Philipp throughout, for our December 2017 holiday trip to Switzerland. We started planning several months in advance; they asked all about my family (my husband and I have three boys ages 8-16) and we hoped to experience on our trip. We wanted to ski for a few days, and then explore other parts of the country for another few days. Specifically, we wanted to visit Zermatt and Schaffhausen and were open to any other suggestions. They had fantastic suggestions! We loved visiting a medieval castle and Christmas market on the shore of Lake Geneva, the cities of Zurich and Luzern, and the famous Rheinfall in Schaffhausen. Philipp arranged our hotels in Zermatt and Zurich, and both were absolutely perfect. I would definitely stay again. I asked Philipp to make our restaurant dinner reservations in Zermatt, and each choice was fantastic.

I would highly recommend Nina and Philipp, especially if you want to fit a lot into a relatively short amount of time. I felt that we got the most out of our trip and I would never have been able to coordinate that on my own. The itinerary they gave us was detailed and easy to understand; I was amazed at how smoothly everything went. Thanks to Nina and Philipp we had the family vacation of a lifetime.

Spectacular experiences our entire family loved
Jennie Grube | September 16, 2017

This trip was excellent – one of the best our family has had. The pieces of the trip were seamless. Philipp on Nina’s team helped coordinate some tricky aspects of our travel including flights on multiple reservations and selecting the best rail passes for what we wanted to do. He helped us set up two spectacular experiences our entire family loved – a chocolate making experience and a trip to an authentic alpine farm where we got to see the cheese making process start to finish and spend time with the animals. The combination of structured and unstructured activities struck a perfect balance. My expectations of activities that would suit the whole family, engaging both the kids aged 4, 8, 9 and my husband and me were far surpassed. I had been looking forward to this trip but had no idea how much we would all enjoy it! We can’t wait to go back…

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