Never had we been so pleased with a town and hotel as at the Romantik Hotel Säntis in Appenzell. From the moment we arrived by train, walking five minutes to the hotel, from the moment we departed our experience exceeded expectations. Like one of the previous reviewers, we reserved a top-floor junior suite that had views overlooking the square in front, and views of the town and mountains in the back. Although there was no parliament meeting in October, we were treated to a most unusual event: the running of the cows through town. From morning until afternoon, hundreds of cows were being paraded--rather briskly--through town so that officials could choose the prettiest cows in the region. The winning cows would be decked up in bovine spendor, while losing teams would have to imitate cows and run through the village. This event requires much tongue in cheek and an open mind. From our window, we saw as much as we wished.
Apart from the hysterically amusing cow parade, Appenzell takes itself quite seriously with its lifts, museums, and food. I would strongly recommend staying over at least three nights, not only to capture the spirit of the town but also to avail oneself of the Appenzell card that allows for free admission to museums, local transport, and even lifts up to mountains on the funicular. Everywhere we went, people were friendly and helpful, offering information on Appenzeller customs and local politics. This openness is in contrast to the reserved nature of Zurich.
With every intention of dining at several places, we stuck to the hotel's dining room because of the excellent selection of wines, the variety of food at different prices, and helpfulness of the servers. Although I am not a vegetarian per se, I was very happy with a Thai curry dish on jasmine rice, while my wife was thrilled with her fresh perch. Breakfast was fine but so is breakfast in almost every hotel in Switzerland! What sets this place apart, however, is the immense selection of Appenzeller cheese offered even at breakfast.
As I mentioned earlier, we took advantage of the visitors card and saw all the museums, from the traditional folk museum next to the tourist office, to the more avant garde Liner Museum, behind the train station. Allied with the Liner Museum is the Ziegelhütte Museum, which also acts as a concert hall. Both of these musems are within ten minutes from the hotel. We knew that Switzerland would be expensive and were prepared to pay the $300 for the suite. But after the dollar began to climb vis-a-vis the Swiss franc, our room suddenly became $260, saving us enough to buy souvenirs. The manager suggested we ride in the hotel van to the station even though our card would have been valid. Perhaps this was a suggestion that the Säntis takes care of its guests from the moment they set foot in the entrance to the time they must depart. Highest recommendation.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC