Heiden is an Appenzeller hill town which was rebuilt in the Biedermeier style after the fire of 1838. Its white walls and red roofs seen against the Lake below are uniquely beautiful. The hotel's restaurant, lounge and northfacing rooms all have a panoramic view of a 25 mile stretch of this lake through windows that are always clean; the German 'Riviera' towns can be seen on the other side. The leafy terrace cafe is very popular especially when the cool pure evening air for which Heiden is famous takes over from summer heat. The staff are mainly Swiss, welltrained, effective and friendly; key staff speak English. The restaurants have a GaultMillau rating of 13, the half board menu changes every day. The spa facilities are modern and comprehensive; the 'thunder and lightning' shower is an amazing experience. St Gallen with its high quality fashion shops is halfanhour away on mountain roads by PostAuto: modern doubledeckers, four per hour, highly recommended: you don't have to drive or park and watching the scenery and the roads from the upper deck is very interesting...With the variety of walks in the hills around and the support from the transport system and backup from the hotel (even a free computer terminal in the lounge for Test Match scores), it is a great place to recharge your batteries. And when I compared the bill with the one I received from a similar English hotel in the countryside near a lake, I found that the Swiss bill is one third cheaper even with the Swiss franc at 1.60 to the £.