THIRDHOME member Barbara Malarski just returned from a majestic Rain Journey through Switzerland. Read below for her account of this amazing locomotive experience.

Jungfraujoch, Switzerland

The Hills are alive with the sound of … cow bells in the unsurpassed pastoral beauty of the Swiss countryside. The crinkle of Swiss chocolates, as they unravel from a gold wrapper, pierces through the otherwise silent sound of the soft snow landing on Jungfraujoch – The Top of Europe. Jungfraujoch, the highest altitude railway station in the world, is located at 3454 meters above sea level. Sparkling snow and ice stretches from the peopled viewing tower to beyond. The gentle rumble of steel train tracks aboard the famous Glacier Express accompanies a vision of blurred glaciers, ancient forests, and rushing mountain streams.

Barbara in Ville Vielle, the end of the promenade from Montreux Switzerland

Lunch at Cafe Resturant de La Clef, VeveyJill Chism and I had just completed the Mont Blanc walking trail (an 8-day version of the walk through France, Switzerland and Italy across a number of challenging passes), so we were keen travel at a more restful pace. And rest we did as we looked out the window at the picture perfect landscape by train. Our Curated Swiss Rail Trip exceeded our expectations, especially the picturesque landscapes of ancient and famous vineyards traced back to the 11th century, when Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries controlled the area.

Photograph from 'images' biennial exhibition at VeveyJill in Ville Veille near Montreux SwitzerlandChillon Castle in Veytaux, Switzerland

Our first stop was in the town of Montreux, where our hotel was a 5 minute walk to Lake Geneva. We were in awe of Montreux’s long flowered promenade that borders the lake’s edge.  Being “walkers” we loved the 5 kilometer walk to Chillon Castle with numerous other significant landmarks along the way, including the magnificent Fairmount Le Montreux Palace dating to the Belle Époque (1871-1914).  On from the castle is the charming town of Vielle-Ville, which simply means ‘old town’. If you are an enthusiastic walker, once back in Montreux, you can walk the promenade in the opposite direction to Vevey, another charming historical town nearby. Coming from the Tropics in Australia, we loved the biodiversity of pines, cypresses and palm trees that reflected a more Mediterranean feel. It was very relaxing and made us feel at home.

Public Art in Lake Geneva, Vevey Freddy Mercury statue, MontreuxVevey, 15 minutes by local bus, if you don’t want to walk, was hosting its biennial Arts Festival. The standard of the Arts festival ‘Images’ was very high, enlivened by the inventive staging of its exhibits. Works of both established and emerging photographers were displayed in an astonishing variety of unconventional venues and locations, showcasing both the beauty of the surrounding natural environment as well as the town’s historical buildings. Aside from the ‘Images’ exhibition, Jill was especially intrigued by the collection of Picasso prints (the second biggest collection in Europe) at Musee Jenisch in Vevey. And there was no one else there looking at over 150 original prints!

‘Cows can walk through walls’ - InterlakenCows 2500m on Swiss mountainsOur timely arrival enabled us to experience Freddie Mercury’s Birthday Memorial. Montreux was alive with people and music, celebrating the time the band Queen spent writing music from an apartment they owned in the area. Staying at Montreux was a highlight for us, especially in the month of September with so many events in combination with its natural beauty, culture and history. It was truly magical to be there.

The end of the promenade from Montreux to Ville VeilleJill at Jungfraujoch 3571m Outside the highest railway station in EuropeFrom Montreux we stopped briefly in Interlaken, which is presided over by three mighty mountains, nestled in a valley that is a gateway to alpine destinations for hiking and exploring the region.  Our main reason for stopping at Interlaken was for the unique train journey to Junfraujoch, The Top of Europe, which sits at 3454 meters above sea level. The experience involved changing three trains. Quite a trip: Our advice is to start as early as possible.

 View from the lookout tower at JungfraujochTraditional Swiss desserts in InterlakenChapel Bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland

Next we were on to Lucerne in Central Switzerland. The town straddles the Ruess River with its main feature being the famous Chapel Bridge, a 66 foot long wooden bridge, and the oldest covered bridge in Europe. We spent hours walking through the old town and ended up at the Culture and Convention Center, and ultra-modern building sitting on the lake. We were blessed to experience a free concert inside The Convention Centre, in what is recognized as one of the world leading concert halls.

Culture and Convention Center in Lucerne, Switzerland

View from the train traveling to Lucerne

View of Lucerne from the Old Bridge

Leaving Switzerland, we had the opportunity to stay in THIRDHOME‘s unique 19 century mansion, a traditional “Mansard House”, located in the small village of Soisy Sur Seine, France. With Paris on our doorstep, 20 miles away, we mostly retreated into the countryside with long walks along the Seine into either Ris D’Orangis or the local village for our morning croissants. Pure Heaven! It was serenity on the Seine. This was a remarkable home and one which Jill and I felt privileged to have the opportunity of staying in, hosted through THIRDHOME and Liz Bates.


Barbara is a longtime THIRDHOME member and frequent traveler with a second luxury home in Port Douglas, Australia. 


Contact to start planning your voyage! 


Summer is over and the results are in.

These non-Affiliate properties in the THIRDHOME portfolio received the most 5-star reviews from June to September of 2018.


Some were especially popular due to their location and others more-so for their interiors. There were several that captured the  beauty of both worlds, bringing form and function to the table. Did you stay at one of the properties below?


Top Reviewed THIRDHOME Exchange properties of summer 2018 Portland

Portland, Oregon | The World is your Oyster, You are the Pearl

Featured reviews:

“This beautiful condo is in the perfect location to visit Portland. The views from this one bedroom unit are gorgeous.”-Maynard & Judy

“This condo is perfectly situated in the famous pearl District of Portland… Accommodations were beautiful and looking forward to a return visit.”-Ernie & Gena

“The apartment is beautiful with incredible views over Portland. Walking distance from stores and great dining it was a perfect base for a relaxing week exploring the area.”-David & Tanya

Number of Summer 2018 5-star reviews: 4


Top Reviewed THIRDHOME Exchange properties of summer 2018 Colorado

Cordillera, Colorado | Luxury Vail Villa Estate in Cordillera

Featured reviews:

“What a fabulous home with breathtaking views! We enjoyed Vail’s farmers market, hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, golf and live music plus great restaurants. We loved cooking in the fantastic kitchen too because we didn’t usually want to leave!”- Jennifer

“We were taken aback by the sheer majesty of this estate, atop the exclusive Cordillera Ranch Club. The home is decked out in every conceivable way and afforded us the utmost in comfort and relaxation.”-Michael

“Holy Cow!!!!!!!!!!! This place is off the hook! Thanks again! Wow!”-David

Number of Summer 2018 5-star reviews: 4


Top Reviewed THIRDHOME Exchange properties of summer 2018 Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica | Casa Alegria

Featured reviews:

“We absolutely loved the home. We will miss the monkeys on the balcony and the view. We can’t wait to return.”- Kristin & David

“Fabulous home with extraordinary views and abundant wild life-Capuchin monkeys, toucans ,sloths, howler monkeys ,iguanas and multiple birds.”- John & Nancy

“Beautiful house right in the rainforest. We felt one with nature seeing toucans and monkeys right outside the house while sipping coffee. So cool!”-Michael

Number of Summer 2018 5-star reviews: 4


Top Reviewed THIRDHOME Exchange properties of summer 2018 Chicago

Chicago, Illinois | Downtown Chicago, Lake Shore East Property

Featured reviews:

“This condo was everything it described and more! This was our second year in the unit. Very clean and loaded with everything to make you feel right at home. The location you cannot beat, minutes from fantastic restaurants, attractions, shopping, and a very nice grocery store. The amenities at the building are first class.”-Matt

“Nice property is a quiet area downtown. Great spot to stay for a visit and easy to catch the L or Uber.”- Jonathan

Number of Summer 2018 5-star reviews: 5


Top Reviewed THIRDHOME Exchange properties of summer 2018 Switzerland

Verbier, Switzerland | Chalet de Merveilles

Featured reviews:

“It just doesn’t get any better then sitting on the terrace in the cool dry alpine air gazing at snow covered Swiss Alps in the summertime.”-Suzi

“It was our first time to Switzerland and we stayed here for two weeks…We had a great time.”- Michael

“Chalet des Merveillles really did exceed our expectations as we weren’t sure what to expect of the Swiss mountains in the summer. Christophe the owner couldn’t have been more inviting and Carla the chalet manager was friendly and wonderfully helpful. Verbier in the summer is wonderful with walking, hiking, climbing, cycling and in the most gorgeous surroundings.”- John

Number of Summer 2018 5-star reviews: 6


Top Reviewed THIRDHOME Exchange properties of summer 2018 Dominican Republic

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic | Villa las Palmas

Featured reviews:

“Tropical is a great word for this gorgeous home. We loved it here and been here a few times.”- Michael

“This is a beautiful property owned and managed by attentive friendly people. The location is fantastic. Jump at any chance to use this property in the future.”- Paul

“This property was wonderful. The staff was great. Some of the best golf in the world.”- Stewart

Number of Summer 2018 5-star reviews: 9


There you have it. These were the top-rated non-Affiliate THIRDHOME Exchange properties of Summer 2018. Always remember to review your trips to help other members find amazing stays! Click here to browse through THIRDHOME properties in the order of those that have the most 5-star reviews.

Lily Grove has been a THIRDHOME member for the past 2 years! Based out of California, Lily has been able to use her Lake Tahoe properties to travel with her husband on a bucket list tour of Europe. From Southern France to Italy to Switzerland, Lily’s seen it all! Get to know THIRDHOME member Lily Grove!

lily grove

How did you get involved with THIRDHOME?

A good friend referred us.

Where are you based?

Folsom, California

Who do you usually travel with?

My husband.

What do you do for a living?

I’m an insurance broker.

What are your favorite travel hobbies?

Museums, cruising, hiking, sightseeing and most of all, socializing with locals.

lily grove

In your past travels with THIRDHOME, what was your favorite destination and what did you love about it? 

Switzerland as far as scenery. We stayed at a small ski village called Grindelwald and the scene is breathtaking, trains galore to the highest Europe mountains. Ireland as far as people. Kind, gentle and friendly locals.

What’s the next destination you are eyeing to travel to with THIRDHOME?

Currently on a Europe tour just finished staying at 2 different THIRDHOME properties and we are currently staying at another THIRDHOME in France. Next THIRDHOME booking is in Rome.

lily grove

What do you love most about your property with THIRDHOME?

The luxury quality and booking reliability.

Compared to other exchange and rental platforms, how has your experience been hosting other THIRDHOME members?

Very good.

How has THIRDHOME changed the way you travel?

Ease of mind that there will be a luxury place to stay and the lodging quality is always a guarantee.

lily grove

What makes a THIRDHOME stay so special?

Beautiful homes in the best neighborhoods.

How would you describe THIRDHOME to a friend?

Amazing and exceptional list of homes all over the world.

Lily Grove

What’s the most memorable restaurant you’ve eaten at during one of your trips?

Chateau St Pierre Serjac hotel restaurant in Puissalicon, France.

Any travel tips for fellow members?

Book all your lodgings with THIRDHOME, no regrets.



verbier, switzerland

Verbier | Switzerland

Escape to one of the world’s premier backcountry skiing resorts at Verbier, Switzerland. The Swiss Alps village is located in the southwestern region of the country and is known for its glacier views, skiing and classical musical festival. The Chalet des Marveilles is around 100-years old but was newly refurbished in 2016. It’s located in the quieter part of Verbier making for a peaceful mountain escape. An open floor plan makes this chalet wonderful for post-skiing socializing. The south side terrace is also a terrific perch for observing the peaks of the visible Swiss and French Alps. With 4-bedrooms the chalet can accommodate up to 7 people. Near the chalet are the mountain’s hot springs, where you can also find a variety of pools and saunas. Summer activities include mountain biking, hiking, rafting, paragliding, horse riding, golf and much more. Sweeping mountain vistas await you in the sleepy village of Verbier.

THIRDHOME member Pascal says, “We had a wonderful stay in Christophe’s chalet. The view of the valley is magnificent, and its position is ideal for short village walks”(translated from French) click here to read more of Pascal’s review. 


South Padre Island, Texas switzerland

South Padre Island | Texas

Imagine the southernmost tip of Texas. On a map, the Texas border wraps up like the end of a jalapeno pepper into the Gulf of Mexico. If you look even closer, you’ll find a long stretch of paradise jutting out into the Gulf, this is South Padre Island. Practically in Mexico, this island has all of the luxuries and amenities of a Cabo-style resort. Experience South Padre Island from the 13th story of the gorgeous Sapphire Resort. With room for 8 people and sweeping views of Laguna Madre Bay, you’ll wonder how you hadn’t heard of this tropical paradise sooner. Take in a movie at Sapphire’s private movie theater, relax in their spa or go horseback riding down the beach. The island is home to a vibrant nightlife and variety of dining options. South Padre Island has everything you’re searching for in a Gulf Coast getaway.

THIRDHOME member Terry says, “We really enjoyed our stay at this well-stocked Ocean view condominium. Plenty of room for 7 of us and the beds and accommodations were 1st class…Hope to come back to this beautiful place.” click here to read more of Terry’s review. 


Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next THIRDHOME trip. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability.

Want more information about our luxury home exchange club? Click here to learn more about THIRDHOME.



switzerland new york

Zem Waldhus | Switzerland

At the base of Unterrothorn, near the Sunnaga ski run, sits the stylish Zem Waldhus residence. Shrouded by the local wood, but within walking distance of Zermatt’s lively dining and shopping scene, this property is the perfect mix of accessible and secluded. 24-hour access to the Sunnega lift is the only transportation you’ll need in this car-less town. The rest of the local attractions are only a few minutes away by foot. When you’re not exploring the natural beauty of the Alps, you’ll be enjoying the simple elegance of Zem Waldhus. Cozy up during Zermatt’s winter months with Zem Waldhus’ heated floors, fully-equipped kitchen and fireplace. But it would be sinful to tout only Zermatt’s winter when summering in the Alps is an equally gorgeous experience.

THIRDHOME member Daniel says, “Our family had a great stay at Zem Waldhus. The chalet is spacious, modern, fully stocked, and centrally located with views of the Matterhorn…Coming from Hong Kong it was plenty of fun to see snow at the top of Kleinmatterhorn…We would definitely like to come again in the future.” Click here to read more of Daniel’s review. 


New York estate switzerland

Hendricks House | New York

On 29 acres of Upstate New York countryside sits the historic Hendricks House. Built in the 18th century, the home is rumored to have had George Washington as a guest. This home’s larger than life history is complimented by its spacious layout.Hendricks House is a very attractive property for large families and groups, with 7 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms and 10,000 square-feet of living space. The outdoor space features a covered BBQ, a heated pool, a 18th-century barn and plenty of room for entertaining. After a day of pool lounging, the antique barroom, with its 70” flat screen, makes an excellent place to retire. The winter sitting room is equally compelling with its huge 18th-century fireplace and plush seating. There’s no better way to experience the natural beauty and luxury of Upstate New York than the gorgeous Hendricks House.

THIRDHOME member Marcus says, “Having fallen in love with Hendricks House after seeing the photos on THIRDHOME, we sensibly dialed down our excitement levels and prepared ourselves for disappointment as we rounded the final corner of the lovely 1 km long driveway. As the house came into view, jaws dropped commensurately with the palpable rise in excitement. This is a stunningly beautiful property, just… STUNNING…So, please don’t book this place, don’t even think about it. It is clearly not for you because my family and I would very much like to return and, if it becomes too popular, it may be a very long time before we do.” Click here to read more of Marcus’ review. 


Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next THIRDHOME trip. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability.

Want more information about our luxury home exchange club? Click here to learn more about THIRDHOME.

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