As you drive up the gentle hill and spot the dramatic Hotel Paxmontana on the crest, you will be immediately enchanted. Built in 1896 in the grand old Victorian resort style, the Paxmontana is a sprawling four-story mansion topped by a mansard roof with gabled windows, perky turrets, a Swiss flag, green shutters, and wraparound balconies. Although lager than most of the hotels in our guide, the Paxmontana has nostalgic, old-world character, impeccable upkeep, outstanding gardens, and the genuine hospitality of an intimate, family-run hotel. The lounges are spacious an attractively decorated. Stretching across the front is a delightful restaurant in a glass-enclosed porch where every table faces the window with an unobstructed view. A second, more formal, dining room has a charming forest view.