We are planning on a train trip around Switzerland on the 3rd week of July and book the train fare and accommodation as a package without a guide. The tour covers Basel, Interlaken, Montreaux, Zermatt, St. Moritz, Lugano and Lucerne. It seems that the hotel options, even for a 4 star hotel, may not have air conditioning. How hot does it get in July? Is it important to have air conditioning? I understand it can be very cold in the mountains even in summer, for us Australians. Thanks for your help.
If you have air conditioning you don't open the windows. If you don't open the windows you don't hear the cowbells or the thunder rolling around the valleys.
I prefer to get the smells and the sounds of the area that I went so far to visit.
If you are in a city perhaps keeping the window closed is better.
I rarely have air conditioning in Switzerland.
Down in the cities (where I live) it can top 30° in the summer (July-August), but not every day, 25° peak midday is more common.
Up in the mountains it gets less the higher you go. Above ~3000 metres you will have snow on the ground 12 months round.
I would agree with Nigel, if you are in the mountains, it is important NOT to have Air Conditioning, and instead to open you windows to enjoy the fresh mountain air.
Zermatt is 1600 m above sea level and St Moritz is 1800 m. You definitely do not need A/C there. Basel and Lugano are the lowest, at 250 m and 275 m respectively. Chris lives in Basel, so I would take his word as gospel there. The other towns are a bit higher. Instead of Interlaken, you might consider nearby mountain towns like Muerren or Wengen. You are also more likely to hear those cowbells there.
I went in early August last year. I was very happy to have air conditioning in Lugano. The hotel I was in at Luzern was warm, but did provide in room fans. The mountain hotels were fine.
Except for high alpine destinations like Murren, Wengen I would want air conditioning if possible. We have roasted in early June in places such as Weggis, Lucerne, Geneva.
We hit one of those 31C Basel days when we were there last June. While anything compared to Florida is a 'dry heat' and it wasn't so bad in some ways, we were also glad our hotel room there had AC.
The mountains were just fine and cooler during the heat wave in the valleys.