On the most recent stay in the Bernese Oberland (2009) I stayed at the Hotel Silberhorn in Wengen. Originally I had booked the 3star hotel Belvedere through the German Travel Company TUI, but it closed in mid September and so we were transferred to the 4star hotel Silberhorn (same owner). At first I was slightly disappointed because I had looked forward to the charming Art Nouveau ambience of the Belvedere, but soon found out that the Silberhorn was most centrally located, right by the train station, and all the single rooms had balconies with gorgeous views of the Lauterbrunnen valley and Mt. Jungfrau. The views alone are reason enough to go back.
We had booked single rooms including half board (breakfast and dinner) for 64 Euro per night per person - but the special deal was stay 4 nights, pay 3, which sums up to 192 Euro per person for 4 nights. A steal. Prices for sure went up since 2009, though. Bathrooms were spacious with tub, beds were big and comfy, furniture/decor traditional (flowery wallpapers were not my taste, though). There's a nice wellness area in the hotel with hot tub, sauna, steam bath, showers, deck chairs and free fruits/juice/water. It was sooo wonderful to relax in the hot tub and rest on the deck chair with view (large windows) of the train station and the mountains afterwards. Bathrobe and extra towels are free (in your room).
The hotel has a nice lobby and bar, a dining room for breakfast and dinner for the guests who booked half-board plus an a-la-carte restaurant. If you book half board they serve a five-course dinner with salad buffet, soup, appetizer, main course (three choices) and dessert (and you can pick some cheese and/or fruits also from a buffet, which is sort of the sixth course). The food quality was quite good with some ups and few downs. It's a steal compared to usual prices in restaurants in Switzerland. Wine list was excellent, moderate prices. We had a bottle of very good Pinot Noir from the canton Valais and a bottle of delicious Fechy from Lake Geneva, split over the four dinners.
The hotel is located right by the train station in Wengen, COOP grocery store in the same building on the ground floor. Since Wengen is car-free you must park your car in Lauterbrunnen (if you drive) in a garage (quite costly, a good reason to travel by train). Then you take the train up to Wengen.
We spontaneously decided to spend a long weekend in Switzerland and when we checked www.thunersee.ch this was one of the few B&Bs in the area still available. A quick phonecall to Mrs. Itten made sure we can stay in her "emergency room" even though the B&B was fully booked, we were happy. We were even happier when we saw the beautiful farm house the B&B was located in. Views of Blümlisalp's snow covered peaks, the Niesen mountain in our "back yard" and happy cows and chicken (which love to follow you into your room from time to time!) all around - what a wonderful place!! All this for a very fair price of 40 sFr per person including a lovely breakfast with homemade jams and eggs from happy chicken!
First of all, the old wooden farmhouse is lovely. So was our room in the ground floor, it was huge, beds were comfortable and even though the modern bathroom is shared it felt like our private bath. From our bed we could see Blümlisalp mountain in the distance and we also could hear the cowbells of course. Very relaxing! And probably a great place if you are travelling with kids!
The Itten family was very friendly and made us feel very welcome. They also provided their guest with many tips of the area and generally loved to chat. Mrs. Itten showed us their new and very stylish holiday apartment upstairs one morning. If you are searching for one in the area make sure to ask if it's available, I have never seen a nicer Swiss holiday apartment before, and with 90 sFr for 2 and 110 sFr for 4 people it's a real bargain.
The location of the B&B, in Hondrich, a village above Spiez at Thunersee, is nice. However, I would advise you to only visit if you come by car, otherwise it might be hard to reach by public transport.
Hotel Seeblick is a family run place located in a beautiful old wooden house in Krattigen, above Thunersee. As they don't only rent out rooms but also two holiday apartments we stayed in a small two-bedroom apartment here for two weeks in 1999.
A double bed in a bedroom as well as a sleep sofa in the living room and an airbed meant enough space for 4 people, it would have been better for two people though. The bathroom is rather plasticy and not equipped with a window. There was a fully equipped little kitchen and a telly as well as a fancy watering system for the flowers decorating the balcony.
I enjoyed the breakfasts on our balcony, being waken up by cowbells in the morning as well as the view over Lake Thun from the terrace. If you are lucky and get the best rooms facing the lake you can see from the east end (Interlaken) to the west end (Thun), not mentioning mountains as the 'Niesen' or the 'Niederhorn', the lake and green hills. Prices were a bit higher than in "normal" holiday apartments of the same size (approx. 600 sFr for a week), hotel prices are between 120 and 180 sFr.
Berghotel Faulhorn is far away from any roads high up in the mountains above Brienz and Grindelwald and it used to be the very first alpine hotel in Switzerland.
The Faulhorn-hotel might be a good place to stay, when taking one of the many full-day-hikes in Berner Alpen high above Grindelwald and Brienz, because besides Axalp there is only the Faulhorn Hotel and the one at Berghaus Maenndlenen-Weberhuette available.
The Hotel on top of the Faulhorn in a height of 2681meters above sea-level is not only the highest alpine hotel, but also the oldest. It dates back to the year 1830 and the first tourists were taken there by horses or alpine-chairs, carried by locals. Today you may at least take the cable-car to First and have to hike the rest - about 2 hours on a partly quite steep path) in order to be able to enjoy the 360 degree-panorama with Eiger - Moench - Jungfrau - Wetterhorn - Schreckhorn - Brienzer Rothorn and many more.
The hotel and restaurant are open daily
between end of june and October 20th !!
for other dates, you better phone them in advance !!
In Faulhorn-hotel you are really off the beaten path - it is besides Weberhuette the only hotel and restaurant at the hiking-path between Schynigge Platte and First.
click here for a 360 dregree-panorama from Faulhorn !
When hiking in the Berner Alpen you will find great alpine hotels at many places. Berghaus Maenndlenen-Weberhuette is such a quite simple "hotel" along the hiking-path between Schynige Platte, high above Wilderswil and First, high above Grindelwald. See their webpage below, they offer 30 seats in the small restaurant and a lot more at the terrace and they provide a "Massenlager" for 50 people .
it is rather a row of matresses than beds, but who cares about that in such a lovely scenery !!
And make sure you don't miss to take a picture of their lovely, romantic place, to powder your nose...
Split up the hike between Schynige Platte and First and spend the night in Weberhuette and you may enjoy the sundown and sunset in that unique scenery
Make reservations for a matress
as long time in advance as possible !!!
Berghaus Maendlenen-Weberhuette is open
between Mid June and mid October
just a matress is 28 sfr,
a matress & breakfast is 36 sfr (27 euros)
a matress with halfpension it is 52sfr
Hotel Roessli in Unterseen / Interlaken is a perfect hotel for all families and tourists, who are not looking for a sophisticated hotel, but rather a cosy place to fit their budget.
Hotel Roessli is a rather small hotel, off the centre of Interlaken but within a walking distance of just 10 minutes from Interlaken-West-station and in a really quiet area without a lot of car-trafic. From some of the rooms you may even see the famous "Jungfrau-Blick".
This hotel is one of the places where I was working for 1 season many years ago and I would choose it again to stay for a vacation, because of the perfect combination of a simple and nice hotel, good food and everything within short walking-distance.
This small hotel is a good choice when you arrive by car, as they have their own parking, and when you arrive by train, it is just 10 minutes to walk from the station Interlaken West.
Follow the traces of famous travellers like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and stay in a hotel with a great tradition in Brienz. Hotel Weisses Kreuz consists of 2 main buildings : The one on the left of my picture is the old part of the hotel, dating back to 1688 and it saw plenty of important celebrities like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Lord Byron and Ludwig Uhland. The hotel is conveniently located opposite of the train-station in Brienz, and just a few steps from the station of the Brienzer Rothorn-Bahn.
When reserving a room in this hotel, you should be aware of the fact, that the railway - with all of its noises - and also the main road through Brienz is just in front of the hotel. The steam-trains of Rothornbahn are just starting behind the hotel, but these trains run only during the day and the first 1 or 2 trains will also have Diesel-engines in order to keep the noises to a minimum.
Rothorn Kulm is not only a great restaurant but it offers also hotelrooms and it might be an excellent idea to go uphill one day, spend the sundown on top of Rothorn, while all the daytourists are gone, spend the night in Hotel Rothorn Kulm and enjoy the sunset the next morning as well.
This great alpine hotel is in a hight of 2350 meters above sea-level, and you may get to this hotel by Brienzer Rothornbahn within 1 hour from the train-station in Brienz. The rooms in that hotel are simple, mostly just with running water, and they also have some large rooms for groups of hikers.
Reservation of rooms is advisable !!!
Just imagine the great atmosphere on a sunny evening in summer, after the last day-tourists have left the Rothorn and only a few people are left back.It might be a good idea to go up one day, spend the night there and walk down the mountain the other day. Various hiking-paths are at your choice to Brienz, in direction of Bruenig-Pass and Lucerne, to Meiringen & Haslistal.
Grandhotel Giessbach is certainly one of the most beautiful hotels in the Berner Alpen and a very special place to spend a quiet vacation
The Grandhotel was built in 1855 opposite of the village of Brienz, on top of a rock overlooking Brienzersee and next to a really scenic waterfall. The most glorious times for the hotel was between 1870 and 1914 but afterwards tourism changed a lot and it was hard to fill the rooms of such a remote hotel.
In 1985 it was restored and it looks really great again from inside !! In Grandhotel Giessbach you may still breath the good old times, that seem to have stood still for ages there... Click on my picture in order to see the great details of architecture - I also have a seperate page about Giessbach, the waterfalls,the cable-car, the hotel & surroundings!
Grandhotel Giessbach is a bit off the beaten path, a place to relax, and it is very helpful to get there by your own car.
You may get to Giessbach :
1)on the road from Brienz - BUT it is quite narrow and might be dangerous at certain times, because only at a few places it is possible to pass by other cars, and it might be good to avoid the times, when the public bus goes to Axalp.
2)By ship - the elegant, traditional way, most of the tourists came that way in the good old times of the hotel. Each and every ship on Brienzersee stops there !!
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