We found the Naturfreundehaus in our Rough Guide, and easily booked it by emailing the owner. It was easy to find, but is located a short way out of Grindelwald, so you need to be good at walking down and up a hill for dinner, or happy to drive and not drink. It was 100CHF for the night, so quite cheap (about £60).
The hostel is nice and clean, with basic rooms. The curtain didn't close properly but it had shutters so was dark. However, this meant the room was then very hot. At the time we visited (August 09) the car park was being dug up, so we had to unload our bags, and then go and park the car down the road. The few spaces that were available were kept for older guests, so as we were the youngest and fittest we were told by the owner to park down the road. We still had to pay the 5 CHF parking fee though! I thought this might have been waived given the inconvenience..... Our roon was a bunk bed and a single bed, and there was a shared bathroom at the end of the corridor. Showers were down two flights of narrow stairs and you can hire towels for a couple of francs. This was all fine, but you should be aware of these issues if you are perhaps infirm or elderly, and that this is not like a hotel as such. We had a steep walk into Grindelwald for the afternoon and spent a very pleasant afternoon walking in the sunshine looking across to the Eiger. Then a steep walk back - again, fine for us but something to bear in mind if you have difficulty walking. You can pay to park in Grindelwald though.
We did not get a good night's sleep unfortunately, as we were constantly woken up by the creaking of the paper thin wooden walls, and other guests. A the bathroom was down the hall, people were coming and going all night; at one point about 6 people followed each other down there, slamming doors and stamping round! Just as we have dropped off to sleep again, someone mistook our room for his own and tried to get in our door. Then more people visited the bathroom, loudly, at 3am and woke us again. We were then awoken by people leaving the hostel early the next morning and slamming doors, and then again a little while later (7.30am) by the building works starting outside in the car park. Certainly, this will come to an end, but I can only write about our experience at the time we were there. I would not stay there again based on the complete lack of sleep, and as a bed for the night and some sleep was really what we had paid for we were disappointed. I imagine this was a lot cheaper than the hotels down in Grindelwald, but if we go again, I think we would pay more to have an en-suite bathroom and not be woken up all night by other guests going to the toilet. If you don't mind these issues however, they will not affect you, and the hostel was perfectly clean and pleasant.
Make sure you ask for the 'guest card' from the owners - we did not know about this and were not given one. When we came to use the cable car to take us up to go walking, we were asked for our card and told there was a 5 CHF discount! I said we hadn't been given one - they took pity and gave us the discount, but make sure you ask if the owners don't offer it to you!
The only reason that I would not recommend this hostel to a friend is that all my friends would not like the lack of sleep and the noise, and leaving the room to go to the bathroom and shower, or the location out of town. As I say, these issue may not be important to other, but this was our experience.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with TripOnline SA and 5viajes2012 S.L. so you can book your Nature's Friends reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.