My wife and I recently stayed at the Hotel Eiger in Grindelwald, Switzerland for three nights. We had decided on this touristy village as a post river cruise vacation because our port of disembarkation was Basel, Switzerland. Basel to Grindelwald turned out to be a nice three hour train ride with a connection through the much larger town of Interlaken.
I had called the hotel as we neared Grindelwald and less than five minutes after getting off of the train, the hotel shuttle picked us up and took us up the main road to the Hotel Eiger. It turned out that the train station is an easy walk to the hotel with even light luggage but as we had a bit more just coming off of the river cruise, the free hotel shuttle availability was nice. We were a bit early, arriving around 12:30 PM for check in, so the hotel staff kept our bags, gave us free bus passes to us for our three day stay, and directed us to various lunch spots near the hotel. As we walked up to a nearby pizza place (Onkel Tom's Hutte) for a nice outdoor lunch, we found ourselves constantly exclaiming how incredible the views were of the Eiger Mountain and the entire Jungfrau region. Grindelwald sits across a little valley from this famous mountain so anywhere you are, the views are awesome. After lunch rode the bus up the valley to the last stop, turned around, and came back to the hotel to check into our room.
Room details – I wanted a balcony with a view and we had opted for the “lifestyle” room. We were rewarded with a 4th floor room with a balcony that had a direct view of the Eiger. The room had magnificent views morning, afternoon, and night and we used the balcony a lot when not out exploring the region. Although modern, the room still seemed a bit dated, if that makes sense – maybe a different era of modern? We found the big negative of the room was that our bed was really two twin beds pushed together. Not very comfortable and this is the one change we would hope the hotel would make – queen beds. There was a glass door leading out to the balcony with the fantastic view but one more quirk to this room was that although there were large windows looking out over the balcony, none of them opened. So, since there is no air conditioning, we found that we actually had to keep the balcony door open on the few warm days we were there. This probably isn’t too much of an issue and we were there in early July – the need to heat room is probably more of an issue in Grindelwald hotels and the Hotel Eiger looked to have a decent room heating system for the colder times. The lifestyle rooms have a nice sitting area and there was more than adequate storage for luggage and clothes, etc. The bathroom was large enough for the two of us with all expected amenities with a unique stone sink.
I can’t speak to the spa, which is supposed to be very nice at this hotel, as we were out hiking and exploring too much to use this. Speaking of hiking, the hotel clerks were very helpful with area information and you can use nice Leki trekking poles provided free of charge by the hotel for your hiking adventures around the area. There is a decent sized fitness room with a variety of equipment – unfortunately young kids overran this several times we were there. We felt the kids under 16 ban should have been better enforced. Next to the fitness area is a lounge both indoors and extending onto a nice outdoor deck. One evening we were there, the owners of the hotel, hosted a small get together (prosecco and small snacks) for hotel guests on this outdoor deck. This was a very nice touch with great information about the area from the owners who really seemed to enjoy mingling with their guests and discussing the Jungfrau region. Each morning we ate at the included breakfast buffet, which had a nice assortment of breakfast foods and attentive wait staff.
Three nights, booked through our travel agent, cost 1065 CHF. Expensive but we found Switzerland (at least in Grindelwald and Zurich) to be an expensive country – meals were generally 25% or more than a comparable meal in the U.S. We actually found that by purchasing cheeses and meats at one of the two local markets near the hotel, we could have a nice meal on our balcony while sipping wine and enjoying the view. Besides the above pizza lunch we had, we did eat a nice dinner at the Bistro Memory restaurant on the property of the Hotel Eiger and another evening we ate across the street (Hotel Spinne restaurant) at a great terraced restaurant. We of course ate outside for all meals to enjoy the jaw dropping views.
While in Grindelwald, we took the Jungfrau train up to the “Top of Europe”, hiked below part of the Eiger, and the next day, took the gondola from Grindelwald to First for a full day of hiking. We had Swiss Rail passes and found that by showing these we did get some discounts on the gondolas and Jungfrau train. With a few more days, we would have explored further, utilized the hotel provided bus passes more, and maybe taken the train to a few more villages in between Grindelwald, the valleys, and Interlaken. Suffice it to say that there is a lot to do while visiting here.
Even though this was an expensive end to our river cruise vacation, we’re glad we picked Grindelwald and the Hotel Eiger. We would recommend this hotel and village to anyone wanting to visit this region as long as you are prepared for “sticker shock” when you visit here.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cosy and uncomplicated hotel in the center of the village Grindelwald. Rooms, suites, apartments and chalets are available. Restaurant Barry's and Galleria with international dishes, bistro Memory with cheese and potato specialities, Gepsi Bar & Lounge. Selfness centre with sauna & spa area, fitness facilities and lounge. Open all year around. ... more less
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