I tried to find somewhere contemporary and stylish to stay in Grindelwald last winter but even with all my travel contacts and resources at my fingertips i wasn't able to find anything. Most Swiss hoteliers are kings of tradition. So, you can imagine my delight when searching again earlier this month and i came across the website for the Hotel Aspen. Based on what i saw and the very reasonable prices i booked for 2 nights this past weekend. We went, hoping the hotel would punch above its weight and provide us with somewhere we liked to go back to. And it did!
We drove to the resort and the hotel was easy to find. The directions on the hotel's fact sheet, that you receive when booking, are very clear and there are signposts for the hotel too. If it has been snowing you definitely need a 4x4/winter tyres/snow chains as it is uphill along a snow packed road. There is parking at the hotel. CHF15 for an inside garage space (very reasonable in Switzerland) or free outside.
Depending on how easy you like things a car could be quite handy when you are staying. Although the hotel is ski in/ski out on a piste on the Mannlichen/Kleine Scheidegg side, it is a 50 minute walk (10 minute drive) from Grindelwald centre and the First lift station that takes you up the other side of the valley. The hotel does run a shuttle bus at certain times of the day and the resort bus stop is right outside but if you like flexibility you may find it suits you better to just jump in your own car.
We stayed in a family room with open mezzanine gallery as it was the only room left that could accommodate 3 of us. It was a reasonable size, although with 4/5 people in it may be a little cramped. but the fact that a family could all get in one one room with the kids sleeping on a different level to parents is a big plus. It had a balcony with awesome views of the Eiger! The room had complimentary wifi access, toiletries, bath robes and slippers and complimentary water in the minibar. Like most hotels they could have done with some hooks for hanging up towels/robes/outside coats etc.
I had a quick look at some of the other rooms in the hotel and the contemporary and stylish decor is the same throughout just the views change slightly. For couples i really liked the deluxe double rooms and the junior suites. For families with a larger budget i would suggest the 2 bedroom deluxe suite.
The service we received was excellent. From the moment i booked until we checked out i can't fault how efficient and helpful everyone was.
We stayed on a HB basis and for the cost of this (CHF50 p/p per night) it has to be the best value i have ever experienced. The buffet breakfast had more than enough choice and everything was fresh. The 5 course set dinner was similar to eating in a bistro. Again the food was fresh. It wasnt too fancy but was definitely a step above home cooked food. We did see some delicious looking dishes coming out of the kitchen off the a la carte menu and next time we would go a la carte to compare.
The wellness area is small but a lovely addition if you want to chill out after skiing (or walking/biking in the summer). Bear in mind that if you are British the area is a naked zone and cozzies and trunks are only allowed in the outside whirlpool. Although we have been living in switzerland for a while we are still not used to naked parading around in spas!
If you are wondering about the ski area, the Mannlichen/Kleine Scheidegg side that you access directly from the hotel is excellent. It is about a 5 minute ski/schuss down to the lift (some walking for snow boarders) and then it does take about 30 mins to get to the top in an old fashioned slow gondola. Alternatively you can take the blue down to the train which takes about the same time to get up to Kleine Scheidegg. However once you are up the pistes are long and a really good mix of reds and blues. The area is linked with Wengen and there is plenty there to keep you occupied for several days. The Grindelwald First area on the other side of the valley is not as big but also has some fabulous long pistes and a good mix of reds and blues. Both these areas are included on the Grindelwald-Wengen ski pass. The Jungfrau pass is only worth getting if you are going to make the effort to get the train over to Murren one day as it is not linked.
It was the first time we have skied in Grindelwald and we had great snow and sun. The views from wherever you look are breathtaking! We didn't go with especially high expectations as we thought it was all trains, cable cars, walking and slow/inconvenient connections but we were really suprised. We have skied all other well known resorts in Switzerland and this is definitely up at the top with our favourites. Coupled with the wonderful hotel to stay in we are already booked to go back in march.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This chalet hotel is a true discovery with its unique sun terrace next to the ski slope heading down the valley, hiking passes on the doorstep and delightful, typically Swiss details to its interior. In the year 2012 a suite annex, together with a wellness area with outdoor whirlpool, were built and the hotel was completely renovated.This modern house in a rustic, chalet style puts importance on uncomplicated and innovative mountain tourism with close ties ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Aspen Hotel Grindelwald