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Hotel help in Berner Oberland - last minute trip on small budget

Hi. My daughter and I have the opportunity to go on a last minute trip to Switzerland next week. We will be in Switzerland from May 13 - 21 and I have been trying to research as much as I can. It looks to me like people recommend Wengen or murren for 3 days if possible. However, I can seem to find any hotels there. We are from Canada.
I am booking hotels from Expedia and most things are all booked that are close to our range ($150 to $200)
Does anyone have any tips?
I looked at Grindewald but its hard to tell what I need to look for as far as location so we can easily get to places like lauterbrunnnen, etc.
Any tips on any other places to look?
Thanks in advance.
I am trying to get a hold of a Rick Steves book and scouring the forum.

Posted by
27352 posts

I'd try booking.com. You're traveling very soon and have a limited budget; I'd focus on trying to find places available now rather than researching individual lodgings suggested by others that probably are already full or outside your budget.

Use the "Show on map" feature to see locations of available rooms.

Posted by
5007 posts

Contact the hotels directly, and you may get 10-20% less than the third party booking sites, altho the last minute stage may be detrimental to any discounts.
We liked the Hotel Bellevue in Murren; perhaps a non-view room would be reasonable, if available.
Good luck!

Posted by
2145 posts

Hi Rmc, also agree to book directly with the hotels. You might find some last minute deals. Try the Hotel Jungfrau in Murren.

Posted by
2774 posts

Now is the off season for most hotels in murren and wengen. So, you’ll find most of those have closed until early June. Hotel Oberland in Lauterbrunnen usually opens mid-April so they might have availability. As a back-up, I would try Grindelwald over Interlaken.

Good luck!!!

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you so much everyone for your quick responses and advices. I will definitely take your advice and see what I can find.:)
I sure wish i had planned things out better before booking our flight to make sure I knew what I was doing, but hopefully I'll be able to piece together a nice mom and daughter once in a lifetime trip. Im never usually this spontaneous.:)

Posted by
464 posts

Booking.com has availability for your dates at Central Hotel Wolter in Grindelwald. In Interlaken look at Hotel Post Hardermannli. Hotel Beausite and Hotel Roessli in Interlaken are other options. If you stay in Interlaken you are at a lower altitude for sleeping and you can take the train from Interlaken Ost to Wengen, Lauterbrunnen, or Grindelwald for nice day trips.

Posted by
707 posts

Interlaken is a good suggestion. Much larger town with many more lodging choices. I just Googled "lodging Interlaken" for your dates and found a lot of places in your budget. And, yes, do book direct with the hotel/B&B. I never book through Expedia.

Now you just need to wade through all of the information here on transportation to the various sites (after you've decided where to go). That will be another full day of reading!

Posted by
1790 posts

Hotel Roessli in Interlaken are other options.

Hotel Rossli is a nice little hotel. Short walk to the train.

I would really try booking.com. also.

Posted by
32244 posts

RMC,

The words "Switzerland" and "small budget" don't usually fit well together. It's expensive to travel in Switzerland and you'll have to budget for that.

As the primary purpose of your trip seems to be to visit the Berner Oberland, I'd recommend staying somewhere right in the Lauterbrunnen Valley so that you can be surrounded by the incredible scenery.

The most convenient and best locations to stay in the valley (IMHO) would be either Lauterbrunnen, Mürren or even Gimmelwald (one of Rick's favourite places). I would not recommend staying in either Grindelwald or Interlaken. Both towns have their charms but they will have extra costs in terms of both time and money to get to the places you want to see. I haven't mentioned Wengen as I've found that it's a bit more expensive than some of the other locations (although not sure what the costs are in the off-season).

A few thoughts.....

LAUTERBRUNNEN

  • Hotel Oberland: that's my usual choice and staying in Lauterbrunnen is very convenient as it's the rail hub for the area so provides easy travel to other locations in the the valley.
  • Valley Hostel: If you want more budget accommodations, have a look at the Valley Hostel as they offer some private rooms - https://valleyhostel.ch/en/ .

MÜRREN:

FWIW, I always prefer booking directly with the hotel rather than going through a third party. I've found that it's better to eliminate the "middleman" as it makes dealing with problems much easier.

If you're going to be travelling with a laptop, iPad or mobile phone, you might consider downloading the Kindle or Apple Books version of the Rick Steves Switzerland guidebook. The Kindle Reader app is available for many platforms and is FREE. This may not be the most current, post-Covid version but it will still provide lots of good information - https://www.amazon.com/Rick-Steves-Switzerland-ebook/dp/B07X9PWS6L .

There's also the Apple version - https://books.apple.com/us/book/rick-steves-switzerland/id1478682384 .

The current printed version of the Switzerland guidebook is dated May 2020 (10th edition). The next update won't be available until April 2023.

Good luck with your planning!

Posted by
1168 posts

Ken had some excellent suggestions. Switzerland is expensive, and last minute, you will find it even more. What days of the week do you plan to be in the Berner Oberland? We stayed at the Hotel Alphorn in Interlaken when we were budget minded back in 2019. It was undoubtedly the smallest room and bathroom we had ever had, but it was last minute, and fairly in expensive. The owner is very nice, the room clean, and the breakfast excellent. Interlaken would not be my first choice to stay in, but you may not have a choice. But, if you are wanting shops and restaurants and more of a town vibe, then this might fit your bill. Grindlewald is lovely, but technically, it's a ski village you will be staying in the offseason. Lovely scenery, but I would choose other place over this for a three night stay. Are you flying in and out of Zurich? Will you be going anywhere else?

Posted by
1455 posts

Go to the website of the tourism office of Murren (Muerren in Swiss) If you go to www.Muerren.ch you can reach the bulletin board of Swiss vacation homes and apartments which are directly rented out by their Swiss owners through the tourism office. These properties can be a bargain and rarely show up on Booking.com etc because the owners often don’t want to pay commissions. The rates are often less than US$150 per nite- in some cases less than $100 per nite. There are now several properties available in Murren and Wengen and other locations for May 13 onward.
After entering www.Muerren.ch click the three bars in the upper right. Then, at the bottom of the page in the center there is a “DE” for German. Click the “DE” and select English.
Then select ( Essen and Ubernachten) “Eating and Overnighting.”
Select “Ferienwohnungen”( Holiday Apartment)
Enter: 2 persons, May 13 , 8 nights. Search ( (“Suche”). All your options with photos and prices will appear.
You can search specifically for Wengen and Lauterbrunnen on the website also. Lauterbrunnen and nearby Stechelberg have many apartments for less than $100 per night for your dates.
There is a Co-Op grocery store right in Murren which means you can stock up your Murren apartment kitchen with groceries and avoid breaking the bank at Swiss restaurants.
Have a Great Trip!

Posted by
648 posts

If you decide on Mürren, the following hotel has Mountain View + includes breakfast.
https://www.alpinamuerren.ch/
We found their rates slightly less than other hotels in Mürren. Mürren is magical!

Posted by
16706 posts

Chalet Fontana in Mürren is a nice little Bad and Breakfast with rooms with shared bath upstairs, and a ground floor apartment. We have stayed in both and recommend it highly for a tight budget.

http://www.ferntree.ch/chalet/fontana.htm

You can book on AirBnB. They are showing availability in the rooms upstairs every night from May 13-21. Or the apartment for May 13-18. The apartment is more expensive, but having the kitchen will save you a lot of money over buying restaurant meals. You still get breakfast with the other guests when you book the apartment.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you so much everyone!!!
I can’t believe how kind and helpful everyone was ! I’m sure this will help everyone else looking as well!

This has been stressful to plan as I should have been more organized and planned so much earlier but never thought this would be an opportunity.

My parents are originally from Switzerland and so I will have a chance to meet a few relatives I have never met before while in the Thurgau region. I speak a litttle German but can understand German and Swiss German so hopefully that will make it easier.

I will be going to habkern while In the Berber overland area where I will be able to walk the roads where my great grandparents grew up for the first time.
I am using lots of your tips to try and find where to stay the rest of my stay…
So stressful but hopefully so much fun once we are there.