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Pension Gimmelwald Dorm reviews?

I'm planning on staying in Gimmelwald or Murren this summer, I usually stay in hostels for the cheapness and convivial atmosphere, but I don't want to stay at the Mountain Hostel, for many reasons I've been over in another thread. Has anyone stayed in Pension Gimmelwald's dorm/backpackers attic? I've done a bit of research, and it doesn't look like there's much space - where do you put your luggage when sleeping? Is there still an extra charge for bedding, or not? Am I likely to get a good nights sleep there? - I'm usually a heavy sleeper, but I hear there's lots of creaks and thin walls - as you would expect I guess.

Also, are there any common rooms other than where you have to buy food or drink?

Thanks,

Posted by
32228 posts

mike,

I've only stayed in the single room in Pension Gimmelwald and found the room a bit "compact" but very comfortable. As I recall, the WC was out in the hall on that floor. If the Backpacker's dorm is the one shown in their photo, I'd probably store my pack under the bed when sleeping.

I don't remember a charge for bedding, but my stay was a few years ago and I believe the Pension is under different management now. There's no mention of "bedding charges" on their website, so doubt there would be any. If you're concerned about that, send them an E-mail. I suppose you'll have as good as sleep there as in any other "hostel environment". I don't believe there's any "common room" similar to a Hostel, although there's a room adjacent to the restaurant/breakfast room that could be used for that purpose.

Posted by
95 posts

Hi Ken, thanks for the input again.

No, the photos on their website are not of the dorm - this is the dorm, and the beds as you can see, are just mattresses on the floor (so no space for bags!), albeit with their own space around them. The poster of that photo on Tripadvisor said it was 25 chf with own sleeping bag, or 30 with no sleeping bag. Maybe it was a discount then, not an extra charge. Besides, that was in 2012, and the more recent reviews don't mention it, also have seen another photo with matching duvets on the beds.

I can usually get to sleep in a hostel (I carry earplugs and eye mask for emergencies!).

Thanks for the tip about the room adjacent to the restaurant - It's just nice to know there's a place I can read / chill out in the evening without disturbing other people in the dorm.

Posted by
95 posts

This from Pension Gimmelwald:

Hi Mike,
Whilst the dorm is small I have never had any issues with guests backpacks not fitting next to there beds. So I think you will be fine.
There is no extra charge for bedding, it is included in the 33 CHF for the dorm bed. I have found it is easier for everyone if we provide the bedding only.
We have a great lounge area in our restaurant where you can order some food and drinks, also we have a beautiful terrace that you can spend time on.
I hope I have helped.
Phil

So, only minus is that the lounge is part of the restaurant, not a guests lounge, by which I gather you have to be ordering drinks etc to use it. Then again, it's not too much of a problem for staying in the mountains for a few nights. I'm thinking that I'll stay there for 3 nights to do that side of the valley, then transfer to the valley hostel in Lauterbrunnen for the other side and daytrips out of the Berner Oberland.

Posted by
7209 posts

Sounds like your perfect alternative is the Chalet Fontana in Murren. private rooms with shared bathrooms AND a bit larger of a village with an ATM, Grocery Store, and several restaurants. Gimmelwald is about a 5 minute gondola ride from Murren or a nice 15-20 minute downhill walk from Murren on a paved path.

Posted by
95 posts

Thanks Tim - you suggested the Chalet Fontana in an earlier thread (sorry, I should have posted there)- and that was my choice until I got my RS Switzerland guidebook and noticed that Pension Gimmelwald has a dorm. I can understand why people might think it strange that I'd pick a stuffy loft with 6 mattresses in it over a private room, but although I could afford to stay in there, the way I see it is that I'll be able to do more/stay longer if I save on accommodation - If I stay in the PG loft, I'll save 27chf a night.

That said - I've just done some research on Chalet Fontana, and it seems to get rave reviews. There seems to be a free use lounge too. Also breakfast is included, which would cost 14chf at the Pension, although my 5 year old guidebook says that to skip breakfast only gets you a 5chf discount.(can't find mention of that on their website). The location is another factor as you say - ideal for the coop and cashpoint, plus many walks. It's a dilemma! Putting it in my native currency, it's £23 or £41.50.

Posted by
7209 posts

Mike - Gimmelwald is a peaceful hamlet to spend a couple of hours. Honestly there's really not much there. Mostly farms and cows and chickens. It's a place to visit on a daytrip...it's not a place to stay for a few days. I've been to the area more times than I can count and would NEVER choose to base myself in Gimmelwald. Choose a village a bit larger with a bit more amenities. There's a reason the Chalet Fontana and Denise gets rave reviews. That should be enough to make up your mind.

Posted by
32228 posts

Mike,

Thanks for the link to the photos of the Dorm. I vaguely recall a facility like that when I visited, but wasn't staying in the Dorm so didn't pay much attention to it. If I stayed there again I'd probably still choose the single room, although at my age I prefer an ensuite these days (although I do stay in Hostels on occasion).

Posted by
95 posts

Thanks Tim & Ken for advising me again. I've decided on staying in Chalet Fontana (If I can get in), for the first 3 nights of my vacation, then moving down to Lauterbrunnen Valley Hostel for another 3 or 4 nights to do the rest of the Berner Oberland (also maybe a daytrip to Bern if the weather is poor). I'm also considering a couple of nights in Zermatt, if my budget will stretch to it. I was going on to Taize in France, but I'm now thinking of skipping it this year for longer in Switzerland!.

Posted by
95 posts

Have booked Chalet Fontana, Valley Hostel Lauterbrunnen and the "official" youth hostel in Zermatt. Going on the 21st July for 12 days (1st and last of which will be solid travelling).

Can anyone confirm or deny please, that train tickets bought at the station before boarding are the same price as tickets bought at the SBB online ticketshop? I know there's no advantage to early booking for standard tickets, and I also know that there are some special price tickets available online, but I don't mean those.

Have totaled up train fares with the half price card (for travel between Geneva/Lauterbrunnen/Zermatt and back), and found that it comes to only £19 short of a 3 day flexipass with half fare card combo. Weighing up whether it's worth the extra £19 for flexibility, or whether buying single tickets is flexible enough. (I need the half fare card anyway for mountain trains/cable cars etc.)

Guess nitpicking over £19 is pointless anyway!

Posted by
32964 posts

Can anyone confirm or deny please, that train tickets bought at the station before boarding are the same price as tickets bought at the SBB online ticketshop?

Yup

Posted by
95 posts

Thanks Nigel, so no real advantage to flexi card in my case, as there's no real disadvantage in buying tickets at the station. Cheers!