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Switzerland in late June/early July - Hotel Reservations Recommended?

Hello All and thanks in advance for your insight. My husband and I are planning roughly 14 days in Switzerland and are starting research with R. Steve's recommended itinerary for a 14 day trip. Although we will make hotel reservations for the first few nights following our arrival, I am wondering if you recommend making hotel reservations for all nights as we move around? I am asking because of the changing nature of the weather how flexible we can keep our itinerary. Thanks so much!
Connie

Posted by
11280 posts

I can't directly answer your question, but I can say that I was in Switzerland in September 2014 (Luzern, Mürren, and Lausanne). For all three cities, I got better room choices and better prices by e-mailing the hotels directly, compared with using their online booking site. Therefore, whether you book in advance or on the fly, I'd recommend calling or e-mailing the hotels directly.

Posted by
3336 posts

You can certainly do this - we've done it on several occasions - but finding new places to stay every time you move to a different location can be time consuming and also a bit stressful. In the places that are weather-dependent, I would simply stay for a minimum of 3 nights to hedge your bets against bad weather and then have a plan for what you can do/see on the extra day if the weather is good.

Posted by
16883 posts

Most hotel reservations can be cancelled or changed with no penalty (comfirm when booking), but you probably don't want to make several reservations just to turn around and change them. I agree that staying 3 nights or more helps you to keep your plans flexible at each destination. Or think about what you want to see at each stop and add in a half-day of unallocated time. Summer weather is (I believe) about as reliable as you can get.

Posted by
270 posts

I second the, "time consuming and a bit stressful." ALWAYS time consuming, sometimes (oftn times) stressful.

FYI, I have slept in a car, with an unhappy wife (but at least no child at that time), when we couldn't find a place to stay some years ago in the Dolomites (not Swiss, I know, but similar situation). It was not a good night ;) We are better about it now. Smartphones have made "looking around" much easier but there is nothing like a reservation to take a load off of your shoulders toward the end of a long day. We have a couple of places around Switzerland that we go to if this sort of situation (ie no room available, no reservations) comes up. A place in Lucerne, Appenzell, near Saas Fee, outside of Lausanne.

We have found that reservations help to keep our marriage together.

One nightmare: We came out of the mountains around 7:30 (already pretty late by Swiss hotel standards). We stowed our gear in the car in the parking lot, I cleaned up our daughter, and my wife went up to the Alpine Gasthaus/resturant at the trailhead-- a pretty big place where we had eaten lunch the day before. At 8:00 they told her that we had a room (there couldn't have been but three cars there anyway). She came down and told us, we threw some stuff in a bag, got our daughter's things, and headed up the parking lot to the Gasthaus. We got there and suddenly the lady was no longer nice and it was, "too late". 8:11 at the latest--it had taken us a few minutes to pack some things for the night. I tried to talk to her and got, "no, too late now". I explained that we had a small child and her response shouted back was, "SHE'S NOT MINE!" I had to leave as she was escalating the whole situation. We drove back into the valley and stayed at a great little place run by a family that we had stayed at before. Great dinner and a great breakfast. BAD one: Berggasthaus Dammagletscher (I have NEVER had someone be so rude and angry--I just didn't understand what the issue was, really). GREAT one: Gasthaus Göscheneralp

Posted by
2396 posts

Perhaps that lady was a retired DMV clerk?

And don't forget Rick's suggestion to use the services of the TI when you hit a town. They aren't totally impartial and won't have every listing for every hotel but they can find you somewhere. And sometimes they might have connections in the next town or two over, as well.

Posted by
270 posts

I would keep two things in mind (besides the myriad of suggestions already):

  1. Switzerland, in large part, closes at 6:00 pm every night.
  2. On weekends it is harder, much harder, to find a free room then on (Sun?)Mon-Thurs.

So if you are looking for a room get there early and I suggest reservations on weekends (Fri & Sat nights).

Note: My wife is seconding these from behind my back :)

Posted by
3551 posts

During peal season I would always suggest having a reservation.

Posted by
3 posts

thanks for all of the thoughts and input. We always make hotel reservations when we travel and I was mostly curious due to the weather so thanks to all for confirming we will still continue to make reservations going forward. Now, what are your thoughts and recommendations for adding two day in Germany? Other than that, we plan to stay in Switzerland the entire team, use the train but not sure if we would then need a car to go to Germany.

Many thanks and Happy Travels!