Hello, My husband and I are traveling with 4 big kids (22,19,15,13) and were planning on 3 days in and around Murren in August. I tried making reservations in Murren thinking there was a little more to do in the evening than Gimmelwald but the only place that can house 6 people that has openings is very expensive. Do you have suggestions for other towns that you have enjoyed that might work instead of Murren? I thought it would be fun to stay in the mountains but what do you think of day trips up the mountain while staying down in Interlaken? Thank you!
You could try Wengen, similar in some ways to Murren but on the other side of the valley. I think I'd rather stay in Lauterbrunen than Interlaken, but it is certainly feasible as a base, if not ideal. If you can get beds in Gimmelwald, it's not so far from Murren, either. I'd consider that for at least one of your nights. But to each hist or her own.
would you stay in Gimmelwald for three days? Thank you
I really enjoyed the Hotel Stechelberg (http://www.hotel-stechelberg.ch/e-seiten/e-index.htm) which is at the end of the Lauterbrunnen Valley near the Stechelberg lift that takes you up the Schilthorn to Murren and beyond. We stayed in the building across the street from the main hotel/restaurant and had a dramatic view from our balcony of the waterfalls coming down the mountain and there was also a creek flowing nearby. The hotel is owned by a nice family and the food at the restaurant is very good. There is a special feeling here amidst the incredible natural beauty. You can see more photos and read reviews on tripadvisor.
Linda, are you saying ALL the hotels in Murren are booked up? I don't see how that could be possible. There are many in RS guide that are inexpensive. We've been to Murren twice and love it - If I couldn't stay there I would stay in Gimmelwald or Wengen. There's something very special about staying in the Alps at that elevation vs down on the valley floor.
there were only 3 hotels listed in the "best of europe" book that have triples (we need two triples or a place with 4 beds in a room and a double). The Chalet fontana has an apartment for 6 (for 260 SF) but that is already booked as are their triples. booking 3 doubles is very expensive. The Eiger guesthouse is a possibilty but for the 6 of us they want 340SF per night -ouch. That is more by far than I am paying anywhere in Italy or Germany. The Chalet Bobs did not have availability. Do you know of other hotels in Murren or have a suggestion for where i could look for other hotels. Thank you!
As i look at other hotels it appears that $340 per night for 6 people is not much more than most places (except
Chalet Fontana). There are a few other hotels mentioned on this site but I can't figure out how to get their email addresses and their rates. (I'm obviously new at this). If the hotel is not in the RS book, is there a way to get their direct email addresses?
To find other hotels in Murren you can use tripadvisor.com which lists 15 Hotels/B&Bs/Inns and 2 listings for specialty lodging in Murren. To find the specific website of the hotel you can do a Google search and it will usually turn up, sometimes it will appear in the tripadvisor reviews.
TripAdvisor is excellent, as Rich said. I would also look in RS's Switzerland guide - it will have more recommendations for Murren, Gimmelwald and Wengen than the Best of Europe book. There are some inexpensive choices in Gimmelwald, often recommended here, listed in the Switzerland book. We stayed at Hotel Eiger (not the same as Eiger Guesthouse) and really liked it but it would be way too expensive. You're smart to have started looking this far in advance, and hopefully you'll find something for the least amount possible. I hope you have a great time, the Berner Oberland is a magical place!
"That is more by far than I am paying anywhere in Italy or Germany." Most everything in Switzerland will be more expensive than Italy and Germany. But the Berner Oberland is worth it!
Just a suggestion, but sometimes thinking outside the box can work in situations like this, how about putting the kids in the Mountain Hostel in Gimmelwald (http://www.mountainhostel.com/index.htm) and mom and dad close by. It might end up being fun for the kids and a little break for the folks.
Linda, Wengen or Lauterbrunnen would be a good alternative to Murren. We were there in the summer last year. You will love the Bernese Oberland. It is one of the places in Europe that I plan to go back one day.
Chalet Fontana and Mürren Sports Center are two good recommendations for your family to stay. Clean and affordable and bfast included.
Rich has a good suggestion about the hostel in Gimmelwald. We passed right by while hiking and it looked great-gorgeous scenery in a delightful village. If we were young enough we would have stayed there-but we opted for Wengen at a hotel at the top of our budget. The Hotel in Stechelburg would be a better choice than Interlaken imo.
Here is Murren's very detailed website with all the information you need including accomodation search engine, hotel websites, email addresses, prices, and even apartment rentals and summer package specials: http://www.muerren.ch/start-e.htm
Try that Muerren website that Rich gave you and look for apartments that will do a 3-night rental. Or try the Alpenhof in Stechelberg (below Gimmelwald at the end of the valley.) They have rooms with 2, 4, or 6 beds, and shared bath. For the six of you it would be a total of 152 CHF per night, without breakfast. They have kitchen facilities whee you can make your own breakfast, or you can add that for 12 CHF per person. http://www.alpenhof-stechelberg.ch/
Linda I too suggest staying at the Mountain Hostel. I stayed there in May of 2009 with my husband and we had such a great time! We met other college students our age, older couples, and other varieties of travelers! We spent the days hiking, and exploring, so we really weren't in the Hostel that much. I had a great experience here, and it's really pretty inexpensive. The Berner Oberland is amazing! Have so much fun, and hike to the Sprutz falls!
There are TONS of rental apartments in Murren. Look at Trip Advisor, look at the town's website, look at the Top Apartments website (they have an office in town and have a large inventory), look at other vacation rental websites.
http://www.topapartments.ch/en/home.html) Since it sounds like you're on a budget, an apartment would be ideal, since you can cook (restaurants in Switzerland are pretty pricey). Yup, you're going to pay more in Switzerland for everything than in other countries. Especially in August--prime vacation season. As others said, that Best of Europe book is not the most comprehensive--the regular Switzerland book is much better.
topapartments only lists weekly prices on their website, but it is worth contacting them by email to see if any are available for a 3-night rental. This place listed on the muerren.ch website has a 3-night minimum, and lots of availability in August: http://www.alpenheim.ch/ They have 2 apartments (5 to 8 beds) for 150 to 170 CHF per night.
Try the next valley over in Berner Oberland towns Kandersteg or Adelboden. There's a great boy scout hostel in Kandersteg that would easily work for you. These towns aren't so touristy but still very scenic. Night life is limited, so Interlaken is better if you really need evening entertainment.
Here is another option in Gimmelwald. It is an apartment. I have not stayed there. We stay with Ollie and Maria in RS book. http://www.liesisheartplace.ch/index.php?id=33&L=1
My family and I stayed in a triple at the Hotel Alpina in Murren two years ago. The view from the deck outside the room was fabulous. The hotel is walking distance from the train station and a grocery store is very close by. The breakfast at the hotel was so-so, but everything else including price was great. Penn
I love Murren then Lauterbrunnen is also vg and central so you can take transport up either side as you wish.
We have stayed in several of the vilages out of Interlaken. We like staying in Lauterbrunen best. We stay at the Hotel Staubbach, a Rick Steve suggestion. Almost across the street is a Hostel. I would check on that. From traveling in Europe most hostels have people of all ages. We have even camped in the area. Camp Dani was great. We easily put our tent in a suitcase, duffel type. It was glorious waking up in the morning and looking out over the snow capped mountains. We ordered bread the night before at the office and it was waiting for us when we got up. I have pictures of the area on facebook if you would like to look.