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holidaying May 14th, 2013 09:14 AM

Accommodation in Lauterbrunnen
Please, i need your help. In both the favourite hotels - Staubbach and Oberland, the rooms are full.

Any other hotels with "best view of waterfall" at Lauterbrunnen?

PalenQ May 14th, 2013 09:40 AM

When are you going - in mid to late summer I have seen the usually torrential falls dry up to a trickle?

Dukey1 May 14th, 2013 09:51 AM

Once you have a recommendation you might go to I just booked a place for July and basically for my dates nothing seemed to be available in Lauterbrunnen. And for whatever reason 10 July is filled in several of the area hotels. I finally found a place in Grindelwald

holidaying May 14th, 2013 10:29 AM

PalenQ - going in June.

PalenQ May 14th, 2013 10:53 AM

should be a torrent then! I envy you!

holidaying May 15th, 2013 04:15 AM

still awaiting your recommendation for Lauterbrunnen.

OR, alternately, any "good views of alps" in Wengen?

Pepper_von_snoot May 15th, 2013 05:59 AM

I have never stayed in Lauterbrunnen.

I always stay in Wengen.

The top hotel in Lauterbrunnen seems to be the Staubbach.


catherinehaas May 15th, 2013 06:00 AM

I am planning a trip in September to Wengen and staying at the Hotel Edelweiss. From the pictures and reviews, definite views of the alps. From what I read, Wengen is a spectacular place to stay (I don't think in this whole region you could go wrong if looking for fabulous views).

I am not sure about staying in Lauterbrunnen though. I have not done any research other than restuarants, shops, etc. in Lauterbrunnen.

Pepper_von_snoot May 15th, 2013 06:02 AM

You can get a beautiful view of the falls if you stay in a South-facing room at Minotel Bellevue Wengen.


Pepper_von_snoot May 15th, 2013 06:05 AM

Judi and Andi have a webcam, by the way.


KimSanJose May 16th, 2013 09:20 PM

Bellevue Wengen has the most jaw dropping views in the the entire area. As pepper says, they have a webcam, which is the default webcam for Wengen village (there's a reason). Hotel Bellevue is a 10 - 15 minute uphill walk from the train station/village center.

Wengen is far more scenic, IMO, than Lauterbrunnen. In Lauterbrunnen you are in the base of a very steep valley with imposing cliffs above. Wengen is perched on a shelf half way up side of said valley with stunning views of the waterfalls and valley below and snow-capped peaks above. There are also more amenities in Wengen -- more and better restaurants, food shops, etc. -- than in Lauterbrunnen.

Views from Edelweiss Hotel are largely restricted to the peaks west of Wengen and certainly none of the valley and the waterfalls. Valley views a bit better from the more expensive but totally charming Alpenrose across the street. But neither have anything like the views from Bellevue.

Another fabulous hotel is Romantik Hotel Schönegg, right in the center of the village. Lovely alpine views from the south-facing balcony rooms. Best restaurant in town. Best traditional upscale Swiss decor I've encountered in the entire country.

Pepper_von_snoot May 17th, 2013 06:58 AM

Yes, Kim, the Schonegg has the best restaurant in Wengen.

I have met and talked with Herr Hubert Mayer
the chef.

Herr Renee and Sina are charming hosts.


KimSanJose May 18th, 2013 02:55 PM

Hi Pepper,

Just a quick FYI update for you.

Renee and Sina have retired to Berne, sold the hotel to a family that also has an upscale property in South Africa. Renee hired the extremely charming and capable Phillippe Allenspach to run the hotel. Phillipe is a graduate of one of the top Swiss hospitality schools and is also the son of the local doctor. He is filling big shoes and doing a great job! Herr Hubert Mayer is still there, thankfully.

The only change made to the hotel is a renovation to turn the top floor into a large family/penthouse suite. This addresses one of the only drawbacks of the Schönegg - previously, no integrated accommodations for families. Brilliant!

Pepper_von_snoot May 18th, 2013 06:54 PM

Thanks for the info. Kim.

The last time I spoke to Renee he told me that he and Sina had travelled to Manhattan.

It seems it was just too crazy and noisy for them and they couldn't wait to get back to calm Switzerland.

I will miss them.


drchris May 18th, 2013 07:26 PM

So sorry that the Hotel Staubbach has no vacancies during your visit as we had a wonderful stay there, and found Lauterbrunnen to be delightful. Have you called the hotel directly? I sometimes found that there were vacancies in hotels we were considering when the booking sites reported the hotel to be full. Good luck finding accommodations. You will love visiting this area of Switzerland!

Here is an excerpt on Lauterbrunen, Murren, Wengen, and the Jungfraujoch from my trip report, with links to photos.

More can be found at


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The album includes photos of Lauterbrunnen, the Hotel Staubbach, Murren, and the Hotel Blumental Restaurant.
Watch as a slideshow to see the captions. Click on the album map to see where these photos were taken.

Exiting the train, we found ourselves enveloped by the steep cliffs that hug the slender green ribbon that forms the Lauterbrunen Valley, considered by many to be the most beautiful valley in Europe. A 10-minute walk along the main street of Lauterbrunnen led us to the Hotel Staubbach, where we were greeted in a friendly, helpful manner that set the tone for our 3-day stay here. We were shown how to use the elevator that took us to our 3rd floor room (no. 18) and were immediately pleased with what we saw - an appealing room that had been decorated with care in inviting woods and fresh fabrics, with a sparkling, roomy bathroom and a wide balcony that provided a direct view of the cascading Staubbachfalle. When making our reservation, I had mentioned that we were celebrating our anniversary, and we were surprised to find on the table in the sitting area of the room a card printed with anniversary wishes, accompanied by a red rose and a bottle of wine! What a perfectly welcoming touch! We sat on the balcony taking in the amazing scenery and thinking how blessed we were to experience such a beautiful and peaceful place. Suddenly, though, our feeling of tranquility was broken by a cacophony of bells from the little church nearby that went on for about 15 minutes! Fortunately, this happened only twice a day, and otherwise each quarter hour was marked with a brief and cheerful chiming.


We unpacked and quickly set out for Murren, perched on the slopes above, by walking back through town to the aerial cable car just behind the train station. We whooshed quickly up to Grutschalp, waving to the hikers and the cows below, and continued the 2 ½ miles to Murren via the Bergbahn cogwheel train, with beautiful views of the Lauterbrunnen Valley below and the snow-capped mountains above.
Murren is small town, with a road that circles through it, past the hotels, restaurants, and homes. We found it quite appealing and VERY quiet on the Sunday afternoon/early evening we were there. One resident’s sense of humor was apparent in the choice of items that decorated the house, including a small table set for tea, with an accordion-playing gnome to serenade the imaginary guests! Having only had our bread and cheese for lunch, we were famished by this time and went in search of dinner, reading each menu we passed and hoping to find something a bit less expensive. We were still in shock at the cost of food in Switzerland – about 2 to 3 times what we would pay for dining out at home in the US. At last we came to the Hotel Blumental, and were drawn to it by the red geraniums tumbling from the window boxes and the pots of colorful flowers that graced the front porch. Outside was a sign reading “Recommended by Frommers and Rick Steves!” An endorsement by both, accompanied by a tempting, not-too-costly menu, sealed the deal, and we entered the (in our imaginations) quintessentially Swiss restaurant, with comfortable wooden chairs, starched white tablecloths with floral toppers, sheer curtains sprinkled with flowers, and wispy bows gracing the candles and lighting. A smiling wooden bear (the symbol of the canton of Bern, in which Murren lies) greeted guests entering from the hotel. In one room there was a display of steins above the hearth, and in another, cow bells of graduating sizes lined the ceiling beam. The service was gracious, and the food was exceptional. I enjoyed red snapper with grilled vegetables and noodles on the side, while my husband dined on venison accompanied by spaetzle.

As we walked back to the train station, we were thrilled by the sight of an almost full moon perched just above a snow-capped peak. We captured sight of it again on the short train ride to Grutschalp, and then once again enjoyed the swift cable car ride to Lauterbrunnen below. Settling on our balcony at the Hotel Staubbach, we shared stories of our day with the American couple next door as we took in the beauty of the illuminated Staubbachfalle and the little church next door.

Dinner at Hotel Blumental in Murren. Redsnapper with grilled vegetables 24.50 chf; venison with spaetzle 29.50 chf; noodles 3.50 chf. Total with tax 57.50 chf. This was one of our least expensive dinners, and was really delicious. The ambience of the restaurant was a delight, and the service was friendly and efficient.

Jungfraujoch. Wengen, Murren, Gimmelwald, Lauterbrunnen

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Control + Click to view the album, or copy and paste URL.
Watch as a slideshow to see the captions. Click on the album map to see where these photos were taken.

Our second day in the Berner Oberland dawned bright and clear, and we were off to the Jungfraujoch! From Lauterbrunnen, the train carried us to Wengen and then on to Klein Schedegg, where we transferred to another train that carried us to our final destination. For most of this leg of the trip, we traveled through long tunnels, with 5-minute stops at Eigerwand and Eismeer to peer through windows for a glimpse of the glaciers and peaks that would be revealed more fully at the top. Travel through the dark tunnels was made more interesting by the videos shown on screens in each car describing the construction of the tunnels, the conquest of the peaks by mountain climbers, and other information about our destination. It was also interesting watching the large group of Chinese tourists on the train with us.

We overheard many of the passengers saying that they were heading immediately for the ice palace, so we decided to go directly to the Sphinx, perched atop the mountain. One of the guidebooks suggested not going to the top until some time passed to allow acclimation to the higher elevation so as not to develop altitude sicknesss, but I had been taking aspirin since we’d left home, as I’d done when we went skiing in Colorado, and I never felt either light headed or nauseated.

We navigated the tunnel from the rail station to the elevator that took us up through the mountain to the observation terrace and exited to see mountains covered with glistening white snow against the most incredible blue skies. The Aletsch Glacier, surrounded by Alpine peaks, stretched out before us, and vast banks of fluffy white clouds lay in the distance beyond the furthest visible peaks. We had expected to feel cold atop the mountain, but the sun shone so brightly that, even though the temperature was near freezing, it actually felt warm, and some people were lounging in big inner tubes, sunbathing. We walked down to one of the trails that led to another observation point but found the surface a bit too slippery and decided not to brave it. There was a large recreation area with so many ways to have fun in the snow - snow tubing, snow boarding, zip lines, helicopter rides, parasailing, and other recreation. The dog sleds were not around, or I might have taken a turn at that.

We then took the elevator back down to the Ice Palace, a series of rooms carved inside the ice atop the mountain. There were several rooms, with ice sculptures along the paths, and various places that provided good photo ops. Those braver than I skated from room to room, while I held onto the handrail and walked slowly and carefully. We checked out the various restaurants and settled on the cafeteria, where my husband ate a warm bowl of vegetable soup and I had the worst spaghetti I’ve ever eaten in my life. Rather than the usual tomato-based sauce and meat, the noodles were covered with meat in thin brown gravy that was very salty. The portion was very large, and I couldn’t have finished it even if I had liked it! The cafeteria was crowded, so we invited a couple from England to join us – and ran into them again two days later on the train to Montreux!

After lunch, we trekked out to yet another viewing point that provided a different view of the peaks and a look down into the valleys below. There was a Swiss flag that everyone took turns having their picture made under, and a sign that warned visitors not to fall off the side of the mountain. It was a VERY long way down!

Time passed so quickly and we enjoyed ourselves so much on the Jungfraujoch that the two hours we had planned to stay turned onto four! Was this experience worth the expense? For us, it was worth every penney! It was one of those probably-once-in-a-lifetime chances to laugh and have fun in the snow, and to view the grandeur and majesty of a part of God’s creation that is far outside the realm of our everyday lives. While we were a bit poorer in the pocketbook for having done it, we would be much poorer in memories and spirit had we chosen to miss it.

On the way down from the Jungfraujoch, we stopped in Wengen and walked around the town. It seemed larger than either Lauterbrunnen or Murren, but based on our brief visit, seemed to have less charm even though there were many lovely hotels, shops, and restaurants. While the view of the mountains is dramatic, we preferred being nestled in the valley below. Being in Lauterbrunnen reminded me of the early years of our marriage when we lived in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, which I likened to “being held in the bosom of God.”


After arriving back in Lauterbrunnen following our Jungfraujoch excursion, we decided to make a late afternoon visit to Gimmelwald, thinking that any place Rick Steves devotes 8 pages of his Switzerland guidebook to shouldn't be missed! We took the cable car and train to Murren, walked to the opposite end of town (it was bigger than I had thought on our first visit), and then another cable car to Gimmelwald. I suppose it represents an “unspoiled” Swiss village, and perhaps there is more to see during the Tourist season, but my husband and I failed to understand why Rick Steves is so enamored of this place. I did take a few nice photos that document parts of his tour through the town, but I think we could have skipped our visit here, especially after such a long day. We did enjoy the aerial cable car that took us from Murren to Gimmelwald, and a second one that carried us down to Stechelberg. When our cable car arrived in Stechelberg, the bus to Lauterbrunnen was waiting to take us "home" after a long, busy day. The ride through the valley was lovely, and we were able to see some of the falls cascading down the cliffs along the way.

Back in Lauterbrunnen

After a very busy day, we had dinner at the Hotel Oberland in Lauterbrunnen, sitting outside snuggled into chairs covered in warm, wooly sheepskins. My husband had grilled salmon with golden rosti (grilled shredded potatoes, somewhat similar to what we call hash browns), and I had rosti with a fried egg on top. It was good but very rich. We enjoyed chatting with the young Japanese couple at the table next to ours, whom we later met on a train. Small world, this Switzerland!

Comparing Lauterbrunnen, Murren, and Wengen

People have definite favorites among Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, and Murren, but each was delightful in its own way. Wengen seemed a bit more "developed" than the other towns while Lauterbrunnen and Murren had more of a "small village feel" to me. Of those two, Lauterbrunnen is the more central for taking excursions, and I loved being in the valley. Having to take the aerial cable car and train to Murren would make day trips from there more complicated, given that the cable car closed around 8 or 8:30, I believe. And without a Swiss Pass, there would be the added expense of about 25 chf round trip between Lauterbrunnen and Murren.

What We Missed; What We Could Have Left Out

Our time would have been better spent in Lauterbrunnen than making the trip to Gimmelwald, although we did enjoy the aerial cable cars and the bus, which we would not have taken otherwise. Perhaps we could have managed to see Trummelbach Falls, although I’m not sure that I could have done the required climbing of the many steps I had read about.

Dinner at the Hotel Oberland in Lauterbrunnen: 1 grilled salmon rosti, 1 rosti with fried egg, 2 drinks – 60 chf with tax and tip.

basingstoke2 May 19th, 2013 05:23 AM

We just returned from a trip that featured a day in Lauterbrunnen, although we slept in Grindelwald. In Lauterbrunnen do not miss Trummelbachfaile, aka Trummelbach falls. This is just a few kilometers from Lauterbrunnen and are unique in all of Europe. They are a series of powerful waterfalls INSIDE of the mountain. Absolutely spectacular and the best 11 CHF I have ever spent - you are not likely to ever see something like that again. Take the inside the mountain cog car. It will bring you halfway up then you will take the stairs carved into the mountain the rest of the way. Walk all of the way down. Since you are close to the falls, some of the spray will get you, so be prepared.

holidaying May 20th, 2013 09:27 AM

drchris, yes, i called the hotel directly but no luck! I'am scanning for accommodation in Wengen now. Thanks for the report.

holidaying May 20th, 2013 09:30 AM

basingstoke2 , yes, visit to Trummelbach falls is definitely on the schedule.

Byrd May 20th, 2013 10:01 AM

In May 2010 we visited Lauaterbrunnen and at that time of the year most hotels were closed, but we found (and loved) this apartment.

It's right in town, easy walk to train station, and wonderful view of the waterfall from the balcony.

Have a great trip!

(By the way, while we were in Lauterbrunnen the Iceland volcano erupted, and much of Europe came to a standstill! We made it home, but things were iffy for a while!)


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