Murren? Wengen? Grindelwald? HELP!

Sep 29th, 2009, 05:46 AM
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Murren? Wengen? Grindelwald? HELP!

Timeframe: late Augsut 2010
Circumstances: no car (ditching the rental in Zurich and train from there over to the BO). Four nights and want to be ABOVE Lauterbrunnen. Need easy or at least convenient access to train lines/cable cars from the hotel location.
Prefer a hotel with a POOL if possible.
Not hikers..more like riding the railroads and cablecars kind of folks and with plenty of time to sit back, relax, and take it all in.
Budget? Expense relative...not necessarily trying to save money but appreciate value for money. We'll be blowing it all at the Beau Rivage Palace in Lausanne at the end of the week so why not go all out up here, too? You only live once.

Suggestions/comments appreciated and as always, thanks in advance for taking the time.
Dukey is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 07:43 AM
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Dukey is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 08:05 AM
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Hi Dukey---I can think of two nice hotels in Wengen with pools, the Beausite Park and the Sunstar:

(Click on "wellness" to see th epool; it looks nice)

Wengen is on the train line, with easy access down to the valley (12 minutes to Lauterbrunnen) or up to Kleine Scheidegg.

In Mürren, the Eiger has a pool, but it looks pretty small:

In Grindelwald, there are a number of hotels with pools (including the 5-star Grand Regina Alpin), but Grindelwald isn't "above" Lauterbrunnen. It is in the next valley over, close to the same altitude as Lauterbrunnen, but sunnier. Since thee is lots of car and tour bus traffic there, I don't think of it as a place to sit back and relax.
enzian is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 08:34 AM
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I was in Wengen 2 weeks ago and I loved it there. Sorry, I can't help you with a hotel. I stayed at the Hotel Baeren. It's small, very clean but not fancy and no pool. If you have not been to Jungfrau, be sure to include it. It was amazing. I made a day trip to Grindelwald, then cable car up to First. I enjoyed the day. My entire time in Switzerland, I had perfect sunny weather.
scatcat is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 08:51 AM
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Thanks, Enzian and Scatcat. Your replies are both very helpful.
Dukey is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 10:24 AM
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Scatcat---glad you enjoyed the Bären! I didn't recommend that for Duky because is is very plain and doesn't have a pool. but the food is terrific, and if you stay in Wengen, Dukey, you might dconsider dining there one evening.

I should add that of the 3 places you mentioned, Wengen best fits your goals, I think. Be sure and ride the cablecar up to Männlichen. We like Mürren equally with Wengen, but that is for the hiking possibilities.
enzian is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 10:38 AM
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Dukey, the Park Hotel Beausite in Wengen might suit you best. A bit remote location, though, and a good 5 minutes walk uphill from the train station. But quiet location therefore.

The Sunstar looked a bit too much like a chain hotel (actually, there are several Sunstar hotels in several Swiss mountain towns) to me (only peeked inside the lobby). But it is only a few steps from the train station, very centrally located.

Mürren would be too isolated for doing many day trips IMO. A bit of a hassle to change to get to Lauterbrunnen.

As enzian said, Grindelwald is not 'above' Lauterbrunnen. Also, I thought it was awfully crowded along the main street. But if you pick a hotel a bit outside, maybe above Terrassenweg, you might love it. The three-star Parkhotel Schoenegg looked pretty good.

Ingo is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 06:41 PM
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I stayed at the Sunstar in Wegen. Very nice! Views of the valley & waterfalls was fantantic. Food was great at the hotel. I had a medical issue while at the hotel and the front desk could not have been more helpful. Location was great...easy walk to the cable car and train. My son and husband loved the pool. Hope this helps.
BarbAnn is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 10:31 PM
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I think Wengen would best suit your requirements Dukey, but if you'd like to splash out at a fancy hotel, you might look into the Alpin Palace in Murren. It's currently closed for renovations, but will re-open this winter. It has an 'Olympic pool' according to their site.

I like the Hotel Bellevue in Wengen, especially their upper corner unit where you can see the Jungfrau from the bed. No pool, but it's got just about everything else.

Wanting a pool is going to limit your options quite a bit I think.
Melnq8 is online now  
Sep 29th, 2009, 10:34 PM
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And how could I forget this one, the Hotel Victoria Lauberhorn, which definitey has a pool.
Melnq8 is online now  
Sep 29th, 2009, 10:41 PM
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Hi Dukey,

Just like to pipe in to sway you away from Grindelwald. Yes, in August, it is awfully crowded. But it's the nature of the crowds that is specially irritating --

Because Grindelwald is as high as the tour busses can go, that's where they all go. So the streets of the small town are clogged with these monster busses, and the sidewalks are overwhelmed with the off-loaded passengers. I think even if you stay at the edges of the town, you'll get a bad feeling whenever you go through town to the train station.

So, yes, I'm adding my voice to the Wengen chorus!

swandav2000 is online now  
Sep 30th, 2009, 01:02 AM
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Thanks very much for all these additional and helpful replies. We are definitely AT the stage of finalizing an itinerary since we have already purchased plane tickets and now know on what dates we will be at the various locales.

The first week (including the Passion Play, Nurnberg, Bayreuth, Herrenchiemsee, and St. Gallen, is planned out as is the last part of the second week (Lausanne and surrounds) but it has been this "exactly where to base in the BO" which has become the "difficult" decision and again, I appreciate the various comments and points of view..the rationale has been particularly helpful as opposed to the oft-heard, "well such-and-such a place is the obvious choice" which is NEVER helpful IMO.
Dukey is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 03:20 AM
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As a follow-on: Oh, you guys are sooooo BAD! cause now there seem to be almost too many choices!!!!

I will say that thanks to what you have said my tendency is to eliminate Grindelwald.

I also looked further at the Alpin Palace site and have read reviews of it, along with the Victoria-Lauberhorn on Trip Advisor.

Whereas the idea of a pool and hot tub seems exciting right now, I'm not sure it is the deal breaker. Wading through and RE-reading some of the reviews is the current ongoing many choices but thanks again for offering them all up.
Dukey is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 03:21 AM
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I really prefer Wengen of all the Jungfrau valleytowns for the follwiing reasons:

1. I love the views of the valley waterfall which you can't get from the Murren side or elsewhere;
2. The great Maennlichen to Kleine Schiedig walk is accessible only from the Wengen side.
3. If you want to take the train up to the top the Jungfrau, the train originates in Wengen and saves you a good bit of time on the journey.
4. Wengen has many more restaurant options, Murren is quite small and offers about 6 restaurants that I can think of plus take away sandwiches from the Coop supermarket. Wengen also has more and IMO better hotel options.

I don’t find Lauterbrunnen or Grindlewald to be that interesting (esp Lauterbrunnen which is not at all prepossessing), and Grindlewald does seem to be more full of tourists. Wengen can be busy in the main train station area and main shopping street, but once you get out of those areas, it is quite quiet. There are some very good local walks, go to the tourist office for a map.

For hotels, my preference in the expensive category for Wengen would be the Caprice, see; however I have stayed at the Beausite once. As emntioend above, the Beausite is located farther back at the end of the village, it’s a longer walk there, compared to the Caprice which is in the town. It’s a small village and so it’s not a major issue, and your bags will be taken by someone at the hotel, and it’s quite a pretty walk. That being said, I think the views from the Caprice are better as you have an uninterrupted vista over the mountain’s edge down into the valley and up to the mountains. From the Beausite, you will look over the village and then up toward the mountains, the cable car to Mannchilen runs high over the top of the hotel.(Noise is not an issue from the cable car.) Don’t get me wrong, the view from the hotel is still beautiful, but I just prefer the Caprice, where you can see the waterfall in Lauterbrunnen from some rooms. The Caprice is also smaller and much more intimate, a really nice little living room lobby with fireplace, and has a lovely outdoor deck for dining. It’s like being in someone’s home. The Beausite does have an indoor pool, but I agree you may be limiting yourself requiring a pool in the mountains in August (it is more likely to be cool than hot. The pool is indoor, if that makes a differendce to you. I also just liked the rooms better at the Caprice, they seemed warmer and more welcoming; although I think the bathrooms at the Beausite were probably a bit more luxurious as well as the furniture. I also thought the food was better at the Caprice, not quite so heavy on the Swiss German, but again this is Switzerland, where it is hard to find a bad meal.

For the Lake Geneva region, I would say you might also consider the Trois Couronnes in Vevey. See Really a lovely hotel in a very charming town, famous for their famers and wine market. Another hotel with really spectacular views is the Le Mirador Kempinski which just reopened after a redo, see
Laussane is a considerably larger city than Vevey (but does have a nice old town). My problem with the Beau Rivage is that it is located in the not-so-interesting port side area of D’ouchy. The old town area up on the hill is really where you want to be, IMO. It’s hard to beat the location and ambience of the Trois Cronnoes. If you really want Lausanne, you might also look at the Lausanne Palace & Spa, see which is up on the hill.
Cicerone is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 03:23 AM
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"Mürren would be too isolated for doing many day trips IMO. A bit of a hassle to change to get to Lauterbrunnen."

Ingo: THANKS for this particularly important comment...yes, this IS an important consideration..perhaps one of the most important ones in the end....
Dukey is offline  

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