Swiss/Interlaken week..need help

Old Aug 17th, 2001, 01:42 PM
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Swiss/Interlaken week..need help

To celebrate my wife's birthday we're going to Switzerland May 30 for a week. In looking through the travel books, Interlaken sounds like a good base for exploring the region (I ruled out Wengen and Muerren though I know many postings highly recommend it...sounds too sleepy though we'll surely spend a day there). My problem is trying to decide where to stay in Interlaken. I like the apartment idea in order to keep the cost down and would like to find an apartment (or perhaps a hotel)in the $125. per night range. We'd like to just use trains so location is important as is local shopping and restaurants. The attractive Swiss chalets seen on postcards is the ideal accommodation. Has anyone rented an apartment or had a great hotel experience in Interlaken itself? Also, is Gstaad worth a day trip?
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 02:17 PM
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Fortunately not everyone stays in Wengen or Mürren.

Just a point of interest, though. There's not especially any reason to spend a >>day<< >>in<< Mürren or Wengen.

One does go through the villages on their way to the Schilthorn or the Männlichen. And of course one passes through Mürren on the way to many glorious hiking routes. But I'd rarely spend a day in either place. The daytime is hardly sleepy. Being in the middle of the villages is more like being in congested downtown Interlaken or Grindelwald than being in the mountains.

What draws us to Mürren is waking up in the morning with that spectacular view off our balcony. Walking to the store for our Paris Herald Tribune with almost no one stirring about.

Enjoying breakfast with that same view beside our table. Leaving in the morning before the lemmings from Interlaken descend on the town.

Returning to that view that's even more spectacular in the peaceful evening once the lemmings have left.

Yes, thank goodness not everyone goes to Wengen and Mürren. If more discovered what's there the villages wouldn't be the same.


Old Aug 17th, 2001, 02:25 PM
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We really loved Hotel du Lac in Interlaken, where we stayed 3 or 4 years ago. It was within walking distance to the real touristy areas, but slightly out of the way. Also, it was very close to one of the train stations and thus very convenient to visit the Jungfrau, Grindelwald, Wengen and other places. Also, very easy to get to Interlaken from the airport in Zurich. Hotel du Lac overlooks one of the two lakes that give Interlaken ("between lakes") its name. The hotel was also close to the boat dock.
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 04:56 PM
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I will look into that hotel, thanks. Ed,
Although I've never been to Switzerland I do appreciate the merits of waking up to the gorgeous mountains.I'm sure it is gorgeous! If time allowed, I would certainly want to experience this as well. I just felt that for transportation purposes, Interlaken might be a good hub. Also, my wife enjoys shopping...does Wengen, Grindelwald, Muerren have much shopping or independent restaurants? I can easily be swayed....
Any more good recommendations are appreciated. Also, is Gstaad worth a day trip? Chris
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 06:46 PM
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"Shopping" as such is possible for select items (e.g. sportswear, sporting goods, footwear) in the mountain villages.

Limited shopping in Interlaken, much more than the villages, but still limited. If daily shopping is the goal then Bern, or better Geneva and Zürich would be far more satisfactory places to be. Lausanne has some good shopping as well, and Luzern has a bit.

As far as restaurants? Virtually every hotel has a restaurant open to the public as well as a dining room for guests, many of whom are on half board. (In some cases in smaller hotels the two are actually one.) You'll find, whether in Interlaken or the mountain villages a high quality of food.

The du Lac, by the way, is my strong recommendation for a 4-star hotel if you choose Interlaken as well. Very good dining room. Half board is usually mandatory during peak season. It's possible that's the case with other Interlaken hotels as well. I'm not aware that any hotel in the mountain requires half board, though it's usually a pretty good buy, though too much food on many nights. Most hotels will offer a partial rebate if you give advance notice of intention to eat elsewhere on a given night (usually required by noon.)

For what it's worth, we spend two weeks at a time up in Mürren. Many of the days we're off to Luzern or Thun, for example, on Lake Brienz, shopping in Interlaken, etc. We have friends who visit there for a month at a time.

There are quite a few people who like Gstaad, mainly in the winter. There is a well-to-do set that enjoys the place, but I've never caught the fever. The scenery pales compared to the Oberland. The village is pretty ordinary in my eyes. The Gstaad Palace is quite luxe, but I'd not go out of my way to make a day trip to Gstaad.
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 08:04 PM
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Chris. Forget Interlaken.Go to Zurich see the town have fun.Take day trips all over .Best train station in Europe.Tons of stuff to do.Travelman
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 08:31 PM
Rod Hoots
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Have stayed in Interlaken three times, although several years ago. I think it is a great place to branch out from, not too big of a town so it's easy to drive in and out. Last time there we stayed at the Metropole, a big downtown hotel but lots of restaurants and entertainment within a short walk. We had a room on the 12th floor looking out over a valley to a major mountain. It was a treat to have coffee on the balcony in the morning.
Old Aug 18th, 2001, 07:14 AM
Diane Moll
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Chris, we have traveled to Switzerland on five occasions and will be going back for one week next May, with another week in Belgium. We have stayed in various parts of Switzerland over the years with one of our first trips being to Interlaken. We rented an apartment - 3 star - Swiss Inn which was very nice and several blocks from the centre. Very quiet and reasonable. They now offer "Smartroom" which includes a car from $121 room/car for two people per day, but we really prefer Swiss trains while there. Interlaken gets progressively more crowded every year and the opening of some kind of theme park late spring should only make matters worse, but it does have many, many shops and a good location to branch out.

We will be returning to Grindelwald for a week stay in a lovely Chalet apartment, stayed there two years ago and loved it. I guess it is because we go in mid May, but I don't find Grindelwald crowded or overly touristy, very tranquil after a day in Interlaken, but that's just one opinion. Any further information you would need, please feel to email me directly.
Old Aug 29th, 2001, 09:20 AM
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We loved Interlaken as a base. Sunny Days B&B is a great find. We stayed there in July. They have a web site and it may be just what you want.

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