Hotel in Hilterfingen or at Bönigen?

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ShoBizPro
ShoBizPro
10 posts
new member
Feb 24, 2018 - 4:22 PM

I have a 4 night visit planned to Interlaken in early May. Would it be better to stay at the Hotel Bellevue au Lac in Hilterfinger or at the Seiler au Lac, Boenigen? Both look very nice and are priced about the same. We are a retired couple and I have minor mobility issues (walking and stairs).

Thank you for your input.

Mark
Mark
197 posts
active member
Feb 25, 2018 - 3:22 PM

Hi ShoBiz

Is there a reason you picked Interlaken instead of the more scenic nearby towns as Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Murren, or Grindelwald?

Mark

Arno
Arno
11357 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 25, 2018 - 3:48 PM

Hi ShoBizPro,

As Mark said, Interlaken is not the nicest place in the area, although logistically it is very convenient. However, if I understand you correctly you don't want to stay in Interlaken itself, but in the region. Where to stay depends on your budget, mode of transport, day trips you have planned, etc. You have selected hotels with good views if you book a lake side room. Bellevue Au Lac is on Lake Thun and Seiler au Lac is on Lake Brienz. There are no train stops in Hilterfingen and Bönigen. If you want to stay in the mountains, then the villages that Mark mentioned are an option. If you prefer a warmer climate, the towns on the lake offer a better chance of that than in the mountains.

Last modified on Feb 25, 2018 - 3:50 PM by Arno
maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
642 posts
top member
Feb 25, 2018 - 6:24 PM

Hello ShoBizPro

We stayed for several years at Belle Vue au Lac at Hilterfingen on Lake Thun. We always booked a room with view over the lake - a bit more expensive but so much better than the other rooms! The hotel under went a few changes of manager and became less well run for a while but I understand it has returned to good management over last few years. We enjoyed eating meals out on the terrace right by the lake. The only disadvantage we found was that the last bus back from Interlaken left just after 7 p.m. However if we missed it we used to take train from Interlaken to Thun then the no. 21 bus to Hilterfingen as it runs quite late. The hotel has elevators so no problem there. It is also close to bus stops in both directions - i.e to Interlaken and to Thun.

I don't know anything about the other hotel you mention. Or about the bus service to Boenigen. I would advise you to check out the time of last bus from Interlaken to there in case there is a similar problem but without the solution that we found to Hilterfingen.

Maggie

ShoBizPro
ShoBizPro
10 posts
new member
Feb 25, 2018 - 7:45 PM in reply to Mark

Maggie - Thank you for your reply. Belle Vue au Lac is stunning and was my first choice but felt it might be too far outside of central Intrelaken for us since we will be concentrating our visit to the Bernese Highlands. Seiler au Lac is closer to central Interlaken and the Ost train station.

I really appreciate all the information you provided. Now my wife and I need to decide between 2 wonderful hotels. Not a bad problem to have.

Keith Malick

Orlando, FL.

ShoBizPro
ShoBizPro
10 posts
new member
Feb 25, 2018 - 7:58 PM in reply to Mark

Thank you, Mark, for your prompt reply. I chose Interlaken because of it's central location and it's more metropolitan facilities (dining, bars, etc). Since we will be traveling by auto, we plan on going to all of the smaller villages as day trips. And of course a trip to the Jungfraujock is on the agenda. Before I commit to booking, as you suggested, I'll investigate options for staying in the smaller villages in the Highlands.

You posed a good question and it is greatly appreciated.

Keith Malick

Orlando, FL

Lucas
Lucas
9613 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 25, 2018 - 8:47 PM in reply to ShoBizPro

Hi Keith,

Just be careful trying to visit those smaller villages, some are not accessible by car: Wengen and Mürren.

You might want to consider a Swiss Half Fare Card to help discount the needed cable cars and/or boat trips you might make.

ShoBizPro
ShoBizPro
10 posts
new member
Feb 25, 2018 - 8:56 PM in reply to Arno

Arno - I can't tell you how great this website is! You all are fabulous for supplying all this information to people all over the world. THANK YOU!

Since our goal is to visit as many small villages in the Bernese Oberlander in the short time we're there, the actual location of our hotel needs to be centrally located for our day trips and have a wider variety of dining and evening activities. I'm an amature photographer and hope to be able to capture some of the beauty around Interlaken. This is the primary reason we are traveling by auto instead of train. I would assume, that staying in Wengen would be the optimum location for night photography. I'm hoping that the light pollution between Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen isn't too bad and will allow me to capture some wonderful night sky photos.

I've just added the City Oberlander Swiss Hotel to my list of possibilities since it is located "downtown", has free parking available and is in my price range.

Again, THANK YOU for all your help and guidance.

Keith Malick

Orlando, FL

Mark
Mark
197 posts
active member
Feb 25, 2018 - 11:18 PM

If photography, especially night photography, is a primary interest, you might look into staying in Lauterbrunnen as well. Lauterbrunnen valley is immediately adjacent with a paved walkway from Lauterbrunnen and might be ideal to set up a tripod and is very scenic. I would expect light pollution to be minimal once you get a short way in Lauterbrunnen valley. I would expect Murren to have equal opportunities for night and sunset scenes. Both probably better in this regard (slightly perhaps) to Wengen and much superior to Grindelwald or Interlaken

See attached photos for views during the daytime. Note the last view of Lauderbrunnen valley was taken from the Wengen train station Mark

Please login to see the attached documents
Peterli
Peterli
630 posts
top member
Feb 26, 2018 - 4:04 AM in reply to ShoBizPro

Hi Keith,

I know where you are coming from by choosing to travel by auto. It is my preferred way of getting around as well, one of them being the greater flexibility I have for stopping for photography. Having said this, you should consider Lucas' advice about a Half Fare Card as there are a number of places in the Oberland that are not accessible by automobile. I notice you want to go to the Jungfraujoch, and that alone is quite expensive. If you check the full prices of the various excursions that you are planning to do (including boat rides) and then see how much these would be reduced if you had Half Fare Cards, you might find that the price of the Half Fare Card would be well worth it. Since you are retired you might also be entitled to a senior discount in some instances. Perhaps one of the train experts will want to chip in on this. I attach a map of the area so you can see where you actually can go by automobile (pink, orange, yellow and white lines) and thus where it is not possible to do so.

Please login to see the attached documents
Arno
Arno
11357 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 26, 2018 - 2:40 PM in reply to ShoBizPro

Thanks for your compliments Keith, good to hear that! If a central location is more important to you than the scenery and views around the hotel, Interlaken is certainly an option. It is easy to reach by car and by train. It also is the public transport hub of the area, so it's also efficient to visit those (many) wonderful places in the mountains you cannot reach by car. In early May it won't be as touristy in Interlaken as in July and August. You'll find hotel suggestions here: www.myswissalps.com/in terlaken/hotels.

ShoBizPro
ShoBizPro
10 posts
new member
Feb 26, 2018 - 3:14 PM in reply to Lucas

Thanks for pointing out the "car free" element. It hadn't crossed my mind. And I also hadn't considered the Half Fare Card as an option. After you mentioned it, I started to consider what the comparative cost of single tickets to Jungfraujock would be and how much we might use trains, busses and lifts during our stay in Switzerland.

More great information!

Thanks!

Last modified on Feb 26, 2018 - 3:53 PM by ShoBizPro
ShoBizPro
ShoBizPro
10 posts
new member
Feb 26, 2018 - 3:58 PM in reply to Mark

Marki - Thank you so much for the reply and sharing your beautiful photos! I hope I have weather like that when I'm there. I'm working on a spreadsheet to compare public transit costs with the Half Price Card and using individual tickets. From my cursory search, it does look like I'll be able to get more places for less cost using the Half Price Card.

It is so nice to get personalized information from so many wonderful people. VERY MUCH appreciated!

keith

ShoBizPro
ShoBizPro
10 posts
new member
Feb 26, 2018 - 4:02 PM in reply to Peterli

Peterli - Thanks you for the map. I had not seen anything like that in my preparations for our trip. It will be very helpful. As I mentioned to Marki, I'll look closely at purchasing a Half Price Card for our time in Switzerland, especially since our next stop after Interlaken will be Zermatt where I know autos are forbidden.

Your help is very appreciated.

Keith

Arno
Arno
11357 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 26, 2018 - 4:13 PM

The map provided by Peterli offers a good picture of where you can go by car. So to be sure: the thin red and black lines are not roads. It's cable cars, cogwheel trains and hiking trails. White lines are narrow roads. Some will be not be accessible, like the Grosse Scheidegg pass near Grindelwald (bus service only, also discounted with the Swiss Half Fare Card): www.myswissalps.com/sw isshalffarecard/validi ty

Last modified on Feb 26, 2018 - 4:14 PM by Arno
ShoBizPro
ShoBizPro
10 posts
new member
Feb 26, 2018 - 11:14 PM

To all who have shared ideas and information: After 4 hours of trying to figure out if one of the rail passes is the fiscally responsible path, I've realized that there are just too many options to consider with our short visit. I finally realized that the area is too beautiful for me to actually see everything and partake in all the region has to offer in just 4 days. So, we're just going to "wing it" on this visit and do what feels right. We want time to fully enjoy the extraordinary tranquility that the Oberland is and make plans to return again, staying much longer.

Thank you to all who responded. You have provided me with more support and useful information that I could have imagined. (Of course, if you think of anything else, please don't hesitate to share.)

My best to you all.

Keith Malick

Orlando, FL

lui25
lui25
1 post
new member
Mar 2, 2018 - 10:34 AM

thanks for the post

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