Bern, Switzerland’s capital city, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it also offers some of its finest hospitality to visitors. Whether you stay at the sophisticated Bellevue Palace or look over Bern’s rooftops at the Hotel Kreuz, we’ve got suggestions for all kinds of hotels to stay at in this beautiful old-world city.
The Hotel Bellevue Palace has been open since 1913 | Courtesy of Switzerland Tourism
Right in the center of the city is the Bellevue Palace, a five star hotel that is one of Bern’s grand dames. There are stunning views from the river-facing rooms, which are decorated in a classic / contemporary style. The hotel also has a cozy bar indoors that is moved outdoors as soon as the weather gets warmer onto a big terrace that overlooks the river Aare and even has a faraway view of the Alps. The hotel has also featured in John le Carré’s spy novels.
The Hotel Kreuz, originally founded by a pastor, is a townhouse-hotel just minutes from the railway station and the Parliament building. Rooms aren’t going to win any design awards, but they are contemporary, spacious and well-equipped. Head higher for great views over the city. There’s a small gym, free wifi and a restaurant, but for guests venturing further afield, the hotel has easy access to a supermarket (right alongside on the block) and the shopping streets are also quite close. In the winter, the Christmas market is located right around the corner.
The Hotel Schweizerhof has been around for over 150 years, and in this time it has been host to the likes of Grace Kelly and Peter Ustinov. The interiors of the hotel are glamorous and beautiful, with gleaming tiled floors and plush, large suite rooms. The hotel also has a spa which offers a sauna, hammam facilities, fitness and treatment rooms. Additionally, among the hotel’s famed restaurants is the Sky Terrace, open in the summer for a mezze-esque, rooftop dining experience on accompanied by expertly mixed cocktails.
A small, charming hotel in the Old Town of Bern, Hotel Nydeck is a good place for someone seeking an atmospheric hotel without paying luxury prices. The rooms are small and modern, and well-furnished with a mixture of antique-style furnishing and contemporary touches. The ambience is quiet and refined without feeling overly formal and the hotel has a cute and simple Italian restaurant. The central location is also close to some of Bern’s best eateries and bars, and just a few minutes from the main sights and the river.
Hotel Goldener Schlüssel
Located in a quiet street in the center of Bern, the Hotel Goldener Schlüssel (Golden Key) is a traditional townhouse with modern rooms and small bathrooms. It has a delicious and varied breakfast buffet and a restaurant. The staff are extremely friendly and willing to help, and often loan out bicycles for visiting the city, and the hotel often also gives a free ticket for public transportation within the city that is valid for the duration of your stay.
The Schloss Hünigen (The Castle) is an idyllic little castle surrounded by parkland, old trees and stunning rose gardens 20km outside of Bern. The castle rooms have all been recently renovated (as of 2009) and are cosy and well-furnished in a surprisingly contemporary style. The elegant grounds lend themselves to all sorts of events and the castle pavilion is the perfect place to hosts a big meeting or party.
Right by the bridge and opposite the bear-pit is the Hotel Landhaus, a family-friendly and quaint hotel housed in a historic building. Run by a young couple, the hotel has a trendy, minimalist vibe, with modern, functional rooms and dormitories. There’s a local bar on the site that has a lot of buzz in the evening and breakfastis home-made and plentiful. Stay here for the perfectly located hotel and a welcoming, home-like atmosphere.
On the outskirts of Bern is Wabern, where the Gasthof Maygut is located. This is the perfect choice for travellers who want to be out of the city but within easy reach of the centre. The house is a traditional Bernese design – perfect for those picture-postcard Swiss snaps. Rooms are small but well-aired and furnished, with all the necessary amenities. The hotel also offers breakfast in their small, sunny restaurant, There’s a homey, welcoming atmosphere throughout and very Swiss feel (complete with the occasional fondue night).
A small guesthouse a little bit outside Bern, the Gasthof Bären Ranflüh is a typical guesthouse traditional of the Emmental area. The rooms in the hotel are very spacious and light-wood panelled, like most Alpine houses, with large, modern bathrooms. The location of the village is very charming and an escape away from the urban spaces of Bern. Whilst it may not be the most convenient for viewing the city, it’s a lovely place to stay and de-stress.
In close proximity to Bern is the Hotel Alpenblick Ferenberg, which, true to its name, has breathtaking views of the Alps from its windows. The rooms are cozy but spacious and invitingly lit with plenty of Alpine style. The restaurant is again decorated like a mountain chalet, with lovely views over the Alpsand delicious home-made and fresh food. The restaurant is a local favourite, and whilst being off the beaten track, it has a wide variety of dishes and large portions.