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“Pleased it was only 1 night” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel & Backpacker Schwanen

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Hotel & Backpacker Schwanen
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Charregass 5, Stein am Rhein 8260, Switzerland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Stein am Rhein
Manchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Pleased it was only 1 night”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2011

Booked 2 en suite rooms for the last night of our back packing packing holiday and were stunned to find a bath in both rooms had a bath but no toilet! We booked the rooms as we wanted our own toilet so the children wouldn't have to leave the room in the night. The place was full due to a music festival in town so the place was noisy but I think everywhere in town was. The staff were busy so just gave us the information we needed before before helping out other guests. Communal spaces were clean, the breakfast was OK and there was a balcony for smokers. Alright for a night or 2 but wouldn't want to stay longer.

Room Tip: Don't waste money on an en suite.
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  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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14 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Valais, Switzerland
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2009

Where do we even begin to describe our nightmare of a stay here?! The Schwanen is more of a hostel than a proper hotel, it's apparently a 600-year old historic bldg (according to the proprietor) & its age really shows!! The whole place looked rather grimy & dilapidated with old, worn-out furnishings & fittings; if we try to put a positive spin on it, we could say it had a quirky "shabby chic" kinda charm...

We stayed in a 5-bed dorm on the 3rd floor, it was very cramped & spartan with 2 bunk beds + 1 single bed, 2 flimsy chairs & 4 small lockers (we could barely squeeze in our backpacks). The beds had thin mattresses that were very uncomfortable to sleep in & there were no sheets nor towels provided. We had to pay extra for the bed linen which were badly crumpled & had a foul smell... We had stayed in a few other hostels before this and they had all provided us with clean, freshly laundered sheets & towels, so our experience @ the Schwanen was a huge disappointment.

As mentioned before, this hostel is a very old bldg & thus, the stairs & floorboards are very creaky!! We could hear footsteps 'storming' up & down the stairs and across the floors both above and below our dorm ~ the noise didn't disturb us that much (the hostel had very few guests during the low season) but it was still rather distracting... There were also oddly-positioned beams jutting out from the walls, ceilings & even the floor (be careful not to trip over them), most bizarre indeed...

The communal bathrooms & toilets were just across the hallway, opposite our dorm. These were relatively clean & functional but the shower cubicles were very small with barely room to turn around (i'm by no means a big gal, just a petite 5-footer under 100 pounds) and the water pressure wasn't strong enough for a good shower.

The breakfast buffet table was pathetic: a loaf of cold hard bread; a block of tasteless hard cheese; a bowl of cereals; a bowl of yogurt, coffee/tea & juice. The bland, unappetizing food & the limited choice were less than satisfactory.

The whole place seemed to be run solely by the proprietors (a husband & wife team) with no other staff so the housekeeping standards here were kept to a bare minimum. They made all guests wear these clumsy plastic clogs in an effort to keep the premises clean but even then, you could tell the place hasn't been properly cleaned in a while...

The Schwanen has the potential to be a quality hostel & perhaps in the right hands, even a charming boutique hotel BUT the owners really need to invest some money & extra manpower into the proper maintenance & housekeeping of this historic bldg.

The only saving grace of the Schwanen is its location, the atmospheric old town of Stein Am Rhein is just across the bridge on the other side of the river, a quick 3-minute stroll away. The train station is slightly farther away, about 10-15 minutes on foot.

Be sure to check beforehand that the proprietors are available to check you in @ your estimated arrival time as they are not always on site. On our last day after we have checked out, we encountered a poor traveller lugging her bags all the way from the train station, only to be locked out of the hostel as nobody was around to let her in & she was left standing there @ the entrance, waiting haplessly for the proprietors to turn up...

The main reason for our visit was to admire the many charming medieval bldgs with their richly decorated facades & in this aspect, Stein Am Rhein did not disappoint us ~ it truly has one of the Most Beautiful Old Towns in Switzerland. Do take note that this town has practically no nightlife & it can get unbearably boring @ the hostel with no entertainment...

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bakersville, North Carolina
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2009

After a busy day travelling about northern Switzerland, our stay at die Schwanen was just what we needed. The hotel was convenient to the rail station and there is a kebab shop just across the street. The hotel structure is old and quaint, but has all the modern conveniences, although the toilet was not en suite. The beds were comfortable and there was a nice bath tub in the hotel room. Breakfast was excellent, and fresh sausages, bread, and yoghurt were provided. The hotel is one street over from the Rhein, and Stein-am-Rhien town center is less than a five minute walk, and is very picturesque and highly recommended.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2007

This hotel is located 2 minutes walk from an extremely charming, childhood storybookish village square. Probably one of the most charming village squares I've ever seen in my life. But with charm comes expensive everything, including these accomodations. I booked a night at this place as part of a two week trek in 3 different European countries. In my quest for accomodation, I was specifically looking for en suite bath/toilet facilities. I made the mistake of assuming that if a room has a bath/shower and sink in it, it must also have a toilet, too, right? Wrong. If you like to wake up at 4am having to urinate, trapsing into the hallway in your pj's, no bra, and a motion detecting hall light beaming into your eyes to get to a toilet, then by all means, stay here. Also, if you like the Nazi concentration camp style breakfast consisting of two pieces of bread and one cup of coffee, stay here. Because this is what you get for $100 US. This was the most stingy breakfast offered of the 8 accomodations we stayed at during our trek across Europe. The names of our rooms were "Tissot" and I believe only one room in the entire hotel has ensuite toilet.

Positives: The proprietor was friendly, the hotel immaculately clean, the rooms bright and cheery and comfy beds.

If I knew someone who really wanted to stay in this town, I'd recommend it. Otherwise, I'd recommend staying somewhere less pricey, and just pass thru Stein am Rhein and spend a couple hours browsing the town square. That's all that's needed to experience this place.

  • Liked — Charm
  • Disliked — Toilets in hall, stingy breakfast, expensive
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2007

We stayed in this small hotel while in Stein am Rhein visiting old friends in August 2007. In our many trips to this beautiful riverside Swiss village we have always been able to stay in our friends home, but this trip (due to an illness in our friend’s family) we rather suddenly found ourselves in search of a hotel. Hotel Schwanen was recommended as an expensive, clean, friendly place to stay. After reading the previous comments on Trip Advisor we decided to give it a try and we were not disappointed. We booked a “family room” for two adults and two children via their web site. Much to our pleasure - on our arrival we were provided a huge room on the third floor with one double bed and three single beds and plenty of room to spare. The very clean W.C. (toilet) and shower were just down the hall. The managers were very friendly and very helpful. Breakfast was basic, but adequate; however no other meals were available. Drinks were available from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. in the small cheery, sunny bar that also doubles as the reception room. The hotel is located along the main street leading into the village, so traffic was a little noisy into the late evening and early morning hours…but, the whole family still slept well each of the five nights of our stay. Hotel Schwanen will be our hotel of choice for future trips to Stein am Rhein.

  • Liked — the location
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worcester, United Kingdom
18 reviews 18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2007

Stopped here for 1 night on a cycle tour of lake Constance. Even though it was July we were able to get a room without pre-booking. The hotel has dorm style rooms for younger visitors or backpackers as
well as private double rooms with en-suite washing facilities (these cost a bit extra but all are good value compared with the options in the town). The bedroom was fairly basic but extremely spacious and brightly painted. There is a separate dining room for large groups and even though there was a group of young children staying while we were there, we were never bothered by noise. Breakfast was included in the price and consisted of fresh bread, jams and tea or coffee. The bar and lounge areas offer a really cosy atmosphere where you can sit and admire the amazing view of the old town, enjoy some local beer/wine and read magazines. There is a no shoes policy once you enter the accommodation area but slippers are provided! This hotel is very close to the centre of Stein and the train station, if you have bikes there is a locked garage which you can store them in. There is also a laundry room and internet access for use by guests. The friendly, outgoing manager of this hotel really helped to make our stay memorable and he seems to speak every European language!

  • Liked — The friendly atmosphere
  • Disliked — Shared toilet facilities
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel & Backpacker Schwanen

Address: Charregass 5, Stein am Rhein 8260, Switzerland
Location: Switzerland > Canton of Schaffhausen > Stein am Rhein
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Stein am Rhein
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Swan, is on the quiet side of the river Rhine, nevertheless centrally situated in the 1000 year old small town of Stein am Rhein. The famous medieval Rathausplatz is only 2 minutes walk away. Stein has the most photogenic square in Switzerland with it's splendid facades and murals on the buildings. The bank, supermarket, post office, boat station, railway station are all within 2 or 3 minutes walking distance .We call ourselves the Hotel to suit every Pocket. Whether you are cycling around Lake Constance, discovering Switzerland by train and boat, touring with the family or travelling as a group, you'll find you'll feel at home at 'The Swan' ... more   less 

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