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“This is a hotel to visit not to stay” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Grandhotel Giessbach

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Grandhotel Giessbach
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Axalpstrasse, Giessbach, Brienz 3855, Switzerland   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Giessbach
Beaconsfield, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“This is a hotel to visit not to stay”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2011

As a fan of Band of Brothers we were keen to visit this beautiful location; albeit described as in Austria in the movie. As previous reviews state this is one of the most stunning locations you could ever visit , it is truly breathtaking scenery.

However, this is a hotel to visit as a day visitor only. When we arrived by car at mid day the huge outdoor terrace and the large inside restaurants were packed to the gunnels, with trippers who had arrived by boat. There must have been 500 people having what appeared to be a hearty lunch. This is clearly how the hotel makes its real money. The hotel as such is not a priority to the owners.

The girl at reception looked like she had been pulled through a hedge backwards and could hardly speak English. We had to drag our bags from the car-park using a small trolley, up to the smelly and dingy third floor. As the hotel was booked we were only able to get a waterfall view. Impressive of course but very noisy indeed. The bio-pool was green on the bottom and had moss floating on top. Needless to say on this boiling hot day, no one was in the pool! This is NOT normal for a bio pool, it was just dirty and not taken care of.
Avoid drinking gin and tonic on the terrace once all the day trippers have gone home and you want to kick back and enjoy the view. Very stupidly we did not check the price on the 'Carte' and were presented with a bill for 64 francs (completely unjustifiable where ever the location). We were told the gourmet restaurant was full when we arrived but noticed there were only 10 people in there when we went to the 'other' restaurant for dinner. Clearly we were being shepherded to where they wanted us to eat, The food we were served as inedible - school dinners food at a price of 45 francs for the entree. The waiter hurried us from the minute we sat down. When two full coaches arrived as we pushed the dried up food around our plates, the penny dropped! This is a mass catering location, for day trippers or corporate events in the evening - NOT a hotel caring for independent travelers.

I can honestly say I have never been so upset and let down by any hotel stay in my life. Mu husband and I travel extensively, are not stuck up, do appreciate that any business can have its ups and downs but this was something else. We were duped and taken for fools. I did not hand in the customer satisfaction form which was left in our room as clearly firms who say one thing and do the other are not really interested in learning the truth. If they did care they would not serve up slop (covered of course in very shining covers and taken off as if one were at The Ritz). Some show and no substance.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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194 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
East Switzerland
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2011

We spent one week-end in Grand Hotel Giessbach in Brienz in a Romantic room on the 3rd floor with full lake view. We wanted to go to this hotel for a long time and waited for the best weather. Hotel was fully booked the week before, but we called again on Friday morning and a miracle happened: a reservation was cancelled 10 min ago!
The location of the hotel is really spectacular: you see the whole turquis lake of Brienz and the Bern Alps in the background. The waterfall near the hotel is gorgeous and sleeping to the sound of the waterfall is very relaxing. The hotel has been saved from destruction 30 years ago by a foundation and has been carefully renovated as it was at the end of the 19th century with all modern comfort. Good quality pictures have been lent from the Museum of Bern in the Grand Salons of the Bel Etage. We ate at the Restaurant les Cascades (gastronomic restaurant Le tapis rouge was fully booked) also at the Restaurant les Cascades, do not forget to book a table before 2pm in summer! Both atmosphere and food were good. Our room was quite small (Romantik) but the view compensated for the lack of space. Do not miss the swimming pool of the hotel (not heated, which means 19°-20°C is usually the temperature!): it's just wonderful. No chemical elements but bio cleaning system with natural stone and swamp plant on the border. We spent delicious time there admiring the lake and the hotel after a refreshing bath.
Do not expect at Grand Hotel Giessbach a 5* luxury hotel but be ready to enjoy an incredible historical flash back and a very relaxing stay far away from 21th century world.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Zurich, Switzerland
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2011

I thought the hotel was superb. The hotel itself looks like a fairytale castle set in the most beautiful almost dream like setting!. We booked the romantic room. It was a bit small but nice and comfortable with a gorgeous view of the waterfalls.
I really enjoyed the stay and hope to come back some day soon!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2011

My husband and I have been to many different countries and both agree that this might be the most serene and breathtakingly beautiful place we have ever stayed. The history of the hotel and it's natural beauty, ahhh. Perfect place to go to relax! We stayed in the Giessbach Suite, which we would highly recommend, had dinner on our balcony just as the sunset. It really doesn't get much better!

The staff was wonderful, especially Therry, many thanks go out to him for helping us with the language barrier.

Excellent Breakfast.

We will definitely be back. Maybe in the winter with a group of friends.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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founex
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2011

The website speaks by itself: a XIX century hotel, with an incredible view on the lake, next to the waterfall; the Bellevue rooms are fantastic, extremely romantic. The staff is very professional. The hotel is connected to the lake by a train funiculaire which looks like a time trip. To be honest this is one of the most marvelous hotel we have ever been.
Tow negative points: the quality of the restaurant does not justify the prices; dogs are allowed (and that was a key point for us) but not in the restaurant, which means either you have to leave the dog in the room with the risk that it barks and annoys other clients, or eat in the room, which is not exactly what you would like to do in such an hotel. They should choose definitely between accepting dogs everywhere or refusing them: the current policy is not satisfying for anyone.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Pune, India
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
143 helpful votes 143 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2011

The Grand Hotel Giessbach, Brienz is a place where one treads only in dreams..... Literally, that's how we all felt after experiencing such a beautiful, unimaginable location!

It is a 200 yrs old royal property with its own charming cog-wheel train which brings you up/ takes you down from the boat-station. You can also reach here by using their complimentary bus pick-up service from the train station at Brienz, at specific hours.

A roaring waterfall is located on one side & the pretty Lake Brienz is on the other side of Giessbach! What a fantastic location & a view will be etched in our memories forever!
The rooms are regal & the restaurants & cafe make a pretty picture.

Giessbach feels like its popped out of a fairytale book!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lucerne, Switzerland
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2011

I spent one night at Giessbach with my parents on a cold, rainy weekend in May. We had adjacent "Romantic" rooms on the first floor facing the waterfall.

We arrived by boat from Interlaken and funicular – definitely the recommended way to do it. The setting is spectacular, with the hotel perched up above the lake and dominated by the very high, thundering waterfall. Because of the weather we were not able to benefit from the terraces overlooking the lake and falls, but these must be a superb place to have a drink on a sunny day. There are numerous footpaths radiating out from the hotel into the extensive grounds, just waiting to be explored.

The interior decor of the hotel has deliberately been kept in a very old-fashioned style. The bedrooms are quite plain and simple, but very comfortable. The bathroom fittings are modern – my parents said their bath was the biggest they had ever seen, while my room had no bath but a very good shower in which it was possible to sit down. The only negative point about the room was the ridiculously small portable TV – not that I actually used it. Even with the windows and shutters closed, the noise of the waterfall was quite loud during the night – light sleepers may prefer to choose a room on the other side of the building.

We ate in the Cascades restaurant, which is the more "low-end" of the hotel's two restaurats. Superb veranda setting with views of the waterfall. My "variations on local goat's cheese" starter was excellent; the main course of calf's liver, on the other hand, was very disappointing, with overcooked meat, a very salty sauce and rather oily potato pancakes. At the end of the main course, for some reason the waiter did not offer us cheese or dessert, but jumped straight to coffee. Breakfast was very good, with a full choice of cold meats, cheese, croissants and "full English".

The whole thing is expensive of course, but as a one-off for a special occasion I would say it is worth the money.

  • Stayed May 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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 Grandhotel Giessbach

Address: Axalpstrasse, Giessbach, Brienz 3855, Switzerland
Phone Number:
Location: Switzerland > Canton of Bern > Bernese Oberland > Brienz > Giessbach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Giessbach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grandhotel Giessbach 4*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A very warm welcome, dear guests - come in, enjoy the moment, and marvel at one of the most tremendous views in Europe. Be inspired by the charm of a true Grand Hotel and experience a sense of living history in one of the best preserved hotels of its time. From the moment you set foot in the Grandhotel Giessbach, you will find yourself in a world of unique splendour and elegant sophistication. It embodies the romance and charm of glorious bygone times. Today, just as it was one hundred years ago, the historical hotel residence, by the celebrated silvery Giessbach Falls, high above Lake Brienz, is quite simply a world of its own. Surrounded by mountains, forests and alpine meadows, with a breathtaking view of the unspoiled landscapes of Lake Brienz, this hidden oasis lies far away from everyday bustle and traffic. Relish the chance to unwind in this friendly and hospitable oasis, far away from everyday hustle and bustle. We look forward to welcoming you! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grandhotel Giessbach Hotel Brienz
Grandhotel Giessbach Swiss Alps

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