Myself, and 2 friends stayed here for 5 nights in July. We chose to stay in the tent village, instead of the main hostel (in a shared 6 person tent) because of the unbelievably low price (approx. 25$ CAD per night per person). We were a little wary of the reviews, but were very pleseantly surprised when we arrived! The tent village is situated with shared dorm tents (which we stayed in) which house 6 people, and private tent motels, grouped in a sort of semi circle, with the main community tent in the middle.
The "tent" was on a wooden platform with canvas walls with a large screened in window and 3 sets of bunk beds, The bed wasn't the most comfortable, but we were provided with everything we needed for it, clean sheets, pillow,and plenty of blankets for those cold Swiss nights at no extra charge. The tents are co-ed (though later the reception told us we could have requested all female), and generally, people are very respectful of your privacy and will at least ask to come in before entering (at least that was our experience with the awesome roomates we met). The showers are communal (so be prepared for that) but both the toilets and the showers were cleaned daily. The tent village is on the outskirst of Interlaken, near a field, and you honestly cannot beat the view of the mountains you get waking up every morning.
The community tent had a fridge, some tables to gather around, couches and a computer if you need to use it (though we walked to the main hostel office, about 15 minutes away, to use one of theirs for free if we needed to). The tent village is situated right in front of a small mall with some grocery stores as well as a gas station with some food, so it was very easy to find something to eat for cheap (as everything in switzerland seems to be 2-3 times the price). The tent village also had a barbeque to use, a hot tub, and would run different events both at the tent village and the main hostel.
If you wanted to book different activities, the hostel office was super accomodating and helped you do that through their partners (parasailing, rafting, canyoning) though we opted to use the free bus pas the hostel gives you (super useful!!) and bus to both lake Bern and lake Thun to swim, which was free. It was also a 10 minute talk to the nearest train station that would bring you up the mountains for hiking, as well as a short bus ride away from both Station Ost and West (from there you can train to Zurich and Geneva)
Overall, the three of us found it was the ideal place to build a sense of community (especially if you are there for longer than a few days like we were) as people would usually share a beer and a chat when it got dark out. One tip though: I absolutely do not recommend the tent village for young families or parents with babies. Especially as its canvas tents, so sound travels and I saw the parents getting annoyed when people were loud for their child's bed time, and people equally annoyed at them when the child woke up crying at 4 am. This community would suit friends and young adults travelling together best. Be aware of the noise level though, so be prepared and bring earplugs!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Balmer's Hostel. We are the first established private hostel in Switzerland, providing a comfortable and friendly location from which to explore the adventure capital of Europe. The Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau (Swiss Alps) at our doorstep and two big glacier fed lakes are just a stones throw away. We have dormitories, private rooms, apartments and tents. Rated Top 10 hostels of Europe, a product of over 60 years of experience.We are the heart of all hostels. We strive to bring fun and memorable experiences to our guests so come push your boundaries and party in our Club with us! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Balmer`s Herberge Hotel Matten
- Balmer's Hostel Interlaken/Matten Bei Interlaken