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“Try the Budget-Friendly Tent Motel!”
Review of Balmer's Hostel

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Balmer's Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
Niagara-on-the-Lake
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Try the Budget-Friendly Tent Motel!”
Reviewed September 26, 2011

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!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Juliedani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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322 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
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English first
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
66 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2011

The Hostel is within easy reach of the rail station and has a great staff. The rooms are a little small, especially with 6 beds, but one really misses electricity sockets especially with phones and cameras to charge these days. I only stayed for the night, and the pub was a good place to grab a quick night back.

My only disappointment was the breakfast. It was just a piece of bread and some butter/cheese which really leaves you wanting more before a long day of hiking/sports. Some work here and the Herberge will continue to be the place to stay in Interlaken.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank prabh1602
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warsaw, Poland
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2011

The hostel is nicely located, within 15 min walk from both West and Ost station. After check-in you get free bus tickets. Room was cosy, but bathrooms were in bad condition and walls were paper-thin. Taking shower was a kind of bad to terrible experience, but, on the other hand, staying in a really old wooden hostel as well as reasonable price, gives some reward. Staff was helpful in general, breakfasts were rather small and monotonous. Nice common rooms with hammocks, pianos, TV and coaches.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Joan1024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
47 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2011

I did the backpackers thing years ago and havent' really stayed in a hostel since. BUT, when you start pricing out things in Interlaken I quickly changed my tune and was looking at all my options. At first the idea of staying at a hostel, in their tent cabins, scared me but after doing some research here it seemed like a great compromise of budget and comfort.

We booked a private tent for 2 and loved it. Yes, it gets cold at night - embrace it, the blankets were plenty warm enough. The tents themselves had a light and a power strip to charge any electronics which was a major plus. The overall tent village was very clean and organized when we arrived on a slow day but I could see it quickly getting messy as the camp fills up. The hot tub and hammocks were a really nice addition - we ended up spending a whole afternoon chilling there looking at the beautiful mountains around us.

PROs:
-Affordable
-Relatively Clean/Well Maintained
-Good Social Enviornment
-Safe - tents lock and lockers were provided

CONs:
-Location to town (although walkable to Wilderwils for the train towards Lauterbrunnen/Grindelwald)
-Warm water in the showes did run out on us
-No reception desk at the desk; we'd see the guy running it but there wasn't any consistency. -We had phone so could call the main Baumer's desk if we had questions but I could see that being a huge pain

Room Tip: Private tents were definitely worth it!
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TheCaliTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Snowmass Village, Colorado
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2011

To start off we had a little trouble booking on HostelWorld.com as it was a very busy festival weekend. We stayed for 3 nights and had to change rooms each night. The first and third night were in a shared 6-person tent which proved a little smelly, and the second night was in a private tent which was very cool. I would pay the extra for the private tent if you are staying in the tent village. The tent village (a little less than a mile walk away) does offer a hot tub, table soccer, and slightly cheaper prices than the main hostel but still full access to the main hostel. The main hostel offers cheapish food, friendly atmosphere, free wifi, a club, really comfy beds, life-size chess board, and eclectic environment. Balmer's is really one of my favorite hostels in Europe and I would definitely recommend staying here again and again.

Room Tip: Private room if on a couple trip
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank AJGilbert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2011

Impersonal backpacker processing facility. Reserved a private room for 3 nights, but upon arrival we were told that each night would be in different rooms. No apologies, no attempt to even make the room transition easy. The sense was that due to the high numbers of people coming through reception, anything outside the normal procedure was a difficulty. Poor value for money. A lively place for sure.

Room Tip: Call ahead and make sure you won't have to move rooms!
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PuertoMadero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ahmedabad
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2011

All the basic things a Hostel has ....
Plus
It has a mini disco and pub downstairs....It was quite crowded by the time we went there...
Very clean and fully equipped kitchennette..
if interested for some sports, its all arranged there with a pick-up from Hostel itself. We went for paragliding and enjoyed it.
Quite cosy interiors (the common ones).
Best Hostel till now... and a lot better than many Hotels...

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SpotYatrik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Balmer's Hostel

Property: Balmer's Hostel
Address: Hauptstrasse 23 - 33, Matten bei Interlaken, Interlaken 3800, Switzerland
Phone Number:
Location: Switzerland > Canton of Bern > Bernese Oberland > Interlaken > Matten bei Interlaken
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Matten bei Interlaken
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:1 star — Balmer's Hostel 1*
Number of rooms: 50
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

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