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Sorell Hotel Arabelle
Ranked #17 of 30 Hotels in Bern
Reviewed October 27, 2010

Booking via www.berninfo.com, the official tourist site you can get 3 nights for the price of 2 at this hotel at weekends, making at less than £40 a night. It was clean, quiet, buffet breakfast offered good selection. Only 3 stops on bus 12 from central station or about 12 minutes walk. I had a room at the back which was very quiet. Reception staff very friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled solo
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2  Thank DalstonBill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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75 - 81 of 200 reviews

Reviewed April 16, 2010

Finding an affordable place to stay for a week in Bern was not easy! In the end, after considering the reviews here on TA, I decided on the Arabelle. I played around for a while on expedia and the hotel website and got the best deal by booking directly with the hotel for the first 3 nights and with expedia for the last 4 nights, ending up paying an average of AU $123 a night. It took a bit of figuring out to get that rate - at first I couldn't get it lower than $156 a night, but I finally found the right combination.

I arrived in Bern and followed the hotel instructions from the train station - it could not have been easier - you simply catch the No 12 tram outside the train station (going right) and its the 3rd stop - the hotel is visible from the corner of Mittlestrasse.

When I checked in I was given a tiny single room, with an even tinier bathroom, and a floor that squeaked and squealed with every footfall: it was a shocker. That first night I could not sleep at all - investigation revealed the reason - missing slats from the base of the bed, meaning that the mattress sagged in the middle. After I brought this to the receptionists attention the next day, I was moved into another room in the 2nd building - it was SO MUCH BETTER; it was 4 times the size and had a double bed with no missing slats, and a bathroom that I could turn around in. and the floor didn't squeak. I was very happy in that room - room 242 (2nd building, 4th floor, room 2). Make sure you get instructions as to where your room is: my first room (132) was on the 3rd floor (4th floor to you americans) and it took some finding the first time around.

Anyway, room 242 had a desk, with a TV (which I promptly unplugged and never used) and a phone, opening windows, an easy chair and coffee table, and two wardrobes. The shower had excellent water pressure and good hot water. Bodywash and handwash are provided in wall mounted units. Towels are not replaced if you hang them on the rack. There is no fridge which was a nuisance, but it was so cold I left things on the windowsill at night to good effect.

The room was serviced each day (one day she opened the door with no announcement and discovered me undressed after a shower: that was a pretty uncool moment = I learned to put the 'do not disturb' sign up whenever I was home.

Breakfast was pretty basic: cereals and yoghurt, a few different types of cheeses (those baby bebels and foil packs of cream cheese, and some sliced cheddar) and meats, and rolls and slice your own bread. There was a coffee machine, and a hot milk machine so you can have hot chocolate which is nice. Also two different juices, and a basket with fresh fruit (apples, oranges, some bananas one day). Certainly enough to get you going of a morning, but not lavish. And the floor in the dining room is a shocker for the squeaking - its really loud and embarrassing.

The reception staff were friendly and helpful.

Location was perfect: I bought a clipper card and caught the tram into town each day - it's not that far a walk but its a long steep hill and I certainly wouldn't attempt it with a case, and couldn't be bothered at the end of the day.

Bern was fantastic - I just loved it. I did 3 day trips (Rheinfelden, Vevey and the vineyards, and the Golden Pass trip to Montreaux and Chateau de Chillon), and spent 3 days wandering around Bern and shopping - there is excellent shopping in Bern and with the AU dollar doing so well and taxes so low there, it really was not that expensive.

Internet: I bought a 30 hour/7 days internet card from swisscom, for 45 franks. unfortunately the wireless access in both my rooms was terrible, so i used the dining room each night to upload my photos etc - it was fine there.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled solo
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4  Thank emah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2010

I arrived following a lengthy journey by train from Reading via Paris at 10:15pm on a Sunday night in the snow to find the door locked and despite following instructions was unable to gain entry until a fellow hotel guest happened to arrive back and let me in. So the main point to note is do not arrive after 10pm.

I paid 230 GBP for 3 nights and despite a reasonable continental breakfast I found the rooms to be fairly spartan and not particularly homely and so wouldn't necessarily recommend the hotel. The location was fine, close to the University and station and a 20 minute walk into the centre.

The "business centre" consisted of just one computer. Wifi was available but I'm not sure how expensive it was.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled on business
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1  Thank Ricardodesantaalbana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2009

My husband and I spent one night in this hotel. It felt a little like a college dorm room with two low twin beds, two closets, a small desk, and a small bathroom. Our room backed up onto an alley, and was a near a busy intersection and bus route. So, it was pretty noisy with the windows open, but too hot with the windows closed. So, we didn't get a great night's sleep, but all-in-all it was not bad for the price. The staff was helpful -- they recommended a good Sri Lankan restaurant right around the corner. The included breakfast buffet was reasonably good, with fresh fruit, breads and pastries, deli meats and cheese. This no-frills hotel is just up the hill from the central train station -- Bus #12 will take you within 50' of the door.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ajsmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2008

The hotel is about a 5- to 10-minute walk from the main train station, the first part of the journey being uphill. If you have heavy bags, or it is raining, you may want to take a taxi, otherwise just walk.

The hotel is OK, but nothing special. The rooms were clean, but Switzerland is expensive, so you do not get very much for your money compared to other countries. The floorboards creaked with every step, which may have been a problem for the people in the room below mine. The curtains did not do a very good job of keeping the light out.

The Reception staff were helpful when asked, but not exactly welcoming!

The breakfast was fine; pretty standard: slightly stale croissants; fruit; cereal; fresh breads and rolls; etc. The coffee was better than in many other hotels, though.

In conclusion: not great, but perfectly adequate for people who do not want to pay more.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with friends
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4  Thank JdeP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2008

I've traveled and lived in both Asia and Europe for several years and know what to expect when I book a mid-price hotel. So I was shocked at what happened when I called for help late at night at the Arabelle.
I should have known there was a problem when I saw the room was merely a white dormitory shell. The wood floor was mildew-stained and creaked with every step (very different from all the photos). There was a balcony that could have been charming, but it was spoiled by the topless juice bottle stuffed with old cigarettes floating in brown water (It was a non-smoking room). Then there was the discovery that there is no staff on duty and no emergency help available by phone after 10 pm.
On our last night, my daughter vomited all over the bathroom. It was 1 am. I called the number listed in the hotel guide and got a desk clerk at a sister property a few blocks away. All I wanted was some cleaning supples. We couldn't even use the toilet because the floor and the bowl were such a mess. The clerk suggested I scrape up the mess with toilet paper and leave my young children (one ill) alone to search the darkened hotel for paper towels and disinfectant.
I gave up on any help and tried to tackle the job with some hand sanitizer. I finally shut the bathroom door (the odor still was horrid) and left it for the poor maid.
We checked out as early as possible and the desk clerk said I should have booked a 5-star hotel if I wanted any help past 10 pm. Remember, I did not ask for a maid, just a bottle of disinfectant and paper towels to make the place habitable until morning. Apparently the staff at the Arabelle and other hotels owned by the same company believe a guest should pay several hundred dollars extra nightly for the privilege of cleaning his/her own bathroom. I also wondered what would have happened if there was a life-or-death emergency, such as a fire or a break-in.
And by the way, the location isn't good. Look instead for any one of many hotels we saw while walking in the area near the town clock.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled with family
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8  Thank racontuer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2007

While the city center is east of the main railway station, this hotel is on a hill to the west close to the university. It's only a 10 minute walk to an elevator that takes you down to the station. The location is not really central, but fine. The room I stayed at, which in fairness was one of the smaller, was really, really small. The rate was reasonable, by Swiss standards, which is why it gets a rating of 2.

Stayed: September 2007
1  Thank TechieTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sorell Hotel Arabelle

Address: Mittelstrasse 6 | 3012 Bern, Bern 3012, Switzerland
Location: Switzerland > Canton of Bern > Bern Mittelland District > Bern
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 30 Hotels in Bern
Price Range: $163 - $276 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Sorell Hotel Arabelle 3*
Number of rooms: 41
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Such an inviting atmosphere! Together with the friendly service and the central location, the arguments are simply overwhelming! An insider's tip for business travellers and tourists. The famous vaulted galleries, parliament building, bear pit, cathedral, clock tower - all attractive sights in the Bernese Old Town (UNESCO World Heritage since 1983) are a short walk or tram/bus ride from the Sorell Hotel Arabelle. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arabelle Hotel Bern

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