I stayed here for a week during a ski trip. My private room with en suite private shower-room had twin single beds pushed together and a pull out trundle underneath, so it could have held up to three people. I was alone so I had it all to myself, and it was better than many 1-2 star hotels I've stayed at around Europe. There were two secure (lockable) lockers in the room to hold valuables -- put 2 Francs in to use them and the money is returned each time you open the locker.
The hostel is part of the international HI/YHA network and its high standards reflected this. There's a main chalet-style building with some rooms, as well as the living rooms, some with easy chairs and others with tables, where people gather for meals. One of which has a cosy open fireplace. Everyone was very friendly and I was welcomed by other groups to join them for dinner on several evenings. The dinners (12 Swiss Francs extra per 3-course meal, which is cheaper than a hamburger in town) are traditional Swiss fare, such as fondue and traditional bakes. They're home cooked and fairly simple, but quite filling. Far nicer than living on fast food.
The second building is a newish, three story annexe close to the main building. This is where the en suite rooms are. It has a storage room for sporting equipment such as skis, boots and poles so that you don't have this gear cluttering up your bedroom.
There were no TVs in the rooms, but if you take a laptop with a TV card you should pick up 2 Swiss TV channels even without connecting to the aerial jack in the room. But who needs TV. Look out the window at the most spectacular views! I was on the ground floor but the view was stupendous. The dining rooms also had a great view.
The only slight negatives I can think of (and they're hardly worth mentioning):
(1) there is a single internet computer in the main building which is run by an outside company. I think it was 5 Swiss Francs an hour, but it was out of order for a few days while I was there and the hostel just had to wait till the operator came to fix it, and the YHA couldn't let guests use other computers to check email. It would be better if the YHA had its own public-access computer, or better still a free wireless network in the main building!
(2) it's a bit of a hike up the hill from the centre of Grindelwald -- about 15 minutes brisk walk. That said, it's only 10 mins or less to meander down the very pretty mountain path from the hostel's back door to close to the centre of town (a walk definitely worth doing!). Many expensive chalets are located nearby and at comparable distances from town in other directions, so for the price it's an excellent location. Buses run past the door every half-hour or so and are only 5 minutes down to the little 'bus station' (more like a big parking place) near the railway station in the centre of town.
When you check-in at the YHA, you'll be given a red visitor card. This entitles you to free travel on the buses and also a discount to use the sports centre next to the bus station. Ice skating is 2 Francs with this card, and swimming is (I think) 2.50 Francs. It's amazing value!
Finally, the friendliness of the staff should definitely be noted. They really went out of their way to help and to care when something went wrong (eg. if someone had a bad day skiing), to make sure people had the sorts of rooms they wanted, and to make sure everyone felt welcome. I’ve stayed at some excellent Youth Hostels in the past. This was on par with the best!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Best of the Alps - have fun in the Grindelwald youth hostel! It is undoubtedly one of the most comfortable hostels in the Alps. The welcoming cosiness has remained, but modern bedrooms and practical facilities for groups and families have now been added. More than ever before, the youth hostel is a rendezvous for sport fans and young guests from all over the world who want to experience the impressive world of the mountains around Grindelwald. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Jugendherberge Grindelwald Hotel Grindelwald