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“Friendly, clean, conservative”

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Sunstar Alpine Hotel Flims
Ranked #10 of 16 Hotels in Flims
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 9, 2010

Stayed here in early March with a ski group of about ten, for a long weekend.
It's a pretty hotel, painted white, vaguely chalet-style, on about four or five floors, situated in the little village of Flims-Waldhaus. Crucially, it's about ten minutes walk uphill from the ski lift in Flims - not a trek you'd want to do in ski boots. There's a hotel shuttle bus down to the lift, driven by an exceptionally grumpy Swiss man who doesn't speak English. It starts running from about 8.30 but only takes about 12 people so you need to get out there early if you want to be one of the first on the lifts (which start at 8.30). It is meant to do the return journey every 10 minutes in the afternoon, but we had to wait for 40 freezing minutes one afternoon because the driver had gone off to do something else... If you want to go out in the evening to Flims or Laax, you'll have to get a taxi - I dread to think how much that would cost.

The general vibe is quite conservative and seemed targeted at the locals (Swiss, some Germans) - one way you could tell is that most of the signs and literature (eg the list of spa services) were in German only. Having said that, all the staff except the bus driver spoke good English and were very welcoming to our group.

The public areas are comfortable and pleasant without being special: a cross between corporate and traditional design. This is not a hip boutique hotel, nor a cosy chalet with an open fire! My only complaints about layout were that 1) I couldn't see anywhere you could sit outside in summer or on sunny winter afternoons- I suspect because the back of the hotel faced east and 2), there was only one small lift which led directly into the lounge, but did not go all the way downstairs to the wellness centre. So you had a constant stream of people in bathrobes trailing through the lounge to get to the sauna.

The hotel's meant to have an excellent reputation for food, but I don't think it was quite deserving of that reputation. Dinner was fine: a set four course traditional menu each night, with three options for the main course - one night we had a salad, followed by a strange soup buffet (including a cold pink soup that looked like cherry yoghurt), some steamed pike-perch with roast potatoes, and a very good plum strudel with creme anglaise. What let it down a bit for me was the tinned stuff that cropped up: tinned sweetcorn on the salad buffet, tinned peaches at breakfast, for example; and also breakfast in general. I have never ever been to a ski hotel anywhere which doesn't offer porridge for breakfast - very strange, and the so called 5 minute boiled eggs were hard as rock. The service was friendly but very slow, which was hard to understand given the restaurant wasn't even half full when we ate there. I also thought it was very cheeky that the hotel tried to charge us CHF 19 a head for a thrown together platter of cold cheese and meats on our first night (we arrived slightly after assigned hours for dinner), despite the fact we'd paid for half board. I thought it was also a bit cheeky to charge an extra CHF6 for afternoon tea - most four star ski hotels and chalets I've been to include this in half board.

There's weekly programme of activities.... on Saturdays it's a man playing cheesy music on an electric piano, with a small dancefloor in the middle of the lounge where a couple of older couples were dancing very sedately. There's also a blackjack cards night, and a fabulous torchlit walk through the nearby woods, led by one of the hotel staff who tells you all about the geology of the region. We thought it was very Lion Witch and the Wardrobe! There's a small, quiet bar with a friendly Swiss barman who speaks excellent English - good for pre dinner drinks but not an apres ski venue in its own right.

My room was fine, if a little oddly shaped: spotlessly clean, with the usual wooden furniture and fittings you get in ski hotels. As common in Austria and Switzerland, the double bed was actually two twins pushed together, with separate duvets and sheets.
There was a TV which I didn't try, and a minibar, which I also didn't try although I later seriously regretted it, because one of our group told me on the way home that it was that Silver Unicorn of hotel minibars, a minibar whose contents were completely free and restocked every evening (can this be true???) The bathroom was small and clean. It had a nice deep bathtub with a shower attachment over it. Towels weren't exactly fluffy, but they got you dry OK. Only basic bathroom amenities are provided: you'll need to bring all your own stuff.

Finally, there's a small wellness centre in the basement, split over two floors. There's a mixed gender sauna, a small plunge pool, a tepidarium type room, a small fitness room with a few weights and an exercise bike that wasn't plugged in anywhere. Because space is so cramped, there's no locker room, so people tended to go down to the wellness centre already in bathrobes, which meant trekking through the hotel like that.... If you want massages, the hotel can call in two masseurs by appointment. The prices, for Switzerland, are actually pretty reasonable although decoding the list of treatments in German was challenging.

I'd definitely recommend the Sunstar to older couples and groups who are happy to stay in the hotel in the evenings and aren't bothered about apres ski and going out on the town. Personally I found it a bit frustrating, having to wait for the shuttle bus to go back, dump my skis, and go back to look round town or go into Laax for the evening - I would probably try out one of the hotels in the centre of Flims or Laax near the lifts if I went back, where there's a bit more action.

Stayed: March 2010
1  Thank blonde222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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37 - 43 of 104 reviews

Reviewed August 3, 2009

This hotel has had his best days and definately needs renovation in order to keep 4*. We had a very old room in the roof top with too small beds for my 1.90m tall husband. The staff was friendly and the breakfast ok.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
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    • Rooms
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Thank Laemmli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2007

Prior to 2004 (and starting in 1998), my wife and I had 6 sensational holidays here under the previous hotel proprietor. She created a holiday paradise, surrounded by a warm, caring , friendly staff - the whole atmosphere in the hotel radiated friendliness and joie de vivre. Entertainers of national and international renown would perform at the hotel in the evenings - all arranged through the proprietor's enviable list of contacts. On a personal level, my wife - who is diabetic and never in the best of health - was given a level of attention which almost defied description, even allowing for the excellent standards of service for which so many Swiss hotels are rightly renowned. We thought we had found a place we would go to for 20 years or more, it was so idyllic - and that's before taking into account the wonderful location in the pine forest just a few minutes' walk from the magical Caumasee.

Imagine our horror then to discover in July 2004 that a new proprietor had taken over and within a matter of weeks had utterly destroyed the harmony within the hotel. Loyal staff who had been there 7 years or more were mysteriously sacked, the beautiful carnations which always adorned the front of the hotel disappeared, we were suddenly charged for iced tap water (!) at dinner, the Swiss National Anthem was no longer played during the 1st August (National Day) celebrations, the entertainers introduced by the previous proprietor stopped playing at the hotel. The atmosphere was now cold and unfriendly; whereas the previous proprietor would visit every table during dinner and chat to guests, the new person would hide away in her office.

We were so infuriated to be charged for tap water that on returning home to London, we decided to cancel the provisional booking we had already made for 2005. the new proprietor's reaction to this was to panic and she sent us a 20 Swiss franc banknote through the post, as re-imbursement for the tap water charge. I think this was because I had written to her a letter along the lines "You may have gained 20 francs but you've lost 2000 (due to the cancelled booking), is this good business sense?"

20 francs could not buy back our contentment. We have not been back to the hotel since; we would rather preserve our wonderful memories of the previous era at the hotel. It is quite amazing that a change of proprietor (ONE person) can have such a dramatic - indeed devastating - effect on the morale of the staff and general atmosphere within a hotel. How sad.

Stayed: July 2004
5  Thank MichaelLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2017
Google Translation

Room Tip: alle Zimmer bieten eine schöne Aussicht
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  • Stayed: September 2017, traveled on business
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Thank 212aureliob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2017
Google Translation

  • Stayed: September 2017, traveled as a couple
    • Service
Thank Patrick B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2017
Google Translation

  • Stayed: August 2017, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Thank François C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2017
Google Translation

Room Tip: Egal welches Zimmer man hat, sie sind alle sehr ruhig !
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  • Stayed: September 2016, traveled with friends
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1  Thank golfprofi2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sunstar Alpine Hotel Flims

Address: Rudi Dado 8, Flims 7018, Switzerland
Phone Number:
Location: Switzerland > Swiss Alps > Canton of Graubunden > Flims
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 16 Hotels in Flims
Price Range: $160 - $375 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sunstar Alpine Hotel Flims 4*
Number of rooms: 81
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Sunstar Alpine Hotel Flims, in an idyllic, peaceful location on the edge of the forest, is within walking distance of the popular Lake Cauma. First built over 100 years ago, and with a Jugendstil facade, the hotel blends perfectly into its beautiful setting. The interior is decorated in typical cosy Graubunden style, with lots of warm wood, tastefully enhanced by some Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) features. The comfortable rooms vary in size and have views in different directions, with those in certain categories having a balcony. Tasty treats are served in the half-board restaurant, at the bar and, in summer, on the sunshine terrace. You can enjoy fondue and other Swiss specialities in the homely "Carigiet-Stubli". For soothing relaxation, there's a small but stylish spa area: try the leisure pool with its bubble bench, massage jets and waterfall, or the sauna or steam bath. The rest room with its heated benches (tepidarium) is another perfect place to relax. To keep you fit, there's even a little weights room. In the varied scenery of the Flims, Laax and Falera region, there are all kinds of different activities to enhance your relaxing stay in our hotel. ... more   less 
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