Picture this. A hotel with 150 years of history, once enjoyed by Grace Kelly herself and a recent two-year comprehensive renovation to bring this much-loved centrally located hotel in Bern – back into the 21st century. This was my first visit to Switzerland and while most visitors to the country usually descend on the largest city Zurich, the capital of Bern is often overlooked and it really shouldn’t be because it has such a story to tell.
Schweizerhof Bern Hotel & Spa is one of this cities leading luxury hotels and offers five-star convenience in the most centrally located area of Bern. Moments from the old quarter and opposite the main train station. It’s all about the little touches here and the impeccable service. Up very early to catch our flight we were extremely tired when we arrived, but quickly put at ease with a swift check-in service.
A quick coffee in the hotels lobby lounge was a much welcomed pick me up, before descending upstairs to our room on the fifth floor where our bags were already waiting for us.
The hotel has a total of 99 tastefully designed rooms and suites in total. We were staying in one of the deluxe rooms which offered everything we wanted from a single nights stay, and more. A large double bed, beautifully parquet flooring, writing area, bar and coffee-making facilities – plus lots of lovely treats awaiting.
Fresh fruits, complimentary water, Swiss chocolates, indulgent brownies and a lovely welcome letter. Squeezing in one more coffee to keep us awake for the afternoon we indulged on those chocolates while flicking through a catalogue of artworks.
I loved the bathroom too. Large in size, modern and with the highest quality spa products from Bvlgari. Having a choice between the huge bathtub or experience rain shower was also a nice addition. Perfect for a quick refresh or a relaxing long soak.
If the coffee and chocolates weren’t already enough to wake us up, the incredible spa facilities they have here were. The Spa offers over 500 square metres of pure and utter relaxation. A warm pamper pool, sauna, hammam – as well as fitness and treatment rooms. Robes, slippers and towels are all provided too so simply arrive and enjoy, grabbing a complimentary juice as you arrive.
We spent a long afternoon in that heavenly pool which includes two jacuzzis and two underwater massage lounges and tonifying showers. If you’re feeling brave you can also take a dip in the ice-cold plunge pool or even wash your body down with crushed-ice from our ice fountain! The experience showers were nice too. After, head to the relaxation room and close you’re eyes on one of the water beds.
One unique element to this hotel is the incredible views it offers from its Sky Terrace. A magnificent bar and restaurant which offers 360° panoramic view over the city. Light Mediterranean dishes, local favourites, cocktails galore and even shisha for when the sun sets. We enjoyed one of the daily cuts of meat for lunch and tapas with cocktails during the evening. A really spectacular place to spend breakfast, long afternoons or an early evening with friends. You don’t have to be hotel guests to enjoy this experience either.
When you arrive into Bern from the train station, the immediate area isn’t particularly fashionable or pretty – but walk just a couple of minutes out of it to the hotel and beyond then you’ll find a historic city waiting. The old city of Bern is such a beautiful place and with history covering its walls, bridges, houses and restaurants. People go swimming in the lake (which I found quite alarming but I’m told it’s safe), fondue can be found just about everywhere for us English tourists and you may even spot a bear or two while crossing the bridge. One tip I did learn in Switzerland is to look both up and down. The walls were adorned with statues and below were restaurants and bars which were quite literally perched on the lakes themselves.
A quick change in our room later after exploring the city it was then time for dinner! The hotel really comes to life at night and illuminates in colour. We dined in the hotels restaurant, Jack’s Brasserie which is somewhat of an institution in this city. Read my full review of Jack’s Brasserie and discover the best wiener schnitzel in Switzerland.
Breakfast in our room the following morning was of epic proportions and we even held back with our ordering. A gigantic table is wheeled into your room and chairs set up either side to enjoy. Fresh juices, croissants and anything else you could desire. I even went to the lengths of moving a few things around in the room to enjoy the views out across the skyline while tucking into my breakfast.
We had such a fabulous stay here at Schweizerhof Bern Hotel & Spa and honestly didn’t want to leave. This hotel really deserves more than one night for anyone looking to stay here but if that’s all the time you have then it couldn’t be more perfect. Excellent location, a rooftop bar of dreams, modern rooms and an institutional restaurant on site. Bern – we’ll most certainly be back!