Switzerland is filled with countless lodgings bearing the name Hotel Jungfrau, but there is only one place in the world where that is it not a misnomer. The Hotel Jungfrau of Mürren, in the Lauterbrunnen Valley (Swiss Alps) can actually boast of offering the world’s best of the Jungfrau.
Built in 1894, as one of Mürren’s oldest hotels, it was renovated in the 1980s. Though completely modernized, it retains an old world feel in its wooden exterior and spacious lounge areas where comfy sofas line the windows and fire place.
The construction of the Mürrenbahn in 1889 and the Allmendhubelbahn in 1912 brought tourists to the valley. British Sir Arnold Lunn (1888-1974) put Mürren on the global map when he organized the first slalom race, which was held next to the Hotel Jungfrau in 1922.
The hotel offers the ideal setting to fall in love or renew wedding vows. Owners of the family-run 3 star hotel share their own love story. Veronica Fluck, from the French speaking part of Switzerland, fell in love with Alan Ramsay from Scotland, and chose Mürren as the perfect place to raise two daughters. The couple and their staff are so warm and welcoming, you feel more like special house-guests than passing tourists.
Booking rooms, costing from 93 to 177CH per night, is always challenging as there is so much choice and you can never be sure what your are getting for your money. Accommodations are simple, but clean, and the rooms are fairly large by European standards. Rooms with views cost extra but hey, if you do ever make it up here what is a few extra bucks? For an extra $20 a night, you can admire the 3 kings right outside your window in 3 dimensions. In room 26, at the end of the floor, you feel like you can reach out and touch the mountains as you admire the sunset from your balcony overlooking the village.
Located next to the ski school, Hotel Jungfrau is ideal for winter sports. In the summer, meadow trails just outside your door are perfect for hiking, biking and adventure sports. However, Mürren is so small everything is centrally located with easy access to the great outdoors.
What sets Hotel Jungfrau apart is the hospitality of the owners. It also offers what Gerald and I agree was the best continental breakfast we ever had in Europe. A copious spread of cereal, fresh grapefruits, oranges, melons and pineapple, 5 different juices, 3
homemade jellies, dried apples, prunes, apricots, scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, beans (must be the Scottish influence), local cheeses and fresh bread, rolls, and pastries awaited guests. The morning chocolate, coffee, or tea is piping hot.
The mountaineers’ breakfast, included in the bill, was so delicious, we regretted not staying there for dinner to try the cuisine of Chef Hans-Peter Schaer. He combined innovative culinary ideas from his long stay in Australia and Asia with the traditional Swiss Cuisine in the Restaurant Gruebi.
The Hotel Jungfrau website boasts, “This is the only place where a genuine Scotsman serves a large selection of single malt whiskies in the Swiss Alps!”
Recommended by travel guru, Rick Steves, I can also vouch that Hotel Jungfrau in Mürren truly lives up its name.