From our vantage point in Wengen, the Jungfrau Range is a lot to take in. It’s a dramatic backdrop, especially today. The billowy white clouds float effortlessly in the bright blue sky, allowing an occasional glimpse of the tops of some of Switzerland’s highest and most rugged peaks.
The Classic Swiss Village of Wengen
Wengen is a picturesque mountain village with an elevation of 1,274 m (4,180 ft) above sea level. That’s high enough to appreciate the spectacularly rugged range, but low enough to enjoy more moderate climate conditions. The sweeping green pastures stretch from one mountain range to the next, and descend to the expansive valley floor below.
An abundance of alpine flowers accentuate the pristine landscape with bits of color, including the region-specific edelweiss which is a local favorite.
Nestled in this tranquil yet spectacular setting, the Hotel Edelweiss faces the mighty peaks like some sort of trusted alpine sanctuary. And, as the setting sun brings a chilliness to the crisp mountain air, this sanctuary feels anything but cold.
After departing our last cog train of the day, we walked the couple of blocks to where we would be staying for the rest of the week. Since we’d departed Venice, Italy at 4:30 in the morning, we were getting anxious to settle in for the evening.
The first thing we noticed about the Hotel was the enormous pitched roof, built to withstand the heavy snows in this region. The classic exterior is delightful with green shutters, gingerbready window boxes, and large wooden edelweiss painted in yellow and white.
Enchantingly Swiss, and just what we were hoping for!
Greetings from the Hotel Edelweiss!
Inside Hotel Edelweiss, the atmosphere is immediately inviting. Part hotel – part B&B, the feel is relaxed and comfortable. Delicious smells coming from the kitchen, families playing board games in the adjacent activity room, faint sounds of someone playing a piano.
Daniel, our host and one of the owners, greeted us warmly. “Welcome to our home! And will you be joining us for dinner?” he asked us in perfect English with just a touch of Swiss accent.
“Will we ever!” Our stomachs were already growling, our noses smelling apple kuchen wafting from the kitchen.
Swiss Fondue, Bratwurst mit Krãuter, and Panna Cotta
Although the Hotel Edelweiss is not in the restaurant business, one of the owners is a real-life chef!
Guests have the opportunity to enjoy authentic home cuisine, four-courses, almost every evening at this adorable place without having to go out to a local restaurant to eat. And, as it turned out, the Edelweiss’ prices are quite a bit less expensive than what you’d find at local restaurants!
And, what can we say about the authentic Swiss fare except that everything was delicious! Herbs and veggies are picked fresh right out of their garden for the evening meal.
The only evening we didn’t eat at the Edelweiss was because we weren’t able to make it back from hiking before the end of the dinner hour. As we returned on the cog train later that evening, we even lamented about what a marvelous meal we must be missing!
The Most Important Meal of the Day
As in many places in Europe, breakfast is included in the price of the lodging. And, what a splendid spread of delicious wholesomeness!
Every morning we had our choice of breakfast meats, homemade yogurt, or muesli, fruit and fresh juices. Trays of fresh cheeses (did I mention that cheese is a Swiss staple and served with almost every meal) and baskets brimming with huge loaves of whole grain, fresh-out-of-the-oven artisan breads. Jams and jellies made from locally grown berries complete this breakfast extravaganza.
The dining room’s large windows faced the monumental peaks and pastoral hillsides where cows graze contentedly among knee-deep grass and abundant wildflowers. Breathtaking views at any time of day.
What an inviting and cozy place to meet first thing in the morning and enjoy a hearty breakfast.!
We stayed on the top floor of the Edelweiss, which is where the owners’ quarters are also located. Our rooms are cozy, clean, comfortable, and modestly furnished.
True to frugal Swiss standards, there are few frills. No 600 thread-count sheets . . . no velour robes . . . no luxury bath products. Just basic, sufficiently adequate, and extremely comfortable, accommodations.
Even before we got upstairs to our rooms, Daniel, our host, had forewarned us that the bathrooms “are fairly small.” And, it was true, the bathroom was small, but it didn’t matter because everything was adorably Swiss!
There was lots of sturdy, knotty-pine, large Chantilly laced windows, and flowering red geraniums on the balcony. Pictures of famous landscapes hung on the walls.
Our Room With a View!
But, talk about amenities!
One of the highlights of our stay was snuggling into our comfortable beds at the end of an activity-filled day. Our bed was piled high with edelweiss-patterned duvets, kind of like climbing into a feather bed!
Another highlight was getting together with other visitors before dinner and sharing sightseeing and hiking adventures. The Edelweiss also has a hot tub and sauna, a game room complete with a piano, and a library with a small coffee bistro.
But probably the most notable feature of our stay was our room with a view!
We had unobstructed views of spectacular Jungfrau range. We could see the snow-covered peaks glistening in the moonlight, or watch the cog trains traverse the steep mountainsides on their daily schedules.
The Hotel Edelweiss proved to be a welcome retreat during our Swiss hiking and sightseeing adventures. We would heartily recommend it to anyone who is going to be staying in the Jungfrau region.
Maybe it was the mountain air or all the hiking, but we almost had to pinch ourselves to make sure we weren’t dreaming because we felt so privileged to be at this spectacular place!