When I knew I would include the road Grimsel Pass on my road trip route with the Nissan 370Z Nismo, I decided now was the time to book also a night in the Historisches Alpinhotel Grimsel Hospiz (website here). I remember looking at this hotel already in 2012 when I drove up on Grimsel Pass for the first time, thinking “that looks expensive”. But considering it is in Switzerland and the hotel has excellent reviews, it is not that bad after all. Summer season prices start at about 320 CHF a night for a double room for two persons, and 220 CHF a night for one person. Grimsel Hospiz is a four star hotel – only four star hotel on Grimsel Pass also.
When you cross the bridge to the “island” the hotel is located on, you already know you are on your way to a very special place. This was the place for the first certified guest house in Switzerland, built in 1142. 1932 it was the home to the first electrically heated hotel in Europe. And today, after being renovated between 2008 and 2010, Grimsel Hospiz is one of the most beautifully located alpine hotels you can find in Switzerland.
The location is unique with views to the artificial lake/dam Grimselsee as well as lake Räterichsbodensee. I was standing there looking around me wondering what kind of money you need to buy this kind of property. As much as one would want to wake up to those views every day for the rest of their life, and sit outside looking at the stars every evening possible, surrounded by the mountains, I am at least happy Grimsel Hospiz is a hotel and not a private property. Because now it is available for all of us. In summer (June to October), and even in winter (late December to mid April, access by cable car or tunnel train because Grimsel Pass is closed usually October/November to late May or early June).
Park your car in the big underground garage – with a supercar friendly gentle slope down – or on one of the many places in the outdoor car park. Check in. Enjoy the views, from your room and from outside. You can look in any direction and it is always beautiful. Enjoy the quality of the room and the public areas, because it really feels like you are in someone’s cosy home – but now your home for the night. The public “living room area” is lovely, with massive windows so you never forget about the landscapes that surround you, where guests in the evening sat reading and relaxing.
Everything is extremely peaceful until you get inside the restaurant that attracts not only hotel guests but also people who come just for the dining experience. I was there on a Sunday evening in September, and it was full.
Dining hour is on my solo trips always met with mixed feelings. Excitement because I nowadays think more about what I eat when I travel (I do not want fast food), and enjoy trying good restaurants and discovering new tastes. But also a bit of stress, because the worst moment is when you walk in to that restaurant alone and it feels like everyone is looking at you (in fact, no one cares if you dine alone or in company). Often what you want, if you are in a nice place, is a (slow) menu with several courses. That is not a 10 minute project and then you can run off. One hour went by. Probably in the end I sat there for almost two hours eating and relaxing. The food was delicious and I would do it again. The meals are regional and with excellent ingredients, real good food and not just art on your plate – just the way I would expect it to be in an Alpine hotel. Menu prices are reasonable, there is something for everyone. On a side note they have more than 300 wines in their wine cellar – although I saved this for the day I go in good company…
I did not travel with my dog this time, but Grimsel Hospiz is pet friendly – another reason for me to love it.
I already wrote about Grimsel Pass in a previous post, so I am not going to repeat what a great driving road it is. Instead I want to say that for anyone considering a drive there a stay at Grimsel Hospiz for one night will give your journey and experience that final touch. I know it is for many a lot of money to spend for one night but I truly believe that there are some hotels so special that it is worth paying a little extra for them. Even if you the rest of your journey would stay in low budget places – which I almost did, paid CHF 78 in one place and CHF 44 in another – spend a little more on one that is worth it, and go home with an experience and memory of a place you will never forget!