An easy hour’s drive from Bern in the west and Lucerne to the east, Interlaken is one of Switzerland’s most popular tourist destinations. The historic old town was founded in the 12th century and sits on the Aare River surrounded by the Bernese Alps, themselves dominated by the Jungfrau, which at 4,158 metres is one of Europe’s highest summits. The 156-year-old Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel dates back to the rapid rise of tourism in the area which opened up when the Swiss Railway System was built.
This famous five-star hotel with a colourful history is centrally located in Interlaken with superb views of the busy avenue out front and the Jungfrau massif beyond. It’s a stunning old building with high ceilings, glass atriums and has maintained a real old world grace and beauty about it.
Superior Double Rooms have a view of scenic Mount Harder or the village of Interlaken. Suites are spacious and comfortable with lots of wood and classic European décor. It is a singular and unforgettable experience of sitting out on the balcony with a glass of wine, drinking in views of Jungfrau massif and watching the parasailers glide down like butterflies from the mountains above. Further afield, one unmissable experience is the Jungfrau mountain train which winds its way up impossibly into the Alps with views that are literally breathtaking.
Interlaken is a spa town and the Victoria Jungfrau offers two spa facilities which each offer an enervating experience but from divergent traditions. The Espa Spa offers more than 30 holistic treatments “inspired by oriental therapeutic methods and complemented with selected western techniques”. At the Sensai Select Spa, the approach is steeped in traditional Japanese rituals “to restore your skin’s natural abilities and achieve its full beauty potential”. All these claims were confirmed as we undertook several sublime treatments in serene, elegant, and beautiful settings.
Make time to fully experience the spa and other health facilities. The massive pool and indoor exercise area features a huge indoor pool room with jaw-dropping architecture, water features and plenty of opportunity to relax in the warm waters. Stretch out on lounges or make use of the indoor tennis courts or the exercise room, replete with all the latest innovations and machines for a great workout.
Breakfast was served in the main dining room with a large buffet and à la carte options. Plenty to choose from with the typical mainstays of Swiss hotel breakfasts: a buffet of cheese, eggs, cured meats, fresh-squeezed juices, fresh breads and croissants. You might like to consider breakfast in the town on weekends as the dining rooms can get very crowded.
Quaranta Uno is the hotel’s Italian restaurant and is very authentic with plenty of options for all tastes. The pastas such as spaghetti with garlic and king prawns and the papardelle ragout should not be missed. For the main, the veal chop is amazing and the grilled sirloin is unforgettable. Save room for to-die-for tiramisu. The wine list is extensive and the sommelier is very knowledgeable and can get you that great bottle you are looking for.