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Review of Chalet Fontana

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Chalet Fontana
Ranked #9 of 11 Hotels in Murren
Reviewed 28 September 2011

We just got back yesterday and we're already missing the view and Denise's warm hospitality. Chalet Fontana is a cozy chalet smack dab in the middle of Murren, a 5 minute walk from the train station and cableway. It has stunning views of the "big 3" mountains (Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau). There is nothing like waking up, looking out your window and seeing those snow capped peaks, looking like they are so close you could reach out and touch them.

We had the large double at the front and it was quite big with a little table and 2 chairs right in front of the window, perfect for sitting with a bottle of wine and just staring out into the alpine loveliness. The room was clean and had its own sink, which was very convenient because the chalet has 2 shared bathrooms.

Denise is a great host, she was so friendly and helpful. She got barraged with questions at breakfast every morning from the guests (which has to get old for her!) but she patiently answered every one of them and had great advice. She is amazing!

Can't say enough about Chalet Fontana. It is a bargain compared to other places in and around Murren and the personal touch you get from Denise makes it even more of a steal. We do hope to return to the area and will stay with Denise again if she'll have us!

Room Tip: Book well ahead of time. The large double at the front has the best views.
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank sares25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 September 2011

My husband and I were really looking forward to staying in Mürren. I emailed Denise over a year in advance to find out what was the best time she suggested to be able to see the alpine flowers. We wisely took her advice and scheduled our visit in the beginning of June. So we had a date… but the problem we had was even though Denise and Chalet Fontana had wonderful TripAdvisor ratings, my husband was hesitant about staying there. Sharing a bathroom was really out of his comfort zone. I begged him to give it a try and he relented… we are both SO happy he did!

Getting to Mürren is an adventure in of itself. We arrived from Geneva via the Golden Pass train car (beautiful!)… From the Interlaken Ost train station you have to make sure you get on the Lauterbrunnen cars of the train and NOT the Grindelwald cars (the train splits at one of the stations). When you get to Lauterbrunnen train station, follow the crowds that exit the station to the right. Go across the street and there is a cable car station (the trip is up the mountain is free with your Swiss FlexiPass). The cable car leaves you off at the Grütschalp train station and from there you take a train past Winteregg into the Mürren BLM. It is not as complicated as it sounds and a beautiful trip! * Tip! If you are ever taking the Grütschalp train trip with out luggage, respectfully ask permission of the engineer if you can sit up in his cab with him… the scenery seems even more special and the drivers are very interesting to speak with.

Once in town, finding the Chalet Fontana is easy, #1.) Mürren is a small, quiet town hugging the edge of a mountainous cliff, this makes it very hard to get lost... Anyway… Go to your left when you walk out of the Mürren BLM station and bear left when given the choice of roads… Chalet Fontana is right off the main road in the lower section of town… midway between the BLM train station on one end and the Schilthorn cable car station on the opposite end of town. You will find the chalet on your right and if you pass the ATM machine on your left… back up, as you have gone a few steps too far.

When you enter the Chalet, you will notice a message just for you, from Denise welcoming you and telling how to get in touch with her. I found Denise to be an incredible woman… she is the best B&B operator we ever encountered. Denise is gracious, friendly and genuinely interested on where you have been, where you are going and what you will be doing whilst there. I cannot say enough wonderful things about her! Her great personality aside, she is a font of information regarding Mürren and the Berner Oberland. An active woman she knows a lot about hiking, skiing and the other sports of the region, (She is also the town yoga instructor!) Combining these virtues, Denise strives to ensure your trip is as good as you can have… and then some.

More about the chalet…
* We spent our first night in the back of the chalet and the view was great… but the window small. We spent the remainder of our days in Room #2 in the front of the Chalet and I enjoyed the view from there… but face it… the views in Mürren are fantastic… period! This place has loaded with character, complete with a delightfully creaky floor… three words sum up the Chalet Fontana for us, clean, comfortable and CHARMING!
* As I noted previously, you do share a bathroom and I admit I did have a brief, distant, 2am tighty-whitey-scamper spotting of a fellow guest (a memorable chuckle, not scary)... but I did not have to wait for the bathroom facilities at all. I also found the shower has a nice strong water pressure and it can get as hot as you want it.
* Breakfast was great! There was enough variety and the fellow guests were fascinating with wonderful agendas… it is great place to get additional ideas.
* You have access to tea and coffee anytime, day or night as long as you tidied up after yourself.
* The Wi-Fi cost a small fee of approx 2 or 3 CHF.
·* You can store a reasonable amount of your own groceries from the Co-op in the communal fridge… but know there is no guest cooking allowed.
* A large book swap with good choices.
* A welcoming communal sitting area with lots of house-owned books regarding Mürren and the Bernese Oberland
* If you get down stairs early enough in the morning you can catch 13-year old Steffali, Chalet Fontana’s mascot. (Mürren has a lot of cats!)

Notes*
* The only ATM in town is basically right across the road from the chalet.
* The only grocery store is next door to the ATM (the grocery is closed on Sunday)
* Upon checking in, Denise provides a visitor card for the Mürren fitness center and indoor pool. We did not get a chance to use the pool… but the card gave us a discount for the Trümmelbach Falls admission.
* A 24-hour coin laundry is a one-minute walk from the chalet.

Things we did:
* Mt. Schilthorn (watch the James Bond movie first)!
* Allmendhubel Funicular and the North Face hike
* Kleine Scheidegg then get on the Jungfraujoch train… a full-day of fun with year-round skiing, sledding, snow tubing, glacier hiking, ice palace viewing… etc.
* Hiking down to Lauterbrunnen via Gimmelwald… be sure to stop by a place selling cheese (alpkase)
* Stop… listen to the cow bells and look at the beautiful scenery
* People braver than we are did mountain biking and paragliding…

My recommendations for restaurants in Mürren are:
* Stager Stubli, across from Chalet Fontana… try their horse steak! No, really, it is great!
* Eiger Guesthouse, across from the BLM station… don’t confuse it with the next door Hotel Eiger restaurant… there is a HUGE price difference!
* Tham Kok Keong, turn left out Chalet Fontana’s front door and it is a few minutes down on your right… reasonably priced (for the area) Chinese Food… it is always fun to get Asian foods in different countries!
* The cost effective alternative is the grocery store Co-op (please pronounce it as is co-op like cooperative, the locals make fun of the way Americans pronounce it as coop - like chicken coop!) Anyhoo… the grocery has a good selection food and spirits and it makes for wonderful picnic lunches or dinners.

Notes:
* If you are doing train searches and do not use the “umlauted form” of u, Mürren is spelled Muerren.
* The station master at the Mürren BLM is helpful booking ALL types of train tickets.
* BRING SUNSCREEN… I was warned about this as well and ignored the warning… result is that this old white girl got the worst sunburn in all my 50+ years! By the way... Thank you Denise for the aloe vera gel!
* Going to Switzerland is expen$ive! But GO! You will not regret it! When you go, go to Mürren… it is magical! And if you go to Mürren, stay with Denise… you will be glad you did… we will be back (with sunscreen)!

Room Tip: The front rooms have better views
  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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19  Thank NJoisygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2011

It doesn't get any better than a big room with a wall of windows looking right out on the Eiger, the Monch and the Jungfrau!! But then again it does get better, as Denise was a wonderful and helpful host too. She had great recommendations for hikes and places to see. Her breakfast was wonderful with more than bread as an option (I must admit I like Muesli and yoghurt) and she lets guests use the refrigerator for their snacks and drinks, which is much appreciated. The location is literally 3 minutes from the lift from Stechelberg (and if you have a car you want to park there as it's half the price of the Lauterbrunnen parking + there is an elevator from the parking lot to the lift which is very nice with suitcases). It really was like staying with a friend! I would never stay anywhere else in Murren than here. The only challenge was one night when the Chalet had the maximum number of people and we all had to wait to use the bathroom (there is one on the floor with the bedrooms and one downstairs). And that was not at all a "deal breaker" considering all of the wonderful things about staying here.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank TravellingJan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2011

We chose the Chalet Fontana because it was one of the few budget options in Murren, but we ended up loving the whole experience. Denise was an awesome hostess-- it was like having a long-lost aunt or sister with a place up in the alps. She was so friendly and helpful with great recommendations for hiking and food. The breakfast was delicious. I was worried before we came that we wouldn't like it because of the shared bathroom and because the place didn't look "posh" from the pictures, but it was delightful. It was clean, comfortable, cozy and we felt right at home. We would stay there again in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank ago2girl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2011

My husband and I spent four nights at Chalet Fontana and we cannot wait to return for another stay. Our original booking was for three nights, and the moment we arrived in Murren we knew we wanted to extend our stay, so we did.

Denise was wonderful. She's very friendly, helpful, and more than willing to stay and chat about Murren and the Berner Oberland. We were so impressed that she spent so much time discussing everyone's travel plans and giving us tips to help make our stay better--we imagine she must do this an awful lot during the busier season, but she was always gracious and you wouldn't know it at all.

The Chalet Fontana itself is lovely. We spent our first three nights in a small double room with mountain views, and boy oh boy, are those mountain views breathtaking. Our last night was in the triple room in the back of the chalet, which was charming and quirky. I was very nervous about the shared bathroom, but didn't find it to be a problem at all. Never once did I want to get in there and find that it was already occupied. There are two bathrooms in the chalet, one with a shower and one with a tub and shower. There were four rooms on the first floor up, and I believe a loft or two on the next, so there aren't many guests even when it is full up. I had no need to fear the shared bathroom after all.

Breakfasts were delicious and delightful. Denise is there to chat, and she has hot tea or coffee ready. (Guests can also make themselves tea or coffee in the kitchen whenever they like, this was a really nice option for this caffeine addict.) There was fresh bread, cheese, cereal, hard boiled eggs, and fruit to eat. All very fresh and filling.

Overall, we had a wonderful stay in Chalet Fontana, and we kept saying that we should have spent our entire time in Switzerland there. Murren was our favorite stop on our trip, and probably one of our favorite places we've visited yet.

Room Tip: Ask for a mountain view room
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank Haven17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chalet Fontana

Address: Buhl, Murren 3825, Switzerland
Region: Switzerland > Canton of Bern > Bernese Oberland > Jungfrau Region > Murren
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Murren
#3 Family Hotel in Murren
#3 Romantic Hotel in Murren
Price Range: $37 - $42 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Chalet Fontana is situated in the middle of the scenic, car-free village Muerren, at 1650m. The local area is ideal for hiking in summer, skiing in winter. Fontana is a traditional Swiss wooden chalet and each of the bedrooms has its own character. Most have washbasins and good mountain views. In summer the chalet operates as a B&B, in winter the chalet and self contained apartment are rented by the week. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Chalet Fontana mürren
Chalet Fontana Hotel mürren
Chalet Fontana Murren, Switzerland - Jungfrau

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