“This grande dame of a hotel hogs the best position in Bern for gazing at the iconic Alpine peaks of the Eiger, Münch and Jungfrau on the snow-capped skyline. Strategically built next to the Bundeshaus (Parliament building) - plenty of ministers and diplomats amongst the guests - and on the southern edge of the city’s rocky promontory, it also has glorious views down to the River Aare which loops the city. Its grand neoclassical façade does not disappoint when you step inside: acres of marble, pillars and pilasters, stained-glass atrium, richly coloured furnishings and huge chandeliers. Although grand, it’s light and airy, and the lobby’s fabulous gin bar - 80 different gins and counting - gives a nice modern alternative to its darkly clubby, American cocktail bar.
Rooms are vast, softly carpeted and sleekly elegant, with creamy panelled walls, velvet headboards, a sprinkling of Louis XV furnishings, marble or granite bathrooms, and carefully chosen shots of rich colours. The feeling is smooth and uncluttered with just a simple piece of modern artwork and bowl of orchids as decoration. French windows open from the dining room to a perfect sun-trap, black-and-white-tiled terrace - one of the best places in town to enjoy breakfast; the coffee and bircher muesli are terrific. Food is ‘modern Swiss’ with a bit of an Asian twist - venison loin with rosehips, tempura crab. Not cheap, but a special treat. Service is flawless, the concierges spot-on and there are thoughtful touches throughout the hotel - bowls of help-yourself fruit, binoculars in the bedrooms, even stationary bikes on the terrace outside the rooftop gym to enjoy the views. All the city’s sites are walkable. A real spoil-me place.”
Written by Helen Pickles