Grimsel Hospiz luxurious hotel: The “Grimsel Hospiz” is a luxurious hermitage at an altitude of 2000 meters in the Swiss mountains. Deceleration begins as soon as you arrive. In the hotel, however, guests can expect all comforts – including an outdoor pool.
It smells of concrete, metal and wet, cold rock. Orange gates, weighing tons, close almost silently. Behind it, a kilometer-long tunnel leads into the mountain, the lights of cars, buses and trucks and the fluorescent lights on the walls reflect on the damp floor.
Soon the guests find themselves in a cavernous, almost cathedral-like size. James Bond atmosphere. If the dark, endless tunnels seem oppressive at first, the halls have a bright and modern industrial atmosphere. And again a heavy metal gate closes.
I am miles down in the mountain, handed over by the tour guide and the gondola driver to the driver of the small bus, who is now driving him through the tunnels. It is a very special place, because here electricity is produced, by hydropower, deep in the rock.
There is a simple reason that we can be here – we want to go on vacation and have rented the Grimsel Hospiz luxurious hotel. It is one of the most emote hotel in Switerland , at almost 2000 meters, on the border between the Bernese Oberland and the Valais.
In winter, the house can only be reached from the air or across the rock, because the Grimsel Pass is closed due to the risk of avalanches. That explains the little odyssey that we already have behind us: From the parking lot far down in the valley, where we had to leave our cars, we first took the bus through the Haslital, through fine Swiss mountain winter idyll, and then on the cable car.
In the seclusion of the Swiss mountains
Well, in the mountains, we finally say goodbye to everyday life. Silence around us; you only hear footsteps and the sound of trolleys. The last stage on the way to the Grimsel Hospiz luxurious hotel is covered by a small cable car that gently sways through the wind.
It is the entry into another world. The peaks seem within your grasp, enthroned over yawning deep ground where a wolf recently got a chamois. The “Grimsel Hospiz” seems to merge with the rocks of the surrounding mountains. But don’t be mistaken: behind the walls of rough, gray stone, the pleasant comfort of an upscale hotel industry awaits.
This one and a half hour journey is part of the Grimsel winter experience, the beginning of deceleration. And that means: enjoying doing nothing. Ski luggage is not transported at all, and the winter hiking trail around the hospice, with a leisurely pace, may take half an hour. It’s a very relaxed pace – and that’s exactly why you’re here. To come down, to rest in winter mountain solitude.
The terrace and the path to the hospice are cleared of snow, a deep blue sky spans the wild mountain landscape of the Valais in the south and the Bernese Oberland in the north, the four thousand meter peaks of Fiescherhorn and Finsteraarhorn are guarding the west. After the welcome aperitif, simple but appealingly furnished rooms await the guests.
The “Grimsel Hospiz” offers all hotel comfort
The hospice was built on this site in 1928 after the old location in the nearby reservoir sank; it is equipped with all the comforts of a modern hotel. A sofa landscape invites you to leaf through books and illustrated books and to have a panoramic view through the panoramic window.
In the evening, excellent food and fine wines from the well-stocked wine cellar await. But what to do until then? Maybe a dip in the warm pool or a sauna session. Then for a coffee hour in the large hall, where you can sit by the fireplace with piano music. As in the old days, you chat, play cards, read a book.
Nobody looks at the smartphone, no cell phone bell disturbs the contemplation. This is not due to the cellular network, reception is there. But there seems to be an unwritten law in the hospice that calls in the fireplace room are perceived as disrespectful. Because now the dignified and freed from the compulsive atmosphere with coffee and cake in the salon has become a matter of course.
The parquet reflects warm light, the mountains shimmer in cold blue in front of the windows at dawn. Many winter guests on the Grimsel are repeaters who appreciate peace and distance from the world.
In the heated mini pool under the starry sky
Outside, in front of the hotel, a lonely place is quickly found to look at the mountains and the clouds, to watch eagles and to hear ptarmigan, the whine of the wires in the wind and the uncanny groan of the ice on the reservoir.
The snow under the steps crunches like polystyrene and glitters in the back light. A couple of crows croaking something in the distance. So the day goes by, which started with a soft pink and now turns increasingly dark, from soft blue to cobalt blue to the cold dark blue of the evening sky. Nothing disturbs the view of infinity.
Then later the night sky, which no artificial light pollutes: The big car with the – in the rear extension – polar star is easily recognizable, as well as Orion and Cassiopeia. And the snow shimmers magically underfoot.
After visiting the deep rock cellar, where 300 different wines are stored, the guests gathered in the restaurant for dinner. Only a couple enjoy their time alone in the heated mini pool under the starry sky, where the staff still serve glasses of mulled wine at ten in the evening.
Warm light flows from the windows over the snow
The coming morning is overcast; First snow flurries in front of the window, then the sun fights its way through, wispy clouds hang on the peaks. The view from the window is the finest in landscape cinema.
The weather is increasing in drama. Soon gusts of wind ruffle the cloud veils of the summits, like a child reaching into cotton candy. Small whirlwinds of snow hunt over the railing of the terrace deck, where a constant defies the elements. Patches of sunlight scurry across the flanks of the mountains, they are fascinating plays of light and shadow.
In the west, the 4000-meter peak of the Fiescherhorn rises from the clouds, peak mountain peaks like battlements of a castle. The clouds shimmer like mother-of-pearl above them, before flaring up in the light of the rising sun.
Warm light flows from the hotel windows over the silky shimmering snow and the steaming pool. Two guests toast quietly with glasses, undisturbed and far from the rest of the world.
Tips and information to visit Grimsel Hospiz luxurious hotel
Arrival: By car or by train to Innertkirchen. Car drivers can park their vehicles free of charge on the company premises of the Oberhasli power plant. From there, take the postbus to the 320-soul village of Guttannen, the last village before the Grimsel Pass. At the Handeck change to the Handeck – Gerstenegg cable car. Arrived at Gerstenegg, the bus continues underground through the basement labyrinth of the Oberhasli power plants. The last part of the summer hole on the Grimselnollen is covered by a cable car ride.
Accommodation: The “Grimsel Hospiz” was first mentioned in 1142 and is considered the oldest inn in Switzerland . In 1932 it was the first electrically heated house in Europe; today it is heated with the waste heat from electricity production. It is open from December 23, 2019 to April 5, 2020.
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