The Grand Hotel Giessbach could be, in my opinion, one of the best historic hotels in Europe, if not THE best. Located in a beautiful setting above the turquoise glacial lake of Brienzersee, surrounded by mountains and boasting a powerful but picturesque waterfall – it really is majestic. Sadly, I didn’t check in here for the night but I did stop off on my Brienz boat trip to take a look around and enjoy this magnificent hotel for the afternoon. I would highly recommend a visit here if you ever find yourself in the Berner Oberland region of Switzerland!
If you’re taking a boat trip across the beautifully blue Brienz lake, you can stop off here on the way to your destination. When you arrive on the Ferry you will see the impressive Giessbach station and the bottom of their waterfall. The hotel is just peeking out of the trees on top of the hill.
Alternatively, you can arrive by car and park up here, as you wind up you will see amazing views of the mountains!
As you approach the Giessbach’s exclusive dock, you will see the tail end of it’s pretty waterfall pour into the lake. From here, you have two options of making your ascent;
- You can walk up the path and get some great views of the forest and lake.
- You can take a ride on it’s famous Giessbach funicular!
At 10 Swiss Francs return, it isn’t the cheapest or longest ride for your money but in my opinion, it’s quality over quantity! As you sit in it’s carriages, you will get some great views of the Brienz lake and the Giessbachfalls. It first opened in 1879 to chauffeur the hotel guests – you can only imagine the splendour.
With the hotel placed perfectly on the hilltop overlooking the Brienz lake, you have amazing panoramic views all around you. Mountains, the lake, the waterfall – it’s all here for you to take in! What’s even better, is you can enjoy a drink or two next to the lake, in the most picturesque setting in the Giessbach’s La Terrasse. You can sit below in the courtyard, or outside on their balcony by the bar. If you would prefer a view of the waterfall, that is also an option – you really can’t lose out wherever you choose to take your tea!
There is plenty to order on the menu at La Terrasse. Bier, Champagne, Spirits, Tea, Coffee, Eistee are all on the menu. What I personally loved was their own Giessbach drinks which they had for you to enjoy sourced from their very own mountain spring. I absolutely loved their bottle designs – but you couldn’t keep them! If you did want to bring one home with you they were 15 Francs.
The grounds of this hotel are seriously on another level. The courtyards are decorated with Ivy, and all sorts of colourful flowers. You can also take a stroll up to their magnificent waterfall and stand on the balcony to get a closer look!
Just when you think that there is nothing more grand than the hotel grounds, wait until you step inside the building! The crystal chandeliers light up the historic decor. The whole hotel is wall to wall extravagance and you can take your time to explore the lobby and bar at your leisure. My favourite part was their spiral staircase and the funky carpet!! I was in absolute tapestry heaven.
I absolutely loved my visit to the Grand Hotel Giessbach so much that I came back once more as I just couldn’t get enough! This beautiful hotel will set you back around 350 Swiss Francs a night (£320) for a lakeside view if you’re lucky enough to score a room. However, if you just want to have a look around, you can come here for afternoon tea and take in the breath taking views. The Grand Giessbach Hotel are waiting for you!