Monday, March 22, 2010

What is wrong with Swiss hotels?

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were trying to plan a trip with our Swiss neighbor. We were going to spend a weekend in Arosa. Together. The 30-something Americans with the 70-something Swiss.

Problem was? There were no hotels in Arosa for the weekend of March 19.

Well, let me put that another way. There were no hotels available for less than CHF 370 a night, and most were over CHF 1,000 AND wanted to charge us an extra CHF 25/per person/per night for--heaven forbid--asking to stay over a weekend.

Excuse me for being a guest.

Even my Swiss neighbor thought it was all ridiculous. Swiss hotels seem to think that we should thank them for allowing us to stay with them instead of the other way around. In the last few weeks, I've received hotel brochure after hotel brochure from places like Grandhotel Giessbach, Belvedere in Scuol, and Hotel Schloss Ragaz. In addition to prices that look sort of reasonable until you realize they are PER PERSON and not per room, they ALL want to charge up to another CHF 60/night for staying on a weekend.

Well I have news for them. Instead of staying in Switzerland, I'll be leaving on a jet plane to other European countries where hotels can still be found for $100, including breakfast, including shampoo, and including a bit of gratitude.

How about you? Has a Swiss hotel ever scared you off? Where will you be spending your upcoming holiday weekends?


Kay B.Elle said...

I totally agree. It has become ridiculous. I will be spending my next holiday in Austria...

Chantal said...

Glad to hear my neighbor and I are not alone. I mean something's wrong when the Swiss Budget Hotels website doesn't have hotels for under $200.

Bill said...

I completely agree with you, when it comes to short term bookings. However, book a year ahead as we have to when we travel to Europe and suddenly the prices in Swiss Hotels are acceptable, which of course doesn't help you.

Sarah said...

Amen, sister. Even hostels are crazy expensive. It can cost over 100CHF a night for my husband and I to share a room with 6 people.

Kristin said...

Amazing. I'm researching Mexico City hotels for my upcoming trip and down there, you can find a 4-star hotel for $52 a night. Then again, you run the risk of getting kidnapped or murdered, but nothing I won't risk to get a good deal, lol =)

Chantal said...

I know most good Swiss book a year ahead but unfortunately that's just not my style. And to really get a deal you have to stay at least a week. For an American, that's an eternity ;)

Greg Christensen said...

I've become a fan of since I've been here. We've found some real gems in Lugano and Interlaken. (Of course, it's still impossible to get a decently priced room in Zermatt and Saas-Fee.)

Chantal said...

I haven't tried, maybe I need to. Good to know there is hope, at least in some parts of the country!

Lori said...

That's so bizarre! It's like when we asked to rent a jet ski in Maine - the man who was OPEN at the time with FIVE jet skis sitting in front of him said it wasn't a good time as he was closed and anyway, wouldn't we rather do it tomorrow or next week?

Tell me all Swiss hotels aren't like this!

Lori said...

Oh, he also said he didn't have any jet skis available that day. Seriously.

Chantal said...

Wow. That sounds very Swiss. Are you sure he wasn't an immigrant? :)

dale01 said...

I agree with all the comments about service levels having upside, and having to charm your way into short stays.

Though in my experience the pricier swiss hotels have fewer "hidden costs" and more "hidden goodies" than some of the hotels in the U.S. that advertise at lower rates and then slap you with all kinds of hidden fees.

The Belvedere in Scuol was mentioned. I know this hotel well (and by the way Scuol is fantastic). The breakfast that is included in their rate is a delightful and appetizing brunch that will keep you fuelled all day. Compare this to a recent stay I had at a "small luxury hotel" in Newport, Rhode Island at a similar rate - and the included breakfast consisted of filter coffee, special K, and fruit so chilled it made my gums bleed.

Also, if you aim to save some francs and a clean bed without the cowbells, then Switzerland has plenty of 2 or 3 star "garnis".

Try resorts that target Swiss rather than foreigners with deep pockets.

Sorry to yodel a bit off-key!

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