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Grandhotel Giessbach


    Grandhotel Giessbach
 in Brienz
    Grandhotel Giessbach
 in Brienz

Reviews

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:
823 Reviews
Latest TripAdvisor Reviews

  • Fantastic

    by qileri on 2019-11-10 11:26 am

    Hotel is located just near the Giessbach waterfalls. Offers fantastic view to the waterfalls and Brienz lake as well. Old style building. Very charming style. Nice and clean. Friendly environment. Value for the money.

  • Fantastic lunch stop on our way around Lake Brienz

    by Chuck M on 2019-11-10 08:05 am

    Sitting high above Lake Brienz next to the Giessbach Falls, the scenery alone is worth the trip. We enjoyed an excellent light lunch served by the bar in a sitting area off the historic lobby. This is a quite elegant hotel that has been wonderfully restored. We departed by funicular down to the ferry.

  • Hotel - Belle Epoque

    by tourist_binich on 2019-11-02 02:18 pm

    A "Belle Epoque" hotel overlooking Brinzersee, deserve a 5 star rating.

    Awesome view on both sides, either the Giessbach Waterfalls or the lake on the other side? You got the best on both worlds.

    Our dining experience was unforgettable. 5 star servings and plating. Very friendly and professional, the staff knew whats best for their guests. Compliment!!

  • Wonderful views

    by Claudia I on 2019-10-28 00:16 am

    What a wonderful experience. The views over Lake Brienz, as well as onto the Giessbach falls are simply breathtaking. The location is superb. The hotel has some wonderful halls with beautiful paintings, especially the painting by Charles Giron "Wrestling Festival in the Alps".
    The rooms are gracious, even though a bit dated. Excellent breakfast. Coffee and paistry on the terrasse are a bit exaggerated, when it comes to the price. It must also be said that the staff at the reception is very service-oriented and professional.

  • Beautifully situated Hotel but disappointing second visit.

    by Mike P on 2019-10-23 04:22 am

    GrandHotel Giessbach Brienz, Switzerland.

    This was to be our second stay at the Grandhotel Giessbach ; the first time was around 4 years ago. We don't recall any major issues with the hotel and really enjoyed the beautiful isolated position with majestic views over the lake and the impressive cascade at the side of the site.

    Having had to cancel a regular vacation in September, we decided some time spent walking in the Alps was a good healthy idea. We booked several weeks in advance and decided to take a suite which had views over both the lake and cascade. The hotel is not the easiest place to find and the approach is very narrow but worth the drive.

    We arrived at the hotel late afternoon; parking is relatively easy and free. Reception was efficient and friendly and we were given our key and quickly arrived at our room. Nice classically furnished bedroom with three widows, good clean bathroom (poor quality shower), a separate lounge with sofa bed, coffee machine, double doors to a small balcony and another small modern toilet with a hand basin. The beds were large and comfortable with good quality linen.

    All the large public rooms are beautifully maintained and furnished, high ceilings, ample space, and a commanding stone staircase. Evening meals are served in a restaurant to the lower level of the hotel consisting of a cosy first room and a second more open space overlooking the cascade. Breakfast is served in a charming classical room, being the natural extension of the reception and bar area. The teams working on breakfast and evening dining were excellent, professional and a joy to witness. For the most part the primary language was German but you can easily get by using English/French.

    Our first evening, having enjoyed a good meal, we returned to our room which was chilly. October sunshine is wonderful and warm but evenings do become much cooler. The bedroom had a very ancient metal block of a heating system, with more modern radiators in the lounge and two bathrooms. The only radiator working was in the main bathroom. On our way to breakfast the next morning and having to pass by reception we explained that the heating didn't seem to be working and asked if this could be checked. Returning to our room a young lady was in attendance. She confirmed the bedroom heating system wasn't functioning but the lounge and small bathroom radiators were fine, she left a small (micro speaker sized) electric heater for us to use in the bedroom.

    The small electric heater did raise the temperature of the room but was noisy and the dry heat was neither particularly pleasant nor healthy, in addition the two modern radiators in the lounge and bathroom still didn't show any signs of wanting to work. The following morning we again advised reception that about the heating problems. When we returned to our room we found another small electric heater in the lounge area. For the duration of our stay the sole radiator in the main bathroom was the only one of four which worked: no explanation or apology was offered which was disappointing considering the high nightly rate we were paying for this suite.
    The suite, consisting of two rooms, had three large double windows and a double door to the small terrace. External large shutters were of a metal construction, heavy and a little difficult to manage. One day the weather was particularly windy and some of the metal shutters kept crashing shut against the window. Thinking we just needed to secure these we found that 3 of the 6 shutters had broken fittings and could not be fixed in an open position.

    Breakfast was buffet style, varied and of good quality. Hot food consisted of the usual, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, small sausages, pancakes and scrambled eggs. If you wanted an omelette or fried eggs you were charged extra: we found it strange that 1 fried egg was charged at 6 CHF and 2 fried eggs at 7 CHF? There was a good selection of breads and a single toaster of the type that moves the bread over the heater elements and drops the bread under the machine.

    On the fourth day having cut some bread and ready to place in the toaster I was abruptly stopped by an elderly lady waiter speaking German, who was obliviously annoyed with me. Realising I had no idea of the problem she summoned a lady whom was presumably the breakfast manager. I was told rather sternly that that only 'toast bread' can be toasted, I said that I had toasted bread the same way for the last four days (as did every other guest I had seen using the toaster) without a problem. She said 'go ahead then and see what happens when the bread gets stuck', I said if that's the case can you ask the kitchen to toast the bread for me' but she walked away without replying.

    There is a note above the toaster in German/French/English, the English version states 'for toast bread only'. Truthfully, I really hadn't paid this note any heed thinking it was just informing the guests to use this for toasting bread and not realising you were being told to use the nasty processed white sliced bread which tasted like sawdust when toasted. It was also confusing since there was an abundance of good healthy bread but maybe only 10 slices of the nasty stuff. Having finished my breakfast and pondered the toast problem I approached the manager: with a view of trying to be constructive and suggested the note in English was not entirely clear. I suggested that if the note specified 'sliced bread only' this would be better understood by English speaking guests. I was shocked by her condescending and patronising rely and the manner in which she spoke to me, she said with a rictus smile ' thank you for your suggestion but there is a reason we have written it that way so we have no need to change this'. Later that week when two friends arrived at the hotel, one lady was also scolded by the same waitress for attempting to toast non pre-sliced bread.

    We had arranged half board so dined in the hotel restaurant each evening. Food was generally good and well prepared with a daily soup of the day and catch of the day. We did have one disastrous meal whereby the soup was inedible due to excessive salt content and monkfish was cold and so rubbery it could not be cut with a knife. The restaurant manager came to our table and seeing the poorly prepared fish apologised for this and took the plates away. We had previously spoken to the manager as we had two guests arriving the next day so requested a table for four for the following two evenings. Before leaving our table the manager came to say that in view of the poor meal, he would offer a glass of champagne to us and our guests the following evening for which we thanked him.

    At dinner the following day the manager presented to table a small smoked salmon 'amuse bouche' and asked if we would like a glass of wine or Prosecco; this was very embarrassing and disappointing since we expected champagne and were sure the ladies were not in the habit of drinking Prosecco. The next evening we enjoyed some pre-dinner cocktails in the bar whilst listening to an accomplished pianist. None of us being big drinkers and having had cocktails we just asked for tap water with dinner (the hotel is very proud of its quality mountain water). When the bill arrived for signing we had been charged 4 CHF for each jug of tap water: I queried this and was informed that if you don't order wine with dinner, the hotel policy was to charge for tap water. So having spent 70+ CHF on cocktails pre-dinner and not wanting wine you are penalised by being charged for tap water. In over 40 years of travelling I have never been charged for tap water.....a very strange and petty policy by this hotels management.

    Housekeeping, was also sub standard for such a grand and expensive hotel. Our rooms were not always provided with fresh clean towels; sometimes these were changed in the morning otherwise appeared during the evening. Bathroom tiled floors were not washed and wooden floors not vacuumed. The beds never looked well made and tidy. The day our guests were due to leave, they checked out at 1100 and left their luggage in our room since the boat they were due to take was scheduled for later that afternoon. One lady decided to walk with us in the surrounding countryside whilst the other preferred to rest in our room.
    On our return, and having seen housekeeping clean our room our friend was appalled at the shoddy way the room was cleaned. She saw the housekeeper sweep dust and debris on the wooden floor under the sofa, bed sheets were left un-tucked and top sheets creased. Bathroom floors were not cleaned and all was done to an unacceptable minimum standard.

    Another example of poor housekeeping management was a small area on the third floor of the hotel where it was possible to have free tea/coffee/fruit juice and hot water. On various occasions during the day and especially during the evening, the coffee machine wasn't working and there were no clean cups or glasses with the area being left cluttered with used dirty crockery.

    On our final day I asked reception for my account on the way to taking breakfast. When checking the charges I saw that the hotel had debited from my credit card 50% of the total room charges 6 days prior to my arrival. The conditions for cancellation on my booking confirmation stated 50% cancellation charge for cancellation between 6-1 days prior to arrival and 100% payable if cancelled on the day of arrival. The hotel did not inform me that 50% of the total room charge would be deducted 6 days prior to arrival irrespective of whether I cancelled or honoured the booking!

    This was another example; as in charging for tap water, of a hotel policy I have never experienced anywhere else in the world: I have paid in full at the time of booking or paid with the final account when leaving. I usually pay hotels with cash in order to have some control of currency rates and to avoid credit cards 'non sterling transaction fees'. I took this matter up with reception and although helpful did nothing to explain the situation. Not wanting to be left with unwanted CHF, I was forced to request that the hotel reverse the charges taken from my credit card. This ridiculous action by the hotel cost me a reasonable amount of extra money due to currency rate changes and credit card charges.

    Would we stay at The Grandhotel Giessbach again, probably not? The hotel has some major misgivings, does not give value for money and service standards are unacceptable in some areas and frankly, after 6 nights we were eager to leave.

    To sum up our experience, The Grandhotel Giessbach promises Champagne but the reality is you get Prosecco!


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