Say you have one weekend in the Jungfrau region. Would you rather stay in tourist packed Grindelwald, in the shade of the Eiger north face? Or would you prefer the flat lands of Interlaken, seeking for a sneak peek at Jungfrau?
Why not take the street up to Beatenberg, Europe's longest village, for a 180 degree panoramic view of the entire Bernese Alps above the deep blue lake Thun?
From Scheidegg, Wetterhorn, Finsteraarh, Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, looking down at Schynige Platte with James Bond’s Schilthorn in the backdrop, all the way to Niesen. All the peeks spread under the wide open sky are yours.
Hotel Gloria in Beatenberg
It was this view that made Bernhard Oehrli, the world class chef and restaurateur, leave North Adelaide, Australia, when his mother reluctantly broke the news that the family’s hotel would be sold within three days. On the same evening, Bernhard's mothers was relieved when he called Jacky Daniels on the other side of Earth: “Hey Jacks, fly to Switzerland. You've got your dream come true.” Since then, Jacky and Bernhard welcome their guests like old friends, with unforgettable menus and cozy chalet like rooms at Hotel Gloria.
After a hard day at work, we arrived at Hotel Gloria late as local Stammgäste from the yodel club toasted their glasses of Calandia beer among well dressed hotel guests savouring Bernhard’s finest creations. Jacky welcomed us with a bear hug and we immediately felt like home.
The following morning, we walked around the corner to a unique cable car, taking us to the top of Niederhorn. This one-of-a-kind gondola actually consists of three individual cabins, which I secretly named “The Triplets”.
During winter, a nostalgic T-bar lift feeds several ski slopes, from adrenaline pumping racing tracks to relaxing paths winding through the pine forests. We were constantly challenged by the skilled locals, but it was a perfect practice ground for Newly Swissed ski novices...
To wrap up the day, chef Bernhard pampered our taste buds with his signature tuna tempura, green Thai curry, and pepper strawberry mousse. Apart from using only hand-picked fresh ingredients, Bernhard is the last chef standing to prepare his stock from bones - impressing the local butcher!
The next day, our hosts recommended we follow the snow trail from the Niederhorn to Waldegg and back to Beatenberg. As it turns out, this path was once selected as “Most Scenic Hiking Path”, which came as no surprise to us: The panoramic views on the Bernese Alps were wide open and truly breathtaking.
Rejuvenated by the sunshine and the scent of pine trees imprinted on our memory, we promised to walk this trail again during summer.
Our room at Hotel Gloria has already been booked – including dinner reservations featuring Bernhard’s creations! Hotel Gloria has become our Heimat away from home.
(Disclaimer: Hotel Gloria has provided us with two complementary nights for this review.)