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“Depends on the room...” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Balmer's Hostel

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Balmer's Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
Ottawa, Ontario
Level Contributor
196 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 164 helpful votes
“Depends on the room...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 November 2011

I stayed at Balmer’s Hostel in a dorm of 8 beds for 3 nights in September 2011. Here’s my breakdown:

The staff: mainly consisting of young Australians living in the area for a few months. Their English is excellent and although they did not know the area very well, they did their best to help (for example, when I needed to see an orthodontist for a dental emergency, they made the appointment for me).

Common Area: The place is nice and looks “swiss”. The beer garden in the back is nice and the food is good (note that the food offered is more American than Swiss). Everything is quite expensive in Switzerland in general and this hostel’s food is not cheap but when you compare with everywhere around town, their price is reasonable. There is a kitchen where you can cook food, tables to eat, many different lounging areas, a TV, a relaxation room (hammocks), a ping pong table, a baby-foot table, giant checkers game, etc. There is also an indoor cafeteria where you can have breakfast. There is also a nightclub opened all week with cheap “Happy Hours” where all the drinks are 2 for 1. Locals, Solders (swiss Army) and tourists from other hostels come to this bar… it’s nice to not have to step off the property to go out dancing.

Bedroom: I had a room of 8 beds and stayed there 3 nights. It was by far, one of the worst rooms I’ve seen in my 6-week long Eurotrip. The “mattress” was just a thin layer of foam, so I felt like I was sleeping on plywood. Also, there wasn’t any where to put our bags so it was really hard to get around the room while 8 people’s things are all piled up in the middle of room. For some reason, I was put in a room where I had to go thru the men’s washroom in order to access my room (and I am a girl). Very odd. The bunk beds did not have a ladder and even though I am 5’10 and in great shape, I had a hard time getting up/going down at times. From where my room was, I could definitely hear the music from the bar at night but it wasn’t loud to the point of keeping me up. It was mostly just a background noise. They have a “lock out” of the rooms from 10AM to 3PM. Even though I was always gone before 10 and never back before 3pm while in Interlaken, it could be a problem for some people. The lockers are located outside, near the kitchen and there aren’t very many. Even though they are hard to access, I was pleased that they had them at all. My room also did not have AC. The nights were cool (september) but during the day, the rooms became quite warm.

Other details:
- Location of the hostel is good. You can walk to both train Stations (Interlaken East and West) or take a bus from both stations. The hostel also gave me a “free bus pass” for my time there. Everything is close enough to walk to, but with luggage, it’s nice to have that option – for free.
- Breakfast was included. The choices were very poor (two toasts with orange juice or oatmeal with an apple) but I appreciated having something for “free” in this “very expensive country”. You could also get bacon, eggs, BLT’s at a reasonable price (again, that’s according to Switzerland’s standards).
- Wi-Fi internet was also included but it was very poor. Most of the time, I had to walk all the way to the main office (in another building) to be able to log-on and if I ventured too far, I would lose my connection. I had internet connection in my room ONE night. (Not sure why and how but it was appreciated!).
- Although my bedroom, bed and mattress were horrible, I’ve been in other people’s rooms while I was there and they had bunk beds with ladder, mattresses with real comfy mattresses and nice duvet covers. I just don’t know what the ratio of “terrible rooms vs decent rooms” is.

Overall, when I go back to Interlaken (And I will, I loved it), I will probably try to find somewhere else to stay simply because I had a very bad room... BUT if I ever come back, I would make sure to get a decent room. Had I had one of the nicer room I saw, I would have loved this place. I'd recommend it.

Room Tip: get a room in the mainbuilding (above Reception).
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2011, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Anikabella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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305 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
mumbai, india
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2011

The main complex is a super place, great 'Beergarden' with good yet cheap food and beer. The rooms are nice and surprisingly quiet given the hustle and bustle inside the hostel common areas. The bathrooms though need to be cleaned more regularly.

Balmer's is truly the most happening place in town for youngsters, what with the atmosphere, games, music and food. Don't miss it, even if you don't stay here. The breakfast is a huge letdown (in terms of quality, quantity, and the utter lack of respect for people that the staff displays). Cook your own grub, or step out somewhere.

The tent style accommodation is a different story altogether. I guess we landed up there on the wrong day (we had to stay one night, as there were no rooms anywhere in Interlaken, leave alone Balmer's main complex). It was raining heavily and the place was in a mess. There was a mini-storm that night, and we couldn't sleep because of the wind noise and the constant flapping of the tent. Don't take it, unless you are staying long and want to save the money. Also remember that you have to walk 15 minutes to have breakfast (at the Balmer's Herberge) as it is not available at the tents, or even when you have to take / return keys when checking in/out. Stay at the main Balmer's, avoid this place unless you are truly backpacking on a very tight budget.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sd1310
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2011

The place was cosy. Good facilities--games room, fast wifi, free breakfast, free bus card. Price was good (We got swiss card and got 1/2 price on the 3rd day). We could see the Alps from our skylight (private double room). Staff was generally informative. There is also live weather for Jungfrau. Quick to act on noisy guests.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Yingzangel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 October 2011

Myself and my boyfriend visited Interlaken during our interrailing tour and loved the look of Balmer's from their website! It looked really lovely, and young and helpful.

We arrived and it looked fab. The girl on the desk was a little short with us, but we went straight up to our room and slept! The room was a private double, and was pretty cosy and nice and clean for a hostel. On our last night, we had to move rooms to a room across the hall, which was a twin room. This seemed pretty unnecessary as no one was in the room that night that we had vacated, but nevertheless, it was still a decent room.

There are a HUGE amount of American kids staying here on their year abroad, so if that's going to annoy you - steer clear!! Breakfast was ok seeing as it was free, but you'll find yourself getting hungry again around 10-11am.

The one thing that really did annoy me though was the hot tub situation. It states on the website that there's a hot tub, which looks pretty awesome. But when we got there, they said it didn't open until late October which was really really disappointing, as this was one of the main reason's we had booked it. It would have been nice to have known this.

Overall, it was a nice stay, and the Metro bar downstairs looked like the only good night around which was handy, but it seems like Balmer's have spent a LOT of money promoting this place to Americans abroad, so we were told by locals, which takes away from its 'Swiss-ness!'

Tip: Go visit the Irish pub on the left as you leave, lovely staff!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Rachael K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 October 2011

My husband and I started our Euro trip after heaving rave reviews of Interlaken. Although young and fans of fun, the truth is that we didn't love it and enjoyed our following days in Murren (up the mountain from Interlaken) much, much more. Balmers was fine if you are into meeting American and Australian study abroad college kids. The rooms were nice and clean, but the hostel itself is very loud, the shared showers aren't clean, and the complimentary breakfast left us unsatisfied. Interlaken itself is very expensive, so the food and beer at Balmer's beergarden is probably the best deal in town. The town of Interlaken itself isn't the greatest... like I said above, spend the extra $20 a night and stay in Murren or Grindelwald. The hiking and base jumping is much better in those towns as well!

Room Tip: Ask to stay in a room far away from the bathrooms, otherwise you'll likely be woken up multiple...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank allibee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Balmer's Hostel

Property: Balmer's Hostel
Address: Hauptstrasse 23 - 33, Matten bei Interlaken, Interlaken 3800, Switzerland
Phone Number:
Region: Switzerland > Canton of Bern > Bernese Oberland > Interlaken > Matten bei Interlaken
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Matten bei Interlaken
Price range (per night): ₹ 3,866 - ₹ 8,827
Hotel Class:1 star — Balmer's Hostel 1*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Balmer's Hostel. We are the first established private hostel in Switzerland, providing a comfortable and friendly location from which to explore the adventure capital of Europe. The Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau (Swiss Alps) at our doorstep and two big glacier fed lakes are just a stones throw away. We have dormitories, private rooms, apartments and tents. Rated Top 10 hostels of Europe, a product of over 60 years of experience.We are the heart of all hostels. We strive to bring fun and memorable experiences to our guests so come push your boundaries and party in our Club with us! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Balmer`s Herberge Hotel Matten
Balmer's Hostel Matten Bei Interlaken, Interlaken

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