The Cambrian

Adelboden, Swiss Alps, Switzerland Book from Book from £149 per night

Cool spa hotel high in a pretty village with fabulous mountain views - sun terrace, sitting room and swimming pool all look the right way
Adelboden sits at the end of a wide valley surrounded by forested mountains. It’s a great little place for some Alpine fun, not least because of the wonders that wait inside The Cambrian. This is a stylish design hotel, though walls of glass everywhere draw your vision away from cool interiors and out into the valley beyond. Expect striking slate walls in reception, open fires and contemporary art, a glass pod that doubles as a sitting room with rather good views, then a hot pool below the terrace from which you can gaze on the valley. If you want to be busy in the mountains during the day and return to the lap of luxury at night, you’ll love it.

And out on the mountain you’ll find excellent skiing - the FIS World Cup passes through in the second week in January - while summer is no less exhilarating, with hiking and biking trails to suit all levels. Back at the hotel, there’s a fully loaded spa for some well-earned recuperation - indoor and outdoor pools, saunas, treatments galore. Bedrooms above have lots of style: low-slung beds, crisp white linen, thick blankets and fancy bathrooms. Many have balconies, those at the back have the view, while bigger rooms have sofas, too. There’s a cool little bar, a sociable restaurant with a sharing menu, and a buzzing village at night.

Highs

  • The spa, with its outdoor pool and big views over the valley, makes a great spot to unwind after a day in the mountains
  • The range of activities, and its position in the middle of town, make The Cambrian a great year-round base
  • South-facing bedrooms with balconies and views over the valley are hard to beat
  • The landscape here is deeply beautiful, a picture-book pretty Alpine resort - with some excellent après-ski, too

Lows

  • This is Switzerland - design hotels with chic spas don’t come cheap!
  • Towels in the bathrooms are quite small: not what you expect in a chic spa hotel
  • Breakfast - included in the price - is fine, though probably not the best you've eaten
  • The outside pool isn’t huge and with 71 rooms in the hotel, it can get a little busy

Best time to go

If you want to see the FIS World Cup, come in the second week in January, though be warned - the population of Adelboden inflates from about 4,000 people to nearer 40,000.

Like most skiing resorts, the lifts close in early May and don’t reopen until June (as does the hotel), then the lifts close again in early October until early December (but the hotel stays open). However, prices are at their lowest when the lifts are shut, those who prefer looking at mountains rather than going up them may well want to come during this period.

Our top tips

For something romantic and a little different, head up the mountain one evening for a candlelit fondue in an igloo restaurant.

Great for...

Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 71
  • Restaurant & bar meals (daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pools
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Pool Table
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

Lovely rooms and suites come in the same smart style - natural tones, clean lines, fluffy blankets created especially for The Cambrian. Chic bathrooms have creamy mosaic tiles, lovely walk-in power showers and robes to pad about in.

The big 3 factors to consider are: the view; the size of the room; and whether it has a balcony. More than half the rooms overlook the valley - sometimes Deluxe Rooms do, sometimes Junior Suites don’t, so it’s not just the type of room (or price) that decides this, though south-facing rooms are your best bet (and worth the premium). It’s the same with balconies - some rooms at the front have them, some rooms at the back don’t, and while the view at the back is infinitely more impressive, the view at the front over town and up the mountain isn't bad either. In short, prepare to pay more for a bigger room, a little more for a balcony or a view, and a little more again for both.

Deluxe Rooms may be the smallest rooms, but they’re stylish and several have balconies and the view. Junior Suites are altogether bigger, about twice the size, with sofas and armchairs in the sitting area, too. Family Suites have a second room for children (sometimes on a mezzanine), and they’re up in the eaves with cathedral ceilings and white-painted beams. The Cambrian Suite is awesome, with 3 balconies, 2 bathrooms (one with a bath) and a separate living room.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfast (included in the price) is served downstairs in the smart restaurant, or on the terrace in good weather. It’s a help-yourself buffet with fruit salad, freshly baked bread and croissants, plates of cheese and ham, bacon and eggs if you’re hungry.

Cool little AXE Bar, located just off the lobby, offers a snack menu for light bites throughout the day, and is the perfect place for après-ski cocktails or aperitifs.

Dinner in The Glasshaus Restaurant is the main event, and in summer you can eat on the terrace with the valley spread out before you. The ingredients are as local as possible, and the menu features lots of small dishes for sharing. You might try marinated tuna fish and seaweed salad, pork with an apricot, vanilla and lavender relish, and cheesecake with white chocolate and cherry.

If you want to eat out, there are some good restaurants to try, though most are likely to involve a combination of cow bells, wood cabins or cheese fondues! For the latter try the lovely rustic Alte Taverne; for excellent Italian head to Trattoria Alfredo. Both are popular in the skiing season, so make sure you book.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • The Swiss love to play on their mountains and Adelboden is no exception, with a full menu of Alpine activities, from plain old skiing and snowboarding to snow tubing, cross-country skiing, tobogganing or sledging with huskies, even snowshoeing (winter hiking) or climbing up an ice face. The 72 ski lifts serve 210km of pistes and the winter ski pass - costing CHF 310 in 2014 - covers all areas, with good reductions for families. In town you can go skating, try your hand at curling, or watch the ice hockey
  • The locals' appetite for mountain adventure is undiminished in summer. Hiking is excellent - don’t miss the Engstligenalp and its spectacular waterfalls, or the Aeugi-Lowa trail for its magnificent high Alpine views. There’s something to suit every level, with blisteringly beautiful landscapes of soaring peaks, waterfalls, deep gorges, flower-strewn meadows, the odd hanging bridge
  • The hotel's spa is a big attraction and comes with a cool indoor pool, a hot outdoor pool and views across the valley. There’s a steam room and sauna, then 5 separate rooms with a vast range of treatments on offer
  • Mountain biking is popular, with over 80km of signposted trails - you can even bike down the FIS World Cup course. There’s family fun on scooters, too, with 45km of downhill runs, pony trekking, even llama trekking
  • Or you can saddle up and horse-ride through the valley, and try your hand at mountain climbing, abseiling, hang-gliding, paragliding or zip-wiring across the river. There are guided tours of the valley and its villages, too, with a stop for a good lunch on the way

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Ice skating
  • Mountain biking
  • Paragliding
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Pool table
  • Private guided tours
  • Skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Trekking
  • Well being

Kids

Children are very welcome - there are extra beds for Junior Suites, or Family Suites with 2 bedrooms (1 double, 1 twin). There’s a children’s room with table football and a few other games, the swimming pool, and a pool table for older children. Ski school is available, too, and there are lots of family-friendly activities on offer in the valley in summer.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available, Family Rooms

Kid Friendly: Family Suite

Location

The Cambrian is in the Alpine town of Adelboden, in the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland. The hotel sits high on the hill in the centre of the village, with big views south over a wide mountain valley, and within walking distance of the ski lifts.

By Air:
Fly into Bern (65km, the closest airport) if you can, or one of Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg (Euroairport) / Zurich / Geneva (all around 170-200km, but served by more flights).

From the Airport
Take a taxi, take the train or hire a car.

By Car:
You're an hour from Bern and about 3 hours from Basel, Zurich or Geneva. Speed cameras are everywhere, and will fine you if you go even 1km/h over the limit, so beware! See our car rental recommendations.

By Train:
A great option in winter as you won't need a car while you're here. Plan your trip with Seat 61.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

More on getting to Switzerland and getting around

Airports:

  • Bern-Belp 62.0 km BRN
  • Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg 166.0 km BSL

Other:

  • Beach 350.0 km
  • Shops 0.1 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

6/10
Room
6/10
Food
10/10
Service
8/10
Value
8/10
Overall

{{ review.rating }}/10, {{ review.firstName }}Anonymous{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},

Rates for The Cambrian

Check Availability