We’re just back from Engelberg in Switzerland where we spent a week skiing with our kids. We stayed at Berghotel Trübsee here is our experience of the winter stay at Berghotel Trübsee.
This is not a sponsored post – all opinions are my own and based on our stay at Berghotel Trübsee.
Advantages of Engelberg and Trübsee Alpine Lodge
There are several reasons why we chose Engelberg for our ski holiday and berghotel Trübsee in particular.
- Engelberg is very easy to reach. It’s less than 20km from the highway on a very good road in the valley. Only the last 10km are on a mountain road, but you are only climbing to 1,000m (3,000 ft). Engelberg is located just South of Luzern and is less than 2hrs by train from Zurich airport.
- Engelberg has a couple of ski areas up to 3,000 m (10,000 ft) and is a snow-sure ski resort.
- Hotel Trübsee is located on the mountain, in the middle of the ski area and you can ski in and out of the hotel.
- Berghotel Trübsee is very reasonably priced, and affordable hotels directly on the slopes are not that easy to find in Switzerland.
- This hotel has family rooms for 3, 4, and 5 people, and rooms for 5 people are also not that easy to find.
Review of Berghotel Trübsee – skiing in winter
Located at 1,800 m (6,000ft) above sea level, Berghotel Trübsee can only be reached by cable car with a valid ski pass. You have to get to Engelberg by 4pm as the last cable car runs at 4.30pm. It’s a special experience being high up in the mountains in the evening after everyone has left. We loved it!
Our arrival went easier than expected: the road towards Engelberg was indeed very good; parking, unpacking, and getting our luggage up the mountain went very smoothly, and in less than 20 minutes from arrival in Engelberg we were sitting in the cable car heading up the mountain towards our hotel.
Berghotel Trübsee facilities
The hotel has a restaurant, a bar, and a sun terrace with views on Lake Trübsee. There is also a sauna and several facilities for children, including a playroom and a snow fun park next to the hotel.
The hotel has a very nice secure heated ski room with plenty of storage place.
There is also free Wi-Fi available and it worked pretty well everywhere, even on the nearby lifts and on the slopes just above the hotel.
The hotel area is a bit confusing with so many different levels, entrances, and exits, and it takes some time to find your way around, but you get used to it.
What you notice immediately is that the whole hotel has been refurbished recently and it’s a really cozy and nice place. Much better than you would imagine when you see it from the outside. Not only the rooms are nice and modern, but also the common areas. There is a nice sitting room with a small library, two PC’s, and a play area with some toys for the children where our kids spent many hours every evening. Adjacent to it is a conference room which is used as a cinema and they show two films every evening: one at 4.30pm for the kids, and one after dinner, for the adults.
The sauna is located on the third floor and is free of charge. It’s open every evening from 4pm. Bathrobes can be borrowed at the reception. It’s a pity there is no hot tub, but that’s about the only disadvantage of the hotel that I can think of.
We had a nice family room with a view over the lake and the mountains (nr. 1312). It’s a duplex room over two floors. Downstairs you have a living room with a sleeper couch for two and a shower room with a toilet and upstairs there is a bedroom with a double and a single bed. Cupboard space is somewhat limited, but we could manage just fine, even with all the ski clothing we had for the five of us. Shower room had adequate storage space. Compared to many ski hotels in France and Switzerland, the room was actually pretty spacious and well equipped.
We had a half board package and the food was good and plentiful. Breakfast is buffet-style with fresh bread and pastry, cheese, meat, jam, fruit, yoghurt, bacon and eggs, and dinner is a set 4-course menu.
If you are not fussy with food, you’ll probably be content with the standard menu. Portions are big and you will not be going to bed hungry, but don’t expect a really fine cuisine – the meals are rather basic and simple. Bigger disadvantage is that children’s menu is really limited: spaghetti or chicken nuggets with fries. Every day. Of course, kids can eat some salad from the buffet and also soup, and if they want to they can get the same main course as adults, but it’s not ideal for the younger kids. Not that our kids minded eating spaghetti or French fries every day – it’s a dream scenario for them! I’m not sure how it is with vegetarian meals either – the vegetarian menu suggestion was Swiss cheese fondue. Every evening. The hotel is on the mountain and it’s not like you have an option to eat anywhere else, so you better check in advance if you have any special dietary requirements.
You should book half board package as there is really no alternative. The lifts don’t operate in the evening and the hotel restaurant is the only place to dine.
Skiing near hotel Trübsee, Engelberg
Location of the hotel is very good for skiing and you can ski in and out straight from the ski room. Note that there are no slopes that start at the hotel (one of them ends there though) and you have to take a chair lift or a gondola depending on where you want to ski. It’s not ideal for beginners nor for families who want to send their kids to a ski school or leave them at a nursery during the day. This is because most ski schools start their lessons down in the village and the youngest kids stay at another ski area, on the other side of the village. If you are planning to take group ski lessons for your kids, you are probably better off staying at one of the hotels in Engelberg village rather than on the mountain. Or arrange private lessons instead.
The easiest blue slopes are located at Gritschnalp area and that is probably the best area for beginners on this side of the village. There is also a blue slope (nr. 5) that starts just across the lake and goes all the way down to the village, but it was closed when we travelled. There are two blue slopes (nr. 7 and 10) up the mountain at Jochpass, but you need to take two chair lifts from the hotel in order to get there. Both slopes are really nice and wide, but they are pretty steep so probably not suitable for complete beginners either. If you can ski a little bit, these slopes are perfect. Most red slopes are very steep (don’t take nr. 2, 3, 4, or 13 with very young kids – it’s much too steep to be fun for families), but we really liked the red slope nr. 8 – it’s probably our favourite, and also our kids (5, 5, 7) really enjoyed it.
Staying at Trubsee is perfect for families with children as there is a nice snow tubing/ sledding area just outside the hotel and it’s a good way to spend an hour or two after a day of skiing or when the weather is not so good. You can use tubes and sleds at no additional cost and there is a moving carpet that brings you back up the hill.
After a few days we saw that there is also a small beginners slope just behind the tubing area, but it’s not very easy to get to.
If you are looking for après-ski, this hotel is probably not the best choice. There is a bar at the hotel and they say you can do karaoke every evening if you like (we didn’t try), but that’s pretty much it. You will have a great time if you are together with a group of friends, but otherwise it’s pretty quiet as there are only hotel guests up on the mountain in the evening.
Staff and service
The staff of the hotel is extremely friendly and they take very good care of their guests. They open the sauna for you earlier if you ask, or let the children choose a movie they want to watch in the ‘cinema’… On Thursday evening all guests were invited to the bar for some mulled wine and typical Swiss snacks… You could borrow snow shoes for free and get some advice on the walks you can make in the area… Nothing was too much trouble and it’s thanks to the staff that this hotel felt truly cozy despite all the hustle and bustle that day visitors bring to the place.
On a side note – most hotel guests were European and American when we visited and there were many Swiss staying at the hotel as well, which we take as a positive sign.
Parking in Engelberg
There is a big parking area at the Titlis valley station and it costs 5 CHF per day. There is no need to reserve in advance, but you have to arrange where to park with the parking attendant upon arrival as your car may get towed away otherwise – overnight parking is only allowed in certain areas.
Getting your baggage up the mountain
One of the biggest worries for us was how we would get our baggage to the hotel. With winter clothing and all the ski equipment for the five of us, we were not exactly traveling light this time… We shouldn’t have worried! Upon arrival at the Titlis cable car station, we were shown where to unload our bags and ski equipment (delivery ramp at the back of the valley station). Our baggage was loaded and up on the mountain before we even parked our car.
Upon departure we left our bags at the reception and they took care of it. All we had to do is get down the hill, pick up our car from the parking lot, and drive up to the delivery ramp to load our bags.
Note that they ask you to take your skis with you as they are too long to easily transport in the cable car together with the rest of the baggage. Children’s skis were not a problem and could be loaded together with the bags.
We had expected a small fee for the handling of the luggage, but it was free of charge.
Skiing equipment and ski passes
I don’t think you can rent ski equipment at the hotel, but there is an Intersport ski rental just at the entrance of Titlis cable car (valley station).
You have to have a valid pass to get to the hotel and for all the other ski lifts, so it’s easiest (and cheapest) if you get the ski pass for the whole period of your stay including day of arrival and departure. You can buy a ski pass upon arrival or contact the hotel and they can reserve it for you – in any case you have to pick it up at the Titlis valley station. You pay a deposit of 5 CHF per ski pass and you get the deposit back upon your departure (don’t forget to return the ticket).
Berghotel Trübsee in Engelberg, Switzerland is a really nice ski hotel for couples, friends, and for families with children who can ski already. Hotel has all you need for a perfect quiet ski vacation: very good location, good facilities, good food, and friendly and efficient staff. Price/ quality ratio is also really good for Switzerland. We will return!
Update: Since this post was first published, we have been back to Alpine Lodge Trübsee several times. In fact, we liked it so much that we visited again in winter and also in summer. Here you can read about all kinds of great things to do at Trübsee in summer.
Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own and are based on our experience. The link for booking the hotel is an affiliate link and if you book your stay using this link, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks.