I love Switzerland. It’s my maternal homeland, and I have strong ties to this compact, western European country of mountains, cows & chocolate. We enjoy visiting Switzerland every chance we get, and are always amazed by its beauty, sense of order and unique history and culture.
On our most recent visit, we decided to try a unique accommodation experience for our family. Hotels in Switzerland are very expensive, so in the search of something cheaper, we found the ‘unusual accommodation’ option on the My Switzerland website.
There are many kinds of unusual accommodation to choose from – sleeping in a hay barn, a tree house or an old prison – and not all of them are cheap. In the Lake of Thun and Interlaken area where we were headed, we found one such alternative hotel that we just had to try. The Swiss Tube Hotel struck our fancy, and our location needs. Plus, the kids were super excited to be sleeping in a tube – who wouldn’t be?
The Swiss Tube Hotel is well located on the lovely shores of the Lake of Thun, in Gwatt just outside of the old city of Thun. The Tube Hotel is made from five self-contained concrete tubes, finished into living quarters on the inside with beds, a TV, bathroom, shower and storage facilities. The tube is fairly spartan, but has room for 4, 6 or 8 people, either in bunk beds or four twin beds. We had the latter room and everyone slept incredibly well.
From our concrete tube window, we enjoyed a stunning view from the Lake and the crown jewels of the Swiss Alps – the Monch, Jungfrau and Eiger mountains. The hotel location is in easy driving distance to the Alps, and also to the cities of Bern, Thun, Interlaken, and the villages of Grindelwald, Kandersteg, and Adelboden.
The Tube Hotel sits next to a full-service campground, and you can order a breakfast service when you book the hotel, for an additional charge. We enjoyed a fantastic breakfast of freshly baked breads and croissants (among the best I’ve ever eaten anywhere), meats cheeses, coffee and hot chocolate. We pretty much ate for the day.
Our positive experience in the Swiss Tubes has whet our appetite for trying to find other unique accommodations on future trips, like barns, farms and houseboats.
[ttm tip: Have your kids help you find and choose unique accommodation options on family vacations. It will give them a sense of responsibility, and something to look forward to and be excited about on their trip.]
Photo Credit: C. Laroye
Have you ever stayed in an alternative style of accommodation? What did you like best about it? Share your comment below.