Victoria jungfraujoch

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Description: Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, Interlaken: See 896 traveler reviews, 619 candid photos, and great deals for Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, ranked #2 of 38 hotels in Interlaken and rated 4.5 of 5 at TripAdvisor.

It’s been a month and I’ve been wanting to get some final editing on this done…oh well… I think I’ll leave it as is and allow the reader to excuse any of my errors in what is already an extensive document.

2 adults, 2 children (daughters 8 &3). 2 night stay (24th and 25th December) in order to celebrate Christmas & a birthday. 85m2 “Deluxe Suite” inclusive of breakfast, dinner, spa use, and internet was booked online through the Victoria-Jungfrau (VJ) website and was booked under their holiday promotion rate/package.

I would happily recommend the Victoria Jungfrau to friends, family, and other TA members. As a leisure traveler who has stayed in luxury properties in 20 countries on 4 continents, I can honestly say that the Victoria Jungfrau presented me with a nearly perfect stay from start to finish and has earned its place amongst my favorite hotels. The few small suggestions I might have are dwarfed by the positives, and insignificant when compared to the stay as a whole. Polite professional house staff. Present and available executive staff (I had personal contact with at least 3). Lovely well decorated public areas. Elegantly decorated and designed suite. Gorgeous spa. Spot on personalized service (I called the day before our arrival and the concierge had no issue with getting a Christmas tree put in our room). Would I like to see a few things go a bit better? Of course…but from start to finish… I left beyond satisfied. The VJ provided a memorable “wow” experience for my family’s holiday. Although I would still love to do Vienna in Christmas, this property has earned my respect as a destination hotel for “special”/holiday events and should I get the exact same offer and experience as I had this year…I would reserve it today.

I originally booked through a secondary site but rebooked directly through VJ when I noticed the booking didn’t include my children for some reason. I upgraded my Superior Jr. Suite to a full Deluxe Suite as VJ was running a holiday special with suites at a reduced price to include dinner, so for 2.5 times the space and a nice mountain view we decided the extra cost as worthwhile. I had a few questions as to the promotion and the reservation dept. always answered in a prompt and professional manner. They also handled our dinner reservations for both nights.

A call to the concierge the day before our arrival actually got us Christmas tree set up in the room at no additional cost. Bravo. A lovely gesture and much appreciated for our Christmas celebration with the children.

We decided to make the walk from the Interlaken West train station…Signage appears to be more for motor traffic and there is a much more direct route to the hotel (it’s pretty much just a straight walk from the station) so watch out for that.

Bell/door staff greeted us & grabbed the luggage as soon as we approached the hotel. Receipt was given and in we went.

Upon entrance there is a nice seating area off to the right. Bell/concierge desk is directly ahead. The centerpiece welcoming us was a “Christmas tree” composed of layers of poinsettias. I’d guess about 10 feet high. The VJ has a great entrance, just walking in gives you the feeling that you’re in for quite an experience

We arrived a bit early at about 1330…Happily our room was ready…We took care of the usual formalities and then the Rooms Director herself came on out and greeted me (which was most certainly a nice touch).We had a bit of conversation and she informed me that the Christmas tree had been set up as requested (and of it being the courtesy of the property). The children were both given a puzzle of the VJ…and the receptionist showed us up to our room.

Just a great room overall with main views overlooking the mountain range. Tastefully furnished and decorated. Balcony.1.5 bath. Separate entrance way, living room, bedroom, changing room, full bath.

Entrance way…Nice sized entry with coat area, mini-bar, and half-bath (always a strong point when travelling with family. Small note. Although I-m sure that I could have requested more, 1 hand towel in the half bath is a bit minimalistic for a family of 4

Living Room….Large open, airy, and light. This area includes a sitting area of couch, chairs, coffee table, a desk area, and a small dining area with seating for 2.The TV was a bit dated (we never used it anyways), as was the CD/Tape deck (which we never used either). The rollaway bed for our older daughter (also never used for its intended purpose) was placed in the living room area without interrupting the flow of the room. The requested Christmas tree was also placed in the living room next to the desk area. Furnishings and decoration are simple and elegant. Windows and balcony have a view of the mountain ranges. Fresh bouquet of flowers on the coffee table. White orchids on the dining table. Poinsettia on the desk

Bedroom….Spacious. Simple yet elegant furnishings and decoration. 2 dressers, two night stands with lamps, the bed, and a TV. The bed is the Swiss/European system of having 2 separate mattresses form into one queen sized bed. It’s a nice system until the kids crawl into bed with you and someone gets stuck trying to sleep in the middle position. The TV is a bit dated. Most luxury properties nowadays have a big flat screen plastered on the wall but here they are the smaller model that sits on one of the dressers. View from the bedroom window is out onto the mountain range.

Changing room….My problem here is that it is not so much a changing room versus a closet…and what’s more, this closet, while functional, lacks form. There’s plenty of space for luggage storage, to hangs things, for folded items…but…you have this nicely done suite…there’s a nice to flow it….and then you come to a room that is completely utilitarian. all white, without a hint of decoration, and containing only a bench and 2 white rectangular modular storage units. Changing room has a sewing kit, shoe horn and a shoe sponge. Small negative for not having a shine mitt (“automatic shine” shoe sponges are not good for leather). Laundry bags/ forms are also found here. In room safe is also provided

Bathroom….Very nicely done. Spacious. Well designed. 2 sinks on either side. A lovely large tub with the trademark VJ pillars as the centerpiece. The separate shower is roomy and comfortable (but I give it a slight negative for the plastic massage shower head which does not fit in aesthetically with the rest of the bathroom). Another small negative for the chrome bath faucet that had a huge crack running down the center of it, I understand that these things may not be easy/cheap to replace, but it’s literally the center focus of the entire bathroom. The Molton Brown toiletries (soaps, body wash, shampoo, etc.) are nice enough & pleasantly scented. No razor was present. Nor were there any toothbrushes (not even a single “emergency) but a quick call to housekeeping got us the needed items within a few minutes.

This was held outside in the little Christmas market area. A brass band played a nice assortment of Christmas music & hot punch/canapes were served. A nice little touch and a neat way to sort of usher in Christmas Eve/Christmas. We were coming from an outside event and had early dinner reservations so we didn’t stay long but we did take a few minutes to enjoy the moment. One of my small criticisms is that we were not informed of this in advance of our trip. It would have been nice to actually plan this and to have had a few of the canapes versus running into it on our way to freshen up/change for dinner. It would have been nice to have an advanced invitation versus just running into it and wondering if we had just accidently crashed a private party…Instead of attending a local chocolate demonstration perhaps we may have preferred to catch an early seat next to a fireplace and enjoy the band….On our way in (from the party) the reception director caught my wife and invited us…and that was a lovely touch….just perhaps a bit late for our needs…

As long as I’m already hitting on miscommunication…My second issue was that staff didn’t always seem to have decent interdepartmental communications…I specifically called the property in order to know the hours of the pool on the 24th. I planned our night for this…Again…As a destination hotel, part of our desires were to use the pool several times during our stay to include the night of the 24th. I even called reception during our dinner on the 24th to confirm pool hours and assure the children that we would indeed go swimming after dinner…You can imagine our shock when we arrived in bathing suites and robes at the spa well before the “closing time” only to find it closed…Keep in mind that I had just called the hotel from my mobile only an hour before. You might imagine the children’s disappointment…and the disappointment of papa being made to look like an idiot while trying to calm 2 kids…Proper communication would have probably left your client much less stressed on the night of the 24th. Had communications been proper we could have rescheduled our day to include this as originally planned and promised

Admit it…Part of the fun of staying at luxury properties is the welcome amenity. And during our stay at the VJ they were non-stop. We started joking as to what they might put in our rom next and if they had security call room service every time we left the room. Upon entering the first time we were greeted by a nice size plate of fruit for the adults, and a setup of candy, peanuts, and drinks for the children. A giftwrapped VJ 150th anniversary book was there as well. An hour later here comes Champaign on ice. Come back from a bit of shopping there’s a large platter of chocolates in the room. Come back from dinner and there’s a cup with a bag of cookies in it. At turndown the children get a little VJ box with a chocolate in it. Stuffed animals during the chocolate making activity. Chocolate from the chocolate activity. A gift set from the spa appeared while we were out. A birthday cake appeared in our room while we were eating breakfast on the 26th. I’m checking out and the receptionist pulls 2 loaves of Christmas bread out of a side drawer (I was happy the wife and kids ignored it because I loved both loaves…lol). As we’re getting into the cab, a there’s a gent with 4 bottles of water for our trip.

Oh one small critique….Don’t put alcohol in the chocolates….or at least identify the ones that have alcohol…Not everyone has a wife that accepts their children eating such things…

All public areas were done up quite nicely for the holiday season with multiple Christmas trees throughout the property and lights strung throughout. Everything worked nicely together and set a pleasant atmosphere for our Christmas holiday. Open and spacious yet still intimate and cozy. Don’t let the modern entrance and spa fool you, pretty much all other areas of the hotel are classic luxury.

I’m going to hit another little preference here….to me…. luxury properties should offer actual hand towels in their public area restrooms and not paper towels/hand dryers.

The F&B director accompanied my daughter and I down to the kitchen for the children’s chocolate making activity. When he noticed me looking around a bit he graciously offered me a little tour and happily answered a few questions that I came up with. After the tour he invited me to join in the chocolate making and gave me a VJ apron to take home with me. It will probably just collect dust with my concert t-shirts but it’s a fun souvenir nonetheless.

Always a favorite of mine at luxury properties the VJ did not disappoint. Plenty of selection to satisfy the international standard…

Weak points: Less than stellar fresh fruit selection (strawberries, pineapple, and 1 type of melon). Poor pastry selection (literally 1 pastry and 3 types of cake. no pain au chocolate/chocolate croissants, Danishes, crème salees)

(For Christmas/Christmas Eve). Nice layout. Nice selection. Nice atmosphere. Certainly no complaints. Just an enjoyable meal in an enjoyable semi-formal atmosphere. 24th Carved Veal saddle, duck with cabbage/dumplings, warm fish selection, cold shrimp (with cocktail sauce), Vitello tonato, calamari salad, foie gras, chestnut soup (just lovely), salad area, dessert table (with cheese selection).

25th Carved Turkey, warm fish selection, warm breaded venison, cold Lobster, veal tartar, Salad area, dessert table (with cheese selection).

One small gripe…. There were no nonalcoholic cakes on the 24th. While there were other desserts that were nonalcoholic, the cakes do tend to draw the attention of the children so a nonalcoholic option would be nice. Same with the warm dessert on the 25th.

Another small(er) gripe (and it’s a Swiss cultural thing that still gets me after 10 years of living here)…Apple Soda and Apple Juice are not the same thing. For the love of Pete…. when I order an Apple Juice, please don’t bring me out an Apple Soda…

The lemon chicken wrap was ok but I found the overall taste slightly overbearing. I can’t say that I appreciated their interpretation of a Caesar salad. Don’t take it wrong, the salad was good, it was refreshing, it was everything you might think a spa salad might be…. nice presentation, ample portions, the rolled cucumbers and carrots were delightful, the pomegranate seeds added just a hint of color contrast (and a crunchy burst of juice), the bowl lined with mandarin segments was a touch of artistry, the sauce was light and subtle…….but…. it was not a Caesar salad by any stretch of the imagination. You can only add so many ingredients to mayonnaise before it becomes tartar sauce…right?

Much of our decision to stay at the VJ was based on the fact that they had an organized children’s program for Christmas. The girlies seemed to enjoy the activities that they participated in…Chocolate making in the hotel’s kitchen was a favorite (with a stuffed animal under the tree for each of them).There was a movie night in which another family with 5 children joined in…The adults from both families were busy eating at the buffet while the kids were “watching” the movie…I honestly think they spent more time jumping around and rough housing than watching the movie but at least they had fun and nothing was broken. The problem I saw was that there weren’t many children joining in the organized activities. A total of 4 other kids for chocolate making…2 other kids for the pool activities one of the nights and none for the second night. 5 other kids for the movie night. For T-shirt painting and the “picture book” there were no other children during the times we attended. I myself would like to see the hotel strengthen the program and perhaps market it a bit more. Too many children wouldn’t be great either, but a few for all activities would be nice.

A welcome gift of ice tea, a cornet of candies, and a certificate for Ice cream sundaes were in the room upon arrival for 1 child. The front desk happily sent up a second one for upon request.

Children’s robes and slippers were set up for 1 child and a second set were brought upon request to the receptionist that brought us to our room. The children’s robes and slippers come in varying sizes which is always a plus.

Both nights housekeeping left a little VJ box with a chocolate inside for the girlies…I was a bit jealous. Lol.

I believe 1600-1700 is set aside for children’s “noisy” play time. It might be nice to somehow inform guests not travelling with children about this. I understand that many guests desire peace in the spa area so perhaps they might like to be reminded that children will be noisy and that families are allowed to play during this period versus felling obligated to leer at families every time they swim a lap. I saw this happen with at least 4 different families and several other guests.

Although I would have cut off my hand before allowing it…The server at dinner offered to have simple dishes (pasta, etc) made for the children (yes, I’m one of those fathers that forces their children to try something new when the occasion arises versus falling on old comforts).

No child specific amenities such as tooth brushes, soaps, bath toys, etc. but again, there are varying sizes of children’s robes and slippers.

Breathtaking is usually a word I reserve for nature but it fits the VJ spa well…What a triumph of function and design…Just gorgeous…And although it would be unfair to compare the 2, it ties with the Kyoto Ritz as my all-time favorite spa area…Outdoor hot tub looking upon the mountains. 2 indoor hot tubs on either side of the amazing pool with the VJ pillar theme going along both sides. A cold water sprinkler/waterfall at the entrance. Male/female sauna, co-ed steam room, quiet room, ample seating, It looks amazing in the pictures…but it’s something you really need to experience.

There is a separate skin/nail care spa (in the general spa area)…We had a walk around and it looks nice enough but we didn’t use any of its services.

We did this on the 26th (the day we were checking out)…Probably the nicest birthday I’ve ever had. Just a very nice family day. Yes…It’s more of a romantic couple thing but as parents need to accompany children for massages, I figured using the private spa for all 4 of us, might do the job just as well …The Spa manager/director gave me a nice deal on 6 hours of use to include four 80 minute massages & lunch for 2 (girlies ordered from the children’s room service menu). I wasn’t sure what to expect overall but… the plate of cakes& chocolates, the plate of fresh fruit, the smoothies for the children and Champaign for the adults, the rose petals everywhere (to include a huge rose petal heart in the middle of the floor), the candles, the freshly brewed tea, the dried fruits/snacks. When hoteliers speak of “wowing” the client…this is one of those moments.

After our lunch a birthday cake was presented in honor of my birthday. Nice touch. I don’t know if this was the same one that had been in my room or not but we ate half of it and were presented with a new cake upon check-out…

Upon leaving the spa staff presented me a bottle of “body reviver” which was a nice touch and an appreciated gesture (albeit perhaps a subtle hint. Lol)

I always found reception professional and friendly. I appreciated that the director remembered and always greeted us by name. I dealt with a younger gent several times that was always outgoing, friendly, professional, and had a general light attitude that I appreciated.

Concierge…Once again, a much appreciated job on the Christmas tree and handling any other requests I may have made concerning their team.

Food Service…Servers for both breakfast and dinner remembered our drinks the second day. Friendly, polite service that stayed on top of our needs be it drinks, clearing plates, or chasing after some small extra.

Overall a pleasant job by housekeeping. We interrupted them a few times but they still managed to impress.

Now after mentioning all this wonderful service, I’m going to allow myself to state a small preference. The VJ gives a liter bottle of water & 2 glasses daily. Hey…They thought of the water…and there are refreshed glasses daily…and it’s a nice touch but….for a family of 4, I find the half liter bottle of water and a glass for each person to be a bit more to my liking. Many luxury properties do this in the morning when making up the room and at turndown. It’s a picky little thing, but if you’re a family traveler, you understand that it just makes things…”easier”.

No automatic ice service at turndown was somewhat disappointing. Happily the balcony served as a decent place to keep the water cold.

I’m not sure how much of a part Housekeeping played in bringing all the welcome amenities but kudos to all that put the time and energy into it.

Other than the children ordering from the room service menu during our private spa day, room service was not used due to the fact that extensive breakfast and dinner buffets were included with our room package. The children seemed to enjoy their meals off of the children’s menu. Presentation seemed nice enough as well. I’m not sure how much of a part room service played in bringing all the welcome amenities but kudos to all that put the time and energy into it.

Again…Small issues…Great benefits….I wouldn’t change a thing if other experiences were sacrificed (a change of shower heads is less important than the chocolates on the children’s pillows every night. In my opinion). If the concierge can get a Christmas tree in my room with a night’s notice, how serious should I take the minor lack of communication before arrival (i.e. the welcoming party and the pool situation on our arrival day of the 24th)? To me the basic furniture in the dressing room doesn’t outweigh the beautiful bath area. I may have preferred to have more children there for the Christmas programs….but that doesn’t mean that my children didn’t enjoy the children’s events… (Be it chocolate making, photos, playing with other kids at the pool, etc). Does the lack of individual bottles of water mean that I want to lose the chocolates, the Champaign, the bowl of fruit, etc….Heck no…..I’m more than happy to buy a bottle of water from the mini-bar in order to keep up with all these little “surprises” for the family (I wanted to say children…and that’s the most important part for me…but it also pleased my wife and I as well). Again. We stayed here as a destination hotel for the Christmas holidays. I know very little about Interlaken and the surrounding areas and could not state this would make a good “tourist” destination…but for those that will be in the area for the holiday season and are looking for something a bit more relaxed than Gstaad and Zermatt (and numerous other areas)…..As my final repetition…Should I be able to stay here again next year and have the same experience at the same price…I would happily do so…and I would happily recommend others do so as well (just leave me a suite and the private spa on my birthday lol)

Photogallery Victoria jungfraujoch:


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