Escape To The Victoria Jungfrau Hotel By Isabel Donnelly
I decided to return on New Year’s Eve to the Victoria Jungfrau Grand Spa Hotel for their New Year package, which I last did eight years ago. My memories were of sheer elegance, 7 star service and outstanding facilities at this 224 room hotel, situated in picturesque Interlaken in the heart of central Switzerland.
Upon arrival, I was greeted by the incredibly efficient concierges, Dracken and Jose, whom I have known for many years. It is always a delight to arrive back here. Check-in was smooth and swift, and I was shown to a junior suite with a large double bed and sitting room area. There were plenty of wardrobes and the whole suite was tastefully decorated with all you would expect from a five star hotel.
On New Year’s Eve, a reception in the grand entrance – where general managers Urs and Yasmin Grim Cachemaille greeted guests – was followed by champagne, canopies and a black tie ball. The theme was The Great Gatsby, and the decorations were sublime. Beautifully displayed, the gastronomic delights included caviar, crayfish, salmon, foie gras and oysters. We had sole and veal with truffle, and dessert was a chocolate fountain with all kinds of fruit, crepes suzette, so many tarts and masses of cheeses. Midnight struck, frivolity ruled and then farmers appeared playing cow bells. All in all, a lovely evening executed brilliantly.
The next day, I hit the luxurious spa. After a much-needed massage, I went to the sauna and steam room, and then to the relaxation room where I could chill with views of the snowy Alps. For the more energetic, you can go swimming in the indoor Roman pool, but I preferred the two Jacuzzis and the outside hydro pool, where I could look up at the majestic mountains and watch the moon come up. This was the life!
Later that evening, I went to watch a wonderful firework display across from the hotel in the park. The theme was 007 and the fireworks were done to the famous music from the films. Just magical. Alp horns performed, brass bands played and there were stalls selling glühwein and bratwurst. Bond aficionados visiting Interlaken can visit the Jungfraujoch – the top of Europe – made famous by the legendary spy, and also The Schilthorn for the James Bond trail and some wonderful skiing. You can also add to the whole 007 experience with a helicopter flight over the Alps to see the glaciers at Lauterbrunnen, or by going paragliding.
So, the big question – has the hotel changed eight years on? They continue to upgrade twenty bedrooms and suites a year, they are fastidious about standards, and service remains of the highest quality. Will I return? Yes, definitely! I left feeling wonderfully relaxed and energised. The ambiance and sheer luxury of the hotel makes it the perfect place to indulge oneself, and I left feeling totally ready for the year ahead. Bring it on!
The Victoria Jungfrau Hotel offers many packages – go to www.Victoria-Jungfrau.ch for more details. Staying in mid-January in a top-end suite for three nights will cost 12,619.20 Swiss francs. The package includes a delicious breakfast buffet with a wide choice of warm and cold dishes, one bottle of Laurent Perrier Champagne (or alternatively, one carafe of non-alcoholic applesecco) and use of the Victoria-Jungfrau Spa. Free cancellation possible (until 5 days before arrival). Zurich Airport is 2 hours by car and rail, and Bern airport is 1 hour by car and rail.