Hotel Highlights

  • Mind-blowing Alpine panoramas
  • Fantastic spa with heated outdoor pool
  • The ideal base for skiers, snowboarders and hikers

Overview

Surrounded by snowy peaks, the sleek and sultry Cambrian hotel in the Swiss Alps offers the most sensorily idyllic of contradictions with its steaming hot tubs that overlook mountain vistas. Add that to its black-tiled spa, indoor and outdoor pools, ultra-modern rooms and countless terraces and you'll find yourself constantly spoiled for choice about which views to soak up and what pleasures to indulge in.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking The Cambrian with us:

A bottle of wine in your room

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at The Cambrian

Advance Purchase Offer

Facilities

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Need To Know

Rooms

71, including 24 suites.

Check–out

Midday, although later check-out can be arranged for a CHF125 fee. Check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $346.51 (CHF306), excluding tax at 4.2 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of CHF4.20 per person per night on check-out.

More details

Rates include breakfast buffet and spa access.

Also

The sleek, black-tiled spa comes with a Finnish sauna, steam room, relaxation room, and a wide-ranging menu of enticing therapies, including Sodashi facials for men and women, full-body treatments, massages and hair and nail care.

At the hotel

Spa, ski room, gym, library, billiard room, DVD selection, board games, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD player, minibar, Keiji toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

The Deluxe Rooms are pleasantly spacious – if you go for a room number ending in 14, you’ll have two balconies to enjoy as these are set on the corner of the hotel. The Junior Suites North have space to sprawl in, but no balconies. The Family Suites are ideal for those with kids in tow, with two bedrooms – one on a mezzanine level – separate enough to enjoy privacy and peace of mind simultaneously. Glorious Alpine views are hard to avoid, but to make the most of them ask for a panoramic south-facing outlook rather than a mountain view.

Poolside

The spa has pools both indoors and out. Inside, there’s a soothing lap pool fed by a wall-size waterfall and lined with comfortable wooden loungers. Outside, on the terrace beside the restaurant, the hydrotherapy pool with massage jets and Jacuzzi is wonderfully warm, allowing you to bask blissfully alfresco even when the snow is whirling around you.

Packing tips

You’ll be kicking yourself if you forget swimwear – the spa pools are one of the hotel’s real highlights. Ski passes, sledges, and Nordic walking canes are all available from reception.

Also

You can bring pets for CHF45 a night. Smoking is allowed in the bar. Parking outisde the hotel is CHF20 a night in winter (CHF25 in the underground car park) and CHF10 (CHF15) in summer.

Children

The hotel welcomes youngsters and can provide cots (free) and extra beds (CHF100) as required. Babysitting (with staff) can be arranged for CHF25 an hour, and there’s a 24-hour playroom (unsupervised), with games, Playstation and Wii.

Eco‐friendly

The Cambrian recycles everything possible, composts food waste and uses locally sourced organic and seasonal ingredients in its cuisine.

Weddings

This property is suitable for weddings

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Food & Drink

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Hotel Restaurant

Italian eatery Nova is a smart, clean-lined space that combines warm red walls with mahogany furniture and cream-coloured chairs. Cuisine is classically Northern Italian, with carpaccio, pasta with rabbit ragouts and saltimbocca typically appearing on the seasonal menu. The wine selection – on display in a long glass cabinet – is excellent. There’s no lunch served in the hotel, but light snacks are available in the lobby. Breakfast is served until a leisurely 11am.

Hotel Bar

Scott’s Bar is the ideal venue for post-slope topes, with a stylish bubble-glass bar illuminated in an icy blue hue, Swiss beer on tap, and a fine cocktail menu. It’s open from 5pm every day.

Last orders

The chef hangs up his apron at 9.30pm, but you can get a drink in the bar until the early hours.

Room service

There’s a 24-hour menu of drinks and light meals.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Après-ski chic.

Top table

The tables by the windo close to the middle of the room have excellent views of the Alps – and other guests bubbling away in the Jacuzzi pool on the terrace.

Local Guide

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Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Local restaurants

There’s a large selection of eateries within walking distance, most on Adelboden’s main street, Dorfstrasse. Hotel Adler (+41 (0)33 673  4141) has several dining rooms centred around its woody bar area and is the place to sample the country’s national dish, fondue – either in its cheese or meat varieties. A few doors along, Bären (+41 (0)33 673 2151)  offers a blend of Swiss and international cooking – raclette is the star dish – with a substantial wine cellar to wash it all down. Kreuz (+41 (0)33 673 21 21) is a little more basic, but ideal if you’ve a craving for pizza.

Local bars

Also on Dorfstrasse, Arte Bar & Kunst (+41 (0)33 673 2500) is a small and unexpectedly quirky watering hole that doubles as an Alpine art gallery. The Time Out pub (+41 (0)33 673 2000) won’t blow your mind but it’s nonetheless a reliable après-ski stalwart.

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Pine-lined Alpine valley

The Cambrian

Dorfstrasse 7, Adelboden, Bern, 3715

Planes

Airport options are Bern-Belp Airport (www.flughafenbern.ch ), the closest and an hour away by car, and Geneva International or Zurich, both under two and a half hours from the hotel.

Trains

Trutigen is the nearest train station, 20 kilometres away. From here, trains go to and from Zurich, Bern, Basel and Geneva (www.sbb.ch). The hotel can provide taxi numbers on request.

Automobiles

Take the A6 if you’re travelling from Bern-Belp Airport, the A1 from Zurich and the E25 from Geneva.

Reviews

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Anonymous review

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

'The hotel manager deserves a lemon for his efforts!' No, we're not sure what that means either. Mrs Smith and I have been thumbing through the book of insider hotel anecdotes that has been left in our suite at the Cambrian, reading some of the bawdier passages to each another and giggling like schoolkids. The little hardback is packed with risqué vignettes about life in the hotel trade ...

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The Cambrian

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

'The hotel manager deserves a lemon for his efforts!' No, we're not sure what that means either. Mrs Smith and I have been thumbing through the book of insider hotel anecdotes that has been left in our suite at the Cambrian, reading some of the bawdier passages to each another and giggling like schoolkids. The little hardback is packed with risqué vignettes about life in the hotel trade – made all the more amusing by the fact that it's been translated from German to English apparently via some obscure Latvian dialect and/or the medium of dance. We immediately set about deciding whether or not our hotel is lemon-worthy, and come to the conclusion that, in our own citrus-based awards ceremony, the Cambrian would be going home with a grapefruit too.

Our room – 503, a Junior Suite South – is decorated with a soothing medley of snowy whites, warming browns and rock-face greys that, though it won’t wow the design world, perfectly suits the Alpine surroundings. There's a huge bed, with a button-back headboard in cream, cow-print footstools artfully dotted about, and a cosy lounge area with Toblerone-tone sofas and armchairs. The widescreen TV swivels handily to face bed or living area, and flinging open the doors to the balcony, we're met with a craggy panorama of snow-laden mountains, plunging passes and a zigzag of cable cars high above the dense fir forest. It's sublime.

This kind of warm, homely comfort coupled with the mind-blowing Alpine spectacle is exactly what we needed after our three-hour journey from Zurich. Both of us had been dreading the triple train-change and bus ride in the thick apocalyptic blizzard (we'd forgotten that Britain's own blend of freezing slush is a far cry from the heavy-set flakes of Switzerland), but we were delightfully surprised by the ease of the trip. This review is obviously not the place to meditate on the joys of the Swiss transport infrastructure, so let it just be said that anyone who isn't excited by spotless double-decker trains has never taken the London Overground from Hackney Central.

Adelboden is as remote as it gets; a tiny chalet town perched on the mountainside in the depths of the Bernese Oberland, the kind of place where, in winter, snow-chains are as commonplace on cars as windscreen wipers. Fortunately, the Cambrian hotel is barely a minute's walk – or shuffle, if you arrive in conditions like we did – from the bus station. It's such a snowy wonderland in winter than the townspeople have even invented their own form of ice-bound transport. As we wound our way up the hill from Frütigen (gawpable views abounding), we spotted children dragging what appeared to be a combination of a ski and a wooden workbench. This, we later learn, is a 'skibock', a sort of halfway house between skiing and sledging, and it's been unique to the region for over a century. We have enough trouble walking in the snow, let alone plummeting down the mountainside on, as Mrs S puts it, 'a blatant death trap', so we decide to leave skibocking to the locals.

Although winter sports are very much Adelboden's raison d'être – there are more than 185km of velvety piste in the valley – it's not the superb skiing on offer that's got our hearts aflutter. From our vantage point on the balcony, we've got a bird's-eye view of the hotel's outdoor spa pool, and it looks irresistibly inviting...

So it proves. 20 minutes later and we've made our way down into the spa – a chic underground wellness centre that offers countless ways of squirting pressurised water at yourself. We colonise a pair of the wicker loungers beside the indoor pool, admire the full-wall water feature, and laugh our heads off as a swimwear-clad German couple attempting a post-sauna snow bath accidentally lock themselves outside in the freezing blizzard. Ah, the sweet smell of schadenfreude.

Having rescued the shivering pair, I have a nosey around the sauna and steam room (sexily decked out in black marble mosaic), Mrs Smith pops off to the loo – and comes back having had a facial. 'The staff were so nice, I felt I ought to,' she announces.

We could quite easily spend our weekend contentedly bubbling away in the spa pool while the snowflakes dance around us – and we very nearly do – but we couldn't stay in the one of the world's winter-sport capitals without at least getting an inkling what a ski slope actually looks like, so we take the two-minute walk to the nearest cable car station and make the terrifying ascent over the forest canopy to the nearest peak-top cabin. The views from the apex are enough to make me reconsider ski school, but Mrs Smith has other, cheese-related ideas. Two hours and a dishful of satisfyingly bloaty raclette later, we go back down again.

Next on our outdoorsy agenda is a hike to Engstligenalp, site of reputedly the most impressive waterfall in the region. ‘Just 20 minutes’ walk straight down there,’ the waiter had told us at breakfast, pointing along the valley floor. What he did there was make the mistaken assumption that either of us possessed anything more than the most 'experimental' sense of direction, and wouldn't veer off up a mountain for no good reason other than, as Sir Edmund said, because it was there. After three wet hours and four threats of divorce, we're back in the spa pool. 'Let us never mention today again,' Mrs Smith declares.

A warming Italian meal in the restaurant soon sets any incipient frostbite/marital break-up at bay, however, and we retire to our room convinced that although our weekend may have taught us that the great white outdoors is not our natural habitat, luckily for us, the Cambrian certainly is. Someone give the manager a lemon.

The Guestbook

Reviews of The Cambrian from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on 19 Aug 2013

We loved

We enjoyed a fantastic stay at the Cambrian for a quick one-night stopover on our way from France to Austria. The staff were exceptionally friendly from the moment we stepped in the door – a trend that continued throughout the stay. We were provided with useful tips for hiking trails around the Adelboden area, which by the way was picturesquely gorgeous. Rooms and amenities were top notch. We stayed in a Deluxe which did not have a view of the Alps but was largely than the rooms in the next category, which did. Everything from the beds to the interior fittings and showers was absolutely top-notch. We also still dream of the perfectly heated pool and the fabulous breakfast spread.

Don’t expect

The hotel's restaurant does not have too many offerings from local Swiss cuisine. Eating in Adelboden is quite expensive in general, so be prepared!

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on 21 Sep 2012

We loved

The level of accommodation and service. Nothing was too much trouble and oh....the food! Extremely high quality!

Don’t expect

Nothing.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on 25 Aug 2012 We were travelling with two older children aged 20 and 15.

We loved

This hotel was an incredible find. When booking, try to make sure that you get a room with a view of the mountains – it was spectacular. The staff were wonderful and very helpful, the cleanliness was outstanding. The pool and spa areas were very relaxing, especially after a day of walking in the mountains. The breakfasts were a feast and worth tucking into.

Don’t expect

Sadly, the service in the restaurant was very slow. Our daughter's soup took 45 minutes to arrive (the rest of us didn't order a starter) and we then had to wait another 40 minutes before our main courses arrived. By 9.30pm (having booked the table for 8.00pm) we were almost too hungry to eat! We therefore didn't eat in the restaurant in the evening again which was an awful shame.

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on 2 Jul 2012

We loved

The Cambrian is a very funky hotel. It appears traditional on the outside but is modern on the inside, with wonderful seating areas looking out at the mountains. The views of the mountains are spectacular so it is worth asking for a room with a view. The spa and pool are great especially after a day walking in the mountains, and there are plenty of marked walks for summertime.

Don’t expect

Service in the dining room was very slow.

Rating: 10/10 stars