There’s no shortage of hotels in Engelberg, including several four-stars with spas and swimming pools. The best of these is the Hotel Waldegg: provided you book into one of the recently-refurbished Category A Superior rooms. The service is good, and facilities include a pool and spa – but the location, on a knoll above town on the other side of the valley from the Titlis lifts, is a drawback. Fortunately the town’s free shuttle bus to the the ski area stops outside.
Engelberg’s three-star hotels are its real strength
However, it’s Engelberg’s three star hotels which are its real strength. The Schweizerhof is one of the best we know. Okay, so it’s set in the kind of building you’d expect to see in Lausanne, not a ski resort: but many of its spacious doubles have been refurbished in modern style, and owner Irish Burch runs the place with seemingly effortless efficiency. Her breakfasts include the ideal start to the skier’s day – a bowl of Birchermuesli. The only drawback is that – in common with nearly every Engelberg hotel – it’s not ski-in, ski out. You’ll need to catch the shuttle-bus to the slopes each morning.
Even more popular these days is the Spannort Hotel which has had a rather groovy makeover, and gets rave reviews for its food, decor and attention to detail.
However, next time we go back to Engelberg we’re going to stay at the Ski Lodge Engelberg. It’s run by two former Swedish ski bums who skied Engelberg long before they set up business here in 2009 – in a couple of converted Edwardian houses in the middle of town. The rooms are simple but well-done, the bar has been recently renovated, and the atmosphere is 100% ski. In many ways, the Swedes have made Engelberg their own in recent years, and if you want a taste of their hard-skiing culture, this is the place to find it.