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The main part of Engelberg is on the flat valley floor, but the residential area is built into the south facing hill (so it gets good sun). The shops and hotels are on the valley floor, with a couple of hotels on the hillside. The town is small with two main shopping streets. There are several restaurants - but none seem that exceptional. We usually eat dinner at "home" in Switzerland and have lunch out in the mountain restaurants that we come to while hiking. Just outside of the main part of town is an old monastery, originally from the 1100s, but rebuilt many times. Still looks pretty old.
For groceries there is a medium sized Coop store with a somewhat smaller Migros across the road. The Coop has some organic products and a good vegetable selection.
The train station is in town. You take a smaller mountain train from here down the valley to Stans, where you get onto the regular train line with trains to Lucerne. We did not take the train while we were there.
Engelberg Mountain Ride Pass
We bought a summer pass for a week of riding the lifts. Gondolas and chair lifts can be pretty expensive here and a pass for the week will usually save you money. This pass cost 76 CHF (51 euro) for 6 consecutive days of use - perfect for a one week stay. Our first day of rides to Engstlensee and back would have cost 47 CHF - so you can see where having the pass works well if you plan to do six days of hiking. You can also get a pass that includes the railways as well - there are places where you can hike to another town and take a train back - be we didn't get that (more expensive and we have the car).
Be sure to check the dates on your pass. They are valid from the date on the pass. We got ours in the late afternoon, intending to use it starting the next day. But the 6 consecutive days started, by mistake, from the day we purchased it. On our last day we had to pay for our mountain rides because the pass had expired. We went back to the tourist office and complained and they happily reimbursed us the money we paid for the rides because it has been their error issuing the pass from the Saturday instead of the next day, the Sunday. To avoid this type of confusion, check the starting date on your pass. I had assumed it started when you first used it. Wrong!
Engelberg Hotel Review
Engelberg: Hotel Spannort, 3 stars
Modern low rise hotel on the main pedestrian street of town - quiet location. 18 rooms. Run by family Amstutz-Buresch (Rudi and his wife). We did not stay here, but we rented our vacation rental from the family. The vacation rental was lovely and the hotel looks very nice too. Rudi, the owner, speaks English and is very nice. Prices range from 55CHF (shared bath) to 80CHF (private bath).
Engelberg Vacation Rental Review
Engelberg: Hotel Spannort - Apartment, 4 stars
The people who own the apartment we rented also run a hotel in town (Hotel Spannort). It is right on the main street, is in a modern low rise building and looks nice. There are some other good looking older hotels in town - the Hotel Europe looks nice, an old building and all the rooms have small balconies - but forget the Ramada, an out of place 9 story building.
Our apartment is fabulous. It is on the top floor of their house. The house is built into the hill, so from behind it is on the American second floor, but from the front, the American fourth. A balcony off the living room looks down to Engelberg and across to the Titlis and other mountains. You can see glaciers! This photo shows the view from the balcony.
A nice living room with slanted ceiling (we are under the pitched roof line), big windows to the view, a modern good sized kitchen, a small bedroom with the typical two singles together (a really ugly bed frame and headboard - made of fuzzy material - but all other furniture is really nice looking), and a big bathroom with a tub and a separate shower stall (large). A garage to park our Mercedes in. We probably won't use the car that much this week.
A note about the stove. When they checked us into the apartment, they showed us the kitchen and asked if we knew how to use this kind of electric stove (the kind that has a flat plastic top and the elements are under it). I said, yes we had used that kind before. But we should have had them do a demonstration. We just could not figure out how to turn on the burners. There were a few obvious buttons, but they were not really buttons, just marked places on the plastic cover where you put your finger to activate it. We pulled out the manuals and tried to figure it out in German but gave up and called them. Rudi came up and showed us. We were looking at the right buttons, but you had to lay your finger just exactly right for the button to be pressed! You also had to turn on the stove with one button first, then turn on the element. My conclusion is that you should always get the owner to turn on the stove in front of you, even if you think you know how it works.
Engelberg Restaurant Reviews
Altdorf: Hotel Reiser Altdorf (restaurant), beim Tell-Denkmal (on
the main road at beside the main square with the William Tell statue)
Engstelnalp: Hotel Engstelnalp, between Engelberg and Meiringen
Engelberg: BrunniHut Restaurant, Mountain restaurant (can
be reached hiking or by gondola)
Engelberg: Stafeli, Mountain restaurant (can be reached hiking or
by car via a private road)
Engelberg: Bergrestaurant Untertrubsee, Mountain restaurant (can
be reached hiking or by car)
www.engelberg.ch: Engelberg Tourist Office
www.slowtrav.com: Hiking in Engelberg
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