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Review 740: Alphaven, Apartment


Review by Jane J from England

apartments in Engelberg, Central Switzerland


September, 1 week


Alphaven is a beautiful house set up on the hill looking over Engelberg. The town is in a “chocolate box” setting and is the perfect alpine village of your dreams. It is at the end of the valley and completely surrounded by mountains. We stayed in Apartment C which is at the top of the house and the views are just amazing … I have never stayed anywhere with such breathtaking views. From the large balcony at the front we could see virtually everything in the village from the ski jump to the golf course to the top of the Titlis Mountain (The highest in Central Switzerland). It was blissfully quiet apart from a toot in the distance from the mountain train and the monastery bells (not exactly noise pollution)

Nearby Amenities

We stayed over the summer, mainly for the excellent walking, there are over 360kms of delightful walking trails which were infinitely varied … brilliant if you are a walker. There are plenty of sports facilities, a sports centre with ice skating and tennis, an indoor and outdoor pool. We did a tandem paraglide jump over the town which was just awesome and there is bungee jumping if you like being really scared !

The Benedictine Monastery and Church is wonderful, lots of history, we did the tour and loved it … the church is a wonderful example of baroque and has the largest church organ in Switzerland, they have regular organ recitals which are a real must.

There are lots of excellent restaurants bars etc. the best restaurants are at The Waldegg Hotel, (6 minutes walk) The Treff Hotel and the Spannort, The Yucatan is pretty lively at night and is the place to go apparently in the winter. Everything you need can be bought in the village and the prices, especially food are the same as in the larger towns.

The House/Apartment

The house is brand new (4 Apartments) and looks like a typical Swiss wooden Chalet. The inside is really modern and very nicely furnished (all new furniture) great wooden beamed ceilings everywhere ... it is set into the mountain and is south facing so gets lots of sun, you have to climb a few steps to get to the apartment but it is worth it when you get there. We were met by the owner of the house, Ursula O’ Brien who was lovely and showed us everything we needed to know, Ursula and John live in England but are often there in their apartment … which is just fantastic, they occasionally let it out and we will stay there next winter … it has a hot tub and loads of other great stuff. There is also a big Sauna which everyone in the house can use but it was far too warm while we were there to even consider it. Their website is simply brilliant if you want to know more … check out the 360 degree pictures, it really is that beautiful.


There is a big garden but most of it is very steep, there is a sitting area above the house which is nearly completed but we were happy to stay on one of the 2 balconies in our Apartment. There is plenty of room, great for sunbathing (very private) and just drooling over the view.

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

The apartment is just perfect, there were four of us and we had plenty of room, it can sleep up to 8. Because everything is new and bought especially for the place, we had all the equipment we needed and was really comfortable. Everything was spotless and there was a little chocolate pressy from the O’Briens when we arrived which was a nice touch.


There is a good sized sitting room, TV Stereo (sofa bed) with an open plan kitchen (dishwasher etc.) and dining space. Nice bathroom ! 2 Bedrooms … 1 with good sized, comfortable double bed which we used, opens on to the balcony, plenty of cupboard space etc. amazing views from the bed over the mountains and through the skylight at the stars at night. The second bedroom is a great space … big double doors open out onto the main balcony, there are two single beds (together as a double) and a ladder goes up to a loft space with 2 further beds … great looking room, lots of timbered eaves, and again … the views!!


The kitchen is very well equipped … everything we needed, Oven, Fridge/Freezer, Dishwasher etc. only a two ring electric hob which may be an issue if you are doing lots of cooking … suited us perfectly though as we weren’t.

Problems or Bonuses

There were no problems for us at all … because it is up on the hill overlooking the town, it is a 10 – 15 minute walk and about 4 minutes in the car. Some people might prefer to be nearer the centre for convenience … but we were sold on the amazing location and the views which more than made up for that. There is a footpath right next to the house which was a great starting point for walks up the “Bruni” Mountain behind us.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

We booked directly with the owner … we found their website on a random search of the net. We dealt directly with Ursula O’ Brien and the booking process was very easy. She was there to meet us and made sure we were happy before leaving us to our own devices. We were promised a lot before we arrived and I must say … everything exceeded our expectations, which is definitely a first for us (hence this review)

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

What can I say … Engelberg and Alphaven in particular are very very special …we have never been anywhere quite as beautiful and enchanting … the whole holiday was wonderful … we have booked again to come skiing and we will come back again for a Summer visit as soon as we can … doesn’t get better than this … whole heartedly recommended !!!

Things to do in this area

Already mentioned the good restaurants … there are lots of Summer activities, too many to mention here … check out www.engelberg.ch … our friends were seriously in to golf and played the course 3 or 4 times, they loved the location and it has now become an 18 hole course. The Waldegg Hotel is only a short walk from the house and as well as doing great food has a New Gym, Pool and Health Facilities … very nice !

Lucerne is only a half hour drive and is a must see … beautiful old town, great shopping and treat yourself to a boat trip on Lake Lucerne in one of the old paddle steamers. Enjoy !!!!

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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