Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Münchkins in Mürren at Hotel Edelweiss

Spring is my favorite season, and not just because it holds the promise that I will eventually see green grass on my lawn again. Everybody starts thinking about summer travel plans and I love it when friends come to me asking for ideas.

One friend is headed to Switzerland and was asking me for some kid-friendly fun in the Swiss Alps. There's no shortage of mountain adventures in the Swiss Alps but very few places to go when half your party has short little legs and you have no desire to scale the Matterhorn. The town of Mürren in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland is the perfect place for pint sized adventurers.

After lots of research, Mürren won out over the other towns in the shadows of Mönch, Eiger and Jungfrau for its car-free streets, a playground in the clouds at 6,250 ft., and cable car ride to 9,744 ft. for James Bond martinis. You can read about our adventures in previous posts here and here. The little Swiss village high above the Lauterbrunnen valley is an ideal home base for a few days of relaxation and fresh mountain air for travelers of any age.

Hotel Edelweiss with dinner and a view
We spent three nights at the lovely and cozy Hotel Edelweiss right on the cliff overlooking the scenic Alps in one of their family suites. The new building has the nicer rooms and I used the "reservation request" form on their site to ask for a kid friendly room with a view for the four of us.

When charming owner Daniel showed us to our room, I quickly realized the view of the towering Alps and the 5,413 ft. drop down to the valley wasn't what I wanted to see out the window. I'm afraid of heights (but a good mom for planning a trip to the Alps) and he graciously switched us to the street side of the hotel. A room with a view sounds lovely when you're surfing the internet from your comfy couch at ground level but I was much happier sitting on the balcony watching the hikers walk by with their giant backpacks than looking out over the valley abyss.

Our corner junior suite came with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, giving us all plenty of space to spread out and relax. The design was totally Swiss, with clean and simple decor combined with blonde wood furniture. The boys each got their own bunk and our bathroom came with a huge tub, which is a rarity in European hotel rooms. The street side is a little noisier and you'll want to sleep with a window open for some fresh, cool, clean mountain air. But noisy just means you'll hear the tourists trekking back and forth along the main street. There are no cars allowed in Mürren, other than the occasional pint-sized delivery truck.

Hotel Edelweiss has one of the biggest outdoor terraces in town and when the sun is shining you'll want to join the crowds (hotel guest or not) for a hearty Swiss meal of rösti (hash brown potatoes smothered in cheese and topped with a fried egg, amazing) or wild game and a few glasses of German bier or weiswein.

Menus come in French, German, and English and there's a special children's menu with schweinrahmschnitzels and the more friendly sounding kinderpizza. The little C&Gs discovered ice cream is on the menu all day and made it their job to collect all the prizes that came with the novelty "surprise cups".

In my next Mürren post I'll share the other kid friendly restaurants around this tiny town, along with ideas for what to do between hearty breakfast buffets (the Swiss take their food as fuel for adventure very seriously) and afternoon cocktails.

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