We, hubby, I and 90+ conference members stayed from the 20th to the 24th April 2009 in the Hotel Hari im Schlegeli in Adelboden (Switzerland). Being the oldest hotel in the village, it has quite a bit of history, which started in the year 1873, as the village teacher Christian Hari gave hospitality in his farmhouse to his very first guests, the family Rohr from Bern. After some successful tourist seasons with already many international guests, a second building opened in 1878 to accommodate even more guests. As the road from Frutigen to Adelboden was finally finished in 1884, the tourism industry really took off, animating the family Hari to build two more guest houses in the Schlegeli. At the beginning of the 20th century the hotel Hari had already 200 beds in 9 different buildings, making it the largest hotel in the village of Adelboden. Two world wars haven’t been kind to the tourist industry in the Suisse and to the family Hotel Hari especially. At the end of World War 2 all the buildings had suffered from neglect and were in urgent need of renovation. But shortly after that was done, the Hotel Hari recovered well and over the years more houses, conference rooms and amenities were added. It is still in the hands of the same family, now in the 4th generation, a piece of Adelbodens history.
So this was now our ‘home from home’ for the few days of the conference. And how was it? What were the highlights and the downsides of the place? Would I recommend Hotel Hari to anybody? And if yes to whom, if no, why not? Here is my review and experience.
First the less good points: We stayed in the older part of the hotel which only has shared bathrooms, quite a long way down the hallway. If you can live with that, this can save you some money, all depends on your personal preferences and needs.
Also the wi-fi internet, which was supposed to work in the whole house, worked in reality only in the lounge and reception area. Internet and other extras like entrance to the so-called ‘wellness area’ come at a hefty price.
The cheapest solution for the internet would be to purchase a weekly ticket for CHF40 instead of half hour slots. The reason is, that the half and hour slots have to be used in one ‘go’, if not, they expire. The weekly ticket is valid for a week and so the better, and flexible!, bargain.
Regarding the ‘wellness area’, CHF8 is far too much to just try it out, especially as only steam, Finnish and infrared sauna are included, everything else has to be paid additionally! No swimming-pool by the way.
There is no a-la-carte restaurant and no bar. If you have booked full-/ half-board there are some basic menu choices, a vegetarian option is always available and a ‘Drink Menu’ is available at request.
Now the really good points: The food (we had full board) was superb and more than plenty. The half portion option is a good way if you want to avoid bringing more kilos home than you have arrived with.
Especially the breakfast buffet is a hit, from cereals to fried bacon and all imaginable goodies in between!
The view is another big plus point. The location of the hotel is such, that you have from nearly everywhere, a gorgeous view over the mountains. The conference facilities are good, big airy rooms and the standard visual and audio equipment. In all cases, I would check before booking, if they have all the equipment you might want/ need during a conference, available on all dates you need it.
So, would I recommend Hotel Hari? Yes, if you are either looking for a budget conference location far away from the temptations of a big city, go for it! Or a family safe holiday/ vacation for you and your children, great! But not if hanging around the pool with a cool glass of something and amongst sparsely clothed bikini girls is your holiday/ vacation poison.
One word of warning for militant atheists, Hotel Hari is a Christian hotel. Nobody will impose anything on you, but when a bible in your room and the offer of an evening prayer on the hotel notice board is too offending/ intrusive for you then perhaps one of the over 40 other hotels in Adelboden will be a better fit for you 😉
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