Ah, that January to April time period where literally nothing happens every year. You have to convince yourself to get back into the swing of things for work and stop drinking champagne at all meals because you’ve now entered the dullest part of the year. May as well surrender your passport for renewal, right? With France five minutes down the road and a hankering for soft cheese, this was soon, very clear, to be a huge mistake. After five weeks at home, I just had to get out on the road again and it just had to be in Switzerland thanks to my self-imposed document snafu. (Nothing like memorializing cancer hair loss in a passport for ten years).
Ski towns were out of budget, so the solution to my problems appeared to be Bern, lovely, affordable Bern. The Bern of the Bernstein bears, the Bern of my favorite colleague, and the Bern of the restaurant friends from LA were still obsessed with two years later. Plus, there was a new Miro exhibit on at the Paul Klee museum and the theme of the year was looking all Spanish art, so why not!
So, I found myself at the Hotel Bristol on a cold Saturday night. Alone. And thankfully so as this place did not conjure up images of romance. The lobby was a bustling neighborhood hot spot, the staff was kind, the one drink I had was good, but the rooms…oof. It was one of those hotel rooms where you’re pissed you didn’t have flip flops to tool about in or disinfectant wipes for the vinyl headboard. The fluid options! Eek!
Some questionable decor choices, but really it was the cleanliness level that was dodgy. That dank carpet had seen SOME THINGS!
A small desk sat next to a rather large void in the room. Assume this was a design choice. Minimalism > furniture.
A surprisingly modern French door system (linked to the heat) brought one to a romantic balcony overlooking….
A menagerie of stairs and building materials.
Also, this amusing mural to trick those on the floor below into believing that they were actually part of the cityscape.
The price point of this place blew my mind a bit, $170-ish (with cancel rights) but as the time got closer it was in the $250 range. Just shocking for a room built on what can only be described as old-conference room floors covered in sticky spilled beverage. I’ll come back for a face lift, or to try out the Bear Hotel next door, just as well situated to the train station and old town.