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Since 1873 | 3855 Brienz (BE)

Grandhotel Giessbach

Today just as 100 years ago this historic hotel near the legendary, silver foaming Giessbach Falls high above Lake Brienz is a world of its own.
Surrounded by mountains, forests and alpine meadows with breathtaking views of the intact Lake Brienz landscape, this secure oasis lies far away from the stress of everyday life.
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Surrounded by mountains, forests and alpine meadows with breathtaking views of the intact Lake Brienz landscape, this secure oasis lies far away from the stress of everyday life.

The Grandhotel Giessbach, a structure from the golden age of tourism (dating from 1873) and winner of the Historic Hotel of the Year award for 2004, enjoys a picturesque waterfall setting between the mountains and the Lake of Brienz. The magnificent reception rooms and lounges feature original furnishings. The small funicular railway, now 125 years old, which runs from the private steamboat terminal to the hotel, is an attraction in itself.


In the country, By the water

Hotel classification

4 Stars

Opening Hours

all year


Banquets/Weddings, Seminar/business, Active/sport, Park/garden, Family/child friendly, Art & culture, , Icomos Award
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Thanks to Brienz teacher Johannes Kehrli, the Giessbach Falls were already well-known in 1800. At that time, many visitors were rowed across the lake to the waterfalls by the famous Brienz women rowers. The waterfalls were lit in the evening starting in 1840, and in 1857, the first hotel was opened.
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Giessbach flourished starting in 1870, when the hotel was purchased by the well-known Hauser hotelier family. In line with architect Horace Edouard Davinet's (1839-1922) plans, a grand hotel with its own gasworks, a large laundry, several baths, a number of bathrooms and a covered walkway in 'foresto-rustico' style was built on an artificial terrace. To make it more accessible, the Hauser brothers built their own funicular from the boat landing to the hotel in 1879. In 1883, a fire changed the look of the hotel. Instead of the 1875 cupolas, the turrets were topped with slim 'Prussian helmets' and façade decorations in the Swiss chalet style were added. When the hotel reopened in July 1884, the first electric lights came on at the new Giessbach. Following several changes in owners during the 20th century, the hotel closed its doors in 1979, and was supposed to make room for a modern chalet apartment house. A working group led by Rudolf von Fischer, head of the Bernese Burgerrat, worked to save the traditional hotel with its unique park. At the last minute they managed to interest well-known environmentalist Franz Weber. He set up the Giessbach dem Schweizervolk foundation and in an unparalleled campaign raised the necessary three million francs to save the hotel. In 1983, the foundation acquired the Giessbach property, and a year later they were able to celebrate the reopening of the hotel, which was restored with the help of the office for preservation of historic buildings. Since then, the funicular has also been renovated. As Switzerland's oldest funicular, it is still largely in its original condition. In 2004, Icomos named the Grandhotel Giessbach Historic Hotel of the Year. That same year, the hotel became one of the founding members of Swiss Historic Hotels.

Making the impossible possible – with sincere cooperation.

Rooms & Gastronomy

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A house full of history becomes the embodiment of the statement "without origin there is no future". You will depart differently from the Grandhotel Giessbach than you arrived: The atmosphere of the traditional grand hotel, the furniture from the late 19th century, the embedding in nature, which reinvents itself every year and breathes its own magic into the hotel with every season. Immerse yourself in this symphony of past and present and take unforgettable moments home with you.
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Enjoy with origin

The Grandhotel Giessbach is supported by the region and pays respect to this heritage. We cook in harmony with nature and it is no coincidence that these products simply taste best. So the herbs come from their own garden, the vegetables whenever possible from their own field or from the historic garden houses and even the honey is produced by the Giessbach bees. Many farmers and local producers contribute with their products to the well-being of the guests.


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There is a lot to see around the hotel. Individual guests who book an overnight stay directly with us benefit from the Giessbach Nostalgia Pass during their entire stay: free boat trip on Lake Brienz, Brienz Rothorn cable cars, Ballenberg open-air museum, funicular railway, etc.

Contact & Arrival

Online Booking
2 Adults
1 Adults


The journey is a momentum of arrival in another world, in another time.

By car: Take the exit on the motorway N8 «Brienz – Giessbach». Then follow the signs to Giessbach / Axalp. A limited number of parking spaces are available on site (CHF 10.00 per vehicle per day).

By train and boat: By train to Interlaken Ost, from there by scheduled boat to the "Giessbach See" landing stage. The last stage from Giessbach See takes place with our historic funicular to the hotel.

Have you booked your overnight stay directly with us via phone, e-mail or our hotel website? Then enjoy the free boat trip on the entire Lake Brienz network and many other highlights in the region with the Giessbach Nostalgia Pass.

Please note: The summer season lasts from April to October. The Giessbach funicular railway and the boats on Lake Brienz do not run in winter.

By train and hotel bus: By train to Brienz station. The hotel bus runs only by appointment at the fixed times. This service is free of charge for hotel guests.

By Postbus: The PostBus in the direction of Axalp stops at the "Giessbach junction". From there, a fifteen-minute walk leads past the falls to the hotel.

Awards & Memberships

14 Points
Historic hotel of the year 2004
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