Between Saint Moritz in the SW and Grindelwald in the NE, the high alpine peaks in the back, stretches the valley of Louwina. Here, among the famous tourist region for hiking the Via Alpina, crossing Glacier 3000 and enjoying Après Ski till June, you will find a small gem. Would you like to find out more? Read our early morning conversation with B&B owner Mrs Wehren:
How did you come to live in this beautiful old house?
The house is originally from my mother’s family. They have lived here for over 100 years. However, the house was not always in the same spot. In 1970 it was transplanted from the upper alp in Louwina to where it is today.
Transplanted? Like a flower?
The logs of the chalet can be easily dug out and rebuilt. For this, each piece of wood was numbered and then put back together the way it was up on the mountain. House transplanting is so common here.
Is the house haunted?
There are noises. In fact, knocking and drilling sounds.
Mrs Wehren is laughing…
But that was the woodpecker making the noise. The local ornithological station alerted us that the woodpecker seeks worms in the wood. So, he dewormed my house just fine.
How come you decided to turn the hut into a B&B? Had you offered accommodations before?
The Bed & Breakfast has been around since 2013. I came up with the idea out of necessity. With my nurse’s pension alone, I couldn’t afford the costs. Plus, I had rooms available. Many people, whose children have flown away, rent their rooms to tourists here.
On your website, you mention that you have done some renovations to the house. Which traditional things could you not throw out of the house?
Well, I’m a hoarder. Everything that goes into the house never leaves it. The one thing that did not undergo the renovation is the single room. It is still the same as it was 300 years ago. Including the small windows, you see in the pictures, which have the original antique glass.
Can someone from today (with all the technology and co) live in this house without problems?
Yes, the house has been completely reinsulated. It is comfortable. There is everything you need. My guests feel at home here. I do everything myself as a host. And that still works well.
What is the typical cuisine that you offer to your guests?
Well, at my place there is only breakfast. Freshly squeezed orange juice, eggs and wholemeal bread are not to be missed. The guests also enjoy the local Saanen cheese. I buy the honey from the neighbour next door; he is a beekeeper. All are organic and fresh.
Which season is most popular with your guests and where do they come from?
I’ve had guests every day since this June. Winter is already booked from December 21st to mid-March. I have a lot of permanent guests who keep coming back. July and August are the most popular times, besides the winter season. Most guests come from France and from the USA. In the summer, I have a lot of “one-dayers.” They hike the Via Alpina from hut to hut and therefore only stay one night. There are many people who want to come to Gstaad. It is, how shall I say, all laid out for rich people. My B&B is still affordable for everybody.
If we sit on the balcony, we can see far. What exactly do we see?
Best view in Louwina: Wildhorn, Windspiele, Les Diablerets
The hill or that “pudding” in the middle is the Windspiele. To the left, you see the Wildhorn and to the right the Les Diablerets with the Glacier 3000, which is very famous for summer skiing.
Unfortunately, the famous house of the mountain station designed by Mario Botta burned out in September. That was a fierce fire. Spectacular pictures were seen. It is still being clarified whether it was arson or a wild animal, that eats cables. Luckily, now the operation is resumed, and a small snack bar is established.
How did the idea of the soap bubble come about?
The whole thing came spontaneously. I was looking for images for the front-page cover and came up with the one where my grandnephew played with the soap bubbles. They became a recurrent theme. You see the bubble as my logo too. It represents my motto:
The bubble is ephemeral and simple but looks beautiful like a jewel.
How has Webnode helped you with your online presence?
People find me through Google maps and come to my website from there. They decide to stay because it is a great website. I had a client from Bern the other day who booked for several weeks in advance for next summer. He said he didn’t even need to drive by to see the accommodation, because the site is convincing and looks fantastic.
Why would you recommend Webnode to others?
My guests approach me and ask how I created such a great website. I then always recommend Webnode. I like it as the editing system is good. It has lots of modules and is easy to use.
I noticed that you do not use an additional online booking system, why?
I prefer when the guests call me on the phone directly in advance. This way you already know them a little bit.
On your blog, which is only in English, I read the words:
Mischmasch, Méli Mélo, Medley
The blog page is called “M”, which stands for the 3 words. Mischmasch is a potato pan dish. Méli Mélo is the French version of it. In English, this is known as a Medley. It simply means that the reader will learn about this and that in my blog.
What’s next on the blog, I’m curious?
Oh, I don’t know yet. I write spontaneously.
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