Interview: Fabienne from Balmers Hostel Interlaken

In interviewing Fabienne from Balmers Hostel Interlaken, I found out more about the history of this hostel located in Switzerland.

1) Did you do any backpacking across other parts of Europe before coming back home to help run Balmer’s Herberge?

Yes, after my apprenticeship at a lawyer and notary office I went for one month backpacking through Europe on my own. I had an interrail ticket and started up in Amsterdam then flew down to Nice and then travelled for one month by train to Italy and Greece. A few years later I did a lovely trip with some friends to Nepal, India and Indonesia. We had a rafting expedition in the Himalayas for one month and then surfing in lomback for an other month. The latest trip I have done backpacking was 2 years ago in South America – travelled through Venezuela and Colombia for a several weeks.

2) Is there a history behind the name changes since the hostel began operation in 1907?

My grand parents had a pension and restaurant with the name Balmer’s Kostgeberei „Gut und Genug“ means a place where you get good food and enough for the price.

3) How did the name Herberge become attached to Balmer’s in 1945?

Then when my dad took over we added the name Herberge. Herberge means hostel.

4) What is a typical day like for you?

Depending on season but I am usually more busy when it is slow season then when it is high season. It takes alot to prepair everything for winter and summer season so at the moment I am renovation and getting repairs done and changing logistics and working models.

5) How would you describe your hostel to someone who has never stayed in one?

It is cheap, it is chic and it is different – must find out on your own and get the feeling to be in a home away from home.

6) What advice would you give someone who would like to run their own hostel or work at one?

Start small and provide high services and then expand. It is important that you can keep your quality standards and focus on reviews.