Note: This article was written in cooperation with Swiss Historic Hotels. The marketing cooperation Swiss Historic Hotels unites around 60 historic hotels in Switzerland
Our visit to the Hotel Ofenhorn
We spent two nights at the Hotel Ofenhorn in Binn at the beginning of October. During our stay, we ate at the hotel twice. Read more about our visit to the Hotel Ofenhorn in Binn* here.
Arrival at the Hotel Ofenhorn in Binn
The Belle Époque Hotel is located in the middle of the Binn Valley at an altitude of 1400 m.a.s.l. The Hotel Ofenhorn Binn is well-connected to public transport. Those arriving by car can enjoy free parking on the hotel grounds. For our stay, we decided to take the train to Fiesch and then change to the post bus. After an extremely dynamic post-bus ride, we reached Binn – a picturesque village with a lot of charm.
The Hotel Ofenhorn is located in the wildly romantic Binn Valley
We immediately noticed the special location of the Belle Époque Hotel. Due to its location in Binntal, Hotel Ofenhorn Binn is a perfect starting point for a variety of outdoor activities. Since 2011, the Binntal valley has officially been considered a nature park of national importance. The Binntal offers numerous hiking trails – from moderate to challenging.
The valley is famous for its wealth of minerals, 20 of which are found exclusively here. If you want to find them yourself, a mineral excursion is recommended. Afterward, the finds can be turned into small pieces of jewelry during a stone-cutting course. The grinding shop is located directly above the hotel.
Our first impressions of the Hotel Ofenhorn
From the post bus stop “Dorf Binn” we needed only five minutes on foot to reach the hotel premises. Already on the way to the main entrance, the magic of the accommodation overcame us. The white exterior façade with wood-paneled windows blends harmoniously into the landscape and is reminiscent of the golden age of the hotel industry – the Belle Époque. In the entrance area, we caught sight of the garden decorated with rowan trees. Guests sat at the tables and enjoyed the sun. We entered the hotel.
The hotel welcomed us with its bright reception, which gave us a first impression of the mix of styles of the accommodation. The filigree decorations on the ceiling recall the early days of the building, which was built in 1883. A more modern but coherent contrast was provided by the reception area, which was furnished with maple wood. We were warmly welcomed and immediately felt at home – a promising start.
Apéro on the terrace of the Hotel Ofenhorn
We checked into our rooms (more on that later), showered, and sat down in front of the Hotel Ofenhorn. We enjoyed our aperitif with a view of Binn. The setting sun tickled our noses briefly before disappearing behind the opposite mountain. Our stomachs began to growl. Time for dinner.
Seasonal and homemade: appetizer at Hotel Ofenhorn
Food is served by the very friendly gastro team in the Belle Époque room as well as in the classically furnished Walliserstube. The latter exudes a rustic atmosphere thanks to its larch wood paneling, while the Belle Époque room has a romantic feel with its original rose wallpaper.
Looking at the menu, one thing immediately struck us: The dishes use regional ingredients from the surrounding villages and communities. Local specialties – like the Gommer Chouera [ see box below] – join the Swiss menu with a French touch.
For our first course, we opted for one of the many seasonal options: homemade pumpkin cream soup. It is one of the chefs’s recommendations – and rightly so! We found it to be a successful introduction to the coming culinary pleasure.
Meat delights from the surrounding area: Our main course at the Hotel Ofenhorn
For the main course, Matthias opted for “venison” on this autumn evening. Here, too, we were struck by the hotel’s close relationship to its surroundings. The schnitzel comes namely from the Grängjer deer. The name of the dish refers to Grengiols – the place of origin of the meat. The village is located only about 16 km from the hotel Ofenhorn. With the fruity “jus”, the venison schnitzel developed into a true taste experience. Homemade spaetzle and juicy red cabbage rounded out the dish.
Our love for down-to-earth dishes tempted us to try roast pork. The Hotel Ofenhorn prepares it according to the “low-boiling method”. The meat is seared briefly at high temperatures and then cooked in the oven at 80 to 90 degrees. The gentle preparation method made the roast pork another culinary highlight for us, as it gave the meat a juicy, very tender texture. It was topped with an aromatic black beer honey mustard sauce, polenta, and braised vegetables. We were in seventh heaven
A Valais wine list at the Hotel Ofenhorn in Binn
At this point, we would like to mention the wine list of the hotel. It is filled with Valais wines, some of the organic quality. During our stay, the white Pluie d’Or and the red Diolinoir de Martigny from local winemakers were among the wines on the menu – and accompanied the feast.
Fruity end of the day: dessert and bar visit at Hotel Ofenhorn
For dessert, we chose the mascarpone parfait, which was served with homemade plum compote. We found the blend of sweet and tart flavors to be fresh and light. From our point of view, a worthy conclusion to an evening full of culinary highlights.
Before going to the room, we took a look at the bar. The waiter told us that this dates back to 1883, making it the oldest part of the building. Anyone who now thinks of a dark, uncomfortable place is wrong. The bar was carefully renewed during the restoration works [siehe Kasten].
The walls are decorated with bright, flowered wallpaper, which gives the room an inviting ambiance. Here, too, we were struck by the mix of old and new. While most of the furniture still dates back to historic times, the bar counter presents itself in modern French chic. During the day the bar turns into a small bistro, where coffee and small snacks can be enjoyed. C’est fantastique!
Peace and coziness: our overnight stay at the Hotel Ofenhorn
After the nightcap in the bar, we went up to our room on the second floor. During the reconstruction works in 2007, an elevator was installed. From our point of view, a big plus in terms of accessibility, which deserves a special mention for a historic hotel. However, we stepped through the salon door into the stairwell.
Upon entering the room, we immediately felt transported to times gone by – a bit as if time had stood still. We are not alluding to outdated furniture with this statement. On the contrary, because the bed as well as the rest of the furniture exuded the typical charm of antique furnishings and yet were optimally preserved. Both the furnishings and the walls and ceilings reflected the tasteful opulence of the 19th century.
What surprised us positively: TV set and telephone are not in the room. From our point of view, this fits very well with the philosophy of the Hotel Ofenhorn. Host Sacha and his team are focused on giving their guests a quiet, relaxing time. And that’s true at the Hotel Ofenhorn: no sound from the TV or the telephone, no street noise – just the gentle murmur of the nearby river. We spent two relaxing nights with restful sleep. Far away from the stress and hectic of our fast-paced times. A little trip into the past. The spirit of the Belle Époque is omnipresent in the Hotel Ofenhorn Binn.
Our conclusion The Hotel Ofenhorn is ideal for nature lovers and gourmets
The hotel’s location in the fairy-tale Binntal is perfect for exploring the landscape park on hikes or mineral excursions. We felt transported back to a bygone era without having to say no to modern conveniences. The food was very good. Seasonal ingredients from the region are combined into classic Swiss dishes with a French touch. The dishes were always attractively arranged. We felt well taken care of by host Sacha and his team. After our stay it is clear to us: The Hotel Ofenhorn is one of our Hike&Dine favorites.
Arrival to the Hotel Ofenhorn
|Location:||Binn, Canton Valais, Switzerland|
|Address:||Hotel Ofenhorn, Ufem Acher 1, CH-3996 Binn|
|Arrival car:||From Bern: duration around 2:45h. Route here|
From Geneva: duration around 3:05h min. Route here
From Zurich: duration around 1:20h. Route here
|Parking lot:||Hotel parking Ackerstrasse 1, CH-3996 Binn|
|Arrival train / bus||From Bern: duration 2:16h|
From Zurich: Duration: 3:21h | All via Lax / Fiesch by Postbus
From Geneva: 3:58h
|Bus stop||Binn village, Binn|