On a quiet lake in the Flumserberg region of the Swiss Alps sits a charming hotel with a sunny terrace restaurant. Built in 1906 and surrounded by spectacular views, a recent summer hike led me and three generations of my family to this hidden gem. With hearty, comforting Swiss food, the Berghotel Seebenalp in the summertime can only be reached on foot.
Located at 1,650 meters above sea level in the canton of St. Gallen, the hotel originally served as a place of wellness for people with asthma. The terrace restaurant overlooks one of three neighboring lakes, the Grosssee. With a view of the Churfirsten mountain range behind it, and the Sächsmoor mountain across the lake, it’s not surprising that this spectacular site was chosen for a hotel.
Today, the Ruesch-Gubser family manages the Berghotel Seebenalp. Outdoors, the terrace restaurant can seat up to 200 people. Based on our experience, this family is doing an excellent job. During a busy Sunday lunchtime, we had friendly, efficient service at the restaurant.
What to Eat at the Berghotel Seebenalp
For lunch, most of us around the table had a traditional dish from German-speaking Switzerland – Älplermaccaroni mit Apfelmus (CHF 18.50). This Swiss macaroni and cheese dish contains chunks of boiled potatoes. On top, it always has those crispy fried onions. On the side, we received a small dish of applesauce – the typical accompaniment.
The menu at the Berghotel Seebenalp has other staple Swiss-German dishes, like Kalbsbratwurst mit Zwiebelsauce (bratwurst with onion sauce) and Schweinsschnitzel Paniert (breaded pork cutlets). If you have a smaller appetite, you might want to order the Seebenteller (CHF 21.50), a cold meat and cheese plate, for sharing.
For a preview of the dessert options, you can go inside the restaurant and check out the cake and tart options on display. After a careful review, the majority of my family members opted for the Sachertorte – that famous chocolate cake from Vienna. Instead, I chose the layered quark cake with fresh raspberries — a fresh, light and delicious dessert.
How to get there:
Starting in Unterterzen or Oberterzen — villages in the Flumserberg region, you can take the cable car up to Tannenboden. From there, it takes approximately 1.5 hours to walk to the Berghotel Seebenalp. If you take the loop trail, which starts and finishes at Tannenboden, the entire route takes about 2.5 hours.
Winter season: Beginning in early December through early April. You can arrive at this beautiful spot on foot or with skis.
Summer season: From the beginning of June until the end of October.