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2_0_DiscoverGermany_August 2015_Issue29:Scan Magazine 1

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Exploring Switzerland on a budget Swiss hostel Lago Lodge doesn’t only attract young backpackers. With a magnificent proximity to Lake Biel, Neuenburger Lake, Murtensee Lake, the biggest bilingual town Biel, castle Nidau and the Jura mountains, it attracts people from all walks of life. The hostel is the perfect starting point to explore the ‘real‘ Switzerland far off the beaten tourist path.

est panoramas of Switzerland - on clear days, visitors can see the Alps from Austria to France. The short distances even allow for a day trip to the Alps. www.lagolodge.ch

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: NATHAN GÜNTENSPERGER

The Lago Lodge is a simple hostel with many young employees, for guests that don’t need a minibar, a TV in the room and white tablecloths. However, with its 20 two-, four- or six-bed rooms, it is not a usual hostel. Even though the prices are as cheap as conventional hostels, the Lago Lodge has far more to offer. Despite providing showers and toilets in each room (which is uncommon for a hostel), the hostel owns its own bistro, as well as an integrated organic beer brewery with the name ‘Seeland Bräu’. The cosy bistro is a much-loved hangout in summer or winter due to its big terrace and fireplace.“Our motto is ‘keep it simple’ and we put special emphasis on wellbeing and cosiness,” Nathan Güntensperger, manager of the Lago Lodge, explains. Offering two changing menus per day and other smaller or bigger dishes, the hostel seeks to use ecological

86 | Issue 29 | August 2015

and regional products, as well as local producers and suppliers.

Main image: Bistro with terrace and petanque course Above: Lodge with lawn Brewhouse of the Seeland Bräu brewery Below: Two-bed room

The brewhouse of the brewery stands directly behind the bar and caters for guests with a variety of different beers all year around. Beer enthusiasts can even visit the brewery. “Due to the close proximity to Lake Biel and our big terrace, we have many locals visiting who come to eat and drink a beer. Thus, we also offer a direct and easy contact to locals,”Güntensperger says. He adds: “The Lago Lodge isn’t located in a main tourism area of Switzerland and thus, we are perfect for guests who want to experience the ‘real’ Switzerland.” The ‘Seeland’ with its connected lakes and the Jura mountains are destinations for active travellers who want to explore Switzerland on their own. The 1,609 metre high Chasseral, the highest peak of the Bernese Jura, boasts one of the pretti-

Bottom: Four-bed room