If you want to ski in Switzerland and don't want to be limited by the curfews imposed by many Swiss youth hostels, the Swiss Student Travel Service offers an alternative--a network of seven student hotels in or near ski resort areas.
You don't have to be a student to stay in the organization's hotels, but usually you have to book your lodging for a minimum of a week.
One of the advantages of the organization's hotels is that with the exception of the Lucerne hotel, room rates include breakfast and dinner, and for only 8 Swiss francs ($6 U.S.) more you can have all meals. That's a big help in a country where the exchange rate makes restaurant prices almost double what you would pay at home.
The Scuol area has more than 44 miles of downhill ski runs and 37 miles of cross-country ski trails. This is also where you'll find the Engadine area's longest downhill run--it's about six miles long.
There are about 18 miles of winter walking trails, and during the summer about 62 miles of trails are open for hikers.
The member hotel in Scuol is Hotel Quellenhof. It's open from December to April and June to October. You can find it in the center of the village.
The hotel has a dining room, lounge, bar and disco. Accommodations are available for as many as 70 visitors in rooms for two, three and four people.
Double room rates start at 42 Swiss francs ($30 U.S.) per person a night. Rooms shared by three or four start at 36 Swiss francs ($25 U.S.) per person a night.
The Klosters area has more than 320 kilometers of downhill ski runs and 25 miles of cross-country ski trails. Two miles of trails are illuminated.
About a 20-minute walk from the village center is the organization's hotel, the Mountain Inn Chesa Selfranga. It's a wooden chalet-style house that has a lounge, TV room, bar and accommodations for 86 visitors.
Rooms can accommodate from one to seven persons. Winter rates start at 33 Swiss francs ($23 U.S.) per person in rooms shared by two to seven persons. The winter low season is Jan. 2-30.
In Klosters the organization also has Pension and Hostel Soldanella about 10 minutes from the village center.
Pension Soldanella can accommodate 30 visitors in rooms for one, two or three people. The hostel can accommodate as many as 60 guests in rooms for three to seven people. Rates for a double room start at 42 Swiss francs ($30 U.S.) per person a night.
The Davos area is accessible to five downhill ski regions and 43 miles of cross-country ski trails.
The member hotel in Davos, the Haus Bogenschanze, is open from December to April. It's a five-minute walk from the railway station, and can accommodate 67 visitors in rooms for two, three, four or six people.
The hotel has its own bar-disco. The organization warns that "the rooms are simple and small, unfortunately also not quite soundproof." The average age of guests is 20.
St. Moritz has 250 miles of downhill ski runs and 93 miles of cross-country ski trails.
Two Member Hotels
In St. Moritz the Hotel Bellaval is a two-minute walk from the rail station. It's open December to April and June to October. It has a restaurant, lounge, TV room and accommodations for 57. Rooms are designed for two, three and four people. Winter rates for double rooms start at 51 Swiss francs ($36 U.S.) per person a night.
The Hotel Stille in St. Moritz is about a 25-minute walk from the rail station. It is close to cross-country ski trails and is open from December until April. It has 45 double rooms, no bunk beds. Winter rates start at 47 Swiss francs ($33 U.S.) per person.
Another member hotel is in the old section of Lucerne. The Tourist Hotel is 10 minutes from the rail station. It can accommodate 90 visitors in rooms for two or four people.
The cost per person in a room shared by four starts at 27 Swiss francs ($19 U.S.), a double room starts at 31 Swiss francs ($22 U.S.) per person. In this hotel the room rate only includes breakfast. You can have half-board for an extra 12 Swiss francs ($8 U.S.) or full board for an additional 20 Swiss francs ($14 U.S.).
For more details about member hotels, contact SSR-Travel Hotel Department, P.O. Box 8026, Zurich, Switzerland.
You also will find storefront SSR travel offices in Basel, Berne, Chur, Geneva, Lausanne, Lucerne and Zurich.
For more information on Switzerland, contact the Swiss National Tourist Office, 250 Stockton St., San Francisco 94108; (415) 362-2260.