From simple self-catering to comfortable mountain hiking huts: the accommodation of the Swiss Alpine Club is very diverse. There’s room for over 9,000 people in the 153 SAC huts in Switzerland.
A stay in an SAC hut is always a special experience. However, you have to earn your welcome first – often with an ascent of several hours on foot. In return, you can be a guest at one of the highest-located lodgings in Switzerland. As these huts are located far from civilisation, it is hardly surprising that they do not offer the same comforts that you find lower down in the valley. What you will find here is cosiness, hospitality and community.
Most huts are simply furnished and offer mattress dorms and, increasingly, multi-bed rooms. There are also double rooms, but these are scares. Showers are rare and only for an extra charge.
If a hut is fully occupied, it can feel like a bit of a squeeze. There isn’t much privacy. There is, however, a lot of space for unwinding and for conversations with like-minded people. Quiet hours start at 10 p.m. since many people set out early the next day for their mountain hikes.
During the summer season, there is a hut team in about 120 SAC huts that looks after the mountain hikers from approx. mid-June until mid-October. About 70 SAC huts are fully or partially operated in the winter/spring. Always check the opening times of the huts in advance. They differ from hut to hut and can change at short notice at the beginning and at the end of the season depending on weather conditions.
In many huts, there is no phone reception or WiFi for guests. You may receive a weak mobile signal outside the hut or the hut team may activate the WiFi for a limited period. But you should not rely on that. It is just as unlikely that your battery can be charged. The hut telephone is available if you really need to make a call, but you will have to pay for this service.
Overnight stays at the huts are popular, especially in the high season and at weekends. It is therefore strongly recommended that you reserve your bed well in advance by phone, email or simply via the online reservation system.
Important: If you reserve a place, please inform the hut if your tour is called off or there are any changes to the group size. Timely cancellation is free of charge at all SAC huts and at most other mountain huts.
Depending on the standard of the hut, the room size, the facilities and the season, the cost of an overnight stay for one adult is between CHF 25 and CHF 45. The prices for half-board (dinner, bed and breakfast) are between CHF 60 and CHF 90. Cashless payments are accepted in many huts, though you should always have enough cash on you just in case.
Food and drink
All serviced SAC huts offer half board. Dinner usually consists of soup, a main course and dessert, and sometimes also a salad. Everyone eats together at large tables. You should notify the hut of any dietary requirements when you make your reservation (for vegetarians and people with food intolerances). Tea for the next day («“hiking tea”) is provided and is often included in the room rate. In most huts, you can also buy sandwiches and small provisions for the next day.
Depending on the hut, there is a wide range of food and drink offered during the day. Pasta dishes and rösti are rarely missing from the menu, as are sausage and cheese specialities. And in every hut, there are delicacies from the oven, freshly prepared each day.
More and more families are making their way on foot to an SAC hut. And it’s no wonder, since many huts are family and child friendly. Huts can usually be reached on foot in less than three hours, the paths are well developed and the hut environment is very safe. When possible, families are accommodated in smaller rooms, and can usually find a good selection of games and books. You can look for family-friendly huts in the online reservation system.
Many SAC huts will also welcome dogs if you are taking your four-legged friend with you into the mountains. However, as space is limited, dogs are not allowed to spend the night at all huts. Be sure to ask in advance whether your dog is allowed and where it will be housed.
Source: Swiss Alpine Club SAC