A small step down in quality from the Hotel Bären is the Kreuz, which is also near the rail station (343 steps according to the hotel's brochure) and another serviceable, straightforward, well-run hotel catering to business travelers.

Try to get a room in the newer part of the hotel such as Number 513, a normal double with functional, modern decor. Rates are cheaper on weekends. All rooms come with the standard equipment such as minibar, phone, radio, satellite TV and WiFi. Bathrooms are not as large as at the Bären but neither are the prices.

Contact: Hotel Kreuz, Zeughausgasse 41, CH-3011, Bern, tel. +41/31/311 11 62, fax 311 37 47, www.kreuzbern.ch

Daily Rates: Double rooms from CHF 170 Mon-Thurs, CHF 149 Fri-Sun

Rating: Quality 9/20, Value 9/20