A bustling, standard-issue, business-oriented hotel strategically located in the center of town within an easy walk of the rail station and the arcaded streets of the old-town.

All front desk people we encountered during a recent three-night stay were extraordinarily hospitable.

Our room, Number 210, though on the small side and without much character, was reasonably comfortable. Deluxe doubles are similarly furnished and equipped but larger.

Breakfast in the lobby/bar was adequate; there is no restaurant.

Contact: Hotel Bären, Schauplatzgasse 4, CH-3011, tel. +41/31/311 33 67, fax 311 69 83

Daily Rates: Singles 165 to 170 Sfr. ($113-$116), doubles 220 to 270 Sfr. ($151-$185)

Rating: Quality 11/20, Value 9/20