Until 1892 the Grindelwald village blacksmith shop stood on the same foundations as the present hotel. In August of that year it was totally destroyed by a fire which, driven by a strong wind, also destroyed most of Grindelwald. The rebuild in 1893 had to proceed as quickly as possible on a standardized basis. To the left of the façade the original saddle-roofed chalet that still carries the house inscription can be seen. After building the flat-roofed extension to the east in 1905, the hotel had twenty bedrooms and a dining room.
Tourism in the Bernese Oberland grew rapidly until 1912. Numerous hotels were opened, as well as railways such as the Berner Oberlandbahn in 1890, the Wengernalpbahn in 1892, and the Jungfraubahn in 1912. Notable is also Europe's first gondola cableway up to the Wetterhorn, which operated from 1907 until 1914.
At that time the Schweizerhof was heightened by adding three storeys, so that by 1912 it looked more or less the same as it does today. Ever since then, this stately building has been one of Grindelwald's leading hotels. In the spacious hotel garden an ice rink was built for the benefit of hotel guests in winter, and with the village high street far enough away, the hotel brochure promised a peaceful, dust-free and spacious well-shaded location. Another attraction in those days was of course: electric lighting!
A lot was renewed and established:
The hotel was requisitioned by the army in order to serve as main pharmacy of the MSI (military sanitarian institution - main Swiss army hospital). Starting anew after the war proved to be a slow process. Only in the 1950ies the uplift began with first (re-)innovations as windows with a doubled isolation. At the beginning of the 1960ies Toni and Muggi want to withdraw fro the hotel and are searching for a new owner.
The Schweizerhof was then sold on May 1, 1962 to Lotti and Otto Hauser, who had managed the Hotel Du Midi in Lugano-Cassarate for ten years as leaseholders. They spent the next 17 years renovating and embellishing practically the entire Schweizerhof hotel.
Their daughter Barbara attended commercial college in La Neuveville, then after a year in England, the Lausanne school of hotel management. Not long afterwards she married Hannes Brawand of the Hotel Fiescherblick in Grindelwald. Their son Otto attended commercial college in Neuchâtel, then likewise the Lausanne school of hotel management. After completing his training, Otto travelled around the world with Holiday on Ice until returning home in 1979.
In 1980 Otto Hauser junior took over the Schweizerhof from his parents and was joined already one year later by his sweetheart, iceskating star Anneliese. They married in 1990 in Las Vegas, well away from the bustle of hotel business.
Modernization corner stones:
The idea of a resort first arose (in youthful exuberance) with architect friend U. Rückleben in 1982 when discussing Schweizerhof Grindelwald development concepts and plans for the next twenty years.
In 1998 the Swiss Alp Resort project finally took shape, but it was another ten years until construction could actually start. Despite all the problems of that difficult period, Anni and Otto Hauser never flinched from even the worst setback.
By 2008 the first chalets had been roofed over, and by 2009 everything was completed. It goes without saying that during all this time, extensions and renovations to the Schweizerhof "mother house" continued. And without closing the hotel, except for essential excavation and shell construction work during the summer season 2007.
A new era was born: the Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof and the Swiss Alp Resort had both been transformed from a vision into reality!
We continuously are working to improve on the Schweizerhof in order to have it at up to date arcitectural, technical / technological and visual wise. Parallel to uncountable improvements in the background this includes a perpetual refinement and maintenance of the rooms and public areas.
After forty years of management family Anneliese and Otto Hauser-Seger, hotel owners in their third generation and professional people with heart and soul, handed over the operational management of the 5-star Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof Grindelwald to Hans-Rudolf Ruetti on March 18 this year.
Born in Bern Mr. Ruetti began his career at the Parkhotel Schoenegg in Grindelwald. Following the hotel school Belvoirpark he continued his education at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration and the business seminar SHV / VHD. He also holds an MBA from the State University of New York at Albany. During his exciting career the 59 years old hotelier managed numerous well-known hotels such as the "7132" Vals, the Victoria-Jungfrau Interlaken, the InterContinental Bucharest, the Radisson SAS Royal Brussels, the Dolder Grand Zurich, the Eden Roc Ascona and the Tschuggen Arosa. He was also involved in various hotel projects in Germany and abroad as an independent management consultant.
The passionate hotelier will lead the Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof Grindelwald into the future: "A great job awaits me, so to speak, at the source of my professional life. I am very proud that Mr. and Mrs. Hauser entrust me with the management of their life's work and I consider it a great responsibility and a challenge at the same time."