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History

140 years of hospitality

The colourful history of Waldhaus Flims also has its place in Switzerland’s hotel history. A piece of tourism history. A piece of architectural history. A piece of art history. A combination of tradition and innovation in order to complete the perfect art of hospitality. A very special type of cultural hotel.

The early years


1869

The Kur- und Seebadanstalt Waldhaus Flims is founded by two Chur natives, Peter-Jakob Bener-Caviezel and Dr Paul Lorenz. The municipality of Flims grants them the permit to build a spa.

1877

The Kurhaus opens and has an initial capacity of 120 beds, a sawmill, a post office building with stables, a pub room, laundry, cow shed, a water supply for running water in the kitchen and a small bathing establishment on the Caumasee. Johann Guggenbühl, the former manager of Zürcherhof, becomes Director of the establishment.

1881

With the opening of Villa Belmont, the number of guest rooms increases to 200, and the hotel hires its own doctor for the spa.

1884

The island in the Caumasee becomes the property of the Hotel Waldhaus.

La Belle Époque


1889

Opening of the Art Nouveau «Villa Silvana»; construction of the marmot enclosure, which becomes a popular excursion destination in the region. Electrification of the hotel and commissioning of what was the largest private electrical plant in Switzerland at the time with a capacity of 60 PS.

1892

Director Guggenbühl passes away shortly after a short illness. His wife with two daughters takes over the management.

1893

Arrival of Her Majesty, the Queen Regent Emma of the Netherlands, with Queen Wilhelmina and entourage at the «Villa Silvana». To prepare for the royal visit, one room is furnished with Swiss pine, walls are installed and new furniture procured. The former secretary, Zahnder, and Guggenbühl’s daughters take over the management.

1894

A own house bakery is established, and in a remote corner of the park an open-air leisure facility with games and sports equipment is set up separately for men and women. Instead of dining at the common «table d’hôte», guests have the option of personal service at smaller tables for an additional fee.

1900

The spa and lake bathing establishment buys the «Curhaus Segnes» in Flims-Waldhaus, the today's Ristorante Pomodoro. Mr. ans Mrs. Walther take over the general management.

 

Fin de siècle


1901

The first telephone connection is installed in a specially designed phone booth– at a safe distance from the main building for fear of short circuits. Building of the first tennis court.

1904

Hotel director, Walther, commissions Giovanni Giacometti with the decoration of the casino with his work the Flimser Panorama. Located in the today's Art Nouveau pavilion, the splendid entertainment palace opens its doors with 40 host ladies. All buildings are connected by covered walkways. The spa establishment now offers 437 guest beds.

1905

Engadin native Eduard Bezzola and his wife Clara become the successors to the Walthers couple.

1910

After the safety of the telephone is confirmed after 10 years of use, the telephone system is expanded and relocated to the main building. Certain rooms get their own bathrooms.

The Roaring Twenties


1920

The first bus operated by the Swiss postal service travels to Flims. The open-topped «Car Alpin» brings in new guests. 25 new bathrooms and plumbing for running water are installed in the guest buildings.

1923

The «Kur- und Seebadanstalt» is renamed «Kurhotels und Seebad AG». The hotel is now called «Park Hotel Waldhaus».

1927

The park hotel celebrates its 50th birthday. After the abolishment of the driving ban in the canton of Graubünden, many guests travel to Flims by car. The «Table d’hôte» is repealed and most of the waitresses are replaced by Italian waiters. Roman Bezzola becomes Director of the Park Hotel.

1943

The Bezzola couple takes over the General Management. During the war, the available space in the park is used to grow vegetables, potatoes and grain. Chickens and ducks are raised as well. Repeatedly, officers are accommodated in the hotel.

Zero hour


1945

Bergbahnen Flims is established to operate the mountain transit infrastructure; the first chairlift from Foppa to Naraus is constructed.

1947

After 70 summer seasons and following extensive structural modifications, the hotel opens for its first winter season.

1948

Waldhaus Flims also remains open in the off season, a sauna is built. Long-time director Eduard Bezzola dies after a long illness.

To new horizons


1967

The former «Kurhaus» is redeveloped to a sport hotel. After adding a new wing, the Hotel Segnes offers 120 beds. A small foyer and new dining room are added to the main building. On 8 June 1967, the Hallengartenbad and new curling rink are opened.

1968

Director Roman Bezzola asks the Kunstmuseum Chur to appraise the value of the Flimser Panorama. The art museum is not interested, warns of an expensive restoration and does not even want to accept it as a gift. The painting is rolled up and stored.

1971

The Art Nouveau hall in the casino is extensively restored.

1972

The covered walkways connecting the buildings are supplemented with underground corridors. The hotel opens its own kindergarten.

1975

Hugo Nussli-Bezzola and his wife take over the general management after Roman Bezzola’s 45 years of service. The casino is rebuilt and renamed to «Pavillon».

1976

The newly built tennis hall is the first hotel tennis hall in Switzerland with two courts.

1982

Opening of the two apartment buildings Runca and Miramunt. The owners of the holiday apartments have access to the entire infrastructure of the hotel. The proceeds from the sale are used to finance the renovation and reconstruction of the «Villa Belmont».

 Tradition and modernity


1984

Opening of the new «Chalet Belmont» with private apartments, suites and meeting rooms. Josef and Marianne Müller take over the management of the hotel.

1986

Josef Müller discovers the «Flimser Panorama» by Giovanni Giacometti. Recognising its value, he has it restored and hangs it in the hotel lobby. The dinner opera«La cena è pronta» has its premiere.

1988

The hotel Segnes, which is no longer profitable is converted into the «Ristorante Pomodoro»;
the hotel rooms are made available to the staff. The former «Bellavista» becomes a Chinarestaurant.

1990

«AG Kurhotels Flims-Waldhaus» changes its name to «Park Hotels Waldhaus AG». The communication centre «Pavillon Ost», so called Flem-Etage and the art gallery open; the hotel is the first to offer the Peter Burwash International (PBI) tennis courses available throughout Switzerland.

1992

Opening of the «Belle Epoque» hotel museum, which was set up in cooperation with a team of artists in the basement rooms beneath the casino. Numerous items of use document more than a century of hotel history.

1995

Opening of the Graubünden Architecture Museum in remembrance of the architect Rudolf Olgiati.

1997

Opening of the crystal cavern exhibiting amateur geologist Paul Membrini’s crystal collection in the former white wine cellar of «The Pavilion».

 

The new millennium


2000

After nearly 20 years of managing the hotel, Josef and Marianne Müller hand over to Christoph and Sabrina Schlosser.

2001

Opening of the small animal petting zoo in the hotel park.

2003

«Villa Silvana» is comprehensively renovated, the swimming pool demolished and rebuilt in front of the pavilion as glass-enclosed pool and spa. The old terrace of the pavilion and the Art Nouveau elements of the hall and foyer are restored. The old laundry is replaced by the residence «Wald Park».

2004

Opening of «delight spa & beauty» and opening of the renovated sun terrace to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Art Nouveau pavilion. Integration of the Gefühlskulisse (atmospheric backdrop) by director Daniel Schmid into the hotel museum.

2005

Waldhaus Flims begins operating year-round and closes only for about three weeks each spring.

Sophisticated and delicate


2006

Waldhaus Flims hosts the autumn session of Switzerland's federal parliament. The Grand Hotel is added to the «Leading Hotels of the World»; the delight spa & beauty is added to the «Leading Spas of the World»; Construction of Residenz Enteneich. The «Park Hotels Waldhaus AG» is renamed to «Waldhaus Flims Mountain Resort AG».

2007

After 10 years of construction, the Flims bypass tunnel is completed. Construction of Residenz «La Cauma».

2008

The hotel and company are renamed Waldhaus Flims Mountain Resort & Spa; the restaurants Rotonde and Epoca open for business; construction of Residenz «Las Fluras».

2009

The indoor tennis courts are converted into the Waldhaus Arena for curling and events. Construction of Residence Promenada Flem.

2010

Yasmin and Urs Grimm Cachemaille take over management of Waldhaus Flims.

2012

Opening of «The Mountain Suites» with 36 luxury apartments, two «delight private spas» and the «Design Floating Suite». Grand Hotel Waldhaus and Villa Silvana join the «Small Luxury Hotels of the World» association.

2013

The Grand Hotel Waldhaus is selected as the «Hotel des Jahres 2013» by SonntagsZeitung.

2014

Daniel Fueglister becomes Managing Director and host of the Waldhaus Flims. Opening of the Paul Membrini crystal collection in the corridors of the hotel; for six weeks the Waldhaus Flims is the shooting location of the film «Youth» by director and Oscar winner Paolo Sorrentino; opening of the restaurant Epoca with its new concept: «Graubünden on your plate».

2015

Opening of the «Mundaun» indoor golf lounge in «Chalet Belmont» opening of the vaulted cellar restaurant «Il Tschaler», Ristorante «Pomodoro» and the «Segnes Bar». The hotel group is insolvent and is bought by the US investment company Z Capital Partners in mid-December.

A new beginning


2016

Peter Schoch, Managing Director, takes over the management of the Waldhaus Flims. Giovanni Giacometti’s Flimser Panorama is sold at auction. A private Swiss collector buys the triptych for 4.05 million Swiss francs. The hotel is closed temporarily in August. All buildings, including the Waldhaus Spa, undergo grand renovations. On 9 December, the new Waldhaus Flims opens its doors. The hotel name is changed from «Waldhaus Flims Mountain Resort & Spa» to «Waldhaus Flims Alpine Grand Hotel & Spa».

2017

Waldhaus Flims celebrates its 140th-year anniversary.