From October 2003 to April 2004,
Zurich's ALDEN Hotel Splügenschloss has been thoroughly renovated and
successfully upgraded to a luxurious five-star boutique hotel with ten junior suites, twelve
suites and a gourmet restaurant.
The hotel building dates back to the late 19th century.
In 1894, the architects Kronauer & Toggweiler asked for the permission to
construct an elegant property with fashionable flats at Splügenstrasse 2 and
4, then a quiet bourgeois residential area of suburban Zurich. The neo-baroque and neo-renaissance corner house with
a representative façade, balconies (Loggien und Balkone), a
gabled dormer (Zwerchhaus) and a corner bay tower with dome-shaped roof and weathervane
was built in 1895-97. Houses 2 and 4 each comprised four large apartments,
with a series of attic rooms on the fourth floor.
In the 1930s, in view of the forthcoming Swiss national exhibition for which a
of visitors to Zurich was expected, Gottfried Suter bought the property and
transformed House 2 into a guest house. In 1946, he acquired the adjacent
House 4, renovated and connected the two - establishing Splügenschloss as a three-star
hotel in its present-day size.
Subsequent transformations by the
owner's son Christoph Suter, who joined his father in 1959 after graduating
from the Lausanne School of Hotel Management, adapted the hotel to modern standards and
turned it into a
Until 1975, Hotel Splügenschloss accommodated many permanent guests who used
it as their residence, a "retirement home" until their death.
The interior remained partly unchanged, notably the natural stone stairs,
stucco ceilings and, where possible, the parquet floors were retained. In 2003, the careful renovation brought back
the former glory. In addition, limestone floors from the Carrara area, pure
wool carpets from Ruckstuhl and floors in European smoked oak were added and
confer a relaxed atmosphere to the suites.
Consequently, the houses at Splügenstrasse 2 and 4 became
listed properties for their economic, social and architectural significance
for the period of the turn from the 19th to the 20th century.
Since 1986 and until today, Hotel Splügenschloss is a member of the exclusive
hotel association Relais & Châteaux. In
2002, Rudolf Stump - who previously made a fortune as the head of Hero Group -
made a long-cherished dream come true and bought the property for himself and his family.
Within seven months in 2003 and 2004, the new owner's son, the architect
Henrik Stump, transformed the four-star hotel with 54 rooms into a five-star
boutique hotel with 22 spacious apartments, varying in size from 60 to 100m2.
The drawing rooms of all suites and junior suites provides space to receive
groups of up to six guests.
At the end of April 2004, Alden Hotel Splügenschloss reopened as Zurich
smallest, most exclusive five-star hotel. Now a family business, the hotel is
run by the owner's Swiss-Japanese
daughters, Tamiko Öhrbom-Stump and Danette Beaud-Stump, a
graduate of Swiss Hotel Management School Lucerne
and a Master of Business Administration, ensuring the leadership of a competent team.
Alden Hotel Splügenschloss offers an experience far apart from anonymous and
standardized hotel rooms, a home away from home with elegant apartments with a
real key, not an electronic card to close the door. All apartments are filled
with antiquities and equipped with the best contemporary comfort, including an additional cell
phone, LCD flat screen TV with video on demand and reception of satellite
TV, a high speed Internet connection as well as wireless LAN. All bathrooms
include a whirlpool.
I particularly remember a 16th century baroque cupboard and a chest of drawers
as well as Louis XV make-up table in the bathroom of my suite. Interior
designer Jürg Brawand tastefully mixed the carefully
restored antiquities - many of the best pieces from the historic hotel - with calm
and contemporary Italian design. Antique pictures and prints from the previous
hotel round up the picture. It is
difficult to designate my favorite suite, maybe 5D, which comes with a roof
terrace and a private sauna.
In the gourmet restaurant - with walls covered with Venetian stucco - the
German Alex Seifermann is the new chef. Previously, he worked at the
well-known Seehotel Siber in Konstanz and at restaurant Top Air at Stuttgart
airport, where the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star under his management.
At Alden Hotel Splügenschloss, everything, including bread, pasta and sorbets, are made at the hotel
restaurant. Alex Seifermann offers classic French cuisine, enriched with
influences from Asia, Italy, Spain and Mexico.
The family-run five star hotel in a listed property, with the atmosphere of an
elegant private home, a
gourmet restaurant and a summer terrace, located in the city center of
Switzerland's economic and cultural capital, offers
refinement, privacy and personal service.
P.S. Special thanks to Stefan Gasser, Preservation of Ancient Monuments, Zurich, for providing
details regarding ALDEN Hotel Splügenschloss.