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ALDEN Hotel Splügenschloss, Zurich *****
Hotel review and history

Added on March 27, 2014
The Alden hotel changed hands in April 2012. It was renovated and refurbished and re-opened as ALDEN Luxury Suite Hotel Zurich in August 2013. It is now part of the Leonardo Hotels group, which operates some 60 hotels. We have not stayed at the new hotel under a new management and, therefore, cannot recommend it for the moment.

Article added on January 8, 2005 
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 substantial increase 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 four-star hotel.

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.

The reception with the historic stucco ceiling.
Photo © ALDEN Hotel Splügenschloss, Zurich.

The listed-building façade. Photo © ALDEN Hotel Splügenschloss, Zurich.

The salon of suite 3C. Photo © ALDEN Hotel Splügenschloss, Zurich.

View of a secretaire, one of the many antiquities which make the hotel
a unique experience. Photo © ALDEN Hotel Splügenschloss, Zurich.

The salon of suite 5A. Photo © ALDEN Hotel Splügenschloss, Zurich.

The bathroom of suite 2C. Photo © ALDEN Hotel Splügenschloss, Zurich.

The family management team: Danette Beaud-Stump and Tamiko 
Öhrbohm Stump (right). Photo © ALDEN Hotel Splügenschloss, Zurich.