History

A luxury hotel from the very start

Immerse yourself in the more than one hundred year old history of the Gstaad Palace: the luxury hotel in Switzerland opened its doors on 8 December 1913. Successfully: it was decided to build an extension after the first season. In the 1960s gala dinners with international stars such as Louis Armstrong and Marlene Dietrich cause a great sensation. Andrea Scherz is the third generation now to manage the hotel.


The opening of the railway line from Montreux to Gstaad on 20 December 1904 heralds the start of tourism in Gstaad. Soon afterwards the local secondary school teacher Robert Steffen recognises the potential for a luxury hotel on the Oberbort. He purchases the first plots of land and looks for investors. In April 1912 the first cut of the spade was made for the building of the Palace Hotel, which was finally opened on 8 December 1913 under the management of the Directors Albert Steudler and Hans Pünter. Back then the hotel has 250 beds in 165 rooms. The investors set the highest standards of luxury right from the start with central heating and the hotel’s own telegrapher. The first winter season is so successful that it is already decided to build a ballroom extension on the ground floor in spring 1914. Up to 350 people still celebrate in the “Salle Baccarat” today. 

The Scherz family takes over the management of the Palace Hotel
There is a change in management at the hotel in 1939: Ernst and Silvia Scherz start their work in autumn 1938, so that there is a smooth changeover in management. Following the difficult times during the Second World War the number of guests rises rapidly and already reaches the same level as before the war in 1947. Ernst Scherz manages to come up with the necessary capital to take over all the shares. The hotel is now family-owned and it is to stay that way too.

Gala dinners in Gstaad with Marlene Dietrich and Louis Armstrong 
Gala dinners with international stars are the glamorous highlight of the winter season in the 1960s. Marlene Dietrich’s appearance on 15 February 1964 was unforgettable. Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Maurice Chevalier, Petula Clark – all of them and many more stars are guests at the Gstaad Palace. 


Change in generations at the 5-star hotel
 
The second generation of the Scherz family enters the business with Ernst Andrea Scherz. He starts working there in 1968 and takes over as Director of the 5-star hotel a year later. The indoor pool with outdoor area, sauna and health centre is built. The GreenGo nightclub is opened in the same part of the building in 1971. It is to strengthen the Palace’s position as the centre of everything that is happening in Gstaad. The Gstaad Palace becomes a film set for the film “The Return of the Pink Panther”. The European premiere of this screen classic is on 12 September 1975 in Gstaad. 


100th
anniversary of the family-run luxury hotel 
Andrea Scherz starts working there in the summer season of 1996. First of all he proves himself as Chef de Réception, later as the Hotel Manager. “Les Chalets du Palace” are completed during this time. At the first Gstaad symposium in 2000, VIPs such as Margaret Thatcher and Peter Ustinov benefit from informal meetings. After the end of the Cold War, they look back at the 20th century in a series of talks.

On 8 December 2013, the luxury 5-star hotel celebrates its 100th anniversary. The “100 Years of Gstaad Palace” anniversary book is published for this occasion. It shows the Palace as a unique social scene and a mirror on the change in high society.

The Gstaad Palace is in the meantime one of the last family-run Grand Hotels in Switzerland.

Do you want to find out more about our history, then order our 25 years anniversary book.

Order anniversary book

Newsletter