< SWITZERLAND | ST. MORITZ: Suvretta House
Situated two kilometres away from St. Moritz on the Plateau Chasellas, with a magnificent view over the mountains and lakes of the Upper Engadine, Suvretta
House Hotel was dream of Anton Sebastian Bon, hotel pioneer who transformed his vision into reality. Suvretta is a Romansch word meaning “above the small forest”.
Trained in the hotel business in many renowned European establishment, Anton's goal was independence which meant creation of his own first-class hotel. Initially he and his wife Marie took out a lease on the hotels Bodenhaus and Post in Splügen. Later they purchased the Rigi First hotel and subsequently the Villa Pfyffer in Vitznau, today known as the Park Hotel. Creation of Suvretta House crowned his successful career.
Born in the era of the Belle Époque, the château-like building was designed by Architect Karl Koller and the foundation was laid on April 22nd, 1911. With 400 workmen working
from dawn to dusk, by December of the same year the hotel was ready for the interior outfitting work to commence.
On December 21st, 1912, the Suvretta House was officially inaugurated and the infrastructure of the hotel included some 350 beds and 110 bathrooms.
In 1915, following the death of her husband, Marie Bon took over the management of the Suvretta House and because of her exceedingly strong personality, she soon became known as 'the soul of the Suvretta'. Those first years without her husband Anton were difficult... the Great War was in progress and the foreign guests were few and far between. But in spite of all the problems encountered, the legacy of Anton Bon was in good hands. Anton & Marie's son Hans continued the life-long work of his father and, before leaving to London to continue his hotel-career, his brother Anton also worked in the hotel for a brief period of time.
The period of Hans Bon's management, which began in the golden 20's, marked the era of great balls and sumptuous parties. In January 1919 Vaslav Nijinski, the famous Russian ballet dancer and choreographer of Polish descent, gave his last major performance in the Suvretta's ballroom. Madam Peron, Crown Prince Akihito of Japan and King Feisal of Egypt were staying at the hotel, as well as, The Shah of Persia, who was a regular and enthusiastic guest.
On December 22nd 1935, the first ski-lift in Switzerland from Suvretta to Randolins was inaugurated by Hans Bon and the Hollywood star Douglas Fairbanks.
After the economically austere war years, during which the hotel had to be completely shut down (1940 - 1946) a new beginning followed in summer 1946 when Suvretta House reopened with extremely limited financial resources but with determination to steer the hotel back to success. The mountain of debts had to be cleared, at the same time conversion and renovation work was overdue.
Following the death of Hans Bon in 1950, responsibility was assumed first by Rudolf Candrian-Bon for a period of four years. He was followed by his brother Albert Candrian, who managed Suvretta House for the next 14 years. In 1968 the baton was passed on to directors Dorli and Rudolf F. Müller. In the glorious 50's the hotel had the unique attraction of the 'Carousel Bar', where American guests in particular liked to meet for aperitifs and nightcaps. Today diners enjoy their pre-dinner drinks in the stylish Anton's Bar, where for 77 seasons until 1989 legendary Mario Scandella presided. Shah of Persia, King Umberto of Italy and Gregory Peck are some of the names who sat at the bar of this cocktail expert.
Committed to winter sports as his predecessor, Albert Candrian continued with the development of skiing facilities directly on the hotel's doorstep. In 1963, Suvretta House purchased additional land and the dream of many guests - to have direct access to the Corviglia skiing region from the hotel - was fulfilled. In 1968 the indoor swimming pool was introduced.
Since May 1st, 1989, Suvretta House has been under the management of Helen and Vic Jacob, who run the hotel in accordance with the philosophy of the Bon family.
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