Family Dynasty

The history of a family dynasty

The Saratz family were the actual founders of Pontresina. Their roots go back to the Saracens, an Arab people who came from North Africa as early as 932 BC, travelling via Spain, over the Alps and into our region to seize land and acquire property and riches. Even the name Pontresina can be traced back to these immigrants. The old bridge leading to the town was built by the Saracens and called Pontem Sarasinam, later Ponte Saracino. Over the centuries this became today’s Romansh name of Puntraschigna or Pontresina.

As today, until into the 1970s the Hotel Saratz was run as a family and child-friendly hotel by generation after generation of the Saratz family. For an entire century, it ranked as one of the best hotels in the region. As a 5-star hotel, it was a member of the “Groupement des hotels de tout premier rang” (later Leading Hotels of Switzerland) into the 1970s. In 1960, Gian Pepi Saratz, the last director from the family dynasty to manage the hotel, built the first large heated outdoor pool in the Upper Engadin on the initiative of his mother.

In 1974, as no other family member could be inspired to join the hotel business to succeed Gian Pepi Saratz, the hotel was leased to the Atlas Group in Zurich. Over 20 years later, the passion for this beautiful building and a sense of tradition and hospitality finally led the 5th generation of the Saratz family to take the courageous decision to make an initial investment of around 22 million Swiss francs and restore the Hotel Saratz to new/former glory. The lease contract with the Atlas Group was terminated and today the 4-star superior hotel is again managed in accordance with the spirit of the Saratz family.

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