Hotel Saratz

Brand &History

"Of all the stories of dust-covered hotels with illustrious reputations and history that have miraculously been awarded a new lease of life, that of the Hotel Saratz is perhaps the most magical." (Bilanz, 10/2000)

In 1865, a traditional Engadine farmhouse was converted into the boarding house Saratz and in 1875, the era of belle époque, extended to create a splendid first-class hotel. The Hotel Saratz quickly established itself as one of Switzerland’s best 19th century hotels. The hotel experienced its heyday as a member of the Hotels de tout Premier Rang Suisses (today Swiss Deluxe Hotels) under the management of four generations of the owning Saratz family.

Many leading personalities from industry, science, the arts, politics and the diplomatic world from Switzerland, Europe and beyond were regular guests at the Hotel Saratz during the Engadine mountain summers. In 1973, owing to the lack of a family successor, the hotel was leased out for the first time. And so for the next 21 years, the wonderful hotel, full of atmosphere and characterized by its turn-of-the-century charm, was run on different principles as the 3-star Hotel Atlas and developed for winter business.

Over the years however, the hotel became badly in need of renovation. Soon, lack of investment and various shortcomings resulted in the 3-star hotel only being able to offer 2-star standards in terms of room comfort, cuisine and facilities.

In the 1990s, the 5th generation of the Saratz family took the fate of their hotel back into their own hands in order to recover its former class and grandeur. Since then, around 50 million Swiss francs have been invested in an extensive overall reconstruction. The complete renovation of the existing building and an impressive new extension were planned and realized with architects Hans-Jürg Ruch and Pia Schmid from Zurich.

The History OfA 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 Engadine 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.