(English) Kronenhof Pontresina: A swiss-greek juwel in the Swiss Alps

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The entrance of the 5-Star jewel in Pontresina: The Grand Hotel Kronenhof. Photo: GMC Photopress/Gerd Müller

The Grand Hotel Kronenhof is situated at the very heart of Pontresina, an idyllic village just six kilometres away from St. Moritz. Surrounded by its magnificent gardens at an altitude of 1,800 metres, Pontresina’s only five-star deluxe hotel looks out onto the breathtaking mountains and Roseg glacier and is nestled amongst magnificent forests of Swiss stone pine, Scots pine and larch.

The Kronenhof  lobby with the piano player

The Kronenhof lobby with the piano player

Pontresina ranks among the most attractive holiday and conference venues in the Alps. Of major interest are the typical Engadine architecture, the Santa Maria church with its Byzantine-Romanesque frescoes, the pentagonal Spaniola tower, the Alpine Museum and numerous art galleries. The Rondo Congress and Conference Centre features state-of-the-art infrastructures designed to accommodate a wide variety of conferences, seminars and other events. For more information, please visit www.pontresina.ch.

The Engadine valley in Switzerland’s Grisons is one of Europe’s highest inhabited valleys and stretches for more than 80 kilometres. The valley is divided into two parts, the Upper and Lower Engadine, both connected by the high PuntÒta bridge. Of particular scenic beauty are the Upper Engadine lake plateau, the green valleys, the alpine meadows and the snow-capped peaks. 57 ski slopes and ski lifts, 350 km of groomed slopes, 180 km of cross-country ski trails, 150 km of winter hiking trails and the hotel’s own natural ice rink await the Kronenhof guest in winter. Other highlights include night time cross-country skiing, snowshoeing as well as curling and paragliding. And for the more romantic at heart, there are horse-drawn sleigh rides or skiing in the moonlight.

Beautifull hiking area around Lago Bianco at the Bernina Pass. Photo: GMC/Gerd Müller

Summer visitors enjoy hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and Nordic walking in the pure mountain air as well as tennis on local courts. Sailing, wind- and kite surfing await at Lake Silvaplana while the Inn river is perfect for rafting, canoeing or fishing. In summer, all guests who stay for a second night and longer can travel for free on all mountain lifts in the St. Moritz/Engadine region.
Golfers play the 9-hole golf course at the Kulm, our sister hotel in St. Moritz. Reservations can also be made at 18-hole courses in Samedan or Zuoz. Magnificent views can be enjoyed by guests travelling on the panoramic Bernina Express, since the summer of 2008 the line from Chur to St. Moritz and Pontresina to Tirano have become UNESCO World Heritage Sites whilst in 2010, many artistic structures, bridges and thereby the breathtaking views are celebrating their 100th anniversary.
Whether it’s a boat trip on Lake Sils – Europe’s highest scheduled boat service – an excursion into the Roseg Valley in a horse-drawn carriage, an outing to the Swiss National Park, a ride to the top of the Diavolezza or a helicopter ride over the magnificent Bernina mountains – your experience will be unforgettable.

The Blue Room of the Kronenhof Hotel. Photo: GMC/Gerd Müller

The Kronenhof has more than 150 years of tradition
The Grand Hotel Kronenhof looks back over more than 150 years of tradition. Originally founded in 1848 as the Rössli Guesthouse, the hotel was extended and renovated several times. In 1898 the hotel was renamed Kronenhof-Bellavista following extensive remodelling. The 350 bed hotel with its horseshoe shape and
three wings plus a grand courtyard is today as it was then.
A second string to the bow – especially between the two World Wars – was maintained through the trading of Veltliner wine from the hotel’s wine cellars. Thus the Grand Hotel Kronenhof survived this difficult period when few guests visited the area and also profited from the winter Olympics in St. Moritz in 1928 and 1948. The hotel was sold to private investors in 1989 after 140 years of family tradition.
Now a registered historical landmark, the hotel was sold in 2004 to Engadinerkulm AG, owner of the renowned Kulm Hotel in St. Moritz. During the course of painstaking renovation work, all rooms in the west ‘Ganzoni’ wing as well as the corridors on the upper floors were re-designed and renovated.

Greek Investors spend 35 Million Swiss Francs for the renovation of the Belle Epoque Hotel. Photo: kronenhof.com

In 2007, the owners, the Niarchos family from Greece, invested over CHF 35 million in extension and restoration works. Alongside infrastructural improvements, such as the fully refurbished kitchen, a modern personnel wing and underground car park, guests now benefit from a premier wellness complex with 13 treatment rooms and 28 additional guestrooms and suites.
In charge of the design project were acclaimed architects Justus Dahinden and Rolf Som; today, the Kronenhof is among the best preserved grand hotels of the 19th century. The timeless elegance of the interior of the ‘Grande Dame’ is the work of renowned interior designer Jo Brinkmann. Between April and June 2009, nine rooms in the Deluxe Junior Suite and Comfort Junior Suite categories, Deluxe double and single rooms and Comfort single rooms were renovated.

The spacious Bellaval Suite: Photo: kronenhof.com

Two new suites were also added, the ‘Bellaval Suite’ and the ‘Engiadina Suite’ in the Ganzoni wing, each individually designed with luxurious bathrooms. Walk-in wardrobes are a special feature in some of the suites. A further renovation was to the grand courtyard where cobblestones true to original ones were laid.

The Restaurant ‘Kronenstübli’ achieved 1st Place in the ‘Best of Swiss Gastro 2010’ gourmet category and its restaurant manager, Adriana Novotna, was
awarded best Maître d’Hôtel in 2009 by ‘Bilanz’ the Swiss Business Magazine “With her enthusiasm for the culinary art presented by Bernd Schützelhofer she imparts a ‘joie de vivre’ and with her charm makes each and every guest feel like a VIP”, the jury explained. The Grand Hotel Kronenhof was listed In the ‘Top 10
Best Winter Hotels’ in 2009 and belongs to the “25 most beautiful Newcomer Spa Oases in Europe’ and to the ‘Best Holiday hotels in Switzerland’. Recently, the Grand hotel Kronenhof was given further acclaim by the German speaking Internet opinion portal for Travel and Holiday with the HolidayCheckAward in 2010.

Maître d’Hôtel Bernd Schützelhofer was awarded with 16 GaultMilllau points

Beautifull decorated roof and fine dining ambiance: Photo: GMC/Gerd Müller

With the Austrian Head Chef Bernd Schützelhofer and the German Restaurant Manager Adriana Novotna, the Grand hotel Kronenhof is able to offer innovative and delicious creations. 16 GaultMilllau points are proof of the high quality of theb Grand Hotel Kronenhof’s kitchens. Austrian chef Bernd Schützelhofer began his training in the Austrian town of Höchst and early on in his career was awarded the gold medal in the IBO International Professional Competition. Following a stint at the Kulm Hotel in St. Moritz, he went on to gain experience at the seven-star Burj al Arab luxury hotel in Dubai and the five-star Designer Side Hotel in Hamburg. He also worked under 2004 Chef of the Year Martin Dalsass, the recipient of 18 Gault-Millau points. Various positions in the four- and five-star segment followed, including Lucerne’s first-class Hotel Astoria, the gourmet Champagne restaurant on the six-star Silversea Cruises luxury ship and at the Grand Hotel Park in Gstaad. Now his professional roots have drawn him back to the Engadine where he works as executive chef at the Grand Hotel Kronenhof, bringing with him the innovative methods and creative ideas which give his classic cuisine that extra special touch.

The restaurant managerof the Kronenstübli, Adriana Novotna started her career in Vamp’s in Dusseldorf, furthering her career at the Restaurant Rheinpark and Marcel’s in Dusseldorf. She has been pampering guests in the Kronenstübli since 2003, gaining further experience at the 5 star Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare, Ireland where she managed Oscar’s Restaurant. She was elected Maître d’Hôtel of the year in 2009.

The Spa of the Kronenhof is 2000 m2 huge and offers excellent treatments.Photo: kronenhof.com

The Spa Manager Meryem Siegfried hails from the area around Hanover in Germany. Following her apprenticeship at the cosmetic college in Hanover she gained experience at the cosmetic institute Gülsen Siegfried before moving to the Silvretta Parkhotel in Klosters as beautician and masseuse. Further training and experience was gained in Asia Hot-stone, Chakra Balancing, Meridian Massage and Lomi Lomi Nui. She worked as beautician and masseuse as well as assistant spa manager at the Park Hotel Vitznau before starting her new challenge as Assistant Spa Manager and later as Spa Manager at the Grand Hotel Kronenhof.

Space is a luxury at the Grand Hotel Kronenhof. From the moment they enter the property, guests are overwhelmed by the grandeur of it all. With ceiling paintings completed by Otto Haberer in the early 1900s and fully restored today, the grand hotel lobby is resplendent in natural daylight and reflects the glory of a bygone era in neo-baroque style. A select choice of teas and homemade pastries are served in the afternoon to the sounds of delightful piano entertainment.

Arven-wood designed suites. Photo: GMC

In the fireplace lounge, the warm crackling of the log fire and familiar conversation make for a cosy evening. Stucco ceiling decorations in pastel and gold adorn the Salon Bleu lounge, where a selection of domestic and international newspapers makes reading a pleasure. With its golden wallpaper and stucco, the Roseg room is the ideal venue for afternoon bridge, family functions or social gatherings. And with its grand manor house style, the Grand Restaurant is most suitable for a variety of events, from family and company functions to weddings and concerts. The recently restored ceiling paintings in the Grand Restaurant and the Hotel Entrance Hall, created by Otto Haberer in the 19th century, continue to amaze. A multitude of additional lounges (fireplace lounge, Salon Bleu, Salon Roseg) on the Bel Etage can be connected with one another – a perfect combination for seminars, conferences, congresses and banquets with 6 to 250 guests.

All the rooms and suites that face south or southwest have splendid panoramic views of the mountains and the Corviglia and Roseg Valley glaciers. Ranging in size from 35 m² to 75 m², they feature bathrooms in marble and granite, some with walk-in closets. Nine suites, 20 deluxe junior suites and 18 junior comfort suites feature living and sleeping areas lovingly designed with their own individual style and attention to detail. The Kronenhof Suite exudes the feeling of the Belle Epoque with stucco decorations and draped curtains in neo-baroque style. Newly dyed furniture and decorative materials modelled after the style of the turn of the century (around 1900) combine with the gold and royal blue hues of wall fabrics to create grandeur on an uncommon scale and a feeling of

Especially charming and sun-lit are the generously sized double rooms of the Deluxe, Comfort and Standard categories, lavishly furnished using Swiss pine and traditional Grisons-style ceiling panels. All 112 rooms feature a mini-bar, a safe, satellite TV with integrated radio and WiFi Internet connection. Many rooms
also have an ADSL port. Fax machines can be installed upon request.

Noblesse and stylish dining at the restaurant: Photo: GMC Photopress/Gerd Müller

The vaulted ceilings of the Grand Restaurant are the setting for the culinary excellence offered at the Kronenhof, where breakfast and dinner are celebrated with the style and opulence of the past century. With Swiss specialities and international selections, a minstrels’ gallery and outstanding acoustics, the Grand Restaurant is the perfect venue for romantic weddings, superb gala evenings or elegant receptions.
With historical flair, the award-winning restaurant Kronenstübli with original Engandine furniture and Swiss-pine panelling is a haven for gourmets. Head Chef Bernd Schützelhofer, restaurant manager Adriana Novotna and the whole team set the crown on the five-star-superior-hotel’s head with 16 GaultMillau points.
The 3-level Veltlin wine cellar built by Lorenz Gredig in 1867 with its original collection of wine barrels is among the Engadines most beautiful. It is particularly suitable for wine tastings, larger functions or concerts. Whether lunch at the hotel park’s pavilion, cocktail classics at the legendary Kronenhof bar or Swiss raclette at the bowling lanes, each culinary experience is unique and special.

Enjoy a wide selection of excellent wines. Photo: GMC

Under a ‘Dine Around’ motto, hotel guests with half-pension can also dine in the restaurants at the Kulm Hotel, our sister hotel in St. Moritz. Kronenhof Spa and Wellness Enveloped by a soothing mix of waters, scents and sounds, body, mind and soul are reenergised and invigorated on 2,000 m² of spa facilities – one of the most impressive wellness complexes in the Engadine. A large 8 m x 20 m pool with counter-current system, children’s pool, steam pool, relax-floating grotto with underwater music, saltwater grotto, sauna, Kneipp footbaths, solarium, fitness room and gym provide for optimal indulgence. Especially cosy is the relaxation room with its crackling log fire.

Also available are a hair salon, 13 therapy and treatment rooms as well as fully trained personnel for hydrojet, softpack, massage and cosmetic treatments. Only the finest beauty products with bio-active ingredients are used so that the nurturing effects of Alpienne and Carita optimise the restorative effects under professional guidance. A luxurious private spa suite also offers rose-blossom massages for two in an exclusive and intimate setting and if desired a back, neck or aroma massage for two . A team of specialists with international experience made up of therapists, physicians, instructors and wellness experts are available at all times to offer you support and advice with regard to your overall health as well as to your choice of sports and recreational activities.

Rates vary depending on room category, length of stay and date. Prices start at CHF 385 per night at half board in a Standard single room; CHF 530 in a Standard double, CHF 845 in a junior suite Comfort, CHF 1005 in the Segantini Suite and CHF 1,460 in the Kronenhof Suite. During summer the rates are CHF 315 per night in a Standard single room; CHF 445 in a Standard double, CHF 690 in a junior suite Comfort, CHF 790 in the Segantini Suite and CHF 1,090 in the
Kronenhof Suite. Minimum stays between 3 and 10 nights may be required depending on season, holidays and dates. The winter season runs from mid-December to mid-April, the summer season from mid-June to mid-September. For further information on rates and availability, please visit the website www.kronenhof.com

The Kronenhof lies in good hands of Jenny and Heinz Hunkeler

Jenny & Heinz E. Hunkeler In 2006, Jenny and Heinz E. Hunkeler took over management from Henry Hunold, who successfully ran the hotel under its previous owners. Jenny and Heinz E. Hunkeler both graduated from the famous Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne with BSc degrees in International Hospitality Management. Both went on to gain international experience at several of the world’s luxury properties. In 2008, they were awarded the prestigious ‘Hoteliers of the Year’ by ‘Bilanz’ the Swiss Business Magazine.
Today, Heinz E. Hunkeler has returned home. Indeed, he grew up in St. Moritz, attended the Lyceum Alpinum in Zuoz and is therefore intimately familiar with Engadine’s local scene and conditions. Heinz E. Hunkeler also completed internships at renowned Swiss luxury hotels such as the Victoria Jungfrau Interlaken, the Montreux Palace and the Des Bergues in Geneva. Career stops both in Switzerland and abroad followed at Geneva’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel du Rhône, the George V Paris and New York’s The Pierre. Before taking on his new challenge at the Grand Hotel Kronenhof, he held the position of Assistant General Manager at the Kempinski Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Munich.
Jenny Hunkeler grew up in Geneva and upon graduation went on to assume various positions, amongst others, at New York’s Hotel Peninsula, the Emerald Beach Resort Virgin Island and the Ramada Park Hotel in Geneva. She also held a position in Sales and Marketing at the Hotel Königshof in Munich, a Geisel property. Jenny Hunkeler has acquired particular expertise in the wellness and spa field.

Grand Hotel Kronenhof
Via Maistra 130
7504 Pontresina

Tel. +41 (0)81 830 30 30
Fax +41 (0)81 830 30 31

Map Switzerland (PDF 26 KB)
Map Pontresina (PDF 36 KB)
Detailed Map of  Pontresina (PDF 710 KB)


Autom Impressions of Bernina Pass und Oberengadiner  mountain lakes

Discover the magic swiss alps mountain lakes in the upper Engadin

On the railroad with the UNESCO-Train RHB

St. Moritz: The Diamant on top of the world

Gastronomy and Star-cooks of the upper Engadin

Casino St. Moritz – Jazz Festival – Smokers Lounge im Kulm

Grand Cru: Kempinski des Baign in St. Moritz

Gourmetausflug ins Hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina

Das legendary Kulm Hotel in St. Moritz celebrating  Jazz Fiever

Swiss Helicopter



Unforgettable holidays at the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains

Romantische Tage im Giardino Mountain


Links to further reports about the Engadin (in german)

Kronenhof Pontresina: A swiss-greek succes story (engl.)

Den Zauber der Engadiner Bergwelt erleben

Sommerhighlight im Engadin: Das Jazz Festival in St. Moritz

Die Rhätische Bahn ist eine erlebnis- und facettenreiche Bergbahn

Kronenhof Pontresina: Schweizer Hotel unter griechischer Flagge auf Erfolgskurs (dts.)

Portrait Kulm Relax & Style Bericht (dts. )

Links to other english reports:

Über Gerd M. Müller

Der Zürcher Foto-Journalist Gerd Michael Müller gründete vor 20 Jahren die Presse- und Bildagentur GMC Photopress. Müller arbeitet seit über 25 Jahren in der Tourismus-, Medien- und Kommunikationsbranche. Er hat über 1000 Publikationen und Reisereportagen in renommierten Medien veröffentlicht (u.a. «Welt am Sonntag», «FAZ», «FACTS», «Weltwoche», «SonntagsZeitung», «Globo», «Animan», «Reisen & Kultur-Journal», «FAZ», «Spiegel», «Süddeutsche Zeitung») und darüber hinaus auch für hochkarätige Spa- and Travel-Magazine wie «Relax & Style», «Tourbillon», «Excellence International», «World of Wellness» und «Wellness Live» gearbeitet. GMC Photopress besitzt ein umfangreiches Bildaurchiv mit rund 250'000 Bildern aus über 80 Ländern zu den Themen Lifestyle, Luxus, Beauty & Spa, Kultur, Touristische Highlights, Natur, Landschaft, Wildlife, Umwelt, Humanitäres und Soziales.
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