The future of the past

Letters of family Badrutt

The Swiss Hotel Archive was founded in 2008 to preserve the history of the Swiss hotels and Swiss tourism. Hans Wiedemann represented the hoteliers as a member of the first management council of the Swiss Hotel Archive. At that time nobody had any idea what treasures were hiding in the cupboards and cellars of the traditional hotel. This changed when the Badrutt family decided to get to the bottom of the hotel’s history, together with Hans Wiedemann.

So the Swiss Hotel Archive was tasked with locating all the historical documents and objects in the hotel, putting them in order and making an inventory, thereby facilitating a valuation. All the hotel’s staff members were often involved in the search for treasures at the beginning – from technician to governess. Then in October 2009 there was one of the most extraordinary fi nds: Mr Wiedemann had found the missing key to a forgotten cupboard. It revealed an enormous washing basket behind its doors. This was full to the brim with papers which hadn’t been touched since the first tennis hall had been built in 1913. Among the papers were the first bills, purchases, building plans, historic guest registers and personal letters and photographs of the family. The documents and findings gradually brought to light the earliest history of Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. Under the motto, “The future of the past,” all these documents and historical objects are being archived.

Badrutt's Palace Hotel Archive 2016

A large part of the photos had already been digitalised and can be used by the hotel in high definition format whenever needed. Many historical pictures have been brought back to life in copies of the Palace Times, the Tower Revue and on the website and they tell fascinating stories from 120 years of Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. The Grand Dame of the Swiss luxury hotels is the only hotel to have two fi reproof and waterproof archive rooms – yet another pioneering deed of the Badrutt family.