Under orders

The Americans already loved staying in the luxury hotels of St. Moritz in the 20s and 30s of the 19th Century. The Swiss Alps were particularly popular because of the range of sports on offer and of course because of their unique recreational factor. No wonder then that the American army imposed a compulsory holiday in Switzerland on their troops after the war.

After the end of the First World War tourism in St. Moritz flourished. At that time luxury hotels like Badrutt’s Palace Hotel were welcoming visitors not only from Europe but also from as far as America. In addition to well-heeled guests there were also famous stars at the time, such as Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford or Rita Hayworth at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel.

With the outbreak of the Second World War the situation suddenly changed. Guests stayed away, money and supplies were scarce and many hotels faced closure. Immediately after the end of the war the American Army arranged for all soldiers to take a holiday period in Switzerland before returning home to The States. Although many Swiss resorts could not manage or didn’t wish to take soldiers, St. Moritz was the only place in the Upper Engadin willing and prepared to house some of the troops.  

Among those were Hans and Helen Badrutt with their Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. Even though provisions, room and hotel staff were in short supply, Hans took the risk and once again showed courage and pluck. The soldiers were received with great warmth and hospitality which they later conveyed to their families back home.