The Kulmhotel Gornergrat at 3,100 metres above sea level is the highest hotel in the Swiss Alps. Today, its impressive location and views of the surrounding mountain peaks make the hotel a first-class destination for mountaineers and skiers. However, the road to the opening was characterised by many challenges.
How it all began
In 1886, a small cabin called “Gifthittji” was built on the current viewing platform on the Gornergrat. Nine years later, the Hotel Belvédère was built on the same site.
However, both projects were criticised by contemporaries. They argued that building on that site spoilt the best view.
The construction of the Kulmhotel
When the Gornergrat Railway began operating in 1898, the summit station on the Gornergrat was initially around 71 metres below its current location. In 1909, the Hotel Belvédère was demolished to make room for the higher Gornergrat Railway station. With a view to economic development, Zermatt City Council approved the construction of the Kulm Hotel at its current location, as stated in the book “100 Years under the Spell of Monte Rosa”:
“A spacious mountain hotel with 43 rooms and 70 beds cost around CHF 500,000. It had all the prerequisites to please the crowds of guests at the time and the cash register rang.”
The Kulmhotel Gornergrat celebrated its opening 113 years ago, in 1910.