In 2017, Hotel Walther’s foyer, reception, lobby, Grand Restaurant, bar and smoker’s lounge received a fresh and lively new look. The project was the hotel’s CHF 3.3 million gift to itself for its 110th anniversary, with the aim of providing even greater comfort for its guests.
Back to the future
The new spaces were planned and designed by interior designer Virginia Maissen. With targeted architectural interventions and tailor-made designs that reference the local environment, she has given the ground floor a unique new look. ‘My aim was to make the hotel’s qualities and values, such as hospitality, tradition and longevity, visible and tangible for the guests,’ explained Maissen, who originally hails from Grisons. The motto ‘back to our roots’ played a central role in this process.
Many unique original elements of the Belle Époque-era hotel had been covered over in the intervening years. In close collaboration with local artisans, these antique treasures were revealed once again, carefully restored and combined with furniture comprising both timeless design classics and imaginatively playful creations. All the elaborately patterned carpets, wall panelling, sofas and other pieces of furniture were designed by Virginia Maissen and her team. The elegant dividers and balustrades with decorative embellishments were sourced from a local blacksmith.
Experimental accents are provided by works from internationally renowned artists. The Walther bar is lit by the ‘splendurir’ light installation (Romansh for ‘shining, pouring light’), which the artist Rolf Sachs designed specifically for Hotel Walther. The walls are also adorned with selected watercolours by the Italian painter Sandro Fabbri, and a TV screen is hidden behind an oil-painted glacier panorama to allow for sociable TV evenings. The family who own the hotel placed great emphasis on providing multifunctional, versatile rooms. ‘Whether it’s a wedding, cultural event or public viewing – our hotel should also provide every possible enjoyment for external guests,’ said Thomas Walther, who is the third generation of his family to run the hotel; he and his wife Anne-Rose took over management in 1997.
The hotel renovation has also generated interest outside the hotel, as shown by the number of press articles. For example, the Tages-Anzeiger, Private Air Magazine and htr (the Swiss news portal for the hotel, gastronomy and tourism industries) have all reported on Hotel Walther’s new look.