Beginnings of the hotel industry in Engelberg

Take a look into the past and discover the history of the hotel industry in Engelberg.

Who invented it? - About the beginnings of the hotel industry in Engelberg

Will you join me on a mind game? Or even better, on a dream journey? We all know "our" Engelberg. Maybe you have lived here for many years, maybe it is your regular vacation destination or even your second home. But what did it look like in "your" Engelberg in the past? Try to imagine your Engelberg 110 years ago... what do you see? Yes, of course, the fantastic panorama, that was already there. Also the Benedictine monastery - sublime and dignified. Let's add a few farmhouses with stables, a few goats, cows and chickens. So far, so good!

But hotels? Guests? In fact, more than a hundred years ago, Engelberg could already boast a considerable number of guesthouses, hotels and " guest rooms ".

Someone had a really good idea

But how did this transformation from a farming village to a sophisticated tourist resort take place? How did this completely new era come about, which suddenly offered the village a promising future?

I would say it was similar to today: it took a good idea, courage, and business sense!

Engelberg's development into a health resort began in the middle of the 19th century. The Engel Inn (now the Monastero Restaurant) had been in the hands of the Cattani family since 1823. In the 1840s, the physician Carl Cattani established Engelberg as a health resort. His idea: the healing powers of nature should cure diseases such as tuberculosis or chronic catharism through air, drinking and bathing cures. The Engel became the first spa hotel in Engelberg. (Tip: in front of the restaurant Monastero you can still admire the beautiful old inn sign of the "Engel").


Hotel building boom

Cattani's idea bore fruit - wealthy guests soon traveled to Engelberg from all corners of the world for their "summer retreat". From the 1860s onwards, therefore, a veritable hotel building boom began in Engelberg. Stylish buildings such as the Hotel Titlis, the Hotel Sonnenberg, the Bellevue-Terminus, or - the largest and most magnificent of all hotel complexes - the Grand Hotel Kuranstalt (1898) changed Engelberg permanently. This boom lasted until the 1st World War and was then abruptly stopped. To this day, some witnesses of this time of upheaval are still visible in Engelberg: the Schweizerhof, the Terrace, the Europäischer Hof or the Hotel Bellevue-Terminus give us an idea of the sophisticated times that once prevailed in "our" Engelberg.

In recent years, the old Grand Hotel Kuranstalt and the Kursaal have been restored in painstaking detail. With the opening of the new 5-star Kempinski Palace Engelberg, guests can now once again stay in one of Engelberg's most traditional hotels, which combines the charm of old times with a modern world of luxury.

Hotel Engel

Gymnastics room

Ice field Kuranstalt

Village Engelberg


Nicole Eller Risi 
Talmuseum Engelberg 
Dorfstrasse 6
6390 Engelberg
+41 41 637 04 14
[email protected]