The Cresta Palace Celerina
Time to dream, time to live
Arrive in the Engadine and feel the pace of life slowing down. Relaxation has already begun. Step into the Cresta Palace and discover how welcome you are here. Sense the good vibes. The Cresta Palace has this generous grandeur that is all natural, nothing artificial or strenuous. Top-class service which is always attentive but never intrusive. A unique atmosphere where you find time, time to dream, time to live. A warm welcome to you!
It was love at first sight when I moved to the Engadin almost twenty years ago. With me, I brought a huge amount of passion for the breathtaking nature of the Engadin mountains and the unique traditions of Swiss hospitality. The Cresta Palace for me is the perfect symbiosis of a spectacular holiday destination and a cosy home. Together with my team, the aim is to take new and innovative approaches that do justice to both today’s modern lifestyle and the heritage of this magnificent building. The creation of our new activity center, the «staziun da basa», marks an important milestone in our ability to directly meet our guests’ needs: we can now provide all-round support that is unobtrusive yet extremely personal. We not only love winter sports, but also hiking in the summer, as well as evenings of music in the hotel with our guests. It is precisely this mix of sport, relaxation, adventure and culinary delights that we and our team strive to achieve. For and with our guests.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
Kai W. Ulrich & das Cresta Palace Team
«Modern» roads were first built in Graubünden in 1820. In 1882, the Gotthard railway robbed our canton of much of the important traffic that passed over the mountains and people increasingly turned to tourism, which became a major industry after the Franco-Prussian War. The Albula railway to Celerina opened in 1903, bringing with it the expected economic upturn for the Engadin, especially in winter. Mr Meng, Mr Piderman and Mr Gyr formed an initiative committee with the aim of building a larger hotel in Celerina. The new project was presented in February 1905 and the company was founded on 15 April of the same year. The Cresta Palace Hotel opened just 14 months later.
With the Engadin’s status as a popular holiday destination for English tourists, tennis and golf facilities were a must. At times, up to five different golf courses have been available. English championships have been held here and, in winter, races have taken place on the bobsleigh track and the Cresta Run. The mountains proved a great attraction – and remain so today. Winter sports like skiing, sledding, ice skating and curling became ever more popular. Even the first horse races began. As the hotel quickly became too small, a new building with 100 extra beds was opened in 1912. When the First World War broke out, a dramatic change occurred: the hotel was temporarily used as military quarters. In 1925, eight rooms were equipped with running water.
The stock market crash of 1929 and the subsequent economic crisis put the brakes on the upturn of tourism in Graubünden. The overvaluation of the Swiss franc, together with travel and foreign exchange restrictions, created further problems. The number of hotel guests fell sharply and the average occupancy rate between 1931 and 1937 remained as low as 24 percent. Between 1939 and 1946, the hotel was closed for seven years. In the 1960s, the demand for hotels with their own indoor swimming pool grew dramatically. With fitness on-trend, a new indoor area with a swimming pool was opened in 1966. Over time, the venerable Furnel restaurant gave way to the current «vita pura» area. In 1990, a new kitchen was installed with all the latest appliances. It is one of just a few kitchens to enjoy natural light. Just two years later, the west terrace was transformed into the light and airy winter garden. In 1998, the art nouveau hall was carefully renovated. The new 1,200-square-metre spa area was opened in 2005/2006 and expanded to include the «staziun da basa» activity centre in December 2016.