HistoryWhen the Gotthard railway, with its famous Gotthard tunnel, was opened on June 1st, 1882, nobody in central Switzerland had even dreamt of the enormous boom in tourism that was going to take place.
Even so, the construction of hotels in the tourist destination of Lucerne had been one of the most attractive jobs for architects from the middle of the 19th century onwards. Built in 1909-1910, on the former site of the «Nidlenpalast» (dairy), and designed by the architects Möri & Krebs, in a palatial style, the HOTEL MONTANA was one of the last classical style hotels to be built in Lucerne.
In 1910, the HOTEL MONTANA, in a unique location on the hillside above the Palace Hotel, was opened by the enterprising hotelier Alfred Schraemmli (1887 -1932), son-in-law of the then owner of the Palace Hotel, Bucher-Durrer. At the same time, an electric funicular railway was also built to take guests from the lakeside promenade directly to the hotel lobby, in just one minute. The opening of the hotel however, unfortunately coincided with the outbreak of the First World War, which also marked the start of a long period of depression in the hotel business.
Ever since 1944, the building has belonged to the «Hotel & Gastro Union» (the Swiss Central Association for Hotel and Restaurant Employees). Far-sighted members of the association made the courageous decision to reopen the hotel as a first class establishment. At the same time, the association's Swiss School of Hotel Management (SHL) moved into new classrooms in the west wing, and the administration of the «Hotel & Gastro Union» was also proud to take up its new offices on the 1st floor. The new Swiss School of Hotel Management, located on the hillside just below the hotel, was opened in 1987. Since then, the school and the hotel have been separately run.
From 1975 until 1993, the hotel closed each winter so that the alterations and renovation needed to meet the high standards expected of a 4 star hotel could be carried out. The creation of the «Art Deco Hall» in 1993 revived the original art deco style of the building, and from then on, the hotel, complete with conference and seminar facilities, has remained open all year round.
The rooms on the second and third floors were renovated in Art Deco style in 1997. The renovation of the façade was begun in 1999 and completed in April 2000 - just in time for the 90th birthday of the ART DECO HOTEL MONTANA! The final part of the complete renovation of the hotel - the 4th and 5th floors - was also completed in 2002, by Pia Schmid (star architect from Zurich). Also renovated, for the first time in the history of the hotel, were the two towers, now housing two breathtaking tower suites. The ART DECO HOTEL MONTANA is now, from the entrance right to the tip of the towers, completely in Art Deco style.
In spring 2009, renovations and reconstructions were on the second and third floor completed also the redesign of 25 single and double rooms and 6 junior suites - all Art Deco Modern style. Premium 40 Inch LCD TV, exclusive bose sound system, the latest iPhone, iPod and MP3 player docking stations and connectivity panel for your laptop make your own, very private world of multimedia.
2010 an extension and opening of the sixth floor, which had formerly been the employee lodgings,to create six luxurious Penthouse Spa Suites takes place. In 2010, the ART DECO HOTEL MONTANA celebrates its 100th anniversary, a birthday year, which is accentuated by numerous activities and events.
2010 Scala Terrace in an «Outdoor Living Room» will be rebuilt. In addition, the ART DECO HOTEL MONTANA and the Hotel Seeburg decide a strategic partnership. In the same year and in 2012 the Louis Bar is awarded the Swiss Bar Award for Best Seller Long Bar in Switzerland.
The ART DECO HOTEL MONTANA in 2012 and 2013 listed as the best four-star business hotel of switzerland in the hotel rating of «SonntagsZeitung» and the «Bilanz».
2012 will be the launch of the successful and sexy Spa and the City packages in the spa suites and 2103, the expansion and extension of the day spa.
A milestone in 2013 is the opening of the new Hemingway Rum Lounge with exquisite rum and cigars.
The team looks forward to a bright future, a future full of new plans and creative events at the highest level.