Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts Takes a Look at its History and a Look to the Future

  • Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts
  • 01.22.10
Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts has every reason to celebrate the new year: this is the year the Swiss hotel chain turns 30.

The venture which started out in 1980 with just a few hotels has now blossomed into a distinguished, internationally renowned hotel chain with deluxe hotels in 17 countries across five continents. 

The company’s eventful history began with its founding, all those years ago, by Swissair and Nestlé. The company assembled its initial portfolio of hotels by acquiring Hotel Le Président in Geneva and signing management contracts for Hotel Drake in New York, Bellevue Palace in Berne and Hotel International in Zurich.
In 1990, the hotel group became a fully owned subsidiary of SAirRelations/SAir Group and in 1996 its head office was relocated from Zurich to New York. In 2001, Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts was sold to Raffles Holdings Limited in Singapore shortly before Swissair was grounded. In 2005, the Los Angeles based firm Colony Capital LLC, a global private investment group specializing in the management of real estate assets and companies, bought Raffles International, which at the time owned the Swissôtel and Raffles brands. 

Then in May 2006, Colony Capital together with Kingdom Hotels International also acquired the Canadian hotel group Fairmont and founded the new hotel chain Fairmont Raffles Hotels International (FRHI) with its head office in Toronto, Canada. The group now comprises nearly 100 hotels in over 25 countries, operating under three strong brand names: Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts. 

Under the new umbrella brand, the corporate office of Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts moved back to Zurich, and since 2003 the German born Meinhard Huck has been president of the company. 

After a rich and varied 30-year history, Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts continue to meet the exacting demands of business travelers and holidaymakers alike. The deluxe hotels are known for their modern design combined with characteristically Swiss touches and exceptional levels of Swiss hospitality. The name Swissôtel stands for competent, personal service with a smile. The hotels are located in major destinations and metropolises all over the world, and most are situated in the city center, only a stone's throw from the shopping and business districts and the local attractions. Many of Swissôtel's establishments have won international awards. 

"Back in 1980 the Swissôtel name covered a number of separate hotels, each with their own individual identity. Today, though, it represents an outstanding international hotel chain whose corporate identity and brand name have become a symbol of superior quality in the hotel business," said Meinhard Huck, president Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts. "We are delighted to have the chance to officially celebrate our company's anniversary in 2010 with our guests." 

Since joining Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts, Meinhard Huck has driven the expansion of the international hotel chain’s portfolio. Between 2007 and 2008 alone, the award winning brand has opened deluxe hotels in Shanghai, Kunshan and Foshan (all in China), in Tallinn (Estonia) as well as a “Leading Hotel of the World” in Izmir (Turkey). Under his leadership, the company continues to earn the highest accolades including The World Travel Award, The Five Star Diamond Award, The Top Employers Award for China or The Best International Hotel Management Group Award in China.

Prior to becoming the company’s president, Meinhard was the senior vice president, Europe, Middle East & Mediterranean of Raffles International Hotels & Resorts as well as the senior vice president, Europe for Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts.

In earlier stages of his career Meinhard assumed the position of vice president, Europe, at Scotts Holdings Ltd., where he was responsible for developing and acquiring serviced apartments and all-suite hotels in Europe. He successfully restructured three of the company's subsidiaries and negotiated a total of four property acquisitions in the United Kingdom, France and Switzerland.

Meinhard's vast experience includes appointments in various capacities at Holiday Inn International from 1969 to 1989. Since 2004 he has served as an honorary member of the Cornell Hotel Society, a renowned American College of Hotel Management. Meinhard was conferred the title for his remarkable entrepreneurial performance, which he has proved during his career in the hotel industry and also for his long-standing commitment to promoting and developing training and career opportunities in the hotel industry among aspiring hoteliers.
Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts is a distinctive group of deluxe hotels for today’s discerning business and leisure travelers, combining the renowned Swiss touch with a fresh, contemporary and modern design. Each Swissôtel hotel offers personalized service with charm and efficiency. Located in main gateway destinations and city centers, the hotels have convenient access to business and shopping districts, and local attractions. Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts worldwide have won prestigious awards and accolades. 

Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts is owned by Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, a leading global hotel company with 94 hotels and resorts worldwide under the Raffles, Fairmont and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont and Raffles branded residences, estates and luxury private residence club properties.  

Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts Portfolio includes:

Swissotel Tallinn

Swissotel Berlin
Swissotel Bremen
Swissotel Dusseldorf/Neuss

Swissotel Krasnye Holmy, Moscow

The Netherlands
Swissotel Amsterdam

Restaurant Hotel Du Parc Des Eaux-Vives
Swissotel Le Plaza, Basel
Swissotel Metropole , Geneva
Swissotel Zurich

Swissotel Ankara
Swissotel Gocek Marina & Resort
Swissotel Grand Efes, Izmir
Swissotel The Bosphorus, Istanbul

United Kingdom
Swissotel The Howard, London


Swissotel Quito

Swissotel Lima

United States
Swissotel Chicago
Swissotel Sydney at Market Street

People's Republic of China
Swissotel Beijing
Swissotel Foshan
Swissotel Grand, Shanghai
Swissotel Kunshan

Swissotel Kolkata

Swissotel Nankai, Osaka

Swissotel Merchant Court, Singapore
Swissotel The Stamford, Singapore

Swissotel Le Concorde, Bangkok
Swissotel Nai Lert Park, Bangkok 

Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts under development:

Swissôtel Dresden, Germany (2011)
Swissôtel Kolkata, India (2010)
Swissôtel Makkah, Saudia-Arabia (2011)

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