02.08.11 6:20 AM ET
Service at the Highest Level
The Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvédère is widely recognized as a hotel of infinite possibilities in one of the world’s most dynamic locations—Davos, Switzerland. The Swiss mountain landscape provides everything from extraordinary views (how about a 5-star evening in an idyllic mountain hut atop the Alps?) to exciting sports opportunities (hiking, snowshoeing or paragliding over Davos Lake, anyone?). Year-round, this luxury hotel that was built in 1875 and renovated in 2007 gives guests first-class treatment while combining the elegance of the past with the vibrant present.
Perhaps that’s the reason, then, that the Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvédère is host to so many business events—from small, intimate conferences to the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The WEF meets each year at the end of January in Davos, and during that week-long occasion, the Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvédère is a location transformed. Even the peak of the tourist season—between Christmas and the New Year—doesn’t come close to the great scale that the WEF demands.
An event of this magnitude requires meticulous care, naturally. With 97 rooms and 30 suites (including 22 junior suites, four large suites and one Presidential Suite—all with VIP perks, like sparkling wine, mineral water and fresh fruit baskets), guests can relax in exceptional comfort in between intense meetings and talks.
The specific needs of the WEF organizers are met by the five conference rooms in the hotel, which are equipped with the latest technology. Each room can be arranged to accommodate large numbers of guests or more intimate gatherings quite easily.
Those looking to relax after a long day can head to the Belvedere Vital wellness oasis to enjoy a Finnish or Organic sauna or steam bath, or perhaps a lavish massage. Bonus: Visitors to the spa will also enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the Swiss Alps from the spacious bathing area.
During a standard week, the hotel boasts two restaurants (the Belvedere Restaurant and the Romeo and Juliet/Trattoria) and one bistro (Voila). Henri Wagener, head chef of the large-scale kitchen at the hotel, ensures that every ingredient on his menu is fresh—and freshly prepared. That means that even gnocchi, pastries and pates are made in-house by his staff of 24, which includes 18 chefs.
When the WEF is in town, however, the number of chefs at the hotel rises from 18 to 65, as up to 3,000 meals of this high quality are served every day of the WEF (over five days, the number of canapés totals around 25,000). Some of this food is prepared in the swimming pool area, which is transformed into a huge gala room with its own mobile kitchen where visiting star chefs can show off their skills amongst the mingling crowd.
The hotel is host to 250 events of all types for the WEF—from private business meetings to lively parties—and each affair must be organized and professionally executed. “Both behind the scenes and in the public eye, every action counts,” says Ernst Wyrsch, Host of the Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvédère.
When an event that’s as large and high-profile as the World Economic Forum comes to town, gold-standard service is certainly put to the test. Charming and cosmopolitan, the Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvédère manages to top itself year after year. “Every year, we prove that we can do more,” says Wyrsch. “It’s all hands on deck for the WEF.”