During the current WEF2020 coverage (World Economic Forum 2020), you might have seen pictures or videos taken at or in front of the Schatzalp Hotel in Davos. On the contrary, the name Schatzalp, or the Hotel, might have been somewhat familiar to you? As if you have already heard or seen something about the Schatzalp Hotel before. This is quite possible! Even though it’s situated somewhat isolated on a mountain high above the small city of Davos, in the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland. The former sanatorium has played leading roles in books and films, below a few examples and a bit more about Berghotel Schatzalp (today’s name). Read on: what language(s) are spoken in Davos, Switzerland.
Hotel Schatzalp in international Books and Movies
The probably most notable mention of the Schatzalp and Davos took place in the book “the magic mountain” or “Zauberberg” by author Thomas Mann. Originally published in 1924, the book describes the life of young Hans Castorp “during his seven-year stay in the closed world of a sanatorium in the high mountains of Switzerland, where he met world-defeated figures who confronted him with politics, philosophy, but also love, illness and death.” The book definitely is worth a read and is still available for purchase (even as kindle versions in various languages).
Another notable guest of Sanatorium Schatzalp has been the author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Arthur Conan Doyle, who initiated the construction of the golf course in Davos during his stays from 1893-1895.
It hasn’t been until recent years, for Schatzalp to become a movie set. With some stories actually being played in Davos, and other just using the now Hotel as a sole movie set.
In 2005, the former sanatorium became the setting for the reality TV series “Das Internat”. In the summer of 2014, the film Youth – La Giovinezza (English: Eternal youth) was shot at Berghotel Schatzalp by Oscar-winner Paolo Sorrentino. Actors included actress Marion Cotillard; however, Schatzalp did not play an actual role in the movie.
Additionally, most parts of the movie “From the Land of the Moon” have been filmed at Schatzalp, again featuring actress Marion Cotillard. This movie premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and is based on a novel by Italian author Milena Agus. To get a first glimpse of how the inside of the Hotel Schatzalp looks, you might want to watch this short clip about the movie:
a bit more about Berghotel Schatzalp
Back in the year 1899, the construction of the Davos-Schatzalp train took place and was finished the same year. This rack railway is still in use nowadays and connects Davos Platz with the Schatzalp mountain. The ride only takes a few minutes and climbs a difference in the height of around 300 metres (Schatzalp is at 1861 m above sea level, Davos at 1560 m). Once you leave the upper arrival house of the station, you stand directly in front of the Schatzalp Sanatorium, or in the meantime Schatzalp Berghotel (mountain hotel).
Initially, the Art Nouveau building was built in the years from 1898-1900 by Zurich architects Otto Pfleghard & Max Haefeli. It was first opened on December 21, 1900. At that time, “The Schatzalp” was conceived as a luxury sanatorium and was the most advanced healing centre in the region. Back then, it was already connected to the Swiss telephone and telegraph network and had its own post and telegraph office in the house. If you want to read more about the history and the initiator of the Sanatorium, Willem Jan Holsboer, you might want to read more on the website of the Schatzalp, as linked below. Very appreciated is the detailed history of the Schatzalp. On their website you can even browse through a brochure dating back to the year 1900, advertising the benefits of the “Sanatorium for lung patients” (“The catering consists of six meals.”). Check this PDF document out here (german only)!
Eventually, from 1953 onwards, the Schatzalp sanatorium was resumed as the Berghotel Schatzalp. And, the three-storey building is still run as a Hotel year-round! If you are interested in staying a night, two or longer, at the famous three-star hotel in Davos, Switzerland, you have to check out the website for more details: www.schatzalp.ch/en/
Outside Pictures of Mountain Hotel Schatzalp, Davos