On April 11, 1957, Switzerland and the close-by neighbours put their attention to Winterthur: The opening of the «modern and feudal» Garten Hotel was a show-stopper. Many years have passed since then…It is time to look back.
Mayor Dr. Hans Rüegg thanked the founders of the Garten Hotel in person and reckoned: «The creation enriches our city in a most valuable manner and closes an excruciating gap in Winterthur». Equally impressed was Dr. Franz Seiler, President of the Swiss Hotel-Association at that time who ennobled the house to an «ornament of the Swiss hotel industry».
As a matter of fact: The founders had all the reasons to be proud. Those well-known personalities of Winterthur’s industrial and service enterprises have been convinced long ago that the economically booming city is desperately in need of a first class hotel. Searching for a suitable location, they came across the municipal «Platanengut». Georg Sulzer, subsequent president of the Garten Hotel AG, and Georg Schöllhorn, delegate of the supervisory board, were immediately enthusiastic about the location and gave the go-ahead to the grand architect of Winterthur, Franz Scheibler, and his employee at the time and later famous architect himself, Jakob Tabacznik.
The construction work in the middle of the park progressed at a good pace. As always, the devil was in the details: How was the new establishment to be named? This search turned out to be the stumbling block. Hotel Platanengut? Not possible. Hotel St. Georgen, echoing the neighbourhood? Sounds too much like a dragon-slayer's home – and on top, sarcastically observed at the time: both, the president as well as the delegate of the supervisory board were called Georg. So finally Garten Hotel was to be the name, as Georg Sulzer declared at his opening speech: «As an inoffensive tradeoff of excessive fantasies».
However, exactly that choice of name induced another problem: The architect did a great job and announced proudly that the hotel would be ready to open on Christmas 1956. The founders, though, stoically resisted to inaugurate a hotel called «Garten Hotel» (Garten means garden) in a season when not one single flower was going to bloom! Better to pretend that the work is still going on and accept the additional costs.
Finally, on April 11, 1957, the brand new hotel opened with glint and glamour – and a beautifully flowering garden. The hotel provided 50 rooms, 20 parking spaces and a quiet living hall. The tenants, Mr. and Mrs. Sommer, made a great job and served the illustrious clientele in the «City Restaurant», the «Restaurant Français» and in the bar.
One night in the very classy hotel rooms cost at that time 18 Swiss francs. The breakfast – on demand – was charged with an extra CHF 2.50.
The very first guest was the delegate of the supervisory board himself. Dr. Georg Schöllhorn moved in one day before the opening as the guinea pig guest. He slept miserably, he committed to the local paper «Neue Winterthurer Zeitung». The quality of the bed was not the issue, but the imminent opening robbed him of his sleep.
He could have saved this sleepless night: The Garten Hotel Winterthur started its existence with the highest plaudits.
In the middle of the park and in the middle of life – the Park Hotel Winterthur still is THE address in Winterthur. And to persist that way, the establishment received a gentle facelift before its anniversary and the restaurant with the bar an architectural vitamin shot. On top of that, we gave it two new and dulcet names.
In June 2005, the modification and upgrading works began in the traditional establishment. Why? Simply because we love our convivial house, as well as the town, where it is located. We invest out of conviction in the future of the Garten Hotel and the location Winterthur.
Learn more about the restaurant Bloom and its bar/lounge at www.bloom.ch. In any case it is a place where you feel cozily at ease and can enjoy a good time with friends and family.
The hotel has become more successful year after year. In 2004 alone, the overnight stays increased 15%. The reconstruction of the hotel brought about additional 11 new rooms on the ground floor, all furnished in a very warm and inviting style. The Schöllhorn hall and the «Rosensaal» had to give way; on the other hand, the «Gartensaal» was turned into a true conference gem.
That is also what we believe in. And that is why the Garten Hotel Winterthur started into the future in November 2005 with two new names: the hotel was renamed as «Park Hotel Winterthur». Simply because the park around the building is not a simple and plain garden, but a magnificent and splendid park with graceful flora and monumental, ancient trees. The name of the restaurant Ellipse did not suite the location anymore after the rebuilding, because the bar had moved into the elliptic part of the building. Now it is called Restaurant Bloom and enchants its guests as vital and spirited as an arising flower – it is blooming.