The hotel has its origins in a building dating from 1839 in which a surgeon, one Dr Lauber, opened his “Laubersche Herberge”, with six beds for guests. In 1853, the Zermatt hotelier Alexander Seiler rented the wooden chalet, and soon after bought it outright. He had realised the potential of the Matterhorn as a tourist attraction very early on.
Headquarters of the mountaineers
After extensive renovation, Seiler reopened the hotel in 1855 as the Monte Rosa. It soon became the favoured haunt of the pioneering mountaineers who were flocking to Zermatt in order to conquer the surrounding 4,000-metre summits. Among them were many Englishmen – including Edward Whymper, who stayed here even before he made the first ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865. Whymper said of the hotel: “There was no need to advertise the house by the ordinary methods, for it was advertised sufficiently by its clientele.”
The Hotel Monte Rosa was extended again in 1868, and once more in 1890 to offer a total of 110 beds. In 1960, the hotel opened for its first winter season.
- Photo subject: hotel façade with commemorative plaque
Tips for history enthusiasts
- Commemorative plaque on the hotel façade in tribute to Edward Whymper
- Edward’s Bar: open to non-residents, with the original beams from the Laubersche Herberge
- Public guided tours through the hotel with historical anecdotes (German, English, French)
- Zermatlantis, the Matterhorn Museum: the hotel’s original reception on display with an entry in the guest book by Edward Whymper
- Zermatlantis, the Matterhorn Museum: Matterhorn room with original artefacts from the first ascent of the Matterhorn