History & Tradition

Dear Friends and Visitors,

Waldhotel National is a house with a history! Did you know that our main building dates back to 1910?

In those days, it was a convalescent clinic and sanatorium. It later became a clinic for patients suffering from pulmonary disorders.

Hotel operations in the building only began in 1962. Since then, it has undergone several extensions and refurbishments. Finishing touches and polishing have been going on constantly all the time, so that we can meet your requirements and offer you the holiday home-from-home of your dreams. However, being a “rock in the storm” in the alpine world of Arosa requires more than the buildings alone; there are people among us who are our pillars of strength.

They are our many employees who stay true to Waldhotel National season after season and keep coming back to Arosa. The saying, “Watch out – Arosa is addictive!” is well founded. From the Concierge, who comes to meet you at the station on arrival, through the reception clerk who shows you to your room, to your restaurant host, who escorts you to your table for dinner – they are all part of the radiant warm smile you find here.


Waldhotel National opened in Arosa in the late nineteenth century as a convalescent clinic and sanatorium. In 1910, it became a clinic for patients suffering from pulmonary disorders. One of the most famous guests in those days was the author Thomas Mann, who started writing “The Magic Mountain” here.

Between 1938 and 1954, the Swiss government used the “Forest House”, as it was called, as a military hospital. It was not until 1962 that the Waldhotel started operation as a business enterprise. In 1982, it was transformed into an equity company, of which the majority shareholder since 1992 is Mr. Andy Abplanalp.


The Restaurant Kachelofa-Stübli has been totally redesigned.


Because we value our environment so highly, we have decided to buy our electricity entirely from regional ecological sources i.e. hydroelectric power from Graubünden.


Waldhotel has been placed seventh by the Swiss “Sonntagszeitung” (Sunday Newspaper) in the list of best holiday hotels in Switzerland.


The Alpine Lounge completely refurbished in 2016.


Waldhotel gives an undertaking to the industrial energy agency “Energie-Agentur der Wirtschaft (EnAW)” to cut around 100 tonnes (20 %) of CO2 emissions by 2020, to take more pressure off the environment.


Der Ostflügel des Waldhotels wird aufwendig renoviert. Aus 24 Doppelzimmern entstehen 16 Doppelzimmer und 4 grosszügige Suiten, die allesamt miteinander verbunden werden können. Weiter werden Flachdach, Aussenfassade und Balkone saniert. Mit der Dämmung der Aussenfassade werden nun rund 15 % Heizkosten eingespart und die Umwelt entlastet. Zudem wird die  Waldhotel-Bar komplett neu gestaltet. Alle betroffenen Gebäudeteile werden mit dimmbarer LED-Lichttechnik ausgestattet. Auch hier werden Energiekosten gesenkt und die Umwelt entlastet.

Rund 2.1 Mio. Franken werden investiert.


Gerd Reber was again awarded 16 Gault-Millau points for his Kachelofa-Stübli.


The office, coffee room, daytime wine cellar and staff restaurant “Dolce Vita” have been modernised at a cost of CHF 250,000.All the refrigerators in kitchen and office areas are now connected with our central refrigeration unit.


Only a few months after its inauguration, the connection between the Arosa and Lenzerheide ski areas received the “SVSM Award 2014″.


Confirmation for Gerd Reber’s 15 GaultMillau points for the Kachaelofa-Stübli.


Construction of the link between Arosa and Lenzerheide skiing areas.
The resulting joined-up skiing area now has a network of 225 kilometres of pistes, making it one of the largest in Switzerland.


Opening of the wellness oasis, Spa Salus.
Spa Salus enlarges the Aqua Silva spa oasis to an area of 1,100 square metres.


Inauguration of the Chesa Silva wing with 45 new rooms and suites, and also the seminar centre Silva Alpin with seven conference rooms from 30 to 2010 square metres.


Groundbreaking for the biggest alteration to the Waldhotel National ever. A new wing called Chesa Silva is under construction.


Extensions to Thomas Mann & Zauberberg restaurants.


The “Arosa All-Inclusive“ Card scheme wins the “Milestone” Swiss Tourism Prize in the “Outstanding Project” category.


Steffen Volk appointed Director at Waldhotel National Arosa.


Andy Abplanalp becomes the majority shareholder in Waldhotel AG.


Birth of the Arosa Humor Festival. This event becomes one of the best-known events in Switzerland.


The stock company acquires the property from national government.


Major alteration and extension work is undertaken. The new swimming pool and enlargement of the Thomas Mann Restaurant change the appearance of the Waldhotel.


Engelbert Fringer establishes the “Waldhotel AG” – as a result, the hotel is now a profit centre for the first time.


Inauguration of the Arosa-Weisshorn cable car as a new attraction.


The “New Waldhotel” becomes a military general hospital for the Swiss Confederation.


Arosa once again proves itself very modern with the commissioning of the Hörnli ski lift, which was the longest in Switzerland at the time.


With the invention of penicillin, the classic spa treatment for lung disease is declared redundant.
The Wald Sanatorium closes down as a pulmonary hospital and is officially transformed into a hotel. It is now called “New Waldhotel”.

ca. 1930

The stockmarket crash in the nineteen thirties and the Second World War leave their marks on Arosa’s economy and lead to enormous losses in the convalescence sector.
Winter sports gain significance as a way of compensating for the decline. Thus, the first three ski lifts start their operations.
By this time, Arosa has 3,466 inhabitants.


The road from Chur to Arosa is opened for traffic and improves access substantially.


Construction of the railway link between Chur and Arosa:
The improvement of visitor access resulting from the railway link makes Arosa an international centre for convalescence in clean air, despite the difficulties caused by the First World War.
The railway line itself is considered to be a revolutionary masterpiece of architecture and engineering. It climbs 1000 metres in altitude over a distance of 26 kilometres, crossing many viaducts.


Katia Mann, Thomas Mann’s wife, receives treatment in Arosa for a lung disorder. The correspondence between them and Thomas Mann’s visits to the Waldhotel form the basis for his later novel “The Magic Mountain”.


Author Christian Morgenstern and his wife were among the earliest famous guests.


The Wald Sanatorium is opened and is considered one of the best places to recover for patients with lung disorders.


Arosa experiences great popularity with summer visitors and people seeking recreation. The number of inhabitants has risen to 1,071.
Winter tourism is still in its infancy, but its importance is growing steadily. The Schanffigg road between Arosa and Litzirüti is used as a bobsleigh track in the coldest months to provide entertainment for the winter visitors. The first horse races take place on the Obersee.


The road linking Langwies and Arosa is opened, giving a further boost. Within a very short time, numerous sanatoriums, health clinics and hotels spring up.


Dr. Otto Herwig and his sister Marie build the first sanatorium.


Dr. Otto Herwig, a German doctor, discovers Arosa as a climatic health resort.


Birth of tourism in Arosa – the first guest house is set up.


The road from Chur to Langwies is opened, and Arosa begins to change. What had been a quiet alpine village becomes a popular retreat for summer visitors, who spend their holidays in private accommodation.


For many centuries, the inhabitants of Inner Schanffigg travelled via the Strela and Durana Passes to Davos and the Prättigau. This explains why Langwies, with its 358 inhabitants, and Reist with 237 were the most populous communities in the present day Arosa area.
Arosa itself, still politically connected to Davos, only had about 50 inhabitants at this time.

ca. 1300

During the major inner alpine migration of people from Walser, settlers came to the inner part of the Schanffigg, which included Arosa. Descendants of the Walser colony Davos migrated into the area via the Strela Pass, where they established the first settlements in Arosa and other places.


Schanffigg received its first mention in documents under the name “Scanavico”