Within just ten weeks, the saltwater pool at Hotel Ermitage has been extended and the 40-year-old pool replaced by a plastic basin to hold the water.
The schedule was tight: at 1pm on Sunday 17 March, the last guests departed and five minutes later, the work started with the first refurbishment preparations. “On Monday morning at seven o’clock, the first construction workers arrived,” said David Romanato, director of the Ermitage Wellness & Spa Hotel since October 2018. “Then things really took off.” Ten weeks later, on Wednesday 29 May, the day before the handover, the last workers left the premises shortly before noon. A little later, the first guests arrived.
A new pool and state-of-the-art saltwater technology
In 2011, the hotel was closed for eight months for the largest conversion and extension in its history. In the spring of this year, the saltwater pool was completely renovated, expanding 20 square meters laterally and also externally, replacing the 40-year-old pool with a plastic basin.
The pool was tailor-made by a special company in Gwatt near Thun and installed on site with the latest saltwater pool technology. “Technology has come on in leaps and bounds over the past forty years,” said technical director, Roman Gerber. To ensure the saltwater is thoroughly purified, a completely new water treatment system with a filter and modern salt electrolysis is used.
Four million francs
The whole interior of the saltwater pool has been redesigned with high-quality materials such as wood, glass and natural stone. A Thai wellness theme has inspired the new Banyan Lounge. The relaxation lounge, formerly the gym (which has a new location), is reserved exclusively for hotel guests. The walls are decorated with wooden carvings imported from Thailand. “The owners, the Lutz family, have a personal relationship with Thailand, so this seemed a natural thing to do,” explains David Romanato.
The owning family has invested over four million francs in the renovation and expansion works. As the hotel manager emphasised, wherever possible, local businesses were involved.
David Romanato: In post since October
The Hotel Ermitage was built in 1955. In 1977, hoteliers Heiner Lutz and Laurenz Schmid bought and managed it. In 2014, they sold it to Heiner Lutz’s brother, Jürg Lutz, and his two sons, Julian and Ambros Lutz. This five star hotel employs around 100 people and since October 2018, David Romanato has been its manager.
Based on AvS/Anita Moser
Translated by Justine Hewson