Next summer, the Hotel Bernerhof Gstaad will take over the Hotel Weisses Kreuz in Abländschen and run it under the new name Zur Sau (literally To the Sow).
Next summer, the Hotel Bernerhof Gstaad will take over the Hotel Weisses Kreuz in Abländschen and run it under the new name Zur Sau (literally To the Sow). The aim is to integrate agritourism and create additional value for the village and the Saanenland on various levels.
Potatoes, raw milk raclette cheese, guinea fowl and rye have recently been successfully grown and bred in Abländschen. The rye will be used to make bread and pasta. “We already have Abländschner potatoes and raclette cheese made from raw milk on our menu,” says Thomas Frei, hotelier at the Bernerhof Gstaad and co-initiator of the idea of agritourism in Abländschen.
For him, the saying “from the region, for the region” is not just lip service, but a long-standing tradition. He stresses that local and regional products have long been a must for him. “It is not possible to process 100 percent Swiss products – think of the pepper for one example. But we are already at over 80 percent!”
A good climate
Abländschen seems to have the ideal climate for potatoes. This year the second harvest was brought in – with an excellent yield. “We planted 420 kilograms of potatoes and harvested 4.2 tonnes. This exceeded all expectations,” says Frei happily. But not only that. Rye is thriving just as magnificently, and the guinea fowl also seem to like it. “With the cultivation, we want to increase the added value in Abländschen, stop emigration and promote tourism,” explains the committed hotelier and reports that the Abländschner farmers are behind the campaign. All of them? “Yes, there are only three.”
With all the agricultural projects going, Bernerhof should have leased the Weisses Kreuz (ownership will not change) this year, but the coronavirus delayed the plan. Agritourism will then be the next, logical step. Hotel guests can help plant or harvest potatoes, for example. “The concept is simple: tourism plus agriculture equals agritourism,” explains Frei. But it also means that guests of the Bernerhof can, for example, hike to Abländschen, stay overnight at the hotel, which will bear the sounding name Zur Sau, and then ride their bikes back to Gstaad the next day. Guests from other hotels in the region will also be able to take advantage of the offers, explains Frei. The Alpina Gstaad has already expressed an interest in a collaboration and more may follow.
The new name of the hotel, Zur Sau, is not to everybody’s liking. Concerned people wrote letters to the editor and complained about it being a slur and a sign of a lack of respect of the long-standing establishment. Frei is convinced though, that a new name must be part of the revivication of the hotel in Abländschen, which has been facing difficulties for many years and under various owners. And it best be a unique and reverberating name that sticks.
BASED ON AVS/KEREM MAURER