The Gstaad Palace mourns the death of Ernst Andrea Scherz (1939-2021). The doyen of the international luxury hotel industry, who among other things helped to establish the worldwide alliance "The Leading Hotels of the World", passed away after a long illness on 13 May 2021 at the age of 81. He managed the legendary Gstaad hotel from 1968 to 2001 – before handing it over to his son Andrea Scherz, who today is the third generation to carry on his father's legacy as general manager and owner.
"We are not only mourning the loss of our father, but also the loss of a person who was, so to speak, born into the cradle of hospitality. Signs of sympathy have reached us from many corners of the world, and we are very touched by them as a family," says Andrea Scherz, general manager and third-generation owner of the Gstaad Palace.
These signs of sympathy and respect show how much Ernst Andrea Scherz had succeeded in capturing the hearts of his guests, employees and partners. "He was a picture-perfect Scherz. Always in good spirits, always present, always one step ahead. Serving was both a matter of honour and a passion for him. As a role model, he always demanded a great deal of himself and all his colleagues," adds Andrea Scherz, who took over the house from his father Ernst Andrea in 2001. "He was a person with enormous vision and a gut feeling that rarely deceived him. He was a doer, a fighter, and a gifted communicator. Many of his companions have confirmed this to me."
Ernst Andrea Scherz was born in Gstaad in 1939 as the son of the hotelier family Ernst and Silvia Scherz-Bezzola and grew up in the hotel, so to speak. After training as a hotelier at the world-famous Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, he had his first foreign assignments in large hotels and a tourist engagement for Aga Khan on the Costa Esmeralda in Sardinia before returning to the Gstaad Palace in 1968 and taking over the management from his father in 1969.
Ernst Andrea Scherz put the Gstaad Palace in the world press with grandiose events with world stars such as Liz Taylor, Richard Burton, or Peter Sellers and gave the house its current format. Ernst Andrea Scherz systematically expanded the hotel infrastructure. In 1969/70, he oversaw the construction of an indoor swimming pool with outdoor facilities, sauna and health centre. In 1971, he opened the GreenGo nightclub. The original furnishings of this club were designed by Teo Jakob and have remained the same to this day. In 1972, as a pioneer of experience gastronomy, he launched the Fromagerie, the still popular Fondue-Stübli in the former World War II gold bunker. The Résidence du Palace for long-term guests also goes back to his idea. With 21 flats, this was occupied at the beginning of the 1979/80 winter season after ten years of complex planning.
In 2001, after 32 years, Ernst Andrea Scherz handed over the general management to his son Andrea Scherz. The Palace AG became a family holding company in 2003. Ernst Andrea Scherz was committed to his hotel, the tourist region of Gstaad-Saanenland, and the industry as a whole. For example, Ernst Andrea Scherz was president of the alliance "The Leading Hotels of the World" for a long time. Under his aegis between 1973 and 1989, the association of leading luxury hotels grew from 70 to a remarkable 220 hotels outside Europe.
Ernst Andrea Scherz remained in close contact with hoteliers and hosts from all over the world throughout his life. "At the Palace, too, my father could be found almost every day until shortly before his death, exchanging ideas with regular guests and staff. At the same time, he was an important mentor for the entire Palace family and was always on hand to give me good advice," Andrea Scherz notes. Ernst Andrea Scherz passed away last Thursday, 13 May 2021, at the age of 81, after a long illness.
Press release of Gstaad Palace