Tourism was still in its infancy in the mid-19th century. Alexander Seiler was among the first to recognise the potential of this tourist capital in the Alps and in 1857 took over the Hotel Mont Cervin. The spectacular first ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865 took the village of Zermatt to world fame – and with it the name of Seiler.
The first travellers were drawn by the promise of adventure in the mountains, but they were soon joined by others seeking a change of air and relaxation. No matter why guests come here, in the Mont Cervin Palace they all find the kind of comfort and hospitality that quickly makes a name for itself.
Quite a lot has changed since the exciting early days, and the Mont Cervin Palace has changed with it. The décor, the furnishings, the social conventions. But one thing has stayed the same throughout: our hospitality. This is the spirit we wish to preserve. For you – and for all the guests who will come through our doors in the years ahead.
1852 - 1895
State council Josef Anton Clemenz from Visp opens his Mont Cervin Hotel with 14 guest beds.
The Seiler brothers bought the Mont Cervin.
The second extension of the Mont Cervin is competed. A 4th floor has been built on top of the west wing. The number of beds has increased from 68 to 180.
On July 10, 1891 Alexander Seiler dies. His death is on the same date as the start of operation of the train from Visp to Zermatt. The first scheduled train that arrives in Zermatt brings the remains of Alexander Seiler back to Brig where he is buried on the cemetery of Glis. After the death of her husband, Catherine Seiler takes over the family business until she dies in 1895. Her work is supported by her children, especially by her sons Josef and Alexander.
Alexander Seiler jun.takes over the Seiler Hotels family business.
1902 - 1945/1946
The Villa Margherita with 50 Beds, the head office of the Alexander Seiler & frères company (as from Mai 1908 Seiler Hotels AG) and the post, telephone and telegraph office on the ground floor is opened.
Also a second dining room is opened in the Mont Cervin.
Mid July marks the break out of an influenza flu which lasts up to Christmas and claims 20 victims.
The Seiler Hotels provide the hotel Victoria (next to the train station) as a hospital.
The 2nd winter season of the Mont Cervin lasts from December 20 to February 11 and achieves 5950 over night bookings.
The Seiler Hotels celebrate their 75th anniversary.
During the First World War summer only the Mont Cervin remains open. The other Seiler Hotels are closed.
Necessary renovation works at the Mont Cervin, especially modernising the entrance area, have started.
The 2nd World War ends. The Mont Cervin opens again in winter. The American occupancy army based in Germany revives the streets in summer and the slopes in winter with their brown uniforms.
1961 - 1984/1985
The Mont Cervin remains closed for the summer, the east wing of the main building is completely renovated.
A number of typhus cases in Zermatt force an abrupt end to the winter season in March.
A pool is built in the park of the Mont Cervin.
Opening of the Alexander Seiler hall and the east wing with 36 rooms and suites. The total amount of available beds rises to 238.
Every year about 20 apprentices are being trained.
Rebuilding of the Villa Margherita as well as refurbishment of the hotel entrance and lobby at the Mont Cervin.
1989/1990 - 1997/1998
125 year anniversary of the first ascent of the Matterhorn.
The basement below the pool is renovated and extended with a sauna, two steam baths, two sanarias and two solariums.
January 9, 1998 - the Cervin Grill is burning! The main building has to be evacuated. On January 17, 1998 the hotel gets back to daily business.
Renovations after the fire: new ski room and cellar, Restaurant-Brasserie “Le Cervin” with own kitchen and stewarding office, connecting corridor from the Mont Cervin to the Villa Margherita and new terrace on the first floor with view of the Matterhorn.
The new restaurant is promoted with the slogan “brand new”, in German “brandneu” (Brand = fire).
2003/2004 - 2009
The Mont Cervin remains closed in the summer season. The 6th floor – which has been staff quarters up to now – is converted to guests suites.Pool and wellness are redeveloped and enlarged to 1700 m2. On the 1st floor, space is created for the MCP Beauty Spa. The indoor pool remains the same and is extended with two whirlpools, an outdoor pool as well as a children’s paddling pool. The basement floor offers space for saunas, steam baths, a relaxation area and a fitness room.
Installation of a new TV and Pay TV system as well as wireless Lan.
In December the Mont Cervin opens with the new name Mont Cervin Palace.
The Seiler Hotels celebrate their 150th anniversary.
The Hotel Nicoletta closes in April for renovation and reopens in December as “Le Petit Cervin”. Its 43 rooms and suites in a chalet style are run under the management of the Mont Cervin Palace. The hotel is connected to the Mont Cervin Palace with an underground tunnel.
The Villa Margherita is renovated and reconstructed.
The Hotel Monte Rosa with 41 rooms and suites is integrated into the operational management of the Mont Cervin Palace after finishing extensive renovation works.
Renovation of all rooms at the Mont Cervin Palace from the 1st to the 4th floor. (The floors above were renovated in 2004 and 2010). Because tradition also means maintaining, updating and modernising the existing infrastructure. When the hotel opened 160 years ago, everything was new and contemporary. The six-month renovation in 2012 is carried out with that in mind. The smaller rooms are converted into larger spaces with a modern design, though their origin is not forgotten in the process. Even after the comprehensive renovation, guests at the Mont Cervin Palace know where they are when they wake up in the morning. Besides the rooms, the lobby is also given a complete facelift. There is now plenty of light to make it a more inviting place to spend time. But the intensive modernisation also goes on behind the scenes. Fast web access for the guests and modern electronic entertainment devices complete the renovation. All in all it is fair to say that the Mont Cervin Palace has never been as comprehensively renovated and modern as it is in 2013.
André and Simone Seiler, the fifth generation, with their young family (sixth generation), now manage the Seiler Hotels.