In 1859, encouraged by the growing number of foreign visitors to the Vald’Anniviers region, mountain guide Pierre Pont decided to build a hotel in the Swiss village of St. Luc, borrowing the name from a nearby mountain peak. In 1883, when business began to flourish, Hôtel Bella Tola relocated to the outskirts of the village. After many decades of improvements and after having served thousands of guests, the fourth generation of the original founding family could no longer make ends meet and the current owners Claude and Anne Françoise Buchs-Favre rescued this historical landmark building at end of the 20th century.
Hein van Beek, founder of QL Hotels & Restaurants:‘I entered GD Hôtel Bella Tola St. Luc, a small grand hotel on the sunny side of the Val d’Anniviers in the Swiss Valais region, for the first time to meet Lady Elisabeth Brunner. Lady Brunner, former actress and granddaughter of Henry Irving – an English stage actor in the Victorian era – was one of this historical mountain hotel’s most loyal guests and typical of the hotel’s clientele during the 1900’s.’
‘During a large part of her life, Lady Brunner travelled from her home in England to St. Luc twice a year, where she enjoyed the stylish luxury, the extensive art collection, the mountain views and the hotel’s charming hospitality.
Life was different in those days, she confided in me. Lady Brunner recalled the cordial hotel staff and how she and the other guests formed one big family, having only one bathroom on each floor. The charge for hot water in your own room was 2.50 Swiss francs per bath, prepared by a maid – there was a maid on each floor.’
Lady Brunner concluded by saying: ‘Claude and Anne Françoise are the perfect successors to the Ponts and I hope that one of their three gorgeous daughters will continue the legacy of Bella Tola.’