31 January 2017, text: Manuela Truffer, photos: Severin Novacki / zVg
Anyone wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy some peace and quiet is in the right place here: about two kilometres outside of Interlaken centre is where we find the Landhotel Golf & Salzano Spa, surrounded by meadows of grazing cows and a view of the imposing north face of the Eiger.
Sonja and Patrizio Salzano are passionate about hospitality. Sonja is originally from Gstaad whilst Patrizio is from southern Italy, and they met 32 years ago when they were both working the season in Zermatt. They achieved their dream of managing their own hotel together in 1994 when they took over the Landhotel Golf. Each day they and their team put their enthusiasm, dedication and numerous new ideas into ensuring that their guests feel at home with them. “It’s important to us to be innovative and not to stagnate”, stresses Sonja Salzano.
That’s precisely why the Salzanos invested in a new, 450-square-metre wellness complex back in 2014. They developed the spa concept and the interior design themselves, which is characterised by the various natural alpine elements that are reflected, for example, in the herbal sauna and the biosauna constructed from Swiss pine.
The theme of nature is continued in other areas of the hotel too. Five of the total of 30 rooms have been remodelled and fitted with oak parquet, oak beds or other wood elements. In the restaurant the Salzanos offer specialities from Switzerland and Italy, along with special dishes inspired by the local alpine cuisine. “In future we want to do even more cooking with wood, roots and wild herbs”, explains Sonja Salzano, who has been interested in themes surrounding nature and health for many years already.
The guests at the Landhotel Golf & Salzano Spa come from all over the world. “They value the quiet, family atmosphere of the house”, says Sonja Salzano. The hotelier couple therefore does not take groups, but rather individual guests. “We mainly host couples. They want to indulge in good food and wellness”, says Sonja Salzano. Since Interlaken’s 18-hole golf course lies just 500 metres from the hotel, golfers also make up a large proportion of the guests.
The couple were made acutely aware of how important it is to have a reliable partner in matters of insurance too when severe flooding occurred in the summer of 2005, leaving the wine cellar, the guest toilets, the massage room and the lift shaft in the basement of the hotel all under water. It was thanks to the rapid support they received from Helvetia that they were able to rectify the damage as quickly as possible and ensure that the business could stay open during high season. The Landhotel has all its commercial insurance policies with Helvetia (professional liability, movable property, technical insurance, buildings insurance). The builder’s risk insurance for the newly erected spa complex was also arranged through Helvetia.
Sonja and Patrizio Salzano are already making plans for the future: “Next spring the terrace will be extended to include comfortable armchairs in the style of a ‘chillout lounge’”, reveals Sonja. And the next generation is already waiting in the wings: “Our two sons would like to take over the hotel one day. One already works in the business with us, and the other is currently studying at a college of hotel management”, the proud mother explains.
The Salzanos have a special relationship with Helvetia Customer Advisor Daniel Ischi (in the photo with Sonja Salzano). The Sales Manager of the General Agency for central Bern has known the hotelier couple for 14 years already. “During this time, our business relationship has developed into a close friendship. I feel right at home here”, says Daniel Ischi. At New Year’s Eve four years ago, one of the chefs was unavailable at short notice and Daniel Ischi, himself a trained chef, spontaneously went to help the kitchen staff to prepare the New Year's Eve menu.