Sitting with Günter Weilguni, Manfred Weilguni, and Daniel Mani, it’s hard not to feel as if you are in the presence of a team of hospitality All-Stars. Each man has achieved greatness in his field. Günter has helped guide numerous hotels to grand success, with one earning him and his partner on that project, Naja Marwan, a “Top 10 Best Hotel in Switzerland” honor. Günter’s brother Manfred has elevated a number of Swiss properties to new heights. And Daniel, who started his own business at the age of 25, has made a significant impression on the local Thun restaurant scene, including a “Best of Swiss Gastro” award for his restaurant Fluss. So coming together, as the three did to work on a pair of Swiss hotels, saw three fearless souls uniting their forces. Or as Günter puts it, “We each have a flair for the special, the unusual, and, above all, the courage to implement the ideas.”
GW: The three of us had traveled together extensively over the years, taking vacations to Asia, North America, and throughout Europe. It was during these trips that we realized we could tie our collective strengths together in a meaningful way. Manfred and I had experience as hoteliers and Dani's background in world-class gastronomy uniquely positioned us to open Hotel Spedition Thun together, an Old World hotel in the Swiss city of Thun.
DM: There are always negotiations in any meaningful business relationship, but our collective vision for Spedition came together rather easily and organically.
GW: And we all agreed on the plan for fine gastronomy paired with unique, boutique accommodations. I had previously worked with Erik Nilsen at Stylt Trampoli, so we decided to channel his incredible talent to bring the design aspect of Hotel Spedition Thun to life.
GW: We have known of each other’s abilities and drive to succeed for several years, and after Spedition we now knew that we also shared similar philosophies and that we would continue to complement each other excellently and work well together.
DM: Despite this, we almost didn’t proceed with the project because of geographical reasons. The distance from each of our other businesses to The Hide seemed too far. We wanted the focus of our activities to remain in the Bernese Oberland region.
MW: True, but so many people—from clients to the many loyal guests at each of our properties—encouraged us to move forward. The response was so positive that we almost felt as if we had no choice!
GW: Just like Huus Gstaad, which overlooks the village of Saanen, and Spedition in Thun, The Hide is characterized by noteworthy design. The fact that all the rooms and suites are located on the top floor of a new shopping and entertainment center may also be described as extraordinary.
DM: The key thing to know is that The Hide concept had an unusual starting point: to build a hotel on the roof of a new shopping and leisure complex, yet at the same time to integrate the lobby, the bar, and the restaurants in the public area of the center.
MW: And let’s not forget the excellent location of the hotel in the center of Flims. The valley station of the cable cars is set directly next to the hotel. And in the Stenna Center guests will find great shopping as well as super gastronomic and entertainment options.
GW: Also, while Hotel Spedition Thun was redesigned in a structure that was 100 years old, the biggest hurdle with The Hide was creating a retreat-like feeling of warmth and welcome within the confines of a new multi-use complex. Again, we turned to Erik at Stylt Trampoli, and we couldn't be happier with the end result.
GW: Oh yes! For each of us, design in a hotel plays a central, if not a decisive role. It contributes in every respect to a positive experience and an unforgettable stay. We are very much inspired by the creative minds at the Swedish design firm Stylt Trampoli.
MW: We describe The Hide’s style as having a subtle touch of the urban, yet without being a city hotel. It was important to us that the architecture and interior design capture the modern Alpine lifestyle. We are really proud of the hotel’s remarkable splash of color, its bold interior, and an architectural style that is wholly unconventional for a holiday resort in the Swiss mountains.