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Laudinella. A success story.

In the autumn of 1956, Hannes Reimann founded the Laudinella cooperative to acquire the Hotel Olympia Metropol in St. Moritz-Bad for the popular singing camps of the time. No sooner said than done, so many cooperative shares were subscribed, that the cooperative was able to purchase and renovate the hotel and open it as the Laudinella in June 1957.

The Laudinella

It was singing that gave the hotel its name. Laudinella is Rhaeto-Romanic and means lark, the songbird. The Laudinella quickly developed into a popular holiday destination for families, visitors interested in culture, and winter and summer guests.

Soon the Olympia Metropol was too small for the Laudinella, and Hannes Reimann launched another cooperative certificate action to buy the hotel next door, the Engadinrhof. This venture succeeded, too. The Olympic Metropol was dismantled, a new building was erected and connected to the Engadinrhof, the dining room was converted into a concert hall; music rooms and a library were established and the first self-service restaurant in St. Moritz was opened. The Laudinella thus allowed holidaymakers on a small budget to stay in St. Moritz.

The objectives of the founder Hannes Reimann, of guaranteeing cultural events in St. Moritz and running a hotel with good price/performance ratio to have been successfully continued up to the present day.

Laudinella code word

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Laudinella, author Richard Reich let his imagination take a flight of fancy. Based on the life-like material that a hotel provides day and night, he wrote a series of stories. The novel tells the story of the founding of the Laudinella in the days of the singing camps. Featuring illustrations by Markus Roost, a beautiful book was born.

The story tells of lovers and the deranged, quirky regular guests and obscure hotel spirits, of wayward staff such as a gruff hotel carpenter, an overly imaginative maid or a four-legged hotel king who keeps court lying in the yard.

Richard Reich, born in 1961, worked for many years as a newspaper editor in the fields of sport, culture and society. Later he founded and directed the Zurich Literature House. In Laudinella he has regularly offered writing classes for the over-70s for years. Since January 2015, he is leading the open Schoolhouse Novel project for the Writing Lab JULL in Zurich.

Laudinella Cooperative

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Laudinella Cooperative the Laudinella Chronicle 1956 to 2006 was published by Walter Sutter. Presented in chronological order with a clear register of persons and subjects, this book continues the history of the Laudinella Cooperative and Hotel, which Hannes Reimann started in his volume from 1981, Laudinella – Lob einer scheinbar unbedeutenden Idee (Laudinella – Praise of a Seemingly Insignificant Idea). Photos from that time to the present day make this chronicle vivid and a pleasure to read.

Walter Sutter, born in 1928, studied electrical engineering and business studies at the ETH Zurich and worked as a production engineer in the Aluminiumwerken AG Rorschach (aluminium works); he was a member of the Executive Board from 1972. From 1970 – 2002 he was a member of the Laudinella Board of Directors.

Walter Sutter
A Chronicle of 50 Years of the Laudinella Cooperative 1956 – 2006
C Cooperative Laudinella, St. Moritz
Printing: Kein & Aber Verlag (publishers), Zurich, 2007

Hannes Reimann
Laudinella – Lob einer scheinbar unbedeutenden Idee (Laudinella – Praise of a Seemingly Insignificant Idea)
Publisher: Laudinella Cooperative, St. Moritz
Printing: Paul Gehring, Winterthur

Film

An artistic snapshot of the 50th anniversary of the Laudinella. The film tells of the vibrancy and diversity and of the personal, mostly hidden, stories of a cultural and hotel operation. Filmed by Priska Ryffel and Simone Vogel in collaboration with documentary filmmaker Urs Frey. In front of and behind the scenes of the Laudinella microcosm, interviews with guests, cooperative members, artists-in-residence and staff were captured in order to illuminate the Laudinella from different perspectives.

27 min, 2007, colour.
The DVD is supplemented with a Laudinella review 1966 from the Swiss TV archives. In the series Unter uns (Among us) Laure Wyss reported on the 10th anniversary of the Engadin Kantorei (Choir) and the Laudinella, 39 min, 1966, b/w.