Period IV

Montreux, Clinique La Prairie. Bild/Photo:

Swiss Source of Rejuvenation

What do Winston Churchill, Konrad Adenauer, Dwight Eisenhower, Charles de Gaulle, Miles Davis, Pablo Picasso, Marlene Dietrich or Marilyn Monroe have in common? All have visited the hotel-clinic La Prairie in Montreux for shorter or longer periods. There are many Grand-Hotels and hospitals in Switzerland. However, a combination of these two is a peculiarity. The principle is to provide medical care in an environment and with the service of a five-star hotel.

The care of the body has a long tradition in Switzerland, dating back to the first Roman baths in Baden in the canton of Aargau. Until the late eighteenth century, this was the most famous bathing resort in Switzerland. The prestige was so high that the peace treaty of the Spanish War of Succession (1701-1714) was concluded in this town.

The most significant development came in the nineteenth century, especially in Graubünden and around Lake Geneva. In 1848 the country had no less than 350 registered and recognized bathhouses/clinics and water sources. Thomas Mann, Victor Hugo or Léon Tolstoi made it the subject of their novels.

The concept of luxury clinics dates from this period. The wealthy bourgeoisie and the (high) aristocracy from Europe and America visited them in large numbers until the First World War. After 1945 this sector experienced a decline. However, the tide seems to be turning. Health in a pleasant environment gets an increasingly higher priority. The combination of medical care in a hotel environment attracts more and more (wealthy) visitors/patients. The clinic La Prairie is a forerunner and an example.