NEW YORK, NY — (May 2021)
— The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.
(Leading Hotels) mourns the loss and honors the life of Ernst Andrea Scherz (1939 – 2021). Mr. Scherz passed away on May 13, 2021 following a long illness at the age of 81.
Mr. Scherz was a hospitality visionary who presided over legendary Gstaad Palace for 32 years. He also served as Chairman of the Executive Committee of The Leading Hotels of the World for 17 years. Mr. Scherz took over management of Gstaad Palace from his father in 1969 and then, in 2001, he passed the leadership to his son, Andrea Scherz. His son is now the third-generation owner and general manager of the iconic Swiss property and currently serves as Vice Chairman of Leading Hotels’ Executive Committee.
Mr. Scherz's commitment went far beyond Gstaad Palace’s doors. He did much to further the cause of Gstaad-Saanenland as a tourist destination and made significant contributions to the luxury hotel sector. Scherz was elected Chairman of the Executive Committee of Leading Hotels in 1973 and served until 1989. During his time at the helm, he firmly established Leading Hotels as a strong, global brand and more than tripled the Company’s membership, growing it to over 200 member hotels.
In recognition of his life-long devotion to the art of luxury hotel-keeping and his enduring legacy at Leading Hotels, in 2015 Mr. Scherz was awarded Leading Hotels’ highest level of distinction for a hotelier, the Leading Legend Award.
“A significant chapter of Leading Hotels’ history was defined under the leadership of Ernst,” said Andrea Kracht, Chairman of The Leading Hotels of the World. “Our Company owes a huge debt of gratitude to him for growing and strengthening the organization and establishing its reputation on a global scale. He will be deeply missed by our family of hoteliers who valued his friendship, mentorship and industry leadership.”
Mr. Scherz was born to be a hotelier. His parents were managers and then owners of Gstaad Palace. He studied at the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, as well as Cornell Hotel School, and completed a stint in the Swiss Army. Mr. Scherz’s hospitality career path exposed him to numerous industry jobs and properties around the world, from Houston to Lucerne, London to Monte Carlo. Eventually, he returned home to Gstaad Palace. There, he brought the hotel to the attention of global press, developed a new hotel infrastructure, launched residence accommodations, pioneered themed gastronomy concepts, and much more.
“Mr. Scherz’ exceptional leadership ensured Gstaad Palace was, and continues to be, an icon of independent, luxury hospitality in Switzerland and around the world. In addition, his vision for Leading Hotels positioned our Company, and hundreds of independent hotels, for decades of success,” said Shannon Knapp, President & Chief Executive Officer, The Leading Hotels of the World. “His legacy will continue through his wonderful family, the Gstaad Palace and the Leading Hotels’ team, as well as the thousands of hoteliers and guests who had the great pleasure of knowing him.”
About The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. (LHW)
Comprised of more than 400 hotels in over 80 countries, LHW is the largest collection of independent luxury hotels. In 1928, 38 independent hoteliers came together to create LHW. Since then, the Company has carefully curated distinctive hotels, resorts, inns, chalets, villas, and safari camps from the snow-capped Alps of Europe to the African veldt, to share them with adventurous souls who seek the remarkably uncommon. The LHW community is filled of exceptional individuals, united by a passion for the surprising discoveries and details that come with every experience. LHW hoteliers are artisans of hospitality whose expertise, commitment to excellence, and individual flair allows them to create story-worthy moments for their guests. And it is these authentic, individualized experiences combined with the warm hospitality and high-touch service they provide that keeps discerning travelers returning again and again. LHW’s collection covers the globe and promises a broad range of destinations and uncommon experiences, enhanced by LHW’s tiered guest loyalty program Leaders Club. From converted former palaces, and countryside retreats run by the same families for generations, to gleaming skyscrapers in dynamic urban centers, serene private island escapes, glamorous tented camps – and beyond – explore, find inspiration, and experience unforgettable travel moments. For more information visit: www.lhw.com
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About The Gstaad Palace
The luxurious five-star superior Gstaad Palace hotel, which opened its doors for the first time in 1913, is owned by the third generation of the Scherz family and is therefore one of Europe’s last family-run hotels where VIPs experience a first-class culture of hospitality. The 90 rooms and suites at the seasonal hotel with exceptional panorama over the Bernese Oberland skilfully combine contemporary glamour with alpine cosiness. Gstaad’s landmark serves Swiss, Italian and international specialities and gourmet cuisine awarded with 15 Gault Millau points in its five restaurants. The hotel’s own GreenGo nightclub is famous for its legendary parties and illustrious clientele. Guests’ senses are pampered in the 1,800 square metre Palace Spa. An outdoor Olympic-sized swimming pool and four tennis courts are available in summer. With the Walig Hut, an alpine hut dating back to 1783 at 1700 metres above sea level, Gstaad Palace has a unique refuge where guests can experience the real luxury of the Saanenland, the peace, tranquillity, and authenticity up close.