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History

The birth of a world renowned Wellbeing and Medical Health Resort

124250 years before the foundation of the Swiss Confederation was laid, hunters from the Benedictine monastery in Pfäfers discover hot springs gushing from the treacherous rocks of the Tamina Gorge. Hot water in abundance – a veritable miracle!

These 'akrato' waters, a term derived from the Greek language meaning 'pure, hot springs with a low mineral content', emerge 20 m to the right of the Tamina River at 639 m.a.s.l. and have a constant temperature of 36.5º C. This natural outflow of ground water originates from the Tödi catchment area, seeping through the crystalline sedimentary rocks of this region and finally springing forth in the Tamina Gorge a decade later.
14 c.It’s small wonder that soon afterwards the notion of bathing in these thermal springs catches on. The abbots build the first bathhouse near the source. However, this structure is extremely difficult to access, and bathers have to be lowered on a rope into the gorge – a perilous undertaking at the best of times. Bathers who can afford it soon let themselves be carried on sedan chairs down to the springs.

1535In his monograph entitled "The origination and provenance of the Pfeffers Baths lying in the highlands of Switzerland, and their integrity, force and effects", the eminent physician and natural scientist Paracelsus von Hohenheim substantiates the curative effects of the hot springs in the Tamina Gorge.
1774Building of the palace, the new governorship of the Pfäfers Monastery in Ragaz (nowadays an integral part of Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz, comprising the Prince's Suite and the gourmet restaurant IGNIV by Andreas Caminada).
1838As a consequence of the advancing trend towards secularisation, the Pfäfers Abbey, together with most other monasteries, is closed and its estates – including the hot springs in the Tamina Gorge and the domain of Ragaz – fall to the Canton of St. Gallen.
1840On 31st May, a 4 km-long conduit is completed to transport the thermal waters from the source directly to Hof Ragaz.
1868After prolonged negotiations, the internationally acclaimed Swiss architect, Bernhard Simon (1816 – 1900), acquires the domain of Ragaz from the Canton of St. Gallen as well as a licence to utilise the hot springs for a period of 100 years. Upon signing the licensing and sales agreement, Simon commits himself to building not only "a splendiferous inn set among gardens and a gracious park", but also drinking fountains, a Kursaal and new bathing facilities by the beginning of the 1870 holiday season. Thus, a Swiss architect, whom the Russian nobility often commissioned for their imposing St. Petersburg edifices, becomes the founder of today's Health, Spa & Golf Resort.
1869Grand Hotel Quellenhof and the Helenabath, named after the Russian grand princess, open their doors at the end of July.
1870The opening of the Kursaal. The Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71 proves disastrous for the spa: numerous guests stay at home or pack their bags and leave in a hurry.
1871Bernhard Simon builds Europe's first indoor thermal pool at Bad Ragaz.
1872Bad Ragaz establishes itself as one of the world's most fashionable health resorts. A cosmopolitan clique of the rich, beautiful and powerful congregate here during the holiday season.Notwithstanding two world wars, ruinous economic crises, and political friction among nations, the Grand Hotels Bad Ragaz remains operative without interruption over the ensuing decades.
1900Bernhard Simon, founder of the world-renowned health resort, dies on 28 July. His grave is to be found in Bad Ragaz cemetery. Bernhard Simon had previously passed on his possessions including the Resort to his three sons in 1891.
1904The first 9-hole golf course is built in the Heulöser area. Golf had previously been played in the “Fluppe”.
1957The Hotel Quellenhof, which had been closed since 1939, reopens under new management. The building, baths and Medical Health Centre are renovated and expanded under the supervision of Zurich architect Otto Glaus. New, spacious landscaped grounds are created.
1962Acquisition of the tennis courts by the Bad Ragaz tennis club and refurbishment of the tennis facilities on Maienfelderstrasse.
1970Opening of the Valens Clinic. The Pfäfers bath building continues to operate as a restaurant in the gorge.
1973Transition to an all-year-round operation and opening of the 3rd thermal swimming pool with relaxation hall and solarium; at the same time, the old bath is renovated and a new heating system installed.
1986For the first time, refreshing 'Ragazer Wasser' is available as salubrious table water at Grand Hotels Bad Ragaz and in other establishments in Bad Ragaz.
1992Opening of a new wing at Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz with 57 single and 20 double rooms plus 4 suites.
1994Opening of the wellness oasis over an area of 2,000 m2.
1995Subsequent to the demolition of the old Grand Hotel Quellenhof, construction of a completely new building is started.
1996

On 31 October, a ceremony is held to mark the reopening of the new Grand Hotel Quellenhof after just 22 months’ construction time.

The inaugural Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open is held on the Bad Ragaz golf course.

2000The existing wellness area is enlarged by 500 m2 to 2,500 m2. New 'luxury treatment rooms' provide the requisite space and tranquillity for innovative treatment methods.

The Medical Centre's vein treatment centre opens its doors in September. This is followed in November by the rebuilding of the golf clubhouse and the 18- hole golf course.

An application for the operation of a casino is submitted. The Valens Clinic is extended and gains a new therapy pool
2001

Bad Ragaz is granted a B-concession for the operation of a casino. Nothing more stands in the way of establishing Casino Bad Ragaz AG (shareholders: 66.66% Grand Hotels Bad Ragaz AG, 33.33% ACE Casino & Entertainment AG). Building application for the 9-hole golf course.

The luxury treatment area in the “to B. Health Club” is expanded yet again.

2002Construction work begins on the Bad Ragaz Casino in February and the Casino is officially opened on 27th December 2002.
2003 March sees the beginning of conversion work on "Café Wintergarten" in Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz, transforming it into the "Olives" Restaurant.

The Garden Pool close to Grand Hotel Quellenhof is built.

The new franchise agreement for the source - which continues to apply until 2067 - is signed.
2004 The Medical Health Centre is accredited as the Swiss Olympic Medical Centre. Opening of the new fitness centre To B. with state-of-the-art Technogym equipment and a Pilates studio.

In August the building of the 9-hole Golf course begins.
2005 The To B. Health Club is accredited as a Leading Spa of the World. Opening of the Driving Range Golf Club Heidiland in June and the whole golf course in September.

2006 Official opening of the Golf Club Heidiland and its 9-hole Executive Course in May.

The Golf Club Bad Ragaz and Grand Hotels Bad Ragaz host the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open for the 10th time.

Grand Hotels Bad Ragaz’s management set a new benchmark with plans for the construction of a new Spa Suite hotel and the total modernisation of Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz. In addition, Tamina Therme will be given a facelift, a modern business and event centre will be built and the Medical Health Centre will be enhanced with stateof- the-art infrastructure. The Board of Directors of Grand Hotels Bad Ragaz plan for the future with an Investment Programme totalling 115 million Swiss Francs.
2007 On 28 November, the founders of the Tamina Therme hold a meeting. In future, it is to be managed as an independent joint stock company.

November sees the start of construction of 56 exclusive new Spa Suites. On 7 December, the renovated Kursaal opens as a modern Business & Event Centre.
2008 The Tamina Therme is closed on 2 March. It is demolished and rebuilt. On 25 March, Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz closes. During the planned refurbishment, the central courtyard building is completely demolished and rebuilt. The rooms in the Palais undergo gentle renovation.

In April, the new therapy building at the Medical Health Centre is ready for occupation. The renovation of the existing medical centre begins.

At the Annual General Meeting on 20 May 2008, the Resort’s name is changed from Grand Hotels Bad Ragaz AG to Grand Resort Bad Ragaz AG. This also entails a rebranding: the company promotes itself all over the world with a new, modified logo. It retains the waves, the symbol for water.

At the same time, a capital increase of around 40 million Swiss francs is carried out. The main shareholder’s stake rises to 73.3% and the number of shareholders to around 600.

In the meantime, construction costs total around 160 million Swiss francs. On 15 September, 70 rooms in the Helenabad wing of Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz open, as do part of the new “To B. Wellbeing & Spa” and“To B. Beauty & Care”. On 20 December, James Good opens his “James Good For You” hairdressing business directly opposite the beauty department.

At Christmas, the new “sauna world” opens together with the extravagant 100- square-metre Andeer Private Spa. It also incorporates the world’s first Swarovski embellished herbal steam bath.

2009With effect from 10 April, the remaining rooms and suites in the renovated Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz are ready for use. At the same time, the new Asian restaurant Namun and the new Mediterranean restaurant Olives d’Or, as well as the Salon Davidoff also open. Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz now also accommodates a cinema. “To B. Wellbeing & Spa” now has a further five luxury treatment rooms, a sauna by the Helenabad pool and two new relaxation rooms with waterbeds and Napshells®. With an area of 5,500 square metres, “To B. Wellbeing & Spa” can justly claim to be the largest wellness oasis in Switzerland.

On 1 May, a further 56 new Spa Suites and Spa Lofts are scheduled to reopen. This new construction work has cost 40 million Swiss francs. Each has a “wellness oasis” bathroom equipped with a whirlpool and steam bath, some even have their own private sauna. In addition, these new Spa Suites enjoy Bad Ragaz thermal spa water on tap. The 440-square-metre Penthouse Suite is one of the largest hotel suites in Switzerland.

On 12 June, the new and modern public thermal spa the Tamina Therme has reopened on 7,300 stunning square metres.
On 26 June, the official opening party with more than 800 guests is held.
On 31 August the resort is honoured for a second time with the GaultMillau “Hotel of the year 2009” award - and restaurant Namun (thai/chinese cuisine) is distinguished with 13 GaultMillau points.

2010On 16 June, the 100th annual meeting of the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz AG is held.The Golf Restaurant is awarded with 12 GaultMillau points. The Grand Resort now has 57 GaultMillau points in total.The Tamina Therme is awarded 2nd place as most innovate Water Park in Europe, as voted by the European Waterpark Association (EWA).
2011

In the Medical Health Center, the medical expertise is extended with the department of dermatology.

The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz has 58 GaultMillau points in total because of the new rated Golf Restaurant, which is awarded with 13 GaultMillau points.

At the beginning of July, the 15th PGA Seniors Open takes place at Bad Ragaz. This tournament is the oldest Senior Tournament in the European Tour Calendar.

2012

On 1st January, the new Day Spa at the “To B. Wellbeing & Spa” is launched. From this point, daily visitors can enjoy the wellness offers at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz as well. On 15th June, the Academy of Hotel Excellence celebrates its first birthday. At the beginning of July, the 16th PGA Seniors Open takes place at Bad Ragaz. In September, the “To B. Wellbeing & Spa” is renamed to “36.5° Wellbeing & Thermal Spa”.

In October, the Tamina Therme is honoured with the Prix Lignum. Thereby it now belongs to the three most qualified wooden buildings in Switzerland. The same month it also receives the “Roter Nagel” (red nail). This prize labels landmarks in building culture and landscape since decades.From 12th May to 4th November the art exhibition Bad RagARTz takes place for the fifth time.

In the Medical Health Centre, more doctors are recruited in the sector of orthopaedics, gynaecology, internal medicine and ophthalmology.The Gourmet restaurant Äbtestube is awarded with the Star Michelin again.

2013

In May, the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz receives the Condé Nast Traveller (UK) Spa Award 2013 as “Best Medi Spa”.

On 1st September the new sauna “Sauna Nera” has opened in the external area of the Tamina Therme. On this perfect stage for event and show rituals, the first Swiss Sauna Championship takes place at the end of October.

On 13th September the Casino celebrates its 10th anniversary with the reopening after an optical refurbishment and installs a world first Sitting Roulette.

The Tamina Therme is awarded 1st place for the “European Waterpark Association Professional Award 2013” in October.

Apart from his private clinic in Zürich, Prof. Hermann F. Sailer now owns a medical office at the Medical Health Centre of the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz.

Lifestyle Living is an offer created to combine the individual lifestyle of each guest with the highest living culture in the Spa Suites. With the “Lifestyle Living Longstay” guests can find a new temporary home from a minimum stay of three months.

In October the three day festival “Music Connects” takes place the first time. It combines musical diversity of awarded elite and young musicians and literary highlights of Alfred Brendel with culinary delights.

2014For the third time, Dr. Med. Christian Schlegel accompanies the Swiss athletes as head physician to the Olympic Winter Games, which take place in Sotschi.

In June, the resort celebrates its 5th anniversary since the Grand Opening in 2009 and therefore opens a luxurious Presidential Suite on the 5th floor of the Spa Suites building. The Suite consists of two bedrooms, a Smokers Lounge, a wine cabinet, two bathrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen, a dressing room and four balconies and can be expanded to the Presidential Floor with a total of six bedrooms.

In recognition of the high competence, the Health Department of the Canton of St. Gallen granted the Medical Health Center the operating approval to maintain an inpatient rehabilitation clinic at the end of 2013. The Clinic Bad Ragaz opens its doors in September 2014 as a centre for musculoskeletal, internistic (and from 2015 for psychosomatic) rehabilitation.
2015In 2015, the resort and Bad Ragaz celebrate 175 years of thermal water at the spa resort.

From 9th May until 1st November the art exhibition Bad RagARTz takes place for the sixth time.

The restaurant Äbtestube closes in November. In December, the 3-Michelin-star chef Andreas Caminada opens his second restaurant in the former Äbtestube: IGNIV by Andreas Caminada.
2016

In February, Grand Resort Bad Ragaz AG bought Hotel Schloss Wartenstein.

In March, Prof. Dr. Beat A. Michel takes over as head of the Medical Health Center and Clinic Bad Ragaz from Dr. med Beat Villiger. In spring, a laser centre is opened in the department of dermatology.

The PGA Seniors Open is renamed Swiss Seniors Open and celebrates its 20th anniversary.

In September, the old club house of Golf Club Bad Ragaz is demolished and constructional work is being undertaken at the golf course itself.

After being awarded one star by Guide Michelin, GaultMillau names chef Silvio Germann of restaurant IGNIV by Andreas Caminada the “discovery of the year in German-speaking Switzerland” and awards 16 GaultMillau points. In addition, Robert Hubmann`s golf restaurant now has 14 GaultMillau points.

After its opening in December, the computer tomograph allows new possibilities regarding musculoskeletal and oncological questions.

2017On 28 April, after investing CHF 12 million the new golf club house of Golf Club Bad Ragaz is opened. Its restaurant is now known under the name “gladys”.