In 1907, the six-story house was built within a year, an incredible feat considering the funds available to construct a building with 4 stories of stone construction and 2 stories of wood construction.
Mr Franz Stüttgen recognized the potential of the up-and-coming region and adapted himself to the Bern-dominated society. As the French language was a sign of refinement at that time, he named the hotel he opened in June 1908 "Belvédère & Beau-Rivage" - both of which refer to the breathtaking location overlooking Spiez Bay.
In 1912 Mr. Stüttgen had to sell the house for lack of necessary funds and withdrew completely from the restaurant business. After Mr. Franz Stüttgen, the Dorer-Baumer family took over in 1912 - they were the owners of the property for 35 years. After the outbreak of the Second World War, however, tourism came to a complete standstill. The Dorer-Baumer family is able to more or less survive the end of the war, but the pressure from the banks does not leave the Belvédère alone. The creditors look for a solution and find it in the form of the Association of Swiss Master Butchers, which buys the Belvédère in 1947.
The infamous "Spirit of Spiez" is assigned its most important mission and helps the German national team achieve a miracle in Bern by winning the 1954 World Cup. Many books have been written about this story, some of which are available for viewing at the hotel. Even today the Belvédère is still a place of pilgrimage for football enthusiasts, and various teams actively seek the support of the Spirit - a tireless source of energy in many ways.
After a 25 years without any major investments, the Belvédère had lost is shine. Successful management by Mr & Mrs Urben, as well as the guests' expectations called for a significant expansion of the hotel. An extension was started in 1963 and the existing rooms gradually fitted with private bathrooms. The addition was completed in 1964 and a professional butcher school was established on the lower two floors. In the same year, the large terrace was roofed over, creating the space for the restaurant today.
A great era comes to an end, for reasons of age the Urben couple says goodbye to the Belvédère in 1976 - 28 years full of dedication and incredible achievements: They contribute a great part to the unique reputation of the house. 1976 to 1980 the hotel is leased to the hotelier Mr. Näpflin from Central Switzerland. From 1980 to 1987, Mr. Rupp tries his luck, with a respectable success. After Mr. Rupp, no new tenant was found in 1987, so the Association of Swiss Master Butchers engaged a young couple to run the business. In the years 1993 - 1997 the house was shaken in all respects and one tried with all means to keep it going - without great success. Only in 1993 the new technical school of the Association of Swiss Master Butchers opens its doors, this is today's ABZ.
In 1997, the Belvédère fortunately finds its savior in the person of Mr. Walter Hauenstein. The most necessary investments are made in the winter of 1997/98. The pompous opening in 1998 makes the professional world sit up and take notice. Mr. Walter Hauenstein commissions an external director to run his business. Again and again, the management is able to fall back on the goodwill of Mr. Walter Hauenstein and to make important investments in the house. Unfortunately, Mr. Walter Hauenstein passes away in March 2005 and cannot live to see his Belvédère, acquired "out of affection", in its present splendor. He is and was the savior of this house, without his commitment it would probably no longer be a hotel today!
The renovation begins on 31 October 2011 with the demolition of the entire attic, and the first and second floors. All pipes are renewed from the ground floor up and the lift shaft dismantled and enlarged. The construction of the new third and fourth floors and the mansard roof starts in no time. At the end of February the long awaited building permit for the extension of the wellness area is granted. The challenge is immediately taken up and the conversion work begins.
Mr. Timmo Horber leaves the Belvédère after 18 years to face a new challenge. Now Mr. Bruno Affentranger and Mr. Francis Nova lead the house together as co-directors. Furthermore, since 2019 all Hauenstein Hotels - and therefore also the Belvédère Strandhotel & Restaurant - are officially a member of the ETOA (European tourism association).
In September 2019, the multi-million renovation of the Belvédère Strandhotel began. In two construction stages (winter season 2019 and 2020), a terraced extension has been added. The somewhat aging seminar wing was renewed and expanded. On the five floors of the extension, an additional 24 hotel rooms, about 380m2 of seminar rooms and 34 garage parking spaces have been created. The new bar was oriented towards the bay and the castle. By shortening the top floor of the annex, a small terrace with a view of the Spiez bay and the vineyard was created. Furthermore, the relaxation and sauna zone in the wellness area was expanded to the new capacities. The existing kitchen, which was located in the basement, was moved to the first floor on the level of the restaurant. The building owner was Hauenstein Immobilien AG, which acquired the hotel in 1997 and has successfully developed the business ever since.
Franz Stüttgen, the Dorer-Baumer family and also Mr. and Mrs. Urben, as well as all those who have bequeathed their heart and soul to the Belvédère, would be proud to see the house in its present form. Everyone has worked a little bit on it, so that every person from Spiez and the Bernese Oberland can be proud of the Belvédère!