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Reviewed January 2, 2018 via mobile

My partner and I stayed at the hotel for New Years 2017/18. it was a short notice decision so we didn’t expect too much.

However, even with limited expectations there were some things that really got us thinking. While the hotel for sure had marvelous times in the past, it seems to be holding on to these memories.

We were very lucky with our room since it also had a bath and toilet within the room. However, it seemed that many rooms actually didn’t and for about ten rooms there was only one toilet and one shower on the floor, which might have been ok some years back but nowadays and especially in winter times when people come skiing this is not up to par anymore.

Since it was New Years we wanted to go see the fireworks and had a bottle of champagne with us. In order not to drink out of the bottle we asked at the reception if we could borrow some glasses. At first we were told that because of New Years and a gala dinner at the hotel, there are no spare glasses available. Well, that’s more of an interesting note since having exactly as many glasses as persons can attend a dinner seems a bit weird. Anyway after some insisting we actually got some glasses which was fine.

The final point that really took us by surprise was the check-out scheme. The hotel serves breakfast from 7:30 to 10:00, while check-out was set to 10:00 even at New Years. considering people stay out and party especially during this night I actually think that is unacceptable. Considering people tend to sleep in at least a bit and also like to have breakfast it is almost impossible to do that while also taking a shower and pack all at the same time.

Overall, I must say that the hotel clings to old memories while it should adapt to more modern times.

Stayed: January 2018, travelled as a couple
Thank Renato S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ferienverein, Leiter Öffentlichkeitsarbeit at Hotel Altein, responded to this reviewResponded January 15, 2018

Dear Renato S,

Thank you for your visit and for your feedback.
We offer a wide range of different room types for every budget. The budget rooms are equipped with a sink in each room, shower and toilet are located on the floor. All our other rooms offer a private bath room.
At New Years the hotel was fully booked, but we are happy that you still got spare glasses to take with you to enjoy the champagne.
Regarding the check-out times, the rooms have to be ready in the afternoon for our new guests, please consider that we need the time to clean the rooms in order to be able to welcome our new guests. You are welcome to ask at the reception a few days in advance for a late check-out.

Sincerely, Julia B., Ferienverein hotel group

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Reviewed January 29, 2017

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect that the review and comments regarding my stay, which ended yesterday at the Hotel Altein would focus on guest safety, fire safety and the risks in being a guest at a property that, in my opinion is sorely deficient in meeting modern day standards.

The owners of the Hotel Altein, Fereinverein Holding, are a small publicly traded and invested Swiss company. The website promotes and romances this hotel, one of seven in their chain, and four in Switzerland, where the company is headquartered, as "family-friendly," and "built in the 1920's."

While there are attributes that will be discussed about the hotel, later in the review, my experiences left an indelible mark, and one that I will never forget, and the reason for this lengthy comment and review.

The second morning of my stay, I finished breakfast, which starts at 07:30, at around 07:50 and eager to begin skiing on the slopes. Breakfast, by the way, though prior reviewers had varying luke warm observations, was quite fine. There is a very good selection of fresh breads, a delicious rotation everyday of four Swiss cheeses, cereals (both a wide assortment of dry and hot), juices, compote, dried fruits, spectacular Swiss yogurts and a hi tech coffee machine that punches out professional servings of all the latest coffee and espressos, including cappuccino.

My room was on the fourth floor. I pressed the elevator, as the dining room is located one level below the reception and lobby ground floor. When nothing happened, I walked up the 4 flights of stairs not thinking much about the elevator not working, except speculating that guests were possibly being inconsiderate, holding the elevator on a floor. I reached the fourth floor and to my shock, a guest was stuck in the elevator. Fortunately, there is a glass window on the doors, part of the 100 year hotel's charm, and I could visually see this woman panicked. She spoke German. I don't. But, her panic was discernible. The alarm on the elevator had not rung, which only troubled me, as events enfolded.

Note, that the hotel elevator does not have an intercom, nor a phone, connected to Schindler, the elevator manufacturer and service company. There is an emergency phone number posted in the elevator, in German. What if you don't have a phone, as I don't, when traveling due to high costs of roaming, or the guest who forgot the phone, and is stuck, late at night, or early in the morning?

I ran down to the front desk, to find, in utter shock, that the hotel office was dark, and the front desk was not staffed overnight. There was no sign on the front desk, which apparently was an oversight that night, but usually lists two phone numbers of the co-managers, in the event of emergency. I then ran down to the hotel dining room, and a waiter helpfully, huffed and puffed his way back to the fourth floor with me. He took over from there.

I got dressed for skiing, and by the time I reached the front desk, after 08:00, mentioned to the reception, my concerns:

Fact: The hotel does not employ any personnel overnight in a hotel 100 years old, for safety for their guests. Not a security person. Not a maintenance person. No one. From 21:00-08:00 everyday, 11 hours a day the hotel is left rudderless. Hotel guests are literally locked inside a 100 year building.
Fact: The front doors of the hotel are locked during that period. There is an inner and outer glass door. In the event of power cut-off, the outer door has an emergency lever that can be used to open it, if you are familiar its operation . As I can observe, there is no method of opening manually, the inner door, potentially trapping hotel guests in event of fire or power outage.

When I returned from skiing that day, I became inquisitive. To place my concerns in context, three weeks before, on 30 December, the hotel that I originally had reserved for my stay, the PostHotel had burned, and was totaled. The structure stood, but barely. The fire department has placed signage, warning that building is prone to collapse. As I had embarked from the train the day before, the PostHotel, adjacent to the rail station, left scarred remnants of a very bad fire disaster. Two persons were seriously injured and air lifted, and three weeks after this cataclysmic event, the general area around the hotel smelled from the burned out shell and remaining charred contents.

I looked around the hotel that afternoon. My room did not have a smoke detector, though according to management there are over 400 detectors around the hotel. Yet, nothing can adequately save lives than both detector and alarm in guest rooms, according to every professional fire safety guideline.

Fact: There are no smoke and fire detectors in the hotel guest rooms
Fact: There is no sprinkler system throughout the property

Management may respond with all kinds of justifications, including the emergency button on the elevator triggers a forward warning to the Co-Manager's personal phone. Management advised me that in over 30 years, there was never been a complaint nor an incident, about the staffing of a night person. Yet, when I suggest that the owner spending SFr 80,000/annually for manning the hotel at night was a pittance, to facilitate a more family friendly and secure experience, he said, with empathy, "it wouldn't cost 1/2 that."

There are numerous additional aspects to fire safety that, though the hotel may comply with local or Swiss regulations, seem problematic.

Examples include:
Varying exit doors have no fire exit signage
Exit doors are locked in various locations
Various rooms and locations have no fire signage
Fire extinguishers are not easily accessible, too high for many to reach, and oddly at a distance from the hotel corridor requiring one to walk down 1/2 a flight of stairs
Fire extinguishers are dated models, and quite heavy.

My observations, may not be correct, but, it does not appear that there is an emergency lighting system. It was hard to tell, if the system was set up with this very essential back up lighting, in the event of fire, or power outage.

Now, a few additional comments about the hotel. WiFi was free, but almost useless. My connection was rated, "fair or poor," when using phone or iPad. I was unable to use Skype, What'sApp or Netflix. Remember, there is no TV, so good WiFi is helpful. In places around the village, there were far superior connections, where I would need to go. One night, as staff left, the internet was not available. The next morning, reception had to reset all the WiFi in the building.

The spa and pool are clean, very spacious, and quite a good experience. There are two saunas and a steam room, and a fun indoor pool.

Food, the one night I ate in the dining room was good. It was a buffet night, with well prepared dishes.

The dining room was drab. And that is funny, as the hotel has some great potential, architecturally, and from a design perspective. There are two rooms that comprise the dining room. All the tables are set up, like a boarding school dining room, or a university dormitory eating facility. It was monotonous. Boring. Tables were lined up in rows, and when people were seated, it had the feel of a institution.

There are three cable TV rooms for general viewing. One night the cable TV broke down, and the cable provider fixed the problem the next day.

My experience at the hotel was overshadowed by my concerns about safety, and a hundred year old building, that though, according to management meets local standards, left me very concerned.

I have traveled over 70 countries, stayed at hotels of all star ratings. Never, was I as impacted, as I was at the Altein.

Room Tip: Low floor is probably safest, if you need to run for the exits
  • Stayed: January 2017, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank richjacobson18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ferienverein, Leiter Öffentlichkeitsarbeit at Hotel Altein, responded to this reviewResponded February 8, 2017

Dear Mr Jacobson,

Thank you for your visit and for your feedback. Since the Hotel Managers on site have spoken to you about your concerns, we are happy to share our view on this platform too:

We were all shocked by the recent fire at another hotel in Arosa too, and we wish all those affected by it the very best.

The safety of our guests is our utmost priority: In October 2016 we replaced 300 fire alarms, each corridor has an escape route and fire doors, our caretaker is immediately informed if the alarm button is pressed in the lift and the emergency telephone numbers are visibly displayed. These are just a few examples of our safety measures.
We would like to thank you for your words of praise regarding the food and the wellness area.

Sincerely, "Ferienverein" hotel group

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Reviewed July 31, 2016

The Hotel is 100 years old but with a good infrastructur, specially during summer with a large playground for children with tennis-court and Minigolf. Spa area very nice.
Rooms and baths are average, no luxory. Food, specially the breakfast bufet, was excelent, every evening they also served a menue for children.

Room Tip: Very good Family Hotel, Kids are welcome, lots of room to play, staff very helpful, good Service.
  • Stayed: July 2016, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Ulla B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ferienverein, Leiter Öffentlichkeitsarbeit at Hotel Altein, responded to this reviewResponded August 3, 2016

Dear Ulla
We are pleased that you and your family enjoyed your stay at our hotel. Thank you for the recommendation! We are looking forward to welcome you again.
Kind regards, Franziska G., Ferienverein hotelgroup

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Reviewed March 3, 2016 via mobile

We stayed here the last week of February for a family skiing holiday. Children 12 and 15. We had booked a north family suite but to our delight were given a south facing suite ( 2 connected rooms, one a bit larger than the other) the view every morning was wonderful! We knew the hotel interior would be dated so no surprises there. The beds were okay, a bit on the hard side. We are not very tall, I can imagine the beds being too small if you are over 190 cm. The bathroom is simple but has everything you need. As we went to the spa every afternoon, the kids showered there and did not need to use the bath in the morning, they had their own toilet in their room. There was plenty of storage space for all out skiing gear and regular clothes.
We had half board and we loved the food. Breakfast is good with fresh fruit, lots of choice in bread and cereal. Dinner is always 4 course with one course being a buffet style. Dessert buffet was yummy. Staff were very friendly. It was nice having the same people serving us every night. It was unclear how and when to leave a tip. I did not see anyone tipping but we left some francs on the last day.
The spa area is very nice. It can get busy in the late afternoon and of course lots of kids in the holidays so noisy.
The bar area is a bit tacky but provides a pleasant area to play cards and have a drink. There are three pool tables and we had fun using those.
It is a 5 minute walk to the ski lift. Plenty to do for non skiers.
Tips: bring comfy house shoes to wear to breakfast and bring slippers for the spa. Don't let your small children use the lethal elevator by themselves.
Would we go again? Yes, we have already booked for next year. (Please give us rooms 206 and 207 again???!!) I'm sure there are nicer places in Arosa but they will also be much more expensive. This isn't cheap but value for Swiss money. Switzerland is an expensive country.... (So very few Dutch people around )
Finally, make sure you have snow chains for the road from Chur to Arosa. Check if they fit or you will find yourself in our situation and end up taking 3 hours for the last stretch and having to spend Chf 150 on snow chains at a petrol station....

Stayed: February 2016, travelled with family
Thank Minifo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ferienverein, Leiter Öffentlichkeitsarbeit at Hotel Altein, responded to this reviewResponded March 9, 2016

Dear Minifo
We are pleased to read your comment, thank you for taking your time. You felt comfortable at our hotel, as it should be to enjoy the holiday. As you write, compared to other hotels of our category, you find in our hotel lots of public spaces, game rooms and last but not least our spa. We are looking forward to welcome you and your family again next year. Kind regards, Franziska G., Ferienverein hotel group

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Reviewed February 21, 2016

Complete renovation needed for room, shower, toilet. Price far too high for product offered. Raised this issue politely with the hotel but the hotel could not care less. There are much better hotels in Arosa.

  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank S H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ferienverein, Leiter Öffentlichkeitsarbeit at Hotel Altein, responded to this reviewResponded February 22, 2016

Dear S H, We regret that the price/performance ratio didn't meet your expectations. There are high season prices in Arosa at the moment. Our room rate includes our facilities as the large wellness area with 2 saltwater pools, jacuzzi, sauna, steam bath and more, the public rooms as the library and the play rooms for the kids. Furthermore, our hotel has a cosy bar with live music and a panorama restaurant. Dependig your booking, you also get a rich breakfast buffet in the morning. We hope we can convince you next time. Kind regards, Franziska G., Ferienverein hotel group

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