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Visionary women from Zurich found the "Women's Society for Temperance and Public Health" (the ZFV). With the introduction of alcohol-free restaurants, they wanted to counter rampant alcoholism in society, improve the position of women in the hospitality trade and improve public health in general.
The industrious business women decide to enter the hotel business and take over the Hotel Ruetli at the entrance of the Zurich Lower Town (Niederdorf).
After an intensive 15-month building program, they are ready: the hotel Zuerichberg is opened on 01 September 1900 as an alcohol-free public house and spa. The people of Zurich are invited to rest and recover here on their weekends and holidays. The building costs run to half a million francs: an enormous sum in those times. In spite of this, guests are only charged 3 francs for a night's stay with full board.
Growth in the Zurich hills - the beautifully situated Rigiblick spa is bought.
Keeping a finger on the pulse of the Bahnhofstrasse: the Hotel Seidenhof in the centre of Zurich is acquired.
Start of the expansion phase. After more than 50 years, the ZFV acquires another house, the Hotel Seefeld in the Zurich district of the same name. The building is completely hollowed out and remodelled before reopening in March 2001.
The brand "Sorell Hotels" is launched. The group which had been known until then as ZFV Hotels is renamed as Sorell Hotels. The name honours business pioneer and founder of the ZFV companies, Susanna Orelli. The purchase of the Hotel Rueden in Schaffhausen in the same year is the first expansion beyond the city of Zurich. Also in 2002, the group are able to buy the Rigiblick back from the City of Zurich, after having had to sell it in 1975 owing to financial difficulties.
Purchase of the Hotel Ador in Bern.
The Hotel Asora in Arosa becomes the group's first holiday hotel.
The Hotel Argovia becomes the first of the group's hotels in canton Aargau. In the same year, a second house in Bern joins the group, the Hotel Arabelle.
Sorell Hotels take over the Hotel Tamina in Bad Ragaz, a second holiday hotel.
Purchase of the Hotel Krone in the centre of Winterthur.
The successful expansion course continues with the acquisition of the Hotel City Weissenstein in St Gallen.
Purchase of the hotels Aarauerhof in Aarau, the Rex in Zurich, the Sonnental in Duebendorf and the Arte in Spreitenbach.
The Sorell Hotels brand is redesigned and a joint Sorell Breakfast is created, 300 quality standards for "Service Excellence Sorell" are developed and introduced, and an atmosphere of well-being is established.
The Hotel Speer in Rapperswil is purchased from the owner family. The 4-star city hotel fits perfectly into the Sorell Hotel Group.
Sorell Hotels still belong to the cooperative society ZFV-Unternehmungen, which also operates in the following business areas: Contract catering for schools and universities as well as companies, museum, trend and leisure restaurants, event catering in both stadiums and at trade fairs, Kleiner bakery-confectionery and real estate. ZFV employs 2’500 people and operates throughout Switzerland.