New sparkle for the “Sonne”


On 1 February 2002, experienced landlords Herbert and Hedy Wettmer took on the Hotel Sonne in Altstätten as a second establishment with all the challenges that this posed. The Hotel Sonne, being the only hotel in the region with a banquet hall, was previously in danger of closing its doors. However, the Wettmer family, knowing what a disadvantage this would have been for Altstätten, was convinced that the right thing to do to save the hotel was to take it over. 

During the first business year, the Hotel Sonne corporation was founded with the objective of purchasing the Sonne, previously in possession of the Altstätten Riettratrhode Stadt und Vorstadt. By the end of 2002, the Hotel Sonne could be officially registered at the land office and this was the actual start of the planned reconstruction and expansion. 

After months of tough negotiations with the St.Gallen homeland protection authorities, they could finally begin with the demolition of the former ‘Brassel or ‘Steigerhaus’. The homeland protection authorities were concerned about keeping the important gate feature, and the town authorities wanted to eliminate cases of dangerous accidents in close proximity to the School House and Kindergarten. With these issues resolved, the bottleneck on Klausstrasse (Klaus Street) could be redeveloped. 

With the demolition of the dilapidated neighbouring property, the way was clear to realise the expansion of the existing Hotel Sonne, that had already undergone an expansion and renovations in 2003. The construction work, under the direction of the corporation for building design and construction management in Altstätten, progressed so rapidly, that at the end of June, the last beam at the ‘topping out’ could be placed. As early as late autumn, the new wing with twelve double rooms, a seminar room and sitting room could be opened. The construction on Klausstrasse (Klaus Street) was conducted with taking into account local traffic conditions and with optimum safety for pedestrians by being set back a couple of meters. An arcade was built, from the pavement through to the first floor area of the Hotel and today this enables all schoolchildren and pedestrians to walk along the new walkway without any danger. With the extension to the schoolhouse, the city's new sidewalk has been optically designed for maximum pedestrian safety. Additionally, architects Silvio Ughini and Peter Schneider (interior design) were able to reproduce the original gate design. 


The newly built hotel wing with the pre-existing roof terrace has been combined with a new attractively designed conservatory. The latter can now be used for cocktail parties and receptions, and in rainy weather it serves as a very attractive garden restaurant.


As part of the building extensions of the "House of the Sun", an additional attic was set up in which three luxuriously furnished junior suites were created, which is a big plus for people booking holiday packages in Altstätten. Today, a total of 33 guestrooms with approximately 61 beds are on offer in the “Sonne”. All rooms have been renovated and adjusted according to the needs of the hotel guests. There are also various banquet halls available for up to 400 people. A special Bijou is expressed in the "Sonnenstübli" and the Grill Room. Both have been renovated with a new ceiling which adds a special touch of charisma. 


Besides the à la carte menu at the “Sonne”, you will find inexpensive daily specials on offer. In addition there are market-fresh, seasonal oriented offers on the varied menu.


The landlord’s apartment in the attic of the new hotel wing has also been renovated and expanded. The hotel has also gained more character through the redesign of the entrance. The entrance earlier resembled that of a school building, whereas now the guests are welcomed into a friendly atmosphere found in many a famous hotel. Visually, guests are then led directly to the reception, which is part of a homely lobby and considered to be an oasis of tranquility. There is also now space here for a short meeting, an aperitif or simply to wait for acquaintances with whom one has arranged to meet for coffee, beer or even for lunch. 


In the Entrance there is a beautiful water feature and attractive plants creating a very Mediterranean ambience. “With this we want our guests to feel truly welcome.” 




Hedy and Herbert Wettmer

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