The father of the idea - an interview with Horst Rahe

He’s your stereotypical businessman. Constantly on the move, always on the lookout for new opportunities and engaged in a love affair with Switzerland for over 40 years, we spoke to Horst Rahe from Hamburg. He is now launching his latest project.

Mr Rahe, you travel a lot. You’re always starting new projects. Do you ever take a break?
Horst Rahe: Yes, yes, of course. I like to plan my break periods very precisely and I can relax the best here in the Engadin mountains – at Hotel Paradies.

The hotel has belonged to your family since 1995. But you don’t want to stay still – instead you want to try something new and at an older age. How come?
You know, sometimes you have to think about your own future. As you know, I’m striving for long-term, sustainable solutions. Typically German, typically Swiss. That’s why my family and I decided to go a step further and rewrite the ownership structure for Hotel Paradies.

How do you go about doing that?
In principle, it is very simple. We want to create a club that leases Hotel Paradies at certain times of the year. This club is for like-minded individuals and friends.

Are there enough friends of the hotel?
Last year I was often asked how people would be able to become the owner of a slice of paradise. Now the opportunity is there and initial meetings have shown me that the idea is very prosperous. There are more and more people who find themselves at breaking point, longing for a retreat. There are only few hideaways in Europe and Hotel Paradies, and Switzerland as a whole, is one of them.

What can you offer these people?
We guarantee a well looked-after, second home in Switzerland. Our club is divided into two areas: a so-called Owners Club which gives fifteen co-owners a chance to obtain ownership rights to the hotel, and a Member’s Club which gives people the chance to profit from countless enjoyable stays at Hotel Paradies.

And who can become a member?
We are aiming for an ideal number of 200 member families, no more. This should allow us to preserve the exclusivity of the idea.

Does this mean an alternative to buying a holiday property?
Exactly. Many people want to ensure a place to stay to relax in Switzerland. Unfortunately, this is almost impossible due to the restrictive laws. What’s more, owning a property means extra work, stress and inconvenience. With our idea – which is relatively new to the German-speaking region – we can largely satisfy the needs of the members.

And when does the new club start?
The idea will be put into motion as soon as we get the crucial base of members together. I expect to start the club next year.