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The first plus-energy hotel in the Swiss Alps


December 21, 2011

The Romantik Hotel has been awarded the PlusEnergieBau Solar Award 2011, the only prize in the world for buildings that generate more energy than they need (image: Romantik Hotel)

The Romantik Hotel has been awarded the PlusEnergieBau Solar Award 2011, the only prize in the world for buildings that generate more energy than they need (image: Romantik Hotel)

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The Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl located in Switzerland has recently been awarded the highly-coveted Swiss Solar Award 2011, Milestone 2011 Tourism Award and the PlusEnergieBau (PEB) Solar Award 2011, the only prize in the world for buildings that generate more energy than they consume. The 104-year old Berghotel underwent extensive renovations during 2010 to transform it into an environmental-friendly location, giving rise to the first plus-energy hotel in the Alps. The hotel's recent success demonstrates that luxury accommodation can be implemented within the framework of a plus-energy building concept even at 2,456 meters (8,058 ft) above sea level.

The hotel's renovations has led to a 64 percent reduction in its overall energy consumption, dropping from 436,000 kWh per annum to 157,400 kWh per annum. Whilst the previous annual energy requirements of approximately 40,000 liters (10,567 US gallons) of heating oil and 36,600 kWh per year of household and operating electricity are now entirely covered by solar energy. Hot water is obtained by means of solar energy produced by the 60 sq.meters (646 sq.ft) of pipe solar collectors, while sixteen thermal loops supply the entire building with geothermal energy and all the electricity needed is generated by a photovoltaic system that extends 228 meters (741 ft) along the railway line. Any excess of solar energy is then stored in the ground via the thermal loops.

The Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl offers guests luxury Swiss stone pine accommodation and mountain dining with an extensive terrace for guests to relax and linger in the warm Alpine sun whilst enjoying an unrestricted view of the Alpine scenery. In winter, Muottas Muragl is a great destination for snowshoeing, winter hiking and tobogganing, with a 4.5 km (2.8 mile) high-speed toboggan run that lets visitors race down through a height difference of 705 meters (2,313 ft). In summer, Muottas Muragl offers hiking and many outdoor family activities or is simply some fresh air and relaxation.

Prices at the Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl start at approximately US$299 per night per couple.

About the Author
Bridget Borgobello Bridget is an experienced freelance writer, presenter and performer with a keen eye for innovative design and a passion for green technology. Australian born, Bridget currently resides in Rome and when not scribbling for Gizmag, she spends her time developing new web series content and independent cinema. All articles by Bridget Borgobello

Technologywise nothing great has been done, photo voltaic cell can not generate electricity to meet motive power needs. Almost all such claims of green or plus energy are based on now conventional sources of energy like solar water heating, photo voltaic cells, or geothermal energy.


It\'s the fact that they took the time and effort to apply and integrate all the known methods which is the beauty and have reached the results of net energy production. Plus this is then the only example for all hotels. So this is in every way revolutionary. Also doing it at that height and using solar heaters is unique.

Dawar Saify

This is brilliant. Equivalent to breaking the 4 minute mile! Hopefully, other\'s will soon follow. Thank you for sharing a phenomenal champion in restorative energy and sustainability. Further digging reveals: Altitude: 2,456m above sea level No. of hotel rooms 16 Seating capacity indoors: 239 Seating capacity terrace: 212 Area of energy consumption (EBF): 2,514 sq. m Total energy consumption before renovation: 436,000 kWh/a Total energy consumption after renovation: 157,400 kWh/a (reduction of 64%) Energy generated by solar power plant: 165,400 kWh/a Energy supply (EEV): 105% Reduction in CO2 emissions: 144 tonnes/a (reduction of 100%) The five sources of the differentiated energy supply: 1. Waste heat from the operation of the funicular railway and from the cooling units in the kitchen and storeroom 1. Flat-plate solar collectors on the projecting roof of the top station 2. Pipe solar collectors 3. Geothermal energy (16 thermal loops, each 200m long) 4. Photovoltaic system installed along the railway line (228m long, 455 sq. m)

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