BERN - Design Hotels welcomes Hotel Schweizerhof, Bern’s original luxury hotel, to its diverse portfolio of over 200 members. After a major overhaul this iconic hotel re-opens on June 24, 2011. Located inside a 1913 listed building the hotel is one of the Swiss capital’s most recognizable landmarks and is enjoying a 21st-century renaissance with a lovingly restored elegant arched façade and the very latest technology. Corridors have been scaled down to make the 99 rooms and suites more spacious and restful for guests, while some feature refreshed antique furnishings alongside modern trappings like flat-screen TVs and Nespresso coffee machines. The heart of Hotel Schweizerhof is the Lobby-Lounge, which is an institution favored by well-heeled locals and hotel guests alike. From Liz Taylor to Peter Ustinov or Albert Schweitzer, Jack’s Brasserie, the hotel’s wood-paneled restaurant serving French gourmet classics, has seen it all. From the outside, Hotel Schweizerhof looks every bit as grand as it did a hundred years ago. The elegant, arched façade has been painstakingly restored to its former glory, with intricately carved coats of arms sitting atop the slender windows. There are little Juliet balconies overlooking the Unesco-listed streets of Bern’s historic center, and beneath them, the Swiss flag flutters proudly in the breeze. Designers from award-winning London-based practice MKV Design were chosen to work on the project, and they skillfully helped to add a modern edge to Hotel Schweizerhof’s tried and tested brand of luxury. As if to usher in a new era for the building, they slowly restored and remodeled pieces of antique furniture, creating a triumphant mix of classic fin-de-siècle architecture and comfortable modern design. The Grand Opening Night will be taking place on Friday, June 24. This marks the conclusion of the opening phase. The patrons of the Grand Opening Night are the Hollywood star Ursula Andress and the top Bernese model Julia Saner. They embody the style and the beauty of this hotel and the symbiosis of the traditional and the contemporary. The guest list features numerous personalities from the worlds of hospitality, business, politics, diplomacy, culture and entertainment.