It’s always interesting to know who really owns the hotel you’re staying in. Most properties from the major brands, luxury and otherwise, are only managed by those brands and owned by third parties. As a hotel investor or developer, you can choose the brand to operate your property and to the traveler it looks like any other Ritz-Carlton, Hilton or InterContinental.


In preparation for writing about Swissotel, I started to research the company, which was started as a joint venture between Switzerland’s former national air carrier Swissair and Nestle in 1980. It was a brand I had some awareness of, but am now discovering has a wonderful global collection of luxury properties.

I read how a series of corporate transactions now puts the chain as part of the Fairmont Raffles Hotels International Company, which of course includes over 100 Fairmont and Raffles properties in addition to Swissotel locations. FRHI is owned jointly by the Qatari and Saudi royal families, through Katara Hospitality and Kingdom Holding Company, their respective investment arms.