The History of Leo Trippi
Issue 5 / 22 August 2018
The History of Leo Trippi

Discover the history of Leo Trippi from 1882 to the present day.

Serena Norton

Early Life

Leo Trippi was born into the world of hospitality in 1882, in Samedan, a small town close to St. Moritz. He grew up surrounded by a family of hoteliers and pioneers of tourism in the local region. Leo Trippi was always predestined to take over the management of the family hotel in Pontresina, which was founded by his father in 1857 and was run by his mother Hortensia.

To prepare himself for the world of hospitality, Leo Trippi left Switzerland to study economy and commerce in Leipzig, Germany. He also studied French and English in Neuchâtel, Switzerland and England, as these were the languages that would be most beneficial for his career.

The Golden Age of Leo Trippi

In 1906 Trippi married Betty Stoppany and in 1907, through hard work and good fortune, he was offered the opportunity to acquire the Grand Hôtel des Temples in Sicily, Italy. By 1913, the Leo Trippi dynasty had grown to four hotels: three in the Engadin, Switzerland and one in Sicily. The Grand Hôtel des Temples became renowned as a world class luxurious hotel, attracting high profile guests including Prince Leopold of Bayern, the Prince and Princess of Siam, Prince Heinrich von Hohenzollern, Prince of Paris and Princess of France for their honeymoon and the Swiss federal president, Giuseppe Motta, during his travels in Sicily.

The golden age of Leo Trippi’s flourishing hotel business was brought to a halt by World War I and World War II. Despite every effort, Leo lost the Pontresina properties to the bank. They were sold to Credit Suisse, operated by different hoteliers and finally bought by the Club Med in 1977. The Grand Hôtel was occupied by Italian, German and eventually American troops. Amidst the misfortune, Leo Trippi became Switzerland’s military attaché in Rome, an acknowledgement of his contributions to Italian society during his years as the owner of the The Grand Hôtel.

When World War II came to an end, the Grand Hôtel was sold by Leo Trippi’s daughter to the regional government of Sicily.

The birth of Leo Trippi as a specialist travel company

After more than half a century, a descendant of the Trippi family, Florian Steiger, rediscovered his legacy, and along with Auret Van Zyl and Oliver Stastny, founded specialist travel company ‘Leo Trippi.’ All three have extensive knowledge and experience in the world of real estate and hospitality.

Carrying the Trippi family crest, the company seeks to continue Leo Trippi’s long-standing tradition of providing international travellers with the most exclusive rental properties and experiences around the world.

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