Hotel Belvédère Rhonegletscher - The Iconic Building On The Furka Pass RoadHotel Belvedere  

The iconic Alpine hotel of the 19th century has seen better days. Back in the early times, at the peak of its operation, tourists flocked to see Rhône Glacier's breathtaking. Hotel Belvédère is located on a majestic curvy mountain road.

The Furka Pass is a road-trippers paradise in the high Swiss Alps. It's so scenic that it was featured in the James Bond film Goldfinger.

Hotel Belvédère is located close to the top, in one of the most amazing places. To this date, tourists come here to sneak peek at the once-flourishing hotel and make their way to the glacier where the ice grotto (cave) used to be.

You could visit a 328 feet (100 meters) long tunnel and ice chamber when the road opened up in the summer.

Hotel Belvédère

The iconic shape and the unique location of Hotel Belvédère make it look like it's straight out of a James Bond movie. And, in fact, it is.

Hotel Belvédère Rhonegletscher And The Snowy Alps

Furka Pass is the legendary Swiss mountain road that became famous after the James Bond film Goldfinger.

The 1964 spy film features this gorgeous mountain pass. After the shooting, they named one of the curves on the east side the "James Bond Strasse" - James Bond Street.

The car chasing scene on the Alpine serpentine involved an Aston Martin DB5 and a Ford Mustang in the Valais region of Switzerland.

Hotel Belvédère Rhonegletscher Building

Hotel Belvédère Closure

After 35 years, Hotel Belvédère closed its operation indefinitely back in 2016. Unfortunately, the hotel is one of the first Swiss victims of climate change.

Hopefully, they find an appropriate solution to bring Hotel Belvédère back to life. Until then, you can visit to see this amazing historical sight that has drastically transformed during the past hundred years.

Hotel Belvédère Rhonegletscher Facade

The hotel's restaurant, before it closed in 2016, was a busy place full of character. However, The Rose Hall is a sad sight today, with broken windows (some visitors disrespected the heritage building), and the vintage chairs and tables stacked in the corner of the room.

Hotel Belvédère Rhonegletscher Rosen Saal Restaurant

The 11,000-year-old glacier that used to be right at the building entrance has been receding 10 centimeters each day, retracting farther and farther away into the distance.

To make matters worse, the ice tunnel can no longer be safely carved into the glacier.

Hotel Belvédère Rhonegletscher Room

As a result, the unique sight that once attracted thousands, including famous people like Pope John XXIII and Sean Connery, is no longer.

Hotel Belvédère Rhonegletscher Bedroom

So, what went wrong? The iconic building from the Belle Époque needs more attention than one would think.

Rosemarie Carlen, manager of Hotel Belvédère Rhonegletscher for ten years, explained the difficulties of running a business in the high Alps.

Each winter, they had to hibernate the building, close the water pipes and electricity and move everything out that wouldn't survive the harsh weather.

Then when Spring came, when the road (Furka Pass) leading to the hotel was still closed, they had to fly in with a helicopter to prepare for the season.

Hotel Belvédère Rhonegletscher Bathroom

Rhône Glacier, before climate change impacted the extent of the ice.

Historical photo of the Rhône Glacier and the surrounding buildings

Today, the building of the once-majestic hotel is a sad sight, with its windows boarded up to protect it from squatters and looters.

Boarded-up windows of the Hotel Gletscher Belvedere and its restaurant

But the iconic mansard roof of Belvédère Glacier du Rhône, with its stone facade and Rose Hall's red wood-laden front, is still a fantastic sight with the 180 degrees bend of the Furka Pass and the glorious Alpine background. Especially on a starry night!

Closed Hotel Belvedere at the Furkapass in Vallais, Switzerland on a starry night

So, Hotel Belvedere's closed and abandoned building is still a popular spot for visitors to park their cars and take photos of this unique composition.

The Furka Pass is about halfway between Miland and Zürich, close to the Swiss-Italian border, attracting tourists from both countries.

Belvedere Hotel Closed and Abandoned

You can visit the hotel's abandoned building in style. The Furka Pass offers one of the best winding roads with scenic views all along.

It's a popular destination for motorcar enthusiasts wanting to take out their precious cars for a ride.

Hotel Belvedere Furka Pass Classic Car Road Trip

The road leading to Hotel Belvedere is only open from spring to autumn, most likely between June to mid-October. However, the exact dates depend on weather conditions, and the Swiss authorities can close down Furka Pass at any time.

If you get lucky, you could arrive in early autumn and see the snow-covered hotel with the Alpine peaks.

Snowy Hotel Belvedere and Furka Pass during autumn

Hairpins of the Furka Pass Route in Switzerland as seen from Grimsel Pass Route.

Hairpins of the Furka Pass

Photo by Ilirjan Rrumbullaku

Furka Pass

Furka Pass, at an elevation of 7,969 feet (2,429 meters), is a high mountain pass with breathtaking winding roads in the Swiss Alps connecting Gletsch, Valais, with Realp, Uri.

Furka Pass is Switzerland's fourth-highest mountain pass, and its top is 7,922 feet (2,436 meters) above sea level.

The road is pretty steep, which should not be a problem for your car, but it's a challenge for bikers. The climb has an average percentage of 7.3 - with a maximum rise of 11%.

Hotel Belvédère Rhonegletscher

The high mountain pass in the Swiss Alps with the landmark building is about 82 miles (132 kilometers) drive from Zürich which takes roughly two hours.

If you take the road from Milan, you'll have to drive 127 miles (205 kilometers) in about 3,5 hours to reach your destination.

No matter which direction you are coming from, the Alpine road is a petrolhead's heaven with picture-perfect twisty roads and incredible views.

High mountain pass in the Swiss Alps
Belvédère Rhonegletscher, 3999 Obergoms VS, Switzerland