The Crans-Montana Youth Hostel is located in a former sanatorium built between 1928 and 1930. South facing balconies and the mountain air led many patients with lung diseases to Switzerland at the beginning of the 20th century. The aptly named Bella Lui ("beautiful light") was designed by Flora & Rudolf Steiger-Crawford and Arnold Itten in the Bauhaus style. It even was was the first residential building in Switzerland with a welded steel frame.
It has seen many different usages over time: in the 1930, it served temporarily as a sports hotel and during World War II, it was a shelter for jewish refugees. The 1950 brought back patients suffering from lung diseases, while at the end of the 1960s it was repurposed as a holiday home.
A listed building since 2002, the Bella Lui's conversion to a Youth Hostel began in October 2016, overseen by the architecture practice Actescollectifs from nearby Sierre. Many of the colours were restored to the original ones. Its reopening happened on June 16, 2017 and the Crans-Montana Youth Hostel now offers about 150 beds.
Flora Crawford-Steiger wasn't only the first woman to receive an architecture diploma from ETH Zürich in 1923, she also was a successful sculptor and furniture designer. Her original furniture for the Bella Lui sanatorium has been restored and is now used in the Youth Hostel lounge.
The common rooms of the hostel face south and let in copious amounts of daylight.
During the renovations, the south-facing rooms have been converted into double rooms while those facing north were enlarged to accommodate 4 to 6 people.
There's even a single room with the original furniture if you really want to step back in time !