EHL History - 130 Years of Innovation

"True to its pioneering spirit, EHL has constantly reinvented itself throughout its rich history to establish itself today as the global benchmark for hospitality management education. We draw on the hotel industry's unique know-how to teach our students, at all levels and from all walks of life, a management style centered on something simple yet so essential: people. In an age of digitalization and internationalization, this driving force is more relevant than ever, and will hopefully continue to be our guiding principle for the next 130 years"

Prof. Markus Venzin, EHL Group CEO

Our beginnings

Jacques Tschumi was the founder and president of the oversight committee of the Ecole hôtelière, managing director of the Lausanne Beau Rivage Palace and an influential member of the Society of Swiss Hoteliers; he championed the creation of the school to train professional hotel staff.


The school delivered the first classes in a room of the Hôtel d'Angleterre on the shores of Lake Leman in Lausanne.


27 students joined together on October 15th, 1893 to study arithmetic, accounting, geography and languages, as well as increase their understanding of hospitality. They directly applied their newly acquired knowledge at the Hotel d'Angleterre.



In 1916, female students at the school posed for the class photograph for the first time. Accepted into the service and cooking courses since 1912, they appeared in the photographs four years later.



In 1924, the school became more selective: out of the 80 applications received that year, only 62 were accepted (32 international students and 30 Swiss students).



In 1926, the Alumni association was born. Almost 500 former students became members of the association during its first year of existence, including the directors of many prestigious hotels in Switzerland and abroad.



The Second World War forced EHL to close, but in 1943, thanks to the efforts of its 600 Alumni and their “SOS Survie” fundraising initiative, the school was able to reopen its doors.



Post-war euphoria enabled the school to grow rapidly. The curriculum’s academics were strengthened and classes were taught by highly qualified professors and professionals.



EHL created a new concept: student internships. Demand from the industry was so strong that there were not enough interns to fill the considerable number of open jobs.



EHL's history in 1968 on TSR (Swiss Television)


Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne moved to its current site in Le Chalet-à-Gobet and unveiled its new campus, located just a few kilometers north of Lausanne.


An admission exam was introduced, thus bringing to an end the long waiting list that was previously the only admission condition at EHL. This marked the beginning of a more stringent selection process.



Following a deep re-evaluation of its teaching philosophy, EHL focuses on management and begins to use teaching methods adapted to university requirements.



The school celebrates its 100th anniversary! A book about the school's development filled with alumni testimonies is published.



EHL launched its new Bachelor program in International Hospitality Management.


EHL joined the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO), becoming the first Swiss hotel management school to be recognized as a university by the Swiss government.


A new accreditation of a higher level was granted by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). EHL became the first hotel management school in Europe to be accredited at this top level.


The new Alumni Center was created with the aim of offering a larger range of services to EHL graduates and fostering their commitment to the school.



The new Berceau des Sens opened its doors. EHL’s training restaurant was opened to the public for private fine-dining experiences.



EHL acquires the Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality in Graubünden, in Eastern Switzerland. The EHL Group now offers vocational and professional training courses, such as apprenticeships, that are the pride of Switzerland.



EHL launched its Master of Science in Global Hospitality Business, in partnership with the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Conrad N. Hilton College at Houston University.


“EHL Holding SA” was created in order to ensure the proper management of each of its various specialized business units.



EHL began to construct its future campus alongside the existing Lausanne campus with a project that combined ecology, technology and pedagogy. Using proposals from architectural schools worldwide and feedback from EHL students, the new campus was designed to house 3,000 students using the highest ecological building standards and avant-garde architectural and lifestyle features.



EHL and the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) joined forces to launch a unique EMBA in Hospitality that started in May 2018, with courses jointly delivered by CEIBS and EHL faculty in Switzerland, Shanghai, and other cities in the Asia Pacific Region. Ranked number 1 in Asia by the 2017 Financial Times MBA Rankings, CEIBS emerged as the ideal academic partner for EHL for this program.



This was a landmark year for EHL, marked by several distinctions: EHL was ranked best school in the world in the "Hospitality & Leisure Management" category by the prestigious QS University Ranking, and its training restaurant, Le Berceau des Sens, was awarded a Michelin star.



Closely following the industry’s needs, EHL opens its first campus in the Asia-Pacific region, in the dynamic city of Singapore. Today, the campus is an anchor in Asia for EHL students and the Group’s many industry collaborations in the region.


EHL Singapore-0437


After 5 years of construction and an investment of CHF 250 million, EHL inaugurates its new Lausanne campus. A jewel of sustainable architecture that offers the community a unique learning and living environment. Simultaneously, the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne is rebranded as the EHL Hospitality Business School. This new name underlines the strength of hospitality skills applied to management studies, and confirms the institution's academic evolution and international footprint.