The last lift attendant. Swiss Historic Hotels.



He’s one of the last lift attendants in Switzerland: Oldemar Zurita provides guests at Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois in Basel with an expert service and has a deep appreciation for the secrets of the historic hotel.

Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois, Basel *****s

The historic luxury hotel, which lies in an enchanting location right on the Rhine at the heart of the city,  offers a truly special journey back in time.

More info


Basel Region
Show on map

Travelling back in time. Where tradition and history are part of the job description.


From the Amazon to a luxury hotel.

Born in the rainforests of Ecuador, Oldemar Zurita only discovered at the age of 12 that such a thing as civilisation existed. His ancestors were Shuar and Achuar Indians.  Today, at the age of 43, he is a father of three and one of the longest serving employees of Les Trois Rois.


«It was a wonderfully free life in the rainforest,” says Oldemar. Later, when he went to school, things started to become more complicated. His grandfather, who was a shaman, told him: «You mustn’t always think so much, my boy. Let things simply happen.” He gave him some «angel’s trumpet tea to drink and said: «“Today, you will dream about your future.” And Oldemar dreamed – of a big building with old walls and of people with blue eyes, of beautiful fabrics and soft beds. His grandfather went on to tell him: «“This is your goal; this is where you’re going to live.” Oldemar trained as a rainforest guide, met a Swiss teacher, fell in love with her, followed her back to Gerbergasse in Basel and was hired as a dishwasher at the nearest hotel. The hotel was the old «“Drei Könige” (three kings), but for Oldemar it was clear that his dream was coming true. After the distinguished building was refurbished into a hotel masterpiece between 2004 and 2006, he was allowed to stay and was given a made-to-measure lift attendant’s red uniform.

The glistening Rhine reminds me of the Amazon. I am overcome by a sense of deep happiness.
Oldemar Zurita
  • 1681 The inn “Drei Könige” or “Zu den Drei Königen” on Blumenrain 8 in Basel was first occupied in 1681.
  • 1754 Innkeeper Johann Christoph Im Hof had three figures carved out of wood to represent the three kings and mounted them on the façade of the building.
  • 1844 On 16 February 1844, the hotel Des Trois Rois is opened. Various different owners have since run this world-famous hotel, with great success.
  • 2006 Between 2004 and 2006, the hotel was restored according to national heritage criteria and returned to its former glory of 1844. The hotel with the richest tradition in Basel, known as Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois, reopened with a great celebration on 20 March 2006.
In my culture, water means life. When I see the river, I know that everything is fine.
Oldemar Zurita
In a prime location right at the heart of Basel, on the banks of the Rhine: Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois.