To pass the time, Viertel learned to ski and in doing so discovered Klosters, which had previously been chosen as a holiday destination by the renowned war photographer Robert Capa . This soon grew into a great love of the resort, which he developed together with his friend and writer Irwin Shaw ("The Young Lions", "Rich Man, Poor Man") into "Hollywood on the Rocks". Its reputation drew famous stars such as Paul Newman, Gregory Peck, Yul Brynner, Lauren Bacall, Greta Garbo. Gene Kelly, who danced on the tables in the hotel bar of the legendary Hotel Chesa Grischuna. Rex Harrison, who discussed his musical notes for "My Fair Lady" with the hotel pianist. And Deborah Kerr, who married Peter Viertel in 1960 in Klosters. They all came, the stars of the American culture scene.
Peter Viertel, who has since passed away, described his "Hollywood-on-the-Rocks" time in his autobiography "Dangerous Friends". The New York Times acclaimed the book in 1992 with the following words: "Remarkably well connected and a formidable bon vivant in his own right, Mr. Viertel has tales to tell about anything from Ava Gardner's kidney stones to a Parisian bartender who counted Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald among his patrons. But the calibre of these anecdotes has as wide a range as Mr. Viertel's nomadic travels in the 1950s, which took him to Cuba with Ernest Hemingway, to Ireland and Africa with John Huston, to Spain with the renowned bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin and Orson Welles, and to Klosters, Switzerland, with all the luminaries who earned that ski resort the nickname Hollywood on the Rocks."
The book is available from stockists in English and German.
A contemporary insight into these exciting times in Klosters is provided by the guest book of Hotel Chesa Grischuna. Many stars of the time eternalised their pleasure at their time spent in Klosters in the book. The Grisons style of the hotel continues to radiate with charm from the 1950s - a jewel that is also a member of the "Swiss Historic Hotels".