As equally as picturesque as the surrounding Bregenzerwald mountains, Austria's centuries old Gasthof Hirschen Schwarzenberg hotel, a 1750’s boutique yet traditional land house built in the style of Bauer Baroque, rightly takes centre place in this quaint, listed Austrian hamlet, close to the natural beauty of Lake Constance.
This deliciously aged alpine lodge hotel, once the resting spot for the passing royals and culturati of the day, clings passionately to its agrarian Alpine heritage, a house which has been extremely loved by the owning family Fetz for more than 250 years.
Peel under the Baronial façade of cured timber, mandatory flowering blooms and Austrian frescos and you discover a family heirloom brushed by an incredibly rich canvas of history woven with the arts: a cultural marriage of rustic meets east-side gallery.
The cosy alpine interiors of Gasthof Hirschen Schwarzenberg opt for a natural boutique narrative that immediately cocoons and frames a kaleidoscope of art, hinting at the guests of past, both royal and creative, who have each helped etch a little piece of the Gasthof Hirschen hotel throughout the centuries.
A rural hotel that plays host to music, art and cultural events, this little boutique historical gem is an original classic that has a youthful stride laced in with its family legacy, making it as simply idyllic as the mountains and pastures of surrounding Bregenzerwald.
Gasthof Hirschen Schwarzenberg is a hotel famed as a foodie bolthole - raved about, in fact, and recently awarded 89 Falstaff points and 1 Gault Millau Toque.
When a young maverick chef takes over the helms, it is fantastic how he dips into the heritage of this inn's 300 year history and reinvents the classics with creativity. Head Chef Jonathan Burger has delved into the past to source old-table dishes served here centuries ago, giving them healthier, lighter touches and serving them as truly beautiful creations - opt for the 5-course tasting menu.
Family Fetz have their own herb and vegetable gardens, smoke house and even a working dairy farm up in the alps called Alpe Rothenbach, where happy pigs roam and butter is churned alongside the famous Bregenzerwald cheeses.
Austrian grapes headline the wine list, with an impressive wine cellar and vinethèque. Dining options include an old style cosy Stube decked in history, as well as a great outdoor garden terrace, perfect for sunning yourself during the warmer months.
Franz Fetz is a sort of legend - not only for owning one of the best hotels in Austria, nor for being part of the same owning family for the past 250 years, or for the foodie reputation that he has built up over the years.
No – Fetz is known also for his insatiable appetite for art – which adorns every wall of his hotel.
The charismatic hotelier and art curator makes a perfect splice through the classical world of hospitality and his passion for life is wonderfully addictive.
His Gasthof Hirschen Schwarzenberg hotel is much loved and he has installed a magical feel of eccentricity and alpine heart at its very core – very much like the good man himself.
Natural hostpot, Bregenzerwald is home to the cute village of Schwarzenberg, and right at the heart stands the Gasthof Hirschen as the focal point opposite a wonderful medieval church with sweeping vistas on upto the mountains of the Vorarlberg region of Austria.
Just a short drive down to the shores of Bodensee (Lake Constance) and nearby city of historic Bregenz, sandwiched between Zurich in the west and Innsbruck to the east.
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