Meet The Hotelier Behind Almhof Schneider In Lech
As hotels in the Alps are getting ready for the new winter season, we sat down with Mr. Gerold Schneider, Hotelier of the famous Almhof Schneider in Lech in the Austrian Alps.
84 Rooms: Tell us a little bit about the story of Almhof Schneider?
Gerold Schneider: The story of the Almhof Schneider goes back to the mid-XV century in exactly the same place in which the hotel is now. For almost 500 years it was a mountain farm. In 1929 parts of the original farmhouse were converted into the first guest rooms. My grandfather, in 1940, built Lech’s first ski lift next to our house. Since 1929 the modest inn has been turned into Austria’s first 5-star superior hotel but it has always stayed home to our family and “home“ to the over 90% loyal international crowd that visits us every year, sometimes in the third generation.
84 Rooms: What is the ethos that underpins the experience in your hotel?
Gerold Schneider: The ethos is a consequence of its history and the fact that the Almhof is still home to our family (and hopefully still for our children, too), a place of belonging, a place of longing, a place that unites (all kinds of) people who like winter, skiing, the special atmosphere of a family-run hotel and by its guests, staff. Every generation contributes to and finds its own version of this spirit by giving it a special twist: Katia and I also work as architects so (the) architecture (of the hotel) has been the main focus of our work for the past 25 years.
84 Rooms: What is your favorite room or place in the hotel?
Gerold Schneider: There is no favorite room. All rooms have their own use, spirit, and identity. What is maybe not so common is that we try to apply the same attention to architecture, detail, and atmosphere to all rooms, front-stage and backstage… this, for example, includes the garage and its link to the hotel – areas that are usually not so well taken care of.
84 Rooms: What are your future plans with Almhof Schneider?
Gerold Schneider: The hotel’s transformation has followed a master plan that Katia and I have worked on for more than 15 years. Most stages are done but one last big phase remains an extension with some very luxurious suites and rooms and a complete overhaul of its roof and all facades.
84 Rooms: Have you ever thought about opening another hotel?
Gerold Schneider: We have decided to focus on Lech where we can be personally present and fully in charge of every detail. This would not be the case if we had another hotel somewhere else. There is enough room to play here. In the small hamlet of Zug, 3km away from the hotel (where we run „Restaurant Klösterle“) we will be opening a new combination of „chalet“ and workspace in a traditional farmhouse dating back to 1609. Then there is another project: a low-key, 3-star house with 15 rooms and an additional exhibition/meeting/yoga space that we hope to open already next summer.
84 Rooms: What kind of guest is Almhof Schneider most suited to?
Gerold Schneider: People who value highly personalised service, love to detail, understatement, no-fuss “luxury“, who look for a sense of coming home and who enjoy sharing time with other people from around the world, regardless of age and profession.
84 Rooms: In Lech, which experiences do you most recommend to your guests?
- Explore nature off-piste with a guide
- A walk in the Zug valley, beyond Zug towards the lakes
- Skypace Lech by James Turrell
- Sonia Zimmermann’s “Lenai & Linai“ shop
- Allmeinde commongrounds
- KUNSTRAUM ZUG (for those interested in arts)
- Rote Wand Chef’s Table
- Restaurant Klösterle
84 Rooms: What are the things you prefer to do in Lech that only the locals know?
Nature holds its secrets every day, every time of the year. Go skiing, preferably off-piste, every single day (but: “There are no friends on powder days.“). Every day is different.
Find out more about Hotel Almhof Schneider and book your stay
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