Architectural projects

Quiet Luxury: Property Award For Boutique Hotel Zum Goldenen Hirschen

In the Austrian town of Gmunden, one of LAUFEN's main production sites, a new top hotel is gearing up for the Salzkammergut region as the European Capital of Culture 2024.

An architect becomes a hotel owner and immediately wins the “Best Hotel Interior” European Property Award for Austria.

It was a sheer coincidence that the neighbouring house was up for sales in Gmunden four years ago – one of the oldest buildings in the area and one boasting 400 years of history as a hospitality and hotel business – and Inge Krebs-Hinterwirth spontaneously opted to purchase it. It took two years to renovate the 21 individual rooms and the spacious restaurant area on the ground floor. Freshly polished, the house with its old roots now came to new life.

Fresh, wild, wonderful

The architect already had lots of experience with hotel projects, but this time everything was to be different, following strictly her own marked preferences. “Regional ‘Gemütlichkeit’, Austrian splendour and quiet luxury” was the recipe. Blending rurality with urbanity. All materials are from the local area, from the wooden floors to the well-known Gmunder ceramics through to the hand-woven traditional costume fabrics used for the covers of the large-format beds.

And because LAUFEN sanitary ceramics have been produced in Gmunden now for exactly 100 years, it was only natural to equip all bathrooms with washbasins from high-quality Saphirkeramik, a patented and extremely stable material that LAUFEN has been using for ten years to conjure beautifully shaped, thin-walled design objects for the bathroom.

Vintage design meets LAUFEN

Washbasins from THE NEW CLASSIC series by Marcel Wanders are an ideal match for the Hirschen’s interior concept of “quiet luxury”. This collection reflects the practicality of the harmonious form and combines it perfectly with contemporary style.

Golden touches

Because the house is called “Zum Goldenen Hirschen” (which translates as “To The Golden Dear”), as elsewhere in the hotel, appropriate accents are found in the bathroom, for example on the tiles, the accessories, and the gold-coated faucets.

The house was completed in 2022. The beginnings fell in the period of the pandemic and weren’t easy. Finding appropriate staff for the sometimes stressful hotel business also proved more difficult than expected. “We had to rise to the occasion,” says the architect matter-of-factly in looking back. “You’re either an entrepreneur, or you’re not.”

Meanwhile, the Gmunden “Hirschen” is on firm footing: the concept with the many carefully chosen details quickly found its followership. Tourists and travelling families appreciate the rooms as much as do those working at and visiting the local businesses.

Dining at the Hirschenküche

This also applies to the “Hirschenküche” restaurant, which offers a highly ambitious mix with fish from Traunsee lake, pike dumplings, or indeed oysters on champagne foam. “The well-known and much appreciated rootedness here combined with the best from the worldly court cuisine” are the ingredients for success here.

Dining at Hirschen

Feeling good, relaxing, savouring

Currently, preparations for next year are in full swing throughout the region around Gmunden: The European Union has named the Salzkammergut “European Capital of Culture 2024”.

Inge Hinterwirth has already completed her preparation: “A boutique hotel of this size only stands a chance if it induces an all-round positive spirit among its guests,” she says with conviction. With her first own project “Zum Goldenen Hirschen”, she has impressively and instantaneously managed to accomplish this.

Golden Loft furnishing - mirrored by the "All Saints" mirror, Kartell LAUFEN Collection

Golden Loft furnishing – mirrored by the “All Saints” mirror, Kartell LAUFEN Collection
(Photos: Outline Pictures, Christian Maislinger; LAUFEN Bathrooms AG)