Oberbozen, Ritten - Trentino South Tyrol - Italy / South Tyrol
Built 1908 in the style of Alpine art nouveau, Parkhotel Holzner continues to nestle amid a magnificent park in the small community of Soprabolzano at around 1200 meters above sea level, surrounded by broad open spaces on the Renon plateau.
Historic house with an eye to the future
In the early 20th century, when the Rittnerbahn company was searching for the most beautiful place to build a fantastic hotel adjacent to the cog railway, they found what they were looking for close to Maria Himmelfahrt, in what is today’s village of Soprabolzano: on the southern slopes of the Renon high plateau, on a natural terrace with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain world. The Holzner is enthroned there to this day, having adapted over time to their guests’ changing expectations for the very latest in modern comforts and – who would have thought it – to the special wishes of families and children.
When Parkhotel Holzner – known as Parkhotel Oberbozen at that time – opened its doors in 1908, it stood in the midst of meadows and forests. Where today the Rittner gondola runs every 4 minutes, connecting Soprabolzano with the provincial capital, Bolzano, in those days well-heeled guests would chug up to the Renon high plateau on a cog railway, spending long, balmy summer days at the Holzner. “I first came to the hotel on a radiant summer day in 1972. The lobby at that time seemed to me to be cool and somewhat gloomy”, remembers senior owner Marianne Holzner. “That initial impression grew stronger as I walked through the guest lounges, until I entered the reading room. The sunlight fell through the beautiful, large arched windows, the old wicker furniture gave a sense of lightness and summery seclusion, and I suddenly understood how this hotel was conceived: as a summer house, with abundant light and places of shade, where you could find coolness and rest.” True to this realization, Hans and Marianne Holzner – who ran the hotel until 2008, over the course of 40 magnificent, though not always easy years – laid the foundation for a truly remarkable success story.
Living as then
The original art nouveau furnishings of the hotel were restored and repaired through the years, piece by piece. True to their original purpose and the characteristics of Alpine art nouveau, the lounges were transformed into inviting, stylish spaces. At today’s Holzner, you won’t find any dusty art nouveau pieces that you peer at through display windows. No, at the Holzner you sit down to breakfast and dinner on original Thonet chairs from 1907, and sleep in majestic box-style fin de siècle beds. The far more than 200 lamps and lights throughout the hotel, the heavy silver cutlery, as well as most of the room furnishings are still used today as they were over one hundred years ago.
A historic house for the whole family
In addition to emphasizing the historical character of the Holzner, very early on Hans and Marianne initiated a significant refocusing of the hotel towards the needs of families. “Children don’t only bring commotion to this house, they also bring life”, the six-time father and fourteen-time grandfather, Hans Holzner, continues to assert to this day, with a grin on his face. “We have never wanted to be a hotel for a specific target group, but rather a place of respite for all generations, and that includes parents with their children, and grandparents with their grandchildren.” This remains the focus of Wolfgang and Monika Holzner, who took over the historic Parkhotel in 2008, representing the fourth generation of their family to run the affairs here. This sense of family awareness is present throughout the hotel: The love for detail and the palpable hospitality are simultaneously refreshing and rejuvenating.
A place to relax
That said, the “junior owners” don’t want to stop there. “We often ruminate about how in step with the times we are: Five-course gourmet menus by candlelight during the times of a worldwide recession? 100-year-old silverware while the price of silver on the world market is reaching record highs? Coziness rather than functionality?”, the young hoteliers ask themselves. But they likewise come up with the correct response: “The Holzner isn’t just our business – our family business – the Holzner is our home. Which means, it is also a place of retreat for us personally. A place where we celebrate with friends and family. The place where our children grow up. Our home, then, in every sense. In this home of ours, we want to feel warmth and seclusion – especially in times such as these. And we want to give this warmth and seclusion to everyone we invite here, everyone who visits us here and shares their days with us. So that all can ultimately step back out into the world, confront the pressures of the daily grind with renewed vigor, and approach life with a sense of joy and confidence.”
Architecture meets pleasure
A concept that comes to full fruition at the Holzner. Aside from the major pillars of family and architecture, since taking over the hotel Monika and Wolfgang have placed increased emphasis on enjoyment, culture & wellness. The architecturally unique endless swimming pool, whose features include an indoor pool, saunas, relaxation rooms and wellness area, invites guests to unwind and relish every moment in this utterly appealing setting, while the Holzner’s kitchen has been producing cuisine at the highest level for years, repeatedly awarded “one toque” and 14 points by the prestigious Gault Millau dining guide. Enjoyment for vinophiles isn’t neglected at the Holzner either: Recipient of the “South Tyrol Prize for Wine Culture 2013”, the house vinothèque is home to a selection of over 300 top Italian and South Tyrol vintages. The well-qualified service team contributes their expertise and passion to the unadulterated wine enjoyment of their guests. Yet despite the exceptional quality and outstanding service, the Holzner never seems stiff or overly formal. “For us, a hotel escape – regardless of how high the standards might be – must be relaxing, and that only can happen if you are able to occasionally leave your tie hanging in the wardrobe,” in the opinion of Wolfgang and Monika Holzner, who, incidentally, took another decisive step forward in winter 2014. Together with renowned architectural duo BergmeisterWolf, they embarked on a major project aimed at once again adapting the Holzner to the expectations of today. During remodeling, they added a new elevator and stairway, a new suite in the west wing, 3 penthouse suites on the top floor, a new laundry, a lookout tower and the new restaurant 1908. “Our goal is to remain true to our traditions, yet embark into the future decisively and optimistically”, hotelier Wolfgang Holzner explains the modernizations at Parkhotel Holzner, which, more than ever before, is radiant in its renewed splendor. And this courage to embrace change has already paid off: At the European Hotel Design Awards 2014, the Holzer qualified for the shortlist in the category “Renovations”. Publishing group Condé Nast Johansens recognized the sustainability concept of the hotel with the “Award for Excellence, best for green practices 2016”. And in Gault Millau 2016, the lunch restaurant “Holzner Bistro” received 14 points and one toque, evening restaurant “1908” 15 points and two toques, while the Parkhotel itself was presented the “Ambience Award 2016”.
Earth Pyramids Renon, World Natural Heritage Dolomites, gardens of Schloss Trauttmansdorff, archaeology museum with Ötzi, historic Renon Railway, Wolfsgrubnersee Renon, Blätterbach canyon, Kalterer See, Merano spas, Corno del Renon hiking area, etc.