History & Chronicle
From 1729 until today
The "Knapplhof" - our parent house looks back on almost 300 years of history. Here we show you where the Knapplhof got its name and how a mountain farm became a 4-star wellness hotel.
Almost 300 years of tradition
Take a look back with us and learn all about the history of our house. It all started with a mountain farm before a snack station and the first guest rooms were opened in 1957.
A lot has happened since then, and today the Höflehner is a four-star superior nature and wellness hotel that can look back on a long and proud tradition.
Eva Knäblin is named as the first owner of the farm. As coal was mined in the Gumpental, miners frequented the farm - this gave rise to the vulgar name "Knapplhof".
The farm becomes the property of the Höflehner family.
The Knapplhof is still a pure mountain farm. Barley, summer grain, winter grain, turnips, oats and potatoes were grown. Schnapps was distilled from the huckleberries from the farm's own forest, and the cranberries were sold.
The first hunting guests arrive at the Knapplhof for capercaillie hunting. At that time, the way to the Gumpenberg still had to be done on foot. There was no road yet, only a cart track.
The heavy roof of the house is taken down and replaced by a Styrian roof truss.
With the help of the Chamber and the farmers on the mountain, a material cableway is built to transport agricultural products. It also serves to transport passengers.
Gustav Höflehner applies for permission to build a snack station. One of the requirements stipulates a greater room height for the dining room. So the house is placed on pillars, raised by 90 cm and underpinned. In the entire construction phase, 10 guest rooms are built. Central heating was unique for the time. From this point on, the Knapplhof is also attractive for winter guests.
The first commuter lift on the Knappl-Hausleiten is built by Karl Moosbrugger, vulgo Ortner
Karl Moosbrugger sells the commuter lift to Gustav Höflehner. The lift is dismantled and erected on the Weislinger-Schottwiese. At the same time, road construction begins. One of the first mountain roads in the upper Enns Valley is built with a cold asphalt surface.
The guest house is built. The first guests are welcomed as early as Christmas 1966.
The swimming pool, which still exists today, was also built in the course of the reconstruction.
Gustav Höflehner receives the concession to build a circulating drag lift. The "Knapplhof lift" with a length of 650 m and 36 bows is built on the "Ödenwiese".
End of dairy farming: the barn is demolished and a farm building is erected in its place.
The new dining hall is built, and work also starts on the holiday home, which is 50 m above the Knapplhof and can accommodate 4-6 people.
The Gumpenberg lift and Salzleck lift are built: The 1200 m long Gumpenberg lift and the 1300 m long Salzleck lift are built in 6 months.
The "Liftstüberl" snack station opens its doors between the Gumpenberg and Salzleck lifts.
The company needs more space for agricultural equipment and snow groomers, so work begins on an extension to the farm building. The sheep and pigsties in the existing building are converted into garages. Sheep and pig husbandry is abandoned, and 10 hinds and a capital stag are purchased instead. 7 hectares of the green area are enclosed with a game fence; start of red deer breeding in the fence.
After four years of planning, construction of the new main building begins. The entire building, with the exception of the dining hall, is demolished. 20 comfortable rooms, a spruce parlour, a pine parlour, the house bar, reception, a connecting wing as a passage to the guest house with a children's room, sauna and leisure facilities, whirlpool and solarium are built. On 4 December 1987, the Knapplhof is reopened after only seven months of construction.
The compact snowmaking system is built, and the first extension phase to the Gumpenberglift mountain station also begins. The storage pond is built. Just in time for the start of the 90/91 winter season, Manfred and Helmut are able to make snow on the ski slope to Knapplhof using 3 snow cannons.
Unfortunately Gustav Höflehner cannot live to see the completion of the snowmaking system. But his pioneering spirit and visions live on in his sons.
A modern, detachable 4-seater chairlift with panorama bonnets is built in place of the T-bar lift. The lift restaurant is converted into the current Knapplhütte. The Balzplatzl is built.
The hut on the Stangl-Alm is newly built and put into operation by the Höflehners.
The 2nd Höflehner surface lift gives way to the modern chairlift "Höfi Express II"
Construction of the mountain castle at the top station of the Höfi Express II
The rooms in the main house are renovated. The Knapplhof presents itself in a new look, with a modern logo and a new homepage.
Intensive planning period for the new nature and wellness hotel Höflehner****
Conversion of our 70-year-old hay barn into the "Stadl Sauna"
16. March: Start of the conversion to the nature and wellness hotel
with 30 new rooms, wellness area with indoor and outdoor pool, 4 treatment rooms, and much more.
Nature, the eponym of the new establishment, is at the centre of the new hotel concept. "6-N-Quality" is at the heart of the new philosophy.
Opening of the new nature and wellness hotel Höflehner on 3.12.2009
After the first winter, the natural water world
was built - 120 tons of stones from the Niedere Tauern were hoisted into the garden to give additional strength to the alpine landscape around the hotel.
Take old wood from stables in the region and Swiss stone pine and combine both with trendy style elements and an old-fashioned construction method. The result is the latest gem in Höflehner's Bergbad & Spa. 30 guests looking for retreats find pleasant space in the Stille Alm with views of the surrounding mountains.
Further building projects come to fruition:
3 more rooms & modernisation of Gust'l and Tilly Saal
Renovation of the 19 main house rooms
Birkenstube, Zirbenstube facelift as well as entrance area and connecting corridor lobby - Stammhaus modernisation
Knapplhütte inventory - Buschenschank and entrance area enlargement
During 3 mid-seasons, the new Höflehner Premium Alpine SPA was built with a new alpine sauna village, 25m Olympic sports pool and panoramic floating whirlpool, a new connecting corridor as well as the new Haus Dachstein. This building houses 38 new rooms and suites, a fitness room, the wine tasting lounge, childcare, the nature bar and Höflehner's Ski Rental & Sport Shop
During the off-season, a yoga house with a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains was built. This can be used for yoga classes, Pilates, gymnastic exercises, etc. ... can be used.
40 years of Knapplhütte. For this occasion we have extended and improved our hut for you with great attention to detail. With a large glass convertible terrace.
At the beginning of July 2017, our alpine leisure area for kids, teens and adults was opened: Höflehner's Funpark. With a sports field, the Aktiv Alm and the Spiele Alm right next to the hotel, we created a new holiday highlight for every taste on 800 m² and 1,117 m above sea level
The new gumpenBAR - the first Mazot in the region - was opened just in time for the winter opening. In 4 weeks of construction time, the gumpenBAR was built directly at the valley station Höfi Express I, which impresses with extraordinary architecture, breathtaking 360 degree mountain panorama, a sun terrace, cool & hot drinks as well as fast & delicious snacks
Our new Á la carte restaurant "H11siebzehn" was opened and is from now on allowed to spoil guests with fine dining cuisine from Thursday to Sunday. Perfect for any special occasion.
Even more luxury of the natural with our 4 new Sky Chalets. With the Sky Chalets you have your own kingdom without having to leave the hotel.
In summer 2018, we expanded our Knapplhütte with a spacious terrace. So that you can also soak up the sun in winter.
After a two-month construction phase in April and May, we start our 10th anniversary with many innovations. From now on we welcome our guests in the perfected welcome area with open reception and cosy lobby. Enjoy the enhancements in the Premium Alpine SPA with textile-free whirlpool, casual event sauna and refreshing pool bar. Our buffet landscape also shines in new splendour, with even more space for our natural culinary delights. With 11 new rooms, we have expanded and renovated our flagship hotel with many new ideas.
The time of the 1st lockdown was used to create even more luxury of the natural and so numerous projects were tackled:
The Premium Alpine SPA was expanded with a new rest house, the Bacherlalm
Since this year, there are yoga platforms along the courtyard circuit, where you can feel the power of the forest during an extensive yoga session
Our "Hausbar" became the "Alchemist" and the "Hoamatstubn" became the "H11siebzehn"
A new concept of enjoyment was developed - GKH, which stands for Gerhard's healthy enjoyment, Katrin's creative cuisine and Höflehner's home-style cooking
Our young guests experience a winter adventure on the new magic carpet, where they can easily learn to ski
The time of the 2nd lockdown has been extended, but no stone has been left unturned in our hotel.
The Premium Alpine SPA was enlarged and added ...
a new Luxury Infinity Whirlpool
a dwarf bath for the children
new treatment rooms for even more natural luxury
a new rest house, the "Neue Hochalm"
Our winter facilities have also been given a facelift:
The GumpenBar was enlarged and got a new terrace and kitchen.
The Bergschlössl got a new interior and a roof terrace.
In addition, more space was created for our staff and 2 new staff houses were added.