History & Chronicle

The "Knapplhof" - our main hotel looks back on almost 300 years of history. Here we show you how 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 hotel. It all began 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 valley, miners visited the farm - this gave rise to the vulgo 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 cultivated. Schnapps was distilled from the blackberries from their own forest and the cranberries were sold.
The first hunting guests arrive at the Knapplhof to hunt capercaillie. At that time, the route up the Gumpenberg still had to be travelled on foot. There was still no track, only a cart track.
The heavy roof of the house is removed and replaced by a Styrian roof truss.
With the help of the Chamber and the farmers on the mountain, a material cable car is built to transport agricultural produce. It is also used for passenger transport.
Gustav Höflehner applies for a licence for a snack station. One of the conditions stipulates a higher ceiling height for the dining room. So the building is placed on pillars, raised by 90 cm and underpinned. During the entire construction phase, 10 guest rooms were built. Central heating was unique for the time. From this point onwards, 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 set up on the Weislinger-Schottwiese. Road construction begins at the same time. 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 at Christmas 1966.

The swimming pool, which still exists today, was also built as part of the remodelling.

Gustav Höflehner receives the licence to build a circulating T-bar lift. The "Knapplhof lift" with a length of 650 metres and 36 bars 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 begins on the holiday home, which is located 50 metres above the Knapplhof and can accommodate 4-6 people.
The Gumpenberglift and Salzlecklift drag lifts are built: The 1200 m long Gumpenberg lift and the 1300 m long Salzleck lift are built in 6 months.
The "Liftstüberl" snack bar opens its doors between the Gumpenberg and Salzleck lifts.
The company needs more space for agricultural equipment and snow groomers: work therefore begins on an extension to the service building. The sheep and pig barns in the existing building are converted into garages. The sheep and pig farms are given up and 10 hinds and a capital stag are purchased instead. 7 hectares of grassland are enclosed with a game fence; start of red deer breeding in the fence.
After four years of planning, the construction of the new main building begins. The entire building, with the exception of the dining room, is demolished. 20 comfortable rooms, a spruce parlour, a Swiss stone pine parlour, the house bar, reception, a connecting wing as a passageway to the guest house with children's room, sauna and leisure facilities, whirlpool and solarium are built. On 4 December 1987, the Knapplhof is reopened after a construction period of just seven months.
The compact snow system is built and the first extension phase to the Gumpenberg lift mountain station begins. The reservoir 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 piste to the Knapplhof using 3 snow cannons.
Unfortunately, Gustav Höflehner does not live to see the completion of the snow-making facilities. But his pioneering spirit and his visions live on in his sons.
A modern, detachable 4-seater chairlift with panoramic bonnets is built to replace the T-bar lift. The lift parlour is converted into the current Knapplhütte. The Balzplatzl is built.
The hut on the Stangl-Alm is rebuilt and put into operation by the Höflehners.
The 2nd Höflehner T-bar lift gives way to the modern "Höfi Express II" chairlift
Construction of the mountain castle at the mountain station of the Höfi Express II
The rooms in the main building are renovated. The Knapplhof presents itself in a new guise, with a modern logo and a new homepage.
2004 - 2009:
Intensive planning period for the new nature and wellness hotel Höflehner****
Expansion of our 70-year-old hay barn into the "Stadl-Sauna"

16. March: Start of the conversion to a nature and wellness hotel

with 30 new rooms, wellness area with indoor pool and outdoor pool, 4 treatment rooms, and much more.

Nature, the namesake of the new hotel, is at the centre of the new hotel concept. "The centrepiece of the new philosophy is the "6-N quality".
Opening of the new Nature and Wellness Hotel Höflehner on 3 December 2009

After the first winter, the natural water world was built - 120 tonnes of stones from the Niedere Tauern were heaved into the garden to give the alpine landscape around the hotel additional strength.

Stille Alm:

Take old wood from stables in the region and Swiss stone pine and combine the two with trendy style elements and traditional construction methods. The result is the latest gem at Höflehner's Bergbad & Spa. 30 guests looking for a retreat will find plenty of space in the Stillen Alm with views of the surrounding mountains.


Further building projects are realised:


New Teamquartier rooms are created.
3 more rooms & modernisation of Gust'l and Tilly Saal
Renovation of the 19 main hotel rooms
Birkenstube, Zirbenstube facelift as well as entrance area and connecting corridor lobby - main building modernisation
Knapplhütte existing building - Buschenschank and entrance area extension
The new Höflehner Premium Alpin SPA with new alpine sauna village, 25m Olympic sports pool and panoramic floating whirlpool, a new connecting corridor and the new Dachstein House were built during 3 mid-seasons. 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 created. This can be used for yoga classes, Pilates, gymnastics exercises, etc. ... can be used.
40 years Knapplhütte. To mark this occasion, we have extended and improved our hut for you with great attention to detail. With a large glass convertible terrace.
Our alpine leisure area for kids, teens and adults was opened at the beginning of July 2017: Höflehner's Funpark. With a sports field, the Aktiv Alm and the Spiele Alm right next to the hotel, a new holiday highlight for every taste was created 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. The gumpenBAR was built in 4 weeks directly at the Höfi Express I valley station and boasts exceptional architecture, a breathtaking 360-degree mountain panorama, a sun terrace, cool & hot drinks and quick & tasty snacks.
Our new à la carte restaurant "H11siebzehn" was opened and can now spoil guests with fine dining cuisine from Thursday to Sunday. Perfect for any special occasion.
Even more natural luxury with our 4 new Sky Chalets. With the Sky Chalets you have your own realm without having to leave the hotel.
In summer 2018, we extended our Knapplhütte with a spacious terrace. So 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 will welcome our guests in the perfected welcome area with an open reception and cosy lobby. Enjoy the extensions in the Premium Alpin SPA with textile-free whirlpool, casual event sauna and refreshing pool bar. Our buffet area also shines in new splendour, with even more space for our natural culinary delights. With 11 new rooms, we have expanded and renovated our main hotel with many new ideas.

The time of the 1st lockdown was used to create even more natural luxury and numerous projects were tackled:

  • The Premium Alpin SPA was expanded to include a new relaxation centre, the Bacherlalm
  • Since this year, there have been yoga platforms along the Hofrunde to feel the power of the forest during an extensive yoga session
  • Our "Hausbar" became the "Alchemist" and the "Hoamatstubn" became the "H11siebzehn"
  • A new gourmet concept was developed - GKH, which stands for Gerhard's healthy indulgence, Katrin's creative cuisine and Höflehner's home-style cooking
  • Our little guests experience a winter adventure on the new magic carpet, where they can learn to ski with ease

The 2nd lockdown has been extended, but no stone has been left unturned.

The Premium Alpin 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 relaxation centre, the "Neue Hochalm"

Our winter facilities have also been given a facelift:

    • The GumpenBar was enlarged and given a new terrace and kitchen.
    • The Bergschlössl was given a new indoor area and a roof terrace.

In addition, more space was created for our employees and 2 new staff houses were added.


The Natur- und Wellnesshotel Höflehner has created a holistic, genuine brand for its employees that both the current team and potential applicants can identify with.

"FEX by höflehner" is young, innovative, cool and conveys the pride and passion of each individual employee.

In December 2022, the Premium Ecolodge opened its doors after a short construction period. The new flats surprise guests with a cosy, rustic design and a lot of love for design. In keeping with the natural design philosophy of the nature and wellness hotel Höflehner ****S, only local wood was used. Guests of the Ecolodge can either choose the Höflehner gourmet board or cater for themselves!
We look back on the opening of the Gumpenlodge in December 2023 with pride and sweat. After a relatively short construction period, we are already welcoming our first guests to our cosy flats. The Gumpenlodge stands for modern comfort and an inviting atmosphere that will make your stay unforgettable.
After a short period of closure in April 2024, we opened our doors again in May 2024 and welcomed our guests with exciting new features. Our extended light-flooded Orangerie expands the restaurant area and creates a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor areas. With sliding glass doors, it conveys a feeling of freedom. Carefully selected natural materials such as sheep's wool, Swiss stone pine and old wood create a warm atmosphere and invite you to linger.
Our 29 rooms, including the categories Zirbe Natur, Zirbe Weitblick, Zirbe Weitblick Superior as well as the suites and family rooms Kaminsuite and Suite Bergquell, have been given a further glow-up. For us, it is essential to commission customised individual pieces made from high-quality natural materials. We focussed on a timeless design that does not follow fashion trends but blends harmoniously into our natural design concept.


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