Here in our new destination, Matrei, we are very proud to find our home in the Hotel Hinteregger. Situated in the heart of the town and in view of its namesake the Hintereggkogel (2638m) this is a building steeped in both family tradition and award-winning modern architecture. Owned by the lovely Katharina, the hotel has been in her family for over 100 years and has been passed down from generation to generation, daughter to daughter.
The farmhouse from which it all started was built in the 1800s and has had many owners since, serving in part as the village cinema, theatre and, eventually, as guest rooms in 1962. This is when it’s rich history of conversions and extensions really began and since then the building has evolved into something of a spectacle. Its unique combination of old and new, both traditional and ground-breaking has seen it presented with prestigious architecture awards. The newer extension was constructed using natural materials which are perhaps most clearly noticed in the spa area’s melting pot of stone, wood, clay and glass. Through the glass panels the Mediterranean-style outdoor pool lies in the garden backed by a crisp mountain skyline.
History at the Hinteregger
Yet one can pass seamlessly from one modern corridor into another that simply breathes history. An illustrious central banister twists its way from the ground floor to the roof inside what is immediately recognisable as the original house. As well-kept and clean as its counterpart, this section of the hotel offers a more traditional homely and ultimately Tyrolean feel whilst never being more than a moment away from the clean-cut lines of the extension.
Downstairs the communal areas continue to strike the perfect balance between modern and spacious, with clean lines and lots of light whilst simultaneously being cosy and welcoming. The reception area is another example of how large expanses of glass can give way so easily to a burning fire, comfy leather sofas and commodious bookcases. A cast iron door set into the wall swings aside to reveal steps that plunge into what initially feels like a castle dungeon. Yet as the staircase winds down another gratifying mixture of the old and new awaits. A beautifully carved centre table sits in the centre of this stone walled room in the bowels of the building.
Intricate carpentry plays a role in many of the rooms too, continuing the Austrian feel. Whether in the new or the old part of the building the rooms are furnished with natural wood. In the modern extension they are flooded with light from the presence of the mountain views. The fusion of glass and wood is simple and complimentary to the landscape.
Relaxation at the Hinteregger
After a day out in the mountains it’s important to feel like you can unwind. This is why we chose the farmhouse parlour to hold our office hour. Accentuated by more detailed carpentry work this room has a more rustic feel. Here you can enjoy a beer or spritz and chat about the day before dinner. This is neighboured by another parlour which despite being renovated still displays the original panelling from generations before.
When it is time for dinner, you will be led into another space that’s seen the touch of modern design. A large and open-plan room with unique light installations is the perfect place to enjoy a sample from the hotel’s carefully chosen wine list and locally sourced menu. There is a four course meal on offer and salad bar at hand and wine is brought to the table by the hotel staff who take pride in knowing their wines, and the vineyards they come from. The food is proudly Tyrolean too and always fresh. The vegetables and herbs come from the hotel’s own garden, the cabbage and potatoes from the field, the meat mostly from its very own farm. Even the apple juice is pressed from their own fruit and the bread is freshly baked every morning on site by Katharina’s mother.
The Hinteregger’s farm
Much like the hotel, the Hinteregger’s farm has become more contemporary. The ecological nature of the farm has been modernized with care being taken to keep its essence unchanged. A photovoltaic system and a connected wood chip heating system provide the hotel with economical energy. All the while the farm’s cows continue to graze their summers away in the hotel’s pastures at Innergschlöss, they’ve even kept their names.
The focus of this hotel remains its family and its heritage. These modern additions are just a number in a long line of evolutions that each owner has brought about. We are excited to join Katharina in the venture of this ever changing and fascinating building.
The hotel’s awards
- The 2007 Timber Award of Tyrol for the future-oriented and pioneering approach to construction.
- The 2009 Tyrolean Restoration Prize for clear architectural language.
- The Building Developer Prize 2010 recognized the bold innovative construction.
- The Timber Prize for Interior Design in 2011 honoured the clear contemporary space composition in solid larch.
Check out our Hohe Tauern page for more information on walking trips in the area.