"10 Year Hotel Anniversary Bellevue"
From the start of the 1920s the traditional »Bellevue« owned by the hotelier family, Wührer, was "the" address in Bad Gastein for spending a noble holiday. VIPs from political life, industry and show business frequented this establishment. Some even rememeber the legendary visits of King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia and his entourage, the English actor, Merle Oberon, or the film producer, Billy Wilder.
In 1992 a raging blaze completely ruined the hotel. Nine firemen fought the flames for three whole days to try to salvage the hotel, however only a ruin remained.
Fresh start for the Bellevue after the fire disaster
By pure chance that an enterprise belonging to the international METRO concern had shortly before shown interest in a takeover of the Bellevue and its adjoining buildings and that negociations had previously taken place. Because of the fire the intended purchase was stalled but then finalised some months later.
Originally the plan was to merely modernise the hotel, apart from the adjoining building which was to be demolished and rebuilt. However, only very little of the basic substance could be saved and around 80% of the hotel had to be built from scratch - in keeping with original, and designed to blend in with the historical image of Gastein. After a year and a half of rebuilding, the MONDI-HOLIDAY Bellevue was reopened in 1996 - praised as a successful project of such magnitude by experts of the field.
Modern Architectural Style, reminiscent of tradition
208 apartments are furnished in a modern interpretation of the "Biedermeier" style, all with kitchens and modern communication technology, and with perfect living comfort: 64 single room apartments, 129 two-room apartments, which can accomodate a maximum of four persons, and 15 three-room apartments, with space for up to six persons. The complex consists of five houses set around a park-like inner courtyard and have histotrically inspired names such »Alpenhof«, »Parkvilla« or »Gletscherhof«.
About 33 million euros – formerly 450 million Austrian Schillings – have been invested in the huge holiday complex, which offers an international clientele lavish holidaymaking at high quality standard, corresponding to what would have been 5 star standard.
Bellevue has a spacious lobby with bistro bar, various wellness and spa facilities; e.g. an in-house spa section, sauna, steam bath, etc., bowling alley, billiard room, youth centre and lots more. There is of course a professional childminding service, free of charge.
Holiday resort on a Occupancy Rights Basis
Bellevue is now run by the Munich family business, Dörr, under the umbrella of MONDI-HOLIDAY and is not a hotel in the strictest sense of the word. Members of the MONDI Holiday Club and members of other similar holiday resorts across the globe - run via an international exchange system - are priveleged with the use of this luxurious complex .
The club members of this holiday system are professionally organised as a kind of mutual support group and share the costs of the holiday apartments at reasonanle conditions, so-called occupancy rights weeks. This enables a large number of holidaymakers to have a holiday home which would otherwise be unaffordable. This club system is dfferent to the classic form of hotel operation, and means the complex is constantly utilised; however free apartments are rented out in the traditional way, typical for hotels.
Asset for Bad Gastein
The »neue« Bellevue can boast more than 1 million overnight stays over the past 10 years. In Bad Gastein during the 2004/2005 season alone, there were 20% of all overnight stays were at 4 star level in Bellevue. Correspondingly the tourist tax income for the local authority is considerable: around 11% of the total tourist tax takings come from Bellevue alone.
About 100 employees – a third of whom are long-standing staff members– take care of the holidaymakers from all over the globe. According to the statistics guests come from 50 different nations: India, Ecuador, Jamaica, Thailand, Chile, New Zealand, Israel or Arab Emirates to name but a few. They are proof of Bad Gasteins revival as a holiday resort, which was initiated a decade ago. Bad Gasteins Town Mayor, Gerhard Steinbauer, recognises the invaluable worth of such business initiative: »MONDI-HOLIDAY is one of our leading businesses. Leonhard Dörr has put new life into a ruin – a positive impulse for other hoteliers, spurring them into action.«
The 10 year Bellevue anniversary will be celebrated on 30. July 30, 2006 in the Merangarten in Bad Gastein with a varied programme. The »Gruppe Gastein« will be playing, there will be guided tours through Bellevue and climbing fun on our own climbing wall. With good neighbourly relations and cooperation with various local firms in mind, the local population is welcome to join us in celebrating.
Click the photos to enlarge.