The Castle at the Lake: Schloss Velden
The good news in brief:
Schloss Velden (the V is pronounced as in ‘fell’, not ‘Vail’ ) overlooks the scenic Woerthsee, or “Lake Woerth”, famous for its distinctive transparent blue-green color. The lake is the largest of the Alpine lakes in the Carinthian region of southern Austria, and has inspired writers, from Somerset Maugham to Ian Flemming, musicians from Brahms to Mahler.
The orange-yellow castle of Velden in Austria has been revived as a luxury hotel, the modern marina and its trendy restaurant are its latest additions.
Austria, 28 May 2007It was not before the 1870s that Lake Woerth firmly established itself as a tourist destination. Hotels provided new means of income. Families like the Moro, Ulbing, Wrann and Bachmayer were among the first to offer accommodation.In 1881 a devastating fire destroyed most of the village of Velden. The Veldeners rebuilt their village with light, pretty architecture. In 1890 the Viennese industrialist Ernst Wahliss bought the remains of the castle of Velden and rebuilt it following old views of the original castle. Four towers and three floors were added. First he christened it Etablissement Wahliss, later it became commonly known as Hotel Schloss Velden.
The hotel around 1900.
Today nicknamed 'Monte Carlo' of Austria, Velden features a fully licensed Casino, a remarkable collection of fine dining restaurants, access to four-season attractions ranging from extraordinary skiing to Alpine hiking, golf, boating, swimming, horseback riding and - yes! - shopping. And Italy is a short drive across the border.The hotel, a former castle dating back to 1590, has a history of over 100 years as one of the most famous hotels of Europe. Between 1891 and 1991 it was a legendary hotel, home to stars and stories (to be published by The Most Famous Hotels in the World® this September).After closure it was bought by German millionaire Gunther Sachs and - in due course - sold to the successful KHBAG (Kärntner Holding Beteiligungs-AG), the development daughter of the Austrian Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank International AG, who invested into the hotel's renovation and expansion to a 105 rooms property a sum in excess of Euro 100m.
New extensions among hundred years old trees in the park of the castle (view of the facade facing East, at the ground floor you can see the fitness gallery). The celebrated architectural team Jabornegg & Pálffy planned the hotel expansion and residences (apartments are sold separately).
Hypo Alpe Adria boss Wolfgang Kulterer put two driving forces into charge: Kurt Mahnert, manager of the Schlosshotel Velden company, and formerly Hong Kong based hotelmanager Willi Kollmann, to develop the project.Kollmann found Horst Schulze to take over the management at a point when Schulze was seeking fitting properties to take them under the wings of his new management company Capella Hotels.The new company was called Capella, after a white double-star, representing 'the dual relationship and intimacy between hotel and guest'. "We had a lot of names in mind, but that one was approved by our lawyers." explains Horst Schulze (2007).
Capella is also the 6th brightest star in the sky. And it's 6-stars that Horst Schulze was dreaming about. If you want, you can explain everything.
Schloss Velden has 105 suites, a trendy lake-side all day restaurant, a fine dining restaurant, the largest and clearly the latest MICE facilities of the region, ...
The snowroom of the spa is unique. It is a healthy experience to inhale the cold air after the sauna.
A 3500 sqm Spa offers treatment rooms, salt aroma steam room, a Finnish sauna and a chill-out room with real snow, falling all year round (there are only three in the world, one of them in Dubai). And, yes, there is this 16.5 km long lake with drinking water quality right in front of the hotel.The hotel sports the best marina at the lake, top class facilities with beach, heated outdoor and indoor pools, cabanas for undisturbed privacy at the lake (all equipped with 55-inch flat screens offering 50 TV programmes, from CNN to Chinese news).A 185 square meter fitness studio offers a scenic view of Lake Woerth (Woerthsee) as you exercise.Henning Reichel - former resident manager at Germany’s Brenner’s Park, spa legend and Select Member of The Most Famous Hotels in the World, was at the helm of the historic hotel for its first seven months, before he decided to leave for Germany. The second manager of Schloss Velden is called Roland Paar.On Sunday, 27 May, the hotel was opened to the public for the first time in over 15 years. 7800 (yes, seven thousand ...) people marched on a red carpet through the public areas of the hotel, gasping at the sights of its stunning 400 years old walls, sparkling in new luxury.On Monday, 28 May, the hotel welcomed a select group of 300 invited guests for its official launch. Best time to visit: four seasons.By Andreas Augustin
The hotel is A Select Member of The Most Famous Hotels in the World. Hence we will keep you posted.More information: //schlossveldencapella.com///famoushotels.org/hotels/72//famoushotels.org/article/683 (the book and its cover artist)