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The history of Posthotel Kassl

From a historic summer resort to a four-star spa hotel in Ötztal

The history of our hotel is rooted in the 17 the century. The oldest part of our hotel was built in 1605 and has been maintained in its traditional design to this day. In the early days the building served as a stagecoach inn catering to stagecoach drivers and their vehicles. At that time there was lively trade with the South via the Timmelsjoch pass.

The Haid family tree has been traced back to the year 1578. In 1804, Kassian Haid married Hanna Griesser, an innkeeper’s daughter, and the Haid name was first associated with the Gasthof Kassl. The “zum Kassl” name of the inn was actually derived from the name Kassian.

Postmaster Haid founded tourism associations

The inn was gradually refurbished and expanded. During its peak years, from 1880 to 1910, the house was under the stewardship of Johann Tobias Haid, our great grandfather. He was a postmaster, a member of the provincial government, the founder of the first Raiffeisenkasse bank in Tyrol and the founder of the “Verschönerungsverein”, an early version of today’s tourism associations. The inn offered an astoundingly high level of comfort for those times.

The “Kassl” has always been at the forefront of progress. In the 18 th century we already had running water, and water was delivered to the rooms to prepare warm baths for the guests. The old fountains on every floor of our hotel are remnants of that time. Those were the early days of wellness & spa. In 1893 the first electric lights were installed and operated until 10 pm. We had lighting on the street, a bus shuttle to the train station, our own mountain guides, tennis lawns and our own swimming area on Lake Piburg and our own swimming area on Lake Piburg and at the local pool in Oetz.

 

The “zum Kassl” inn quickly became a popular summer destination with a select class of guests. Persons of nobility, politics, and business, as well as intellectuals and artists travelled far to stay at our hotel. The guestbook is full of royal entries, such as Princess Friederike of Hanover in September 1895: “In memory of the beautiful days in lovely and dear Oetz...”

 

Royalty and high nobility seemed to immensely enjoy the unique atmosphere of the former stagecoach inn. Among the visitors were Princess Isabella of Croy, the later spouse of Archduke Friedrich of Austria, Archduke Joseph Ferdinand, Princess Friederike of Hanover, the count of Westfalen as a special friend and sponsor of the house, the Prince and Princess of Hohenlohe with their two children and staff, Franz and Theodor Habsburg-Lothringen and the Count and Countess of Stolberg-Stolberg.

King Ludwig III of Bavaria fleeing to Hungary

More than anything, we are proud of having provided a refuge here at „Gasthof zum Kassl“ to the last Bavarian king Ludwig III and his consort Archduchess Maria Theresia on their escape to Hungary from 28 February to 3 April 1919. The military and emotional decay of the German nation had forced the aged royal couple out of Germany. At the Kassl, they were able to recuperate from the exertion of the journey and the political events. They could fully recharge before continuing their journey to Hungary.

 

As Privy Councillor Professor Arthur Achleitner wrote in his book "Von der Umsturznacht bis zur Totenbahre" on the last three years of King Ludwig III’s life, "In Oetz His Majesty was well attended to and taken care of.... The Ötztal people knew how to appreciate the trust and were heart-warmingly thankful for having the honour of accommodating the royal visitors.”

And, “The meeting of the three venerable elderly in Niederthai resembled an apostle gathering: King Ludwig, Tobias Haid, and Senior Reverend Wild...”

To this day, the carriage that brought the king to Niederthai can be admired in our "Belle Époque bar", along with other treasures from the Art Nouveau period.

 

Writers, artists and film stars lodging in Oetz

Robert Musil wrote his novel “Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften” during a stay at our hotel. Sigmund Freud’s sister, Anna Freud-Bernays, praised the alpine air, the wonderful nature and the “very nice company” she enjoyed in Oetz in her book “Eine Wienerin in New York”, exclaiming, “ With my cheerful temper, I became the soul of the little village... I felt so at ease there that I just couldn’t leave and didn’t even go to Ischl on the 18 th of August for my mother’s birthday. Instead, I chose to celebrate the Emperor’s birthday with the dear Tyrolean people in Oetz. All the farmers came in their national costumes and danced the local ‘Schuhplattler’ dance...”

Hans Moser and Anni Rosar were our guests in 1956, when they were working on a set for the “Schenkt an sich Rosen in Tirol” film. The beautiful facade of our building was featured in the film several times. The Trapp family came for a summer retreat as well, as did many other celebrities of the time.

That is how the renowned “Gasthof zum Kassl” inn evolved into the “Hotel Kassl zur Post”. After the First World War it finally received its current name “Posthotel Kassl”. However, even when the Kassl was only an inn, it accommodated and catered for up to 200 guests in the main building and its other locations.
Most of the spacious dining halls, music and reading rooms, breakfast terrace, wine tavern and library are still retained in their original state. They have been converted to other rooms to accommodate today’s guests’ needs: Belle Époque bar, stone pine “Stuben” rooms, convention room, spa relaxation rooms, Alte Post après-ski bar, children’s play room, common TV room, fireplace lounge, restaurant, etc.

 

1880

Excerpt from an Oetz folder with an article on “Gasthof zum Kassl” dating back to 1880

 

 

"Gasthof zum Kassl" folder, 1893

“Gasthof zum Kassl” and its eleven-room inn in Kühtai (today’s Hotel Jagdschloss)

 

 

"Gasthof zum Kassl" folder, 1895

The rooms have warm bathrooms with shower and hip bath... Music room with piano. (No music allowed between 10:00 pm and 9:00 am.)

Ötztal folder with Oetz and "Gasthof zum Kassl", 1908

Telephone, electric lights, building and street lighting, etc.

Photos from "Hotel-Pension Kassl" folder, 1910

Renovation of today’s main facade. – Inn becomes hotel.

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