Horst Schulze's Capella Hotel Brand
By Andreas Augustin, Austria, 28 May 2007
Does anybody in Austria realize that there is
one of the greatest hospitality philosophers working among them? Over the
past years there had been rumours about Horst Schulze, who was quietly
planning a new luxury hotel chain. This week he kissed a sleeping beauty.
The fairy-tale romantic Castle of the small city of Velden at the Lake
Woerth (Schloss Velden, Woerthsee) in Austria is now A Capella Hotel. The
man who grew Ritz-Carlton from a one-hotel operation to a company with
40 properties, is again on his way to shaking up our usual way of thinking.
On Monday we were all treated to champagne, oysters, goose-liver, the house-beer
Schlossbräu and hours of generous hospitality.
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.
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
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 hotelier 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.
The new company is called Capella, after a white double-star, representing ‘the dual relationship and intimacy between hotel and guest’. Capella is the 6th brightest star in the sky. And it’s about 6-stars that Horst Schulze is dreaming, thinking and doing.
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.
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, is at the helm of the historic hotel.
Weeks of intensive training produced a wonderful team of highly inspired and truly caring people. This will catapult the region into new dimensions of hospitality.
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.
The Most Famous Hotels in the World
|Also See:||In the Shadow of the Great Pyramid - The Mena House Legend / Andreas Augustin / December 2006|
|RAL Companies Selects Capella Hotels and Resorts to Operate a 148 unit Hotel and Residentail Property in Telluride, Colorado / November 2006|