Working with the layers of the past

The Straubinger Grand Hotel

Munich, August 31, 2023 - With a great deal of expertise, caution and heart and soul, the Straubinger Grand Hotel, located directly on the waterfall, has been renovated and will open its doors to national and international guests on September 1, 2023. Named after the legendary Gastein family, the new Hotel Straubinger pays homage to the former Grand Hotel and was born from the facets of its past, awakened to new greatness - it captivates with understated elegance and a moving grandeur. BWM Designers & Architects with the team around Erich Bernard are responsible for this careful revitalization of the historic rooms.

Connected to the inventory

When you enter the old new Straubing Grand Hotel, the history of the venerable house immediately surrounds you. In the historic reception area, out of a drawer lined with velvet, as if they receive a piece of jewelry, guests are handed their room card,. Straight ahead, the prominent staircase leads to the upper floors, and the F&B area opens up on the right. The café is open to Straubingerplatz via double doors. With a total of just under 40 seats (25 indoors, twelve outdoors), it occupies the first row prominently on the square. Directly adjacent to the café is the bar, which is extended to the front and the salon. In the salon - which can be additionally separated by means of curtains, if desired – you may end the day.
According the motto "working with the layers of the past", all areas feature a richly contrasting mixture of old and new, with existing paneling meeting contemporary adapted wall cladding, for example. "For us it is important to work with the traces and layers of the past and not against them. Because from them the charm emanates as well as the special appeal that makes old buildings so attractive and gives them a special value," elaborates Erich Bernard of BWM Designers & Architects. The furnishings as well as the color scheme become darker and darker to match the time of day and the use in the respective areas. In the café, modern "strawberry cream" dominates the color scheme. In the salon and bar, a sage green tone was rediscovered under layers of old wall paneling and immediately used for the new look. A small detail on the side is the Straubing cake cart, a reminiscence of earlier times.

Contemporary complements

The former entrance to the restaurant has been transformed into a salon for ten people, which captivates with exposed wall paintings. Immediately adjacent in a new building in front, you will find today's new entrance for the large hall with floor-to-ceiling glazing, into which the facade extends. In the course of the careful restoration, gold accents as well as the old ceiling on the side wings reappeared - the existing inventory is and remains the existing inventory; what could not be repaired was supplemented in a contemporary manner with greatest care.
The 86-seat hall is dominated by modern, fresh colors such as green, apricot or amber-orange, while generous planting and the refurbished Lobmeyr wall panels and a new chandelier convey a French flair. Fine-tuned colors and patterns, such as the orange of the columns or stuccolustro, define the 195-square-meter hall. The listed solid oak parquet flooring was restored to its original state. In the center of the room, on a specially designed carpet, that graphically echoes the ceiling rose, a highlight table was designed, on which a chandelier from the Lobmeyr workshops was placed centrally and staged, a reminiscence of the vanished original. Two balconies with a view of the church invite visitors to step outside.
The wine cellar was located in the basement, as if it were with a balcony and a view of the church, which merges into the so-called Chefs Table, an elongated room with a cap vault and a line of sight to the kitchen. The old wooden ceiling had to be replaced, and the Chef's Table,
designed for 14 people, was made from the thermo-treated dippel tree beams (special wooden girder) obtained from it. The Wine Dine area impresses with old, wrought-iron stock lights (restored in the Lobmeyr workshops) and terracotta tiles for the table surfaces.

Swimming out into the landscape

To the left of the entrance, on the west side of the building, the Straubing Spa extends over the three upper floors. From the lobby on the first floor, the first step is into a courtyard paved as a chessboard (including figures), modeled on the tile chessboard pattern of the original treatment rooms. A recurring pattern that is also found in the restrooms, the corridors and the spa reception area, albeit in different colors. Today's five treatment rooms and four spa suites are located on the mezzanine floor - spacious rooms with free-standing bathtubs, old floor pools converted into showers, and integrated pine saunas. A new infinity outdoor pool was built above the original thermal spa wing, with a view over the Gastein valley, where you can "swim out into the landscape" as it were - with the sound of the waterfall next door as background music. The spa area, which covers a total of almost 700 square meters (350 square meters indoors, approx. 330 square meters terrace with pool), flows smoothly from the old to the new building.
On the second floor, the reception and fitness room in the existing building lead to the new building with an outdoor infinity pool including a spacious indoor entrance. The sauna area with panorama saunas is located on the top floor, while the rest area with fireplace and wood storage is located on the second floor. Lightly colored in a nautical theme, the spa area captivates with a mix of thermo-ash, exposed concrete and chrome wood details. The ceiling above the pool was tiled in blue, and the relaxation pond features a wood slat acoustic ceiling.

Unobstructed view

The structure adjoining the house at Straubingerplatz 1 could not be retained in its structure above the new pool terrace and was redesigned accordingly, as a light glass porch with a louvered façade in front on the two upper floors. The extensive glazing opens up the structure to the valley, offering guests an unobstructed view of the surrounding landscape. The wooden slats in front, in turn, prevent unwanted views, so that the intimacy of the rooms remains guaranteed. Incidentally, this redesign also reopened the original gap between Hotel Straubinger and Haus Straubingerplatz 1, which was only structurally closed at the beginning of the 20th century.

Like a painting

In the 46 rooms of the Hotel Straubinger, it is as it were a matter of preserving history and worthily supplementing it with new elements. In the sense of a "New Luxury", special charms and the authenticity of the historical inventory are used, which make the place unique. The patina on the historic walls, the original doors and other preserved components are valuable traces that are carefully added to meet current standards and requirements. The overall composition of colors and light in the space is inspired by color and light impressions of historical oil paintings, an expressive play of light and dark in deep powerful tones is the result. The existing building is preserved as much as possible and appears as if it were dipped in dark oil paint up to an imaginary 'line of use', beyond that it remains untouched.

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