A rustic Alpine housefront with wooden balconies that was completely painted in white, a table that stretches over three floors, a lobby that feels as if you are entering into a real life Wes Anderson movie set, and a flooded basement – and yes, you got it right – a flooded basement: Last weekend, an exciting and refreshingly different lodging experience opened its doors in Zillertal Valley, the Pop Down Hotel. It’s the first pop-up hotel in the European Alps and it only exists for 150 days—so if you’re looking for a last-minute getaway with a difference, this comes highly recommended.
I had heard about the concept of the Pop Down Hotel a few months ago. With emphasis on the experience, hoteliers Silvia Gschösser and Markus Rist strive to turn their temporary hotel into a new type of guest experience. A hotel that only exists for 150 days? Yes, that’s exactly what they do: They operate the “Zillertaler Grillhof”, a 1970’s hotel that is a little long in the tooth, for one winter season, before the outdated building gets a complete makeover in the summer of 2018. “The Pop Down Hotel is a place that merges the new and the old. It is a place that inspires both, nostalgia and futurist dreams,” explains Silvia. “We do not want to reinvent Alpine tourism; we rather want to rethink and reinvigorate it,” adds Markus, who took over the hotel from his parents.
Together with Swiss architects Build_Inc, Silvia and Markus began planning their temporary Pop Down Hotel one year ago. Join me on a tour of the outstanding and experiential Pop Down Hotel.
Visual Tour of the Pop Down Hotel
[Please note: Scroll down to see my personal favourite :-)]
In the weeks leading to the opening, the typical Tirol housefront was completely painted in white to symbolize the restart of the former Zillertal Grillhof hotel.
Entering the Hotel leaves you feeling enveloped by colour. The lobby feels as if you are entering into a real life Wes Anderson movie set. Even the 70s elevator is salmon-coloured.
Design is redefined at the Pop Down Hotel: I’d love to have that plush sofa in my living room and I will comb through my grandma’s cellar in search for old flowerpots on my next visit.
Leaving the lobby, you’ll enter the bar area. Clearly passionate about the bar culture of the world, Lukas Motejzik brought his best mixology skills to create the drinks menu. One of the most imaginative bartenders around, he won the title of “Mixologist of the Year 2017” and operates Zephyr and Herzog Bars in Munich, Germany. This winter, this Zillertal-based bar puts an unconventional spin on Motejzik’s homemade signature drinks.
[Read on to learn more about my favourite drink.]
Everywhere you go you can see where walls were torn down. A little outdated granny lampshades make for a weird yet cosy atmosphere in the new Pop Down Hotel.
Right behind the bar is the first part of the table that stretches over three floors. Resembling Scandinavian minimalism, table, chairs and lamps in contemporary design offer the perfect pairing for the mix of old and new. The central part of the table can be heated.
„A door that leads nowhere and an old bathroom without floor?“
Eventually, I go up the stairs leading to the first floor and cannot believe what I see. Four guest rooms on this floor were removed to give way to the second part of the table.
One of my best-loved spots at the Pop Down Hotel: The table with the former bathrooms as background. The patterned vintage tiles may be called retro but they simply feel and look just right here.
Then there are stairs leading down to the basement, where the table is continued to the washhouse.
I saved the best for the last: The flooded basement with “Seebar”. Just the right place to enjoy my favourite drink, melissa lemon balm gin. Cheers!