I am pretty discerning when it comes to hotels… How about you? How fortunate that Tirol boasts a great number of characterful places to stay for that true home-away-from-home feeling. Here I present the cream of the crop, farmstays with a difference: While they offer the pleasures of a beautiful old house, they also cater to our increased demands with upscale amenities and attitude.
There’s something special about taking old things and making them new again. All these six places call to mind traditional farmhouse design but are contemporary in spirit. Highly individual, they manage to be both, cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. Here are six contemporary farmhouse accommodations that bridge old and new, each more inventive and inviting than the next.
Mesnerhof-C, Steinberg am Rofan
Located in Steinberg am Rofan, Mesnerhof-C is a modernist conversion of the property’s existing 400-year old farmhouse. Owners Barbara and Georg have reworked their farmhouse to become a strikingly different accommodation in this remote corner of Tirol. Available to the architecturally inclined for vacation rentals, their 200 square meter “Retro Chalet” is a highly individual blend of traditional and contemporary.
The self-catering chalet sleeps up to ten people and can be rented for private parties and family reunions as well as for company workshops or as co-working space. Each room is more inspiring and beautiful than the next, traditional in style but with high-end amenities. The bathrooms are fitted with contemporary pieces such as Philippe Starck washbasins, placed on a centuries old sideboard. A modern take on a farm compound, rustic meets modern to fresh effect in this wonderful chalet.
Chris Bosten and Ingrid Janssen – not your typical Tirolean names… Originally from The Netherlands, the couple couldn’t resist the natural beauty of Tirol and has found a second home in scenic Lechtal Valley.
How wonderful they decided to share their beautiful home with others. The lovingly restored, 300-year-old farmstead offers three apartments with a clever take on classic farmhouse style and a perfect blend of old and new, rustic and sophisticated.
Literally ‘Farmer’s Lodge’, Bauernlodge is the ultimate in mountain vacations – and is also perfect for families with children. The cosy and comfortable apartments provide your home away from home, complete with sun deck and barbecue facilities. The pleasant smell of Swiss stone pinewood and the singing of birds at this place will leave you blissful and wanting more. You probably will refuse to leave when it is time to go home.
Choosing what to do or where to go can sometimes be a little overwhelming. Fortunately, Chris and Ingrid have got you covered. Offering guided walks and family activities, they will help you make the most of our vacation.
Hof Alpenjuwel, Nauders
As its name suggests, Hof Alpenjuwel is a real jewel at the heart of Nauders. Wolf Family has carefully restored this 13th century building with attention to detail. Today, the unique farmhouse combines an historic setting with contemporary furnishings and amenities creating a 21st century yet traditional Tirol experience.
Striking details in the structure’s interior recall the vernacular farmhouse style that’s evident in the entrance area, where a glass wall opens to the shed for staggering views of bleating sheep. The stone structure at the two self-contained holiday apartments named “Dachtenne” and “Rauchkuchl” calls to mind historic farmhouse design, too, but is contemporary in spirit with all modern conveniences you could imagine.
Refugium Tilliach, Gailtal
What a beauty. With its shingled roof and mullion windows, this 250-year-old weathered timber building is a dreamily romantic house. Moreover, this has to be one of the loveliest spots for a farmhouse, overlooking the spectacular East Tirol mountain scenery of Lesachtal Valley, embedded between Lienz Dolomites and Carnic Alps at an elevation of 1,235 meters.
Inside is a 700-square-meter farmhouse with 12 rooms, a library, a topnotch kitchen and a spa featuring hay bath and dry-heat sauna in the basement. Contrary to its appearance, Refugium Tilliach does offer electricity and warm water, along with a host of modern comforts. During renovation, the owners thoughtfully composed forms, spaces and finishes to combine the best of modern and old fashioned looks.
For a taste of the simple life of yesteryear amid gorgeously beautiful surroundings, Refugium Tilliach is hard to beat. This amazing hideaway can be rented exclusively so your group will have the whole home to itself. Breakfasts, maid service and served dinners can be arranged.
A refined East Tirol farmhouse that gives a sense of the simple life of yesteryear that anyone can now call home: Tassenbacherhof is an inspired destination. Owner Margit has sensitively restored the old inn to its former glory. This lovely hideaway is set in beautiful countryside on the outskirts of a pretty village, in the tiny hamlet of Tassenbach that has a population of 50.
Five years ago, she created a 250-square-meter deluxe retreat that sleeps six to ten people in full comfort. The combination of contemporary and farmhouse blends clean lines with rustic materials, resulting in an approachable yet eye-catching Alpine design.
The four bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic Tirol farmhouse style, with East Tirol dialect names that not come easily off the tongue: “Tate & Mame Kommr” (meaning ‘master bedroom’), “Gitschn Kommr” (girl’s room), “Buabm Kommr” (boy’s room) and “Knechte Kommr” (farmhand’s room). Modern comforts have been incorporated in the historic building that sits at an elevation of 1,100 meters above sea level. The interior is designed in a wonderful and authentic style, with a spacious, fully equipped kitchen and living room and a contemporary spa with two sauna baths and colour therapy loungers.
Gannerhof differs from the accommodations listed above: While all other vacation rentals are self-catering, this quaint timber structure in Innervillgraten (yep, again East Tirol ;-) is a place where you will be treated to culinary delicacies as well.
Situated in Innervillgraten, Gannerhof’s unique spaces, dramatic details, and expansive aura are as enchanting as the landscape surrounding it. The décor is warm and cosy, with everything you’d expect in a Tirol country house hotel, with antique farm furniture and wood panelling throughout the place. And those excellent dishes… The cooking of Gannerhof easily deserves its long held Gault Millau toque and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Yummy!
The wonderful farmhouse style and an all-pervading sense of time suspended remains in the timber panelled guest rooms and parlours. You’re strongly recommended to opt for the breakfast & dinner food plan thus it’s a very short way home after dinner (best enjoyed with exquisite wine pairing).