The family-run Hotel Tauernhof in Grossarl can look back on a history of about 40 years. It stands nestled in the natural environment of the Grossarltal region, far from the hustle and bustle of any large town.
After the Second World War, the Grossarltal region developed from being a poor farming region into one that is lively and economically strong.
Thanks mainly to summer tourism initially, and later to the consequences of the development of the ski area for winter sports, the area experienced a dramatic upturn.
Nowadays, the tourism industry is one of the main sources of income in Grossarl. Many other branches of business and craft in the Grossarltal region benefit from this positive development in the hotel and hospitality industry.
Ambros Hettegger senior was born on 28.07.1932 in Grossarl, the fifth of 15 children. He experienced quite a meagre life as a child, growing up on a small mountain farm, the Schaidreitgut.
After primary school, in the winter months he attended agricultural college at Winklhof near Hallein. During his time there, he met Franziska Walkner, who later was to become his wife. She came from Gaißau originally, a small village near Hallein. Franzisca Hettegger was the second of 5 children, and also grew up on a mountain farm. The couple married in 1960.
Initially, Ambros Hettegger worked as a lorry driver for various companies. In 1959 he summed up the courage to go self-employed. He bought his first lorry, which was to be the foundation stone for today’s “Rupert Hettegger Erdbau und Transporte GmbH”.
Over the next few years, Ambros and Franziska Hettegger had 6 children: Ambros jun., Maria, Christine, Rupert, Monika and Hannes.
The hotel business is now run by the hosts Ambros Hettegger junior and his wife Anni. With their children Markus, Christian, and Sebastian, the next hotel generation is already secured.
After a construction period of 2 years, the Tauernhof was completed in December 1977 and opened as a 3 star hotel by Ambros Hettegger. It had 29 rooms and even then was one of the leading businesses in the Grossarltal region. Ambros Hettegger junior finished his studies at the hotel college in Bad Hofgastein, and at the tender age of 17 ran the daily business at the Tauernhof. The daughters Maria and Christina also worked in their parents’ business.
The Grossarltal region developed hugely as an area for tourism, with winter sports especially gaining in popularity. More and more skiers came each year.
1986 marked the first major extension. To the south of the existing building, a further 20 rooms were added and a hotel dining room was created on the ground floor. From this moment on, the Tauernhof would be run as a 4* hotel.
The next major expansion took place in 1993. A further 14 new rooms and suites were added to the north of the existing building. The hotel reception, a bar with an open fire, and the hotel entrance hall were created on the ground floor, whilst an underground car park was built with 70 parking spaces.
A new indoor leisure pool was built. The old indoor pool had become too small after the many extensions and conversions, and so a panoramic swimming pool was added. This pool had the added special attraction of an outdoor area with wonderful panoramic views of the mountains.
In addition, a new dining room was added, and the buffet area was substantially extended. A new children’s playroom was also built over 2 floors.
A further 2 floors were added to the south wing of the hotel, providing additional rooms and a wedding suite on the top floor above the roofs of Grossarl.
In spring 2006, a large adventure playground was added to the east of the hotel.
The entire wellness area was newly designed in 2009 including a 65 m² hot water jet pool and a 600 m² sauna landscape with 6 different saunas: Finnish sauna, herbal sauna, tepidarium, brine steam room, infrared sauna, and an outdoor Alpine sauna.
19 of the rooms from 1986 and 1993 were completely newly furnished, including the 4 Tauernhof suites and 4 family lodges. The screed was removed and some of the plumbing, most importantly the main water pipes from 1977, was renewed. Deluxe rain showers were installed in the suites and the corner baths were replaced with baths for 2 people. In 2 family lodges, the children’s rooms were reduced a little, to provide more space in the bathroom for a shower and bath for family guests.