Blog — Hirschen, fine hotel in the Bregenzerwald

The way to the Future — Construction Site Report, so to speak

From: Peter Fetz, Hotelier


In November 2017 I took over the Hirschen in Schwarzenberg from my father Franz in the 10th generation. The years before, I used to prepare as best as possible to take up my service here. By now, I know that this qualification probably was decided on 24.12.1989, the day of my birth.

Whether that's really the case, my employees and our guests must judge. So far, this profession has given me a lot of joy.

Joy is beautiful! But it can't be felt equally every day. A little joy day was for example a November day in 2017. Because the district administration of Bregenz was at my place (no offense, they're just doing their job) and conducted an inspection of the operating facilities at the Hirschen. Long story short: they were not quite satisfied and we had to present a plan on how we intend to sail into the ocean of the future.

Today I lovingly call this phase "Legalize Hirschen Schwarzenberg", as the operation was always open, spared from major disasters and surrounded by employees who are attached to their workplace and guests who show intentions of revisiting without the threat of force or violence.

Anyway, a plan had to be forged.

The Plan

Initially, I thought: what a crap why am I doing this why do they do this the world is full of injustice I'm a poor pig *cry* *ouch*. There are days for complaining, but the following ones should be for thinking and/or doing. So I turned to the thinking. A plan took shape.

Plan version 1 was:

  1. Decipher bureaucratic language on the letter from the district administration

  2. Create a to-do list of things in readable plain language

  3. consider if we can manage it financially and operationally

  4. implement

  5. Rainbow in the sky, chirping sparrows, dancing people, happily mooing cows everywhere.

  6. – The End –

That was a bad plan. I was missing the parking spaces!
And parking spaces are hard to come by because Schwarzenberg in the village is densely built or steep. So plan 1 failed. Therefore, starting over with

Plan 2:

  1. everything basically the same as with plan 1, but with

  2. new parking spaces in an additional underground garage

But in order to know how much an underground garage costs, someone has to draw up a plan in a serious way and someone else has to calculate the costs from it. At this point, the fabulous Nona Architects and Flatz & Jäger Construction Management come into play. An important moment in the history of the Hirschen, one could say in retrospect.

But now back to the story, in summary: underground garages are really expensive, especially if the rest of the parking space is free and then no one would pay anything for it!
So plan 2 somehow failed too.

At some point it was clear: if we want to continue operating tourism in Schwarzenberg all year round, we will have to polish up our sexiness a bit. And of course, advance the project "Legalize Hirschen Schwarzenberg". That's why Peter thought: there used to be a bathhouse back there in the garden! Let's build a bathhouse again, that would be chic. Because a bathhouse is a good partner in crime for enduring sexiness all year round.

That went something like this:

PF: "Hello Nona Architects, what do you think if we build a bathhouse?"
Nona: "We love bathhouses! Everyone loves bathhouses. What do you have in mind, Peter?"
PF: "If we build a bathhouse in the Bregenzerwald, let's build an iconic bathhouse in terms of architecture. Something really cool. So that one would say, one must have bathed there before entering the eternal hunting grounds!"
Nona: "You never have to tell that to the architects twice! Yay! Bathhouse ahead!"
(PF & Nonas order white wine and rejoice at this wonderful insight).

That was a nice moment, full of ignorance about what lay ahead of us. In life, it is sometimes advantageous not to know exactly what is coming your way. Because it is not so easy to build a super cool bathhouse in a listed village.

Now we have to fast forward a bit, otherwise it will be too long. This bathhouse and parking project has turned into a major project of how can we successfully move into the future. There were endless designs, planning stages, thousands of hours of work, expert opinions, bills (phew!), tears and dances, nights in the Jägerstube, etc. — ultimately we arrived at plan 12412309 and it actually played all the pieces! Woohoo! (Should you ever be at the Hirschen and have a lot of time, I would be happy to tell you much more about the pitfalls of such projects than you ever wanted to know!)

Regarding Plan 12412309:

  1. In March and April 2023 Hirschen renovation: Make the remaining rooms very pretty, bring the technology up to date, build the fermentation and wine cellar as well as the ham spa so that we can finally show people the effort we put in.

  2. Meanwhile, clearing the construction site in the former Hirschenau so that

  3. construction can start in September 2023 with

    1. building the bathhouse (it has really become a beautiful box, thanks NONA)

    2. establishment of a proper swimming pool

    3. complete refurbishment of the Wälderhaus and conversion of 21 rooms and suites into 12 Hirschen Homes, large suites with living equipment (fewer units = less need for parking spaces — hah!)

    4. creation of additional public spaces

    5. framed by a beautiful garden

  4. building a new website, to give it a nice appearance

  5. proclaim proudly into the world

  6. open and hope everyone likes it

  7. Rainbow in the sky, chirping sparrows, dancing people, happily mooing cows everywhere.

  8. – The End –


So since September 2023, people and machines have been busy implementing our dreams in wood and stainless steel. So far, everything is going relatively well (thanks to Flatz & Jäger and all the craftsmen and women at this point!) and the anticipation is rising!


We will be bookable from 6.5.2024.


I am very happy that we have persevered and were able to clear all obstacles and lay the foundation for hopefully many more years at the Hirschen. I would like to thank my sister Pia Fetz and my team in particular for their great trust in the project. It is not a matter of course to remain so cool with such major projects.

We are very much looking forward to being able to show you all the results of our efforts and visions in a tangible and experiential way from May 2024. Feel free to book urgently if you feel the need — we will not stand in your way. :)

All the best and see you soon,

Peter Fetz

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