So, where should we spend our holidays this year…?
I would be in favour of Radstadt and I would prefer to enjoy my holiday at the Innviertler. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
I like to stay at the Innviertler myself; because the mountain inn fascinates me so much. Some questions that have always been on my mind have been answered by the hosts Selina and Werner and I would like to share them with you today. So, it’s going to be exciting…;)
Built in 1979, the Innviertler Berggasthof still attracts guests from all over the world and, of course, locals. Good vibes, good food and a family atmosphere are more than guaranteed here, and all thanks to the warm-hearted Hillebrand family.
The first question I’ve been asking myself for a long time was how long has this mountain inn existed and how did they come up with the idea of building an inn here? The former owners (Werner’s parents) met in the Innviertel and, as the saying goes, it was “love at first sight” for the two of them. The two originally wanted to build a house in the Innviertel, but then decided to open an inn in Radstadt. At the Bachseitenhof, the former property of the senior boss’s father, they finally got a building site and then the idea of running a guesthouse here came up quickly. After consultation with the mayor at the time, however, instead of a house and a guesthouse, the Innviertler mountain inn was built – a real eye-catcher. Getting there can be adventurous, especially in winter, but you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view: From Radstadt you drive uphill along the Forstauer Strasse until you reach the top of “Mooshöhe” and turn right into Fagerstrasse. Now there are only a few more bends until you reach the Innviertler at 1,270 metres above sea level. If you want to travel by public transport, the bus line 517 will take you to the “Moos” stop, from there you have to walk the last 1.7 kilometres along the Fagerstrasse.
The dear Hillebrand family puts so much heart and soul into this inn every day, but despite everything, the mountain inn is not called Hillebrand? Werner gave me a very logical answer to that. In Upper Austria there is a district called “Innviertel” and the actual naming also comes from the founder Josef Hillebrand, who said:” If there is a Salzburger Hof in the Innviertel, then there can also be an Innviertler Hof in Salzburg.”
One of the advantages Selina and Werner have always seen was that they could always be there for their family even during working hours. Of course, they had less time during the peak seasons, but nevertheless, the two of them have raised four wonderful children and they will always be very proud of them! One of the four will also take over the Innviertler Berggasthof, Florian, the third oldest of the family, is to take over the mountain inn in the third generation after his tourism school training.
What many people probably also ask is what about the boss’s holiday and whether they also have a day off on their closing day, or does their head stay at work? Werner explained this to me quite simply: “The day off on Wednesday is planned purely for the employees, to be able to offer them a fixed day off.” The holiday time for the Hillebrand family itself is in between seasons, in spring and autumn, because the Innviertler is a seasonal business.
While we’re on the subject of staff, how does it actually work when someone is absent? If someone drops out at the Innviertler, the most obvious and first choice is of course the family. Melanie, Julia or Florian are always asked first and if none of them can fill in, Selina and Werner have to give 200% instead of 100%. But I don’t imagine that’s so easy – it commands a lot of respect.
A high percentage of regular guests is a quality characteristic of a good host. At the Innviertler, about 80 % of the guests have been regulars for more than 10 years. The inn lives, so to speak, from its family atmosphere and the approximately 3,000 guests/regulars, who are all personally known together with their preferences and wishes.
Just like every inn, the Hillebrands had a moment they will never forget in their entire time at the mountain inn. The Covid crisis was a big challenge for the family. Christmas was always celebrated with the guests and the lack of company was very depressing for the family during this time. Apart from Covid, wedding celebrations, birthday parties etc. are events Selina and Werner remember as unforgettable and wonderful moments and about which they particularly like to talk.
Is it actually allowed to ask for secrets? Well, I’ll give it a try: “Werner, what is your secret to running a good mountain inn and not giving up?
“Our philosophy is that we honour and appreciate every guest. As a result, there are also many warm hugs in our house. Most of them are given by the lady of the house (laughs).” Of course, the family hopes that the Innviertler will stay with them for a long time. The basis for the next generation has already been created. Werner hopes that Florian will continue to run the business with love and heart, just as his parents did.
What Werner also told me is that there is one thing he is very proud of in this mountain inn: hunting. The entire inn is connected to hunting, which is also reflected in the decoration of the interior. Selina told me that she is proud to have continued to run the mountain inn the way her parents-in-law did. This is also reflected in the cuisine, where mainly home-style dishes and game are served. Trout also swim in the inn’s own “Herzerlsee” lake, which guests can catch themselves and then have prepared by the kitchen.
So, now I’ve really learned a lot, but I still have one question: What is the most difficult thing about running a mountain inn? Werner explained to me that catering will always be a lot of work. Currently, it is particularly difficult to find suitable staff. Farming and hunting for the inn also take up a lot of time and effort. However, you just have to keep at it with a lot of heart and passion, because only then can you continue to run the mountain inn successfully and realise your dream “at the most beautiful spot on the mountain”.
Well? Would you like to visit the Innviertler now, too? Then book a holiday now or come by for a cosy lunch or dinner. The Hillebrand family is looking forward to meeting you :).
Current opening hours and further information on the Innviertler mountain inn can be found at
Bildnachweis: Berggasthof Innviertler