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Gartenhotel Theresia: Hospitality with Tradition and Passion

The Gartenhotel Theresia****Superior in Saalbach-Hinterglemm is now in its third generation of owners. The Brettermeier Family turned the Theresia into the first organically certified hotel in the Province of Salzburg (in 2002) which offers organic board all day. They are true organic pioneers in this province.
Just after the Second World War, Marianne Brettermeier’s grandmother, Theresia Gensbichler (born in 1906), laid the foundation for today’s Gartenhotel Theresia by creating the Gasthof Auhof. She earned the necessary starting capital over many stark years spent as a self-employed herdswoman. Each summer, she rented an alpine pasture and took care of the cows from farms without their own alpine pasture. She was not paid in cash but rather in produce – she milked the cows, made butter and cheese from their milk, delivered the produce to the owners of the cows and was allowed to keep some as payment for her hard work.
She then sold her homemade butter and excellent Pinzgau cheese. During 14 summers at the pasture (in winter, she worked odd-jobs as a cook, housekeeper, etc.) she acquired her own herd of goats, pigs and later a few cows which she sold to purchase a piece of land in a meadow on the Saalach River in 1947. There she set up the framework for her life’s goal – her own home and inn.
 
Due to lack of money for construction, it was only in 1955 that the inn was completed. Theresia was born into the first farming family in Hinterglemm that, in addition to farming, also owned a restaurant called the Dorfwirtshaus with a so-called dance floor. As was common back then in rural areas, the entire estate was split among the family’s four sons. The two daughters received only a bedroom with a cabinet containing items such as linens, dishes and silverware as a dowry for their new household and the right to live with their brothers until their wedding day.
 
From then on, young Theresia stayed with her brother Hans, also known as "Hintermoasa", and his family. She later gave birth to two children at the Hintermaisalm alpine chalet and traded horses together with Hans. This trade eventually led her to South Tyrol. Grandmother Theresia was not only an enterprising, strong woman, but also had her own mind. She never married, even though she had two children with her partner Johann Hasenauer, a farmer in Hinterglemm, who was always the love of her life. Neither had another relationship and they built their entire lives around the well-being of their two children, who grew up at their father’s farm and their mother’s alpine pasture.
 
Their son, Bartholomäus, was officially adopted by his father Johann so that the name Hasenauer could be passed on and succeeded his father by also becoming a farmer. Born in 1928, daughter Marianne ran Theresia’s inn and its 45 beds and received a piece of land from her father. On this land she built the Hotel Egger with her husband, Franz, born in 1919 in Jochberg near Kitzbühel in Tyrol. The Hotel Egger is now run by Mrs Brettermeier’s brother, Josef Egger.
 
Grandmother Theresia was always a driving force working in the background. In her later years, she was able to look back on a fulfilling life and enjoy the success of her children and grandchildren with joy, even though she was sometimes very pensive and told stories of the dark, deprived years full of hunger and war. The depression and the huge financial collapse of 1928 always remained clear in her memory and was a reason why she was always fearful of debt and never really trusted the banks. She only invested when she had a reserve in her pocket.
 
Johann Hasenauer, nach dem das Hotel Johann in Saalbach-Hinterglemm benannt ist.She died only one year after Grandfather Johann, the love of her life and father of her children. In honour of his last wish, they are buried together in the same grave. What a wonderful end for this incredible, one-of-a-kind love that was unable to be shared in one place during their lifetimes. Both Johann and Theresia were founding members of the Hinterglemm cable cars in the year 1950. Johann Hasenauer offered his construction skills and natural resources in the form of wood for the pillars and Theresia Gensbichler provided 5000 Austrian Schilling, a considerable amount of money at that time. But both recognised the importance of investing in the future of tourism in the region and took the risk – and it paid off!
 
Daughter Marianne married Franz Egger in 1954. Their daughter Marianne was born in 1955, son Josef arrived in 1956 and son Franz was born in 1966.
At an age when most others retire, the couple tore down the entire inn in 1980 and built the Hotel Theresia with room for 96 guests in 1981. It was equipped with an indoor pool and two saunas and was officially categorised as a 4.5-star hotel. In the mid-1990s, they built the Aparthotel Hechenberg with 12 holiday apartments in Hinterglemm for their son Franz.
 
For many years, father Egger was the manager of the expanding Hinterglemm Cable Cars, vice-mayor, manager of the Saalbach-Hinterglemm tourism board and – above all – hotelier, hiking guide for his guests during both summer and winter seasons and a true fan of the mountains! Sadly, he passed away in 1999, a week before his 80th birthday. Many regular guests miss their conversations with him and listening to his stories about the good old days, the people of the valley and his musings about anything and everything.
 
Marianne junior, Theresia’s granddaughter who was born at the former Gasthof Auhof, returned home in 1981 after a 5-year education at the Tourism School Schloss Klessheim in Salzburg, a 3-month stay in Paris and finishing her studies in social studies and economics in Innsbruck and Graz. It was in Graz that she met and fell in love with her husband Harald, a fellow student from Klagenfurt. As planned, she joined the family business even though, much to her chagrin, it meant deciding during her schooling that it would not be realistic to combine her biggest passion - ski racing - with her demanding studies. For this reason, she gave up her very promising ski racing career at an early age. Among her other titles, she was the provincial champion in giant slalom and won second place in the international Toppolino Race in Italy, the race which sets the bar for hopeful young ski racers. 
Marianne and Harald married in 1983. Their son Harald Jr, the creative member of the family, was born in 1984; their son Franz-Josef, international business and political science student in Innsbruck, was born in 1986 and in 1993 came their daughter Anna-Theresa, who, like her mother, was studying at a 5-year tourism school.
 
At the end of the 1980s, Marianne Brettermeier-Egger and her husband took over the Hotel Theresia. Under their direction, the hotel has become a design hotel with a clear direction: modern design – timeless tradition. The renowned, award-winning Viennese architecture firm Pichelmann (Gustav Pichelmann is a cousin of Mr Brettermeier) has been re-designing the classic alpine hotel since 2003, always during the autumn season. The highlights of the hotel’s style: light wood, clear, modern lines, plenty of natural light, unimposing lighting. This gives the effect of "new purism" without seeming cold and distant – but rather, with lively character and an Austrian touch. The Brettermeier family have always invested in renovations for the Gartenhotel Theresia (awarded the "Initiative Architektur" in 2010), in environmentally- and resource-friendly measures and, last but not least, in the highest quality of organic food and beverages. 


Our gallery for modern and contemporary art is both the passion of art aficionado Mr Brettermeier and a treat for guests interested in art.
In keeping with our deceased loved ones’ wishes, we treat our guests from all over the world as friends and love spoiling them! As one of our wonderful regular guests once said: "This house has soul!" And we hold true to Gustav Mahler’s idea: "Tradition is the passing on of fire, not the worship of ashes." 
 
It is our honour to invite guests to our weekly history hour. Using the gallery of beautiful old photographs in the hotel lobby, we explain the tradition and development of our hotel and the region. Please feel free to join us!
 
Sincerely,
the Brettermeier Family and Mrs Egger
PS: The name of our hotel was changed in 1981 from the Gasthof Auhof to the Hotel Theresia in honour of our founder, Grandmother Theresia – she was very pleased! She lived with us until she passed in 1992 at home and in the company of her family. 
  • Free SUMMER JOKER Card for cable cars, guided walks and many attractions...
  • Large Garden with tranquillity area, sport area, garden restaurant, terrace and playground