After returning from a trip to the Western Pacific region that lasted several months, Josef and Maria Frick took over the Hotel Bären in Mellau. At that time, the hotel offered holiday apartments, which was almost the exact opposite of what they actually had in mind. After a devastating fire in 1870, the building was remodelled from building stones taken from the Bregenzerach river and wood. When finished, it towered over all the houses in the area. Even today, the building’s regal stature on an irregularly shaped plot of land on the village square is impressive.
When it came to planning the remodelling, the Fricks placed their trust in Joseph’s brother Bernd Frick, who is an architect. Renovations in Mellau began in 2015. The roof was renewed and the building was expanded on two levels to include new rooms, a sauna and a relaxation room featuring gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains and starry sky. Interestingly, the beds and bathroom doors were fashioned from re-purposed wood from the old roof truss. The basement became the ground floor and the main entrance is now located on this new level. The Café Deli was built just to the right of the entrance. The buffet is arranged on a wide counter made of rammed earth under a mighty vaulted arch. Old and new furniture was mixed to furnish the interior.
The finishing touches were added in 2019. Another breakfast room was created above the Café Deli, which houses a library of books, tour tips and games. It became possible to set up a yoga room on the north-east side and connect it to the hotel and café on the inside. Meanwhile, a fountain was built on the square, diagonally opposite the addition. Thus the ensemble was completed with the addition of site-specific motifs, metal and water.
Following the renovations, the Hotel Bären became a synergy of international flair and local roots. Breakfasts at the in-house Café Deli are very popular. This is thanks to the modern, regional dishes, the locally roasted coffee, and the time guests spend enjoying each and every bite.
Architect: Frick Architekt ZT, Reuthe
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