Throwing away and buying new was yesterday. Because why should you use fresh wood when you had to replace the old roof structure anyway and the ancient wooden beams, freshly sanded and oiled, are still wonderfully suitable for building new beds and doors and thus provide another 200 years of meaningful life to have each other? And why buy new furniture when there is so much beautiful old furniture that still works wonderfully?
According to this principle of reusing and reusing existing resources, the traditional Hotel Bären in Mellau was renovated and completely redesigned in 2015. The massive stone building, which is actually atypical for the area, is located in the middle of the town and from here you can wonderfully explore and enjoy the beautiful area of the Mellental nature reserve and the entire Bregenz Forest in Vorarlberg in the middle of the Alps in summer and winter.
In the hotel itself there is plenty of space for informal interaction, children can run around without a care in the world and all the amenities of modern life are available, although the emphasis is on simplicity and focusing on the essentials. Not everything is offered here, but the important things, but in excellent quality. Arrive and “just be” is the motto.
You can find the hosts' favorite recipe in the kitchen whispering to cook.
FoodRegional and seasonal super breakfasts are available in the Bären Deli and on the associated terrace in the Hotel Bären. Every coffee bean used here can be traced back to the plantation and eggs and dairy products come from animals that are known by name. The same goes for the baker of bread, cakes and pastries. The food at Bären is largely vegetarian, much of it organic - whether certified or not. And there are typical dishes here such as the Vorarlberger Riebel - a simple breakfast dish made from semolina. The Hotel Bären has the Café Deli for breakfast, an Italian restaurant for dinner and the s'Bärle Bar for the evening. Every Friday and Saturday the Deli Delight Kitchen serves selected natural wines and a vegetarian soul food menu.
The Hotel Bären is a young, modern company and is run in collaboration with regionally connected people. The working hours are designed with particular consideration for the employees, currently around 15 women, and the various family situations of the individual. All employees also receive ongoing external and internal training on topics such as waste avoidance and separation and other sustainability topics.
EnvironmentIf conversion is going to happen, do it as sustainably as possible. The house has been completely thermally renovated, the new roof is insulated with wood wool, the heat supply comes from 100% renewable energy sources and over 90% of the light sources in the bear are energy-saving LEDs. There is no air conditioning and the temperature in the room is regulated automatically. All employees are trained on the topic of waste avoidance and, wherever possible, the Bären ensures that packaging is free of packaging. All waste generated is separated and recycled.
Well-BeingOpen yoga classes and other courses take place several times a week in yoga studio B. Yoga retreats with different thematic focuses also take place at regular intervals. At the top of the house, the spacious, puristic Finnish sauna and an open-air terrace from which the view can stretch far over the mountains are also attractive all year round. There is also a large relaxation room where fine teas and snacks are available for guests.
Der Bregenzerwald ist eine der schneesichersten Regionen Österreichs, bildet er doch die erste Erhebung, an der die Nordwest-Strömungen abschneien. Im Ort Mellau, am Fuß der Kanisfluh, steht das Hotel Bären, eines der wenigen Steinhäuser inmitten von Holzbauten. Der junge Wirt Josef Frick hat es mit seiner Freundin Maria Lässer im vergangenen Jahr von den Eltern übernommen und innen alles neu gemacht. Moderne, geräumige Zimmer mit schönen Holzmöbeln und Kochgelegenheit. Eine finnische Sauna mit Balkon unterm Dach; und im Erdgeschoss, wo früher die Après-Ski-Bar war, ist jetzt ein schickes Deli-Café, das auch gut in einer Großstadt stehen könnte.
The Hotel Bären is located in Mellau in the middle of the Bregenzerwald in western Austria (Vorarlberg). Journey from Munich approx. 2.5 hours (226 km), from Zurich and Innsbruck approx. 2 hours (approx. 150 km).
The nearest train stations are in Bregenz or Dornbirn. From there there is a bus to Mellau (approx. 50 minutes travel time). The bus stop is right in front of the hotel. A shuttle can also be organized upon request (at an additional cost).
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