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Das Regina Hotel is managed by Olaf, the Owner.
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Das Regina Hotel Bad Gastein - Das Regina Hotel, in Salzburger Land, Austria
— Olaf: “Bad Gastein used to be a place where kings and emperors came at the turn of the 19th century. Many of these hotels are still here. This place releases fantasies, which inspires many people to visit.”
Interview By:

— You seem emotionally connected to Bad Gastein. To you personally, what is so special about the village?

Olaf: “When I was 8 years old I first came to Bad Gastein and was I instantly thrilled by the place. At that time there was also a man who bought a few of the old Grand Hotels, trying to bring back a little bit of glamour to Bad Gastein. The village used to be a place where kings and emperors came at the turn of the 19th century. Many of these hotels are still there and only some of them have been modernized or renovated. Together with the futuristic congress house from the 70s, they create that particular charm of Bad Gastein. And this is also why it attracts so many creatives. There are still many empty nostalgic houses where you could do something artistic, it’s great! This place releases fantasies, which inspires many people to visit or even to move here.”
Das Regina Hotel Bad Gastein - Das Regina Hotel, in Salzburger Land, Austria
— Das Regina Hotel Bad Gastein

— You moved from the big city to Bad Gastein. Was it always your motivation to open a boutique hotel?

Olaf: “At the age of 20 I already tried to do some projects in Bad Gastein but that didn’t work out. I then moved to Hamburg, opened up a bar which I then sold in 2003 to come back here. Numerous objects in the city centre had already been bought by an investor from Vienna. But unfortunately many of them are still empty even though they are fantastic houses. We tried to attract the right investors to do something with these houses but that turned out to be a bit difficult.

So we had to go a different way. It was always my dream to open up my own boutique hotel. So when Das Regina crossed my way by chance, I decided to take it.”
Breakfast at Das Regina - Das Regina Hotel, in Salzburger Land, Austria
— Breakfast at Das Regina

— Please tell us a little bit about Das Regina. What is the hotel’s particular charm?

Olaf: “In the 70s Das Regina was bought by a couple who already owned several hotels in Venice. She was Austrian, he Venetian. At first they ran it by themselves but later they leased it to an Italian. That is one of the reasons why the house has such a strange mix of Austrian, Italian and in particular Venetian elements – like the golden beds. It always had a very unique flair. When we took it over we thought ‘Well, the basis is really good, it’s central and has an amazing view.’ So we cleaned it out, tossed out the real bad kitsch, threw out the carpets to show the old wooden floor, covered the stone floor with epoxy resin etc… we wanted it to be a bit shabby-chic.”
 - Das Regina Hotel, in Salzburger Land, Austria

— How would you describe the concept or philosophy of Das Regina Hotel?

Olaf: “Our concept was to create a house combining the history of the hotel and its location with modern elements. And we wanted to create a relaxed atmosphere. It is a little bit chic and has got glamour, but you can absolutely wear a t-shirt to dinner.

Sometimes we also have DJs lined up or we host parties. And we have a small cinema with 16 seats where guests can watch their favorite movies. Our staff is relatively young and there is no formal separation between them and our guests. We want to create a homely and relaxed atmosphere in the house.

On the southern side of Das Regina Hotel, we have a space of about 500m² where we are planning to build a Mountain Beach with sand from the glaciers. We are building a spacious terrace with beach chairs giving guests the chance to relax, listen to the sound of the waterfall and enjoy a little beach feeling.”
Restaurant - Das Regina Hotel, in Salzburger Land, Austria
— Restaurant

— You brought something new and modern to traditional Bad Gastein. Was that a big struggle?

Olaf: “Yes and No. I’ve been struggling for a long time to realise my ideas but they seem to work out pretty well now. Now people know me, they know what I’ve done. At first they couldn’t understand why I voluntarily left the city to live here but this is what has given me a bit of an advantage.

We even managed to open up a bar in 2161 metres height in the ski area Sportgastein. I had to struggle for 10 years until the mountain railway finally decided to give it a shot. The bar is open in summer and in winter whenever the weather allows. It has a big terrace with panoramic views. People talk a lot about it and now the locals love it as well – it is a sensational place!”
Bedroom - Das Regina Hotel, in Salzburger Land, Austria
— Bedroom

— What was it that motivated you to keep fighting for 10 years for a project like this?

Olaf: “It just kept pushing me. No matter whether I was in Berlin, Hamburg or New York, every time I discovered something cool I said to myself: wow, we could do that in Bad Gastein, as well!

The combination of urban ambience in the middle of nature has always fascinated me. Obviously none of the houses really fit in here. Their architecture is more North Italian or they could just as well be in Vienna. And this is what inspired me to keep pushing. You know, even while I took time out I never stopped believing in the idea. And as you can see now, it is going the right direction.”
 - Das Regina Hotel, in Salzburger Land, Austria
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