FRANZ STAFFLER

Franz Staffler, the entrepeneur behind the Hotel Greif in Bolzano, Italy, sitting in his home office.
  • ITALY

THE ICON IN THE ALPS

By combining his family’s history with a desire to surprise and please, Franz Staffler has crafted Hotel Greif, a property as impressive and permanent as the Tyrolean mountains that embrace it.

Franz Staffler is no ordinary entrepreneur. Although engaged in all of his family’s ventures—from agriculture to sustainable energy—the tirelessly curious Staffler is most passionate about people, and so his focus is drawn to the root of the family business: hotels. His appreciation of a worthy challenge and love of creatively ...

“You have to start with the point of view of the guest: I walk through the door, where do I put my shoes? My glasses? My luggage? Where is the light? Practically and emotionally, you have to approach the design from this point of view.”
FRANZ STAFFLER
View of one of the guestrooms of the Hotel Greif in Bolzano, Italy. Hotel's design concept by Franz Staffler and partners.
Embedded metal medalions in the pavement in front of Hotel Greif display emotional catchphrases.
Here View of one of the guestrooms of the Hotel Greif in Bolzano, Italy.
Staffler's home is packed with contemporary art, such as this ceramic rabbit sculpture by Arnold Mario Dall'o.

... revitalizing the old and mixing it with the new can be seen in both of his properties, Parkhotel Laurin and Hotel Greif. The latter has been in the family business since 1816, beginning as nothing but a few small rooms then known as Zum Schwarzen Greif, or “The Black Griffin Inn.” Joined by Viennese architect Boris Podrecca, Staffler conceived a new design in the 1990's that carefully preserved much of the original structure’s integrity, including the foundation walls, wood portal entrance and main staircase. “I put my own hands on every facet of the design, conceiving a space to be physically experienced and enjoyed,” says the blue-eyed, often nattily dressed Staffler, whose boyish charm and boundless energy belie his sixty years. “You have to start with the point of view of the guest: I walk through the door, where do I put my shoes? My glasses? My luggage? Where is the light? Practically and emotionally, you have to approach the design from this point of view.” Staffler's appreciation for his native landscape was fostered by his travels in the late 60's and early 70's: from France to South Africa and Afghanistan, Staffler has brought back a deep cultural appreciation, which is evident in Hotel Greif and the surrounding market place in Bolzano. Hotel Greif is now a focal point of local creative activity, from live concerts and performances to visual art exhibitions.

Exterior view of Hotel Greif in Bolzano, Italy. A hotel with a long history. In Hotel Greif (Bolzano, Italy), local creatives, painters, photographers and artists have created a special artwork for each room. The
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