A TREASURE IN TYROL
When the Austrian ski team hits the slopes, they have their pick of resorts in the Austrian Alps. So it says a lot that, for all their options, they are regulars at Hotel Kitzhof Mountain Design Resort, a handcrafted inn dreamed up by Uschi Schelle-Müller and nestled among the peaks above Kitzbuhel. Hotel Kitzhof is Schelle-Müller’s ...
“I’m not a professional designer, so I approached the process differently and focused on communicating the image in my mind to the craftsmen. Everyone worked in unison to create a shared dream.”
... majestic take on a traditional chalet. Drawing inspiration from the timbered lodges of the region, she combined rustic allure and curatorial taste to create the ultimate haven—a country gem minutes from the glamorous heart of town. “Kitzhof is inspired by the old Tyrolean farmhouses, with their simple comfort and warmth, but with modern refinement,” explains Schelle-Müller. “The idea was to create a hotel where guests felt like they found the mountain home of their dreams.” Evocative and understated, Kitzhof appears to be the work of a confident professional designer. However, it is the creation of a first-timer. Uschi Schelle-Müller, a lifelong resident of Munich, is the marketing maven behind Motel One Group, a leading German hotel chain founded by her husband, Dieter Müller. Although she has decades of experience in the hotel industry, it was her passion for Hotel Kitzhof that revealed her gift for interior design.
In fact, her design inexperience proved an advantage rather than a handicap—even for a hotel with 163 rooms, as well as lounges and restaurants. Unlike a career designer, she was free to explore and tease out the homespun charm of Hotel Kitzhof, avoiding the more generic trappings of high-end hotels. “I had to communicate the images in my head to the local craftsman, so they could make them tangible. In the beginning there was a lot of questions and head-scratching, flipping through books and explanations,” Schelle-Müller admits. “But the longer we worked together, the better we got.” While Schelle-Müller chose stylish modern furnishing, she insisted on using local materials to create an authentic Tyrolean feel. Each room is an individual expression of this authenticity. The paneling on the walls and the worn larch floorboards are salvaged from old cabins and lodges; the loden blankets, stag antlers, and leather for the sleek chairs are regionally produced; and the immense oak table in the wine bar is a rustic slab. With Hotel Kitzhof’s authenticity at heart, Schelle-Müller incorporates everything that is best about the Tyrol, from its crafts and cuisine, to its panoramas and people.