S.you have found each other. She, twenty-eight years old, South Tyrolean, globetrotter, visionary attached to her home country with a cosmopolitan influence. He, completely down-to-earth, South Tyrolean from foot to tip, a powerful guy, grew up around 135 million years ago in the Cretaceous and one of the most beautiful mountains in the Alps: The Sass Rigais towers over all the other peaks of the Geisler group with its 3,025 meters. And the twenty-eight-year-old Teresa Unterthiner prefers to look at him from across the street: “At sunrise from the Gabler,” she says with shining eyes, “that’s where our mountains are most beautiful.”
There are many mountains in the Alps, more than thirty thousand in all, that have a name and have been measured. But hardly any other peaks are as wild, jagged and impressive as the Geisler group, the main actor for Teresa Unterthiner’s new hotel refuge Forestis. The mountains can be marveled at in widescreen format from all sixty-two suites, as there are only floor-length glass fronts across the entire width of the rooms towards the peaks. Only the two rooms in the old main building have normal sized windows. It all began in this main building, originally planned as a sanatorium by the Austrian monarchy in 1912. The First World War prevented its use as a pulmonary hospital, the house fell into a long slumber, which a certain Alois Hinteregger only ended almost a century later. The father of Stefan Hinteregger, whose life partner is Teresa Unterthiner, bought the property on Palmschoss not far from the Plose source and turned it into a hotel in 2010. Stefan was in the hotel industry in Hawaii, Teresa in the real estate industry in Shanghai, but both followed Alois’ call to build something special in this special place. “Europe is undoubtedly the cradle of culture. But you can’t spend your whole life in the cradle, ”Oskar Maria Graf once said. But don’t you have to go back to the cradle if something unique can be created there?
Private pool on the roof
You have to, that wasn’t a question for either of them. Since the main house could not be expanded for monument protection reasons and sixty to sixty-five suites were considered economically necessary, the owners started brainstorming. “The clients absolutely wanted to go their own way. Light and energy should penetrate into every room, ”says architect Armin Sader, recalling the Herculean task. He had never built a hotel before, and the requirements were not easy: as little as possible was allowed to be taken away from this wonderful place at 1,800 meters above sea level, and at the same time the guests should be able to see the full splendor of nature. And under no circumstances should South Tyrolean Lederhosen architecture be created. Nevertheless, Sader put two pine cones on the table: “If we can’t get across, then we’ll build up.” That was the solution: three towers that reach up like tree trunks, but not over the treetops with a maximum of thirty-two meters shoot out. Without the towers, three times as much space would have been used and the maxim “best view for everyone” would not have been possible.