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Keeping Family History Alive

Keeping Family History Alive

Located at the village edge of Au, “Tanna” has been in operation since the mid 19th century and as a hotel since 1970. Two years ago, the Tannahof hotel underwent extensive renovations. Now the hotel’s mix of classic Bregenzerwald appearance and French flair have never looked better.

170 years ago, there was nothing here but thick, dark primeval forest. Today, things are much different: The hotel on the property feels open, airy and bright, descriptors that also apply to the many rooms and suites as well as to the pavilion.Prior to renovations, the property featured a massive two-storey old building, which had the effect of casting the main building, a typical Bregenzerwald farmhouse with a shingle façad and a strong gable roof, into the background.

“Simply tearing down the main building was not an option, we just wouldn’t have had the heart,” said Juliane Moosbrugger-Jourdain. Along with her husband, Guy, she has run operations here since 1991. In doing so she is continuing the story of her parents and grandparents.But time took it’s toll after 25 years, provoking the big question of whether to close things down or renovate? “The decision wasn’t easy for us,” she remembers. Together with the renowned architect Helmut Dietrich, however, they were able to find an impressive solution. “It was important for the property owners to transition to a more contemporary hotel operation with their own strong identity,” explained Dietrich, who was born in Mellau. “As an architect, it was important for me to demonstrate that traditional buildings in Bregenzerwald have the potential for diverse use without destroying their power and essence.” In addition, Dietrich also has a personal connection to this address: His mother grew up here.

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Renovations began in May of 2016 and largely relied on regional companies to complete construction works. The reactions have been positive:New guests have taken notice of the hotel and restaurant.“And many regular guests still stay in their old, preferred rooms, though they are happy to at least tour the new ones,” says Juliane Moosbrugger-Jourdain.

 

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During a visit, the large garden with a view of the Kanisfluh massif is well worth seeing, as is the historical parlour with its low ceilings and the panorama terrace, which is cooled on this June day by a pleasant breeze. Interestingly, the hotel has always been very popular with French guests, especially in summer. The reason for this popularity is due in no small part to the linguistic skills of the hosts and hostesses, i.e. the fact that the head chef Guy originates from the Département Doubs in Eastern France and Juliane lived in Paris for a year. As is often typical, today there are three cars with French number plates in the car park. No matter where they come from, all guests enjoy the “clever, creative cuisine” and the “delicious cross-over menu with Austrian and French inspirations,” as reviewed by the gourmet magazine “A la Carte” in describing the culinary direction of the establishment. Guy’s particular passion is desserts. On this particular Monday, for instance, he’s serving a chocolate mousse with raspberry-capsicum coulis. What else can we say: Bon appétit in Bregenzerwald!

Author: Thorsten Bayer