The year is 1939. Local trader Anton Eberharter and his wife Maria, both born into farming families in Zell am Ziller, buy a farm in the hamlet Zellbergeben near Zell am Ziller. The couple have 6 children: 5 girls and a boy, Fritz, who is the father of the current owner Hansjörg Eberharter.
Holidays at the ZapfenHof
The first guests come to the ZapfenHof, which has just 12 beds. Despite basic fixtures and fittings, the visitors from Berlin staying in July and August are very pleased with their holiday in the Zillertal Valley.
At the time, the family-run farm offers a warm welcome with few of the luxuries found at the ZapfenHof today: for breakfast there was milk, butter, eggs, dried bacon and cheese, all from the farm. Guests were happy and came back year after year. The ZapfenHof became a well-kept secret for visitors to the Zillertal Valley.
The ZapfenHof becomes a hotel
The other guesthouses in Zell am Ziller were less than thrilled when, in the winter of 1955/56, theZapfenHof began to serve its guests dinner. After all, until then those staying at the ZapfenHof had been forced to go to one of the nearby dining locations in the evening – an important source of revenue for guesthouses in a village dominated by farming. In 1955 the "Mittelhaus" was built, creating 20 more beds for guests. Just one year later, in 1956, severe flooding caused major damage to both the farm and hotel. The team at the ZapfenHof was forced to save money in order to re-build. The family's hard work paid off. In 1957, just a year after the flooding, they were able to purchase an adjacent farm and its land. The old farmhouse was removed and replaced by a new building with 24 guest beds. In 1960 the decision was taken to switch from operating as a farm with guest beds to a fully fledged pension with the right to offer guests not only produce from the family's own farm but also goods purchased from other local producers. In 1966 the ZapfenHof became a guesthouse. Son Fritz married Mina Haider, who gave birth to two sons and a daughter. The next generation of the Eberharter family began to work at the ZapfenHof.
1972 –time to build again
Work is carried out on the "Mittelhaus" building to add an extra floor and add more modern luxuries and facilities to the spartan rooms. Upon completion of the work, the ZapfenHof has 70 guest beds. It is without a doubt a modern hotel when it re-opens in Easter 1973. Just over a year later, on 27 June 1974, the ZapfenHof is struck by lightning; within 15 minutes the farm and stables are in flames and burn down to the ground. However, the family picks itself up once again and re-builds the hotel. It opens to guests in Christmas 1974.
The ZapfenHof changes hands
In 1976 Anton Eberharter hands over the running of the hotel to his son Fritz. Anton is able to look on with pleasure and pride for a further 13 years as Fritz and his family continue to run the run the hotel in line with the traditions and values close to his heart, before his death in 1989.
The eventful 1990s
In 1991 the "Bauernhaus" is built as private accommodation for Fritz and Mina Eberharter. In 1993 an outdoor poolwith a large sunbathing lawn is added to the hotel. One year later, in 1994, the two towers are added to the building. In 1996 the "Mittelhaus" is renovated, and in 1997 a sauna is built with an Ancient Egypt theme.
Mina's attention to detail
Visitors to the ZapfenHof who pay close attention will find plenty of charming touches and decorations that give the hotel its friendly, relaxed style. Mina Eberharter is responsible for these small but nonetheless important extras and also takes pride in creating the flower arrangements herself.
Even more building work
In 1978 the main building was renovated and expanded and an indoor pool was added. In 1979 Fritz Eberharter received official permission to turn the ZapfenHof into a hotel. Spacious apartments with separate living and sleeping areas were built. In 1980 the "Alpterrasse" and the "Blauer Salon" were added, followed by the terrace with a series of attractive arcades in 1983. In 1984 the "Saal Tirol" and the sauna were renovated and modernised. In 1987 the first building, known as the "Hinterhaus", was taken down and replaced by a new building with a series of suites. In 1998 work was carried out to modernise the indoor pool, which was complemented by a new outdoor pool.
Thank you to our long-serving members of staff!
Building a beautiful hotel is one thing. But running it day to day and ensuring that guests feel at home is a different challenge. Without our committed and skillful members of staff we would not be able to keep our standards so high. So that is why we would like to take this opportunity to thank all our members of staff who help us make the ZapfenHof a special place. Thank you!
The Eberharter family's philosophy
Don't expand, but instead improve. Never sell, instead always buy. Only sell property if absolutely necessary.