Ieri, oggi & domani – Mother & Daughter

One was born in Lech and works as an architect in Florence. The other was born in Florence and works as a hostess in Lech. Together Birgit Elsensohn and her daughter Marlène Barth- Elsensohn run the Schwarzwand. Birgit gives the architecture its incomparable poetic elegance, Marlène fills the simple atmosphere with her Italian joie de vivre.

"I move between two worlds. Italy has become my second home, but only my second home. So I am happy to come back here to my mountain home Lech, to further develop the hotel of my parents with respect. "

Birgit Elsensohn, Architect Schwarzwand

Birgit Elsensohn studied architecture and historic preservation in Florence and has lived and worked there for over 30 years. The examination of historic building fabric, renovation of historic palazzi and country houses, Italian craftsmanship, the reference to antiques and contemporary art - all these experiences now benefit the Schwarzwand.

"It was by no means intended to turn the Schwarzwand into an Italian hotel. The fact that the interventions and changes have now established an Italian flair in the house after all is due to the lasting imprint of my personal and professional life in Italy."

Birgit Elsensohn, Architect Schwarzwand

At the bancone, as the reception desk at the Schwarzwand is called, guests hear the cheerful laughter of Marlène Barth-Elsensohn. The daughter of Birgit, and granddaughter of hotel founder Walter Elsensohn, was born and raised in Florence. She looks after the all-round well-being of the guests with her Italian-Austrian charm.

" I just love having people around me. Receiving and hosting friends in our open house in Florence and in the countryside was always wonderful: cooking, eating, drinking, and laughing a lot, and of course a bit of chaos. Just what you stereotypically think of as Italian life - that's how I grew up. I can now continue my passion for being a hostess at the hotel. "

Marlène Barth-Elsensohn, Hostess Schwarzwand

The founder generation

The history of the Schwarzwand begins in the time of the great economic and tourist boom in the 1960s. Prosperity and mundanity grew hand in hand at that time. In this spirit of optimism, Walter and Helga Elsensohn founded the Schwarzwand bed and breakfast in 1965, which was expanded over the decades into a 4-star hotel. Daughter Birgit and granddaughter Marlène took over the house and are now gradually transforming it into an exclusive address for aesthetes and connoisseurs.

" My mother contributed significantly to the success of the then still small bed and breakfast. My father earned extra money as a private ski instructor. The mother, former ski racer of the Austrian national team, was the everyday heroine in the house, the father - at that time the youngest state-certified ski instructor and mountain guide in Austria - one of the ski heroes out in the mountains. "

Birgt Elsensohn, Architect and owner Schwarzwand