Hotel Galántha Eisenstadt
Hotel Galántha, Esterházy Palace’s new next-door neighbour
Eisenstadt is the capital of the Austrian federal state of Burgenland. Located to the south of Vienna and to the east of Lake Neusiedl, the city is likewise close to the Hungarian border. Its primary claim to fame is that it is home to the palace of the former Esterházy princes. The composer Joseph Haydn spent several decades there. Indeed, so many works did he compose during his long period of residence at the Palace that Eisenstadt is now generally referred to as Haydn’s city. The new Hotel Galántha has now opened up for business right opposite the Palace of the Esterházy dynasty.
The new building on the block forms part of a mixed-use ensemble being erected on the site of the former local sickness fund establishment. Four residential units comprising 60 freehold dwellings and offices are being built along with the hotel on almost 33,000 square feet of land. The work was commissioned by Esterházy Betriebe GmbH, a firm run by the private Esterházy Foundation. The Hohensinn Architektur practice assumed overall control of architectural planning and design, leaving BWM Architekten to fashion both the hotel’s interior and – in cooperation with Hohensinn – its façade.
The natural-stone façade is low-key in appearance in order not to steal the show from its historic neighbours. The name Galántha given to the new hotel is that of a small township near Bratislava, an Esterházy country seat from back in 1527 that even led to “de Galántha” being suffixed to the family name. Hotel Galántha nestles in the lower slopes of the Leitha Hills, whence guests can gaze out over the Wulka Valley. Marvellous views of the baroque Esterházy Palace and its grounds are to be had from many of the hotel’s rooms, as well as from its restaurant and rooftop bar.
Architecture and Object
Photo: Erich Bernard, founder and visionary of BWM,
© BWM Architects
“The interior scheme can be seen as citing the Esterházys’ cosmopolitan, open-minded history,” Erich Bernard, CEO and founding partner of BWM Architekten, explains. “Communal areas such as the lobby, restaurant and bar are suitably expansive, and the hotel brings guests from home and abroad together under one roof – serving as a place for exchanges and engagement.”
The hotel’s rooms are conducive to a sense of regal wellbeing. “The concept of a place of engagement carries over into the materials used, great store being laid by their being authentic, and predominantly regional – where tiles are fitted they are ceramic, the stone is natural throughout, and if it looks like wood it is wood.” In short, the architects have appointed their project to a palpably high level of quality. Logs burning in a natural-stone fireplace create a congenial atmosphere on the open-plan ground floor. Solid timber parquet flooring alternates with areas surfaced in grey to lend a delightful sense of structure to the flowing space.
The architects extrapolated the colour scheme from the Esterházys’ royal passion for parklands. The carpets specially made for each room echo the geometries of their magnificent baroque gardens. Stays at Hotel Galántha are crowned by the experience of visiting its rooftop bar, which is laid out like a verdant modern garden complete with fire, pool and a spectacular fourth-floor view straight across to Esterházy Palace.
The FSB 1106/1043 model the architects opted for is a handle designed by their architect colleague Christoph Mäckler. It boasts a timeless, nimbly curvaceous formal vocabulary that melds seamlessly with the exclusive setting of a hotel whose materials and design are of the most discerning order conceivable. It has been fitted amongst other things as a window handle (0 34 1106 09039 6204) and as a lever/lever set for doors (0 12 1106 01310 6204).
Photos: Gregor Hofbauer