How a modest inn became a five-star luxury hotel
From an inn to an exclusive hideaway
Where there is a will, there is a way. And when followed with resolve, that way leads to the realisation of the vision. The various generations of the Dorfer family have always held tight to this belief. From the takeover of a run-down inn in remote Val Passiria/Passeiertal in 1923 to the establishment of a flourishing business by South Tyrolean tourism pioneer Luise Dorfer and its subsequent transformation into one of the Alps’ most sought-after retreats under today’s host, Heinrich Dorfer, the Quellenhof has a multi-faceted history.
Every new venture has its challenges. Eduard Dorfer and Resi Niederbacher, the grandparents of the current host, Heinrich Dorfer, experienced this first-hand. In 1923, they took over the Quellenhof, which was rundown at the time due to frequent changes of ownership. Over the years, and with a lot of dedication and commitment, they transformed the simple inn into a popular meeting place with a cosy ambience where guests liked to stop in – not least to sample Grandma Resi’s famed blue trout, a freshly caught delicacy straight from the Passirio/Passer river. Guests came from near and far to enjoy the lovingly prepared dishes in the beer garden and a game of nine-pin bowling at the hotel’s bowling alley.
As time went on, Eduard and Resi envisioned their eldest daughter, Berta, inheriting the family business. However, out of love, she passed the torch to her brother, Rudolf, heralding a fresh chapter for the Quellenhof. Berta had arranged a job for her good friend Luise at the Quellenhof, and fate intervened when Luise, a native of Ulten, fell head over heels for Rudolf. On 1 April 1959, Luise and Rudolf Dorfer married, and in the following years, they were blessed with four children: Marlene, Heinrich, Helga, and Birgit. The inn, meanwhile, continued to flourish and was known far and wide for its warm atmosphere and exceptionally good food. A bitter setback was the premature death of Rudolf Dorfer at the age of 42. Luise, with remarkable resilience, allowed herself little time to grieve. Determined to safeguard the family’s future, she continued to run the Quellenhof with unwavering dedication, balancing the business with devoted care for her children. In 1973, this pioneer of tourism in South Tyrol had the Forellenhof built, with its 45 guest beds and the first tennis courts.
Luise Dorfer passed her values of vision, pioneering spirit, courage, and immense passion for the profession on to her son Heinrich. Armed with these values, Heinrich took over the Quellenhof and ran it in accordance with his farsighted vision: he had a three-hole golf course built, rebuilt the Forellenhof, had the Alpenschlössel constructed a few years later, and in 2000 demolished the Quellenhof to build a completely new hotel on the same site. He demonstrated further foresight by building the bypass tunnel, which freed the Quellenhof from the increasing traffic in Val Passiria/Passeiertal. In 2004, the Parkresidenz was built, followed in 2009 by the Vitalresidenz, and in 2010, the unique Quellenhof Medical Center. A crowning achievement came in 2019, with the unveiling of the Quellenhof Luxury Resort Lazise. This five-star gem mirrors the magnificence of its parent hotel in Val Passiria/Passeiertal.
A true jewel, a piece of the Caribbean in the middle of the Alps, a resort that is second to none: these are apt descriptions of the Quellenhof See Lodge. In an uncertain time marked by pandemic uncertainties and lockdowns, host Heinrich bravely ventured to create a distinctive five-star resort in a class of its own. The vision had been brewing for years, and the ground-breaking ceremony for the huge Quellenhof See Lodge project finally followed in November 2020. Since its opening in 2022, a luxurious holiday retreat for guests aged 14 and over now awaits you next to the main building of the Quellenhof Luxury Resort Passeier, set in a lake and island landscape reminiscent of the Maldives with exclusive suites and villas.