At the Nidum Hotel in Moesern, we taste the bubbly Lillet summer drink Elegant Summer while we chat with the hotelière Michaela Lechthaler about casual luxury and Tyrolean nonchalance.
You advertise the Nidum as a hotel “created for a new generation of travelers” – what is this new generation of guests like?
For our guests it is important that they have nothing to forego – a beautiful house, good food, perfect drinks, a welcoming staff – and yet be completely relaxed. Our concept is designed to not being traditional or formal. The guests can leave everything that stresses behind. We live and work according to our slogan “Casual Luxury” and there is even a tie ban because we wish to take out the pressure and stiffness that very often characterizes our hotel category.
You present yourself as young, fresh and hip. What is your concept based on?
The most important rule is that there are actually no rules. We have a lot of young but also young at heart guests. Everybody who is open to something new and maybe a little bit crazy, feel at home. We are easy and relaxed but still highly professional and blend luxury with casualness, cordiality and a lot of Tyrolean humor. We do not believe in average service and performance.
You have made the house a very successful hotel in no time at all. What is your secret recipe?
Certainly the team and ourselves. My partner, Max, and I are constantly buzzing through the house and are available for the guests. If they see that you as an owner are actively involved and fully support the concept, they accept it as well. We count on honesty and commitment, from the cleaning staff to the management, and that’s what the guests feel.
Apparently you also have many female guests. Why are they choosing your hotel?
We are indeed a house that is very popular with women. First of all, our architecture appeals to female guests. Then we have a great spa area, different libraries, run two fantastic beauty product lines and offer a variety of sports and relaxation classes, from Yoga to Zumba. You can wonderfully meditate, enjoy the nature and dance in the evening at the bar to the tunes of a live band. This is what attracts women. Of course, I have been involved in the concept since the very beginning and make sure that everything that would be important to us if we were guests, is implemented in our house.
Do people come here for a spa retreat or active holidays?
Actually, we have a wide variety of guests – but the focus lies on people who arrive overworked and just want to fade out everyday life. Our guests are sensual people who value their health, good food and their mental balance. In summer, for example, they walk in flip-flops to the wild Lake Moeserer, five minutes away, so they can go swimming there. It is located in the middle of the forest and there is absolute silence. Twice a week, three musicians sit on the bridge at 7am and play jazz music while people swim in the lake. This is a unique experience that nobody ever forgets.
According to your website, you turn things upside down – like what?
We turn everything upside down with the way we are and work: First of all, we are friendly, cordial and above all we, as owners, are also present. When it comes to our approaches, we are open to new ideas and like to think outside the box. If guests want things to be different, we consider it. Why not? Every day I turn things upside down for my guests so they can get what they want. Still, this is our job. Despite much office work, we take a lot of time to drink a glass of wine with them, walk to the lake or go for a torchlight hike. That is why I became a hotelière, that is what makes me tick. I think that is also the reason why we have had so many guests in such a short period of time.
Can you also delegate responsibility?
(Laughs) Unfortunately that is one of my weaknesses. I am involved in everything and still control all areas – except the bar and the kitchen, because I have a great barkeeper and a fabulous chef, who do a wonderful job. The house, which we took over only a year and a half ago, is our baby and we want everything to work out. I’ve had an assistant for two weeks now and that actually feels like a vacation for me (laughs). But of course, my goal is to delegate more and more, because nobody can handle so many tasks for a long time. In addition, the guests expect me to spend time with them and that is what really makes the concept work.
What can we you look forward to in your three restaurants?
Our guests can choose from three restaurant areas: Black Beauty (reduced and stylish), Larch (traditional), Nidum (elegant). In addition, there is a wine bar where we offer either a gourmet or a steak evening twice a week for a maximum of 10 people. Our chef, Damnjan, is a culinary artist and was recently named the second best cook in Croatia. He also thinks outside the box and is open to everything. We offer a light cuisine with a Mediterranean touch – but if someone wants a Kaiserschmarren or a Schnitzel, she/he gets it of course.
Where could we best enjoy your Lillet signature drink Elegant Summer?
I would recommend the sun terrace, because you almost have sun the whole day and it includes a breathtaking view of the Inn Valley. During the aperitif you can sit in our cozy lounge chairs, listen to chill-out music and gaze at the beautiful Tyrolean landscape. There is nothing like it.
How do you get your customers?
We host a lot of young people and of course they are, amongst others, attracted by social media advertising. That’s Max’s job because I am not good with technical devices. Still, we also do print advertising and go back to the roots. Many people are already tired of being overrun by digital things and like to read a book or a magazine. Paper is much more valuable and when they read something about us, they also take the time to take a closer look.
What is important to you as a hotelière?
Well, I enjoy working with young, innovative people and promoting start-up companies like Stop the water while using me! who advocate for saving water. In Tyrol we do have enough water, but honestly, there are so many areas where there is no water. That’s why I feel responsible to make my guests aware of the fact that they not necessarily need to use four towels every day and order fresh towels on a daily basis. Of course we provide fresh towels every day if it is required but we point out that there is another way. My guests are discerning but relaxed. They realize that our appeal comes straight from the heart and even find it cool that we address this issue.
We also work with local farmers, because it is important to us that they can survive as well. The fish that our guests eat comes from the region, in fact it is delivered by my dog’s vet. If one of our guests need a vet, I’ll send him over and mention that the fish he ate yesterday comes from his fish farm. They love that. Our guests only get the best products and never discounted goods. In addition, our house is made only of natural materials, we heat with pellets and it is a low energy house – that’s what the guests feel. When they leave, they hug and thank me. So we seem to do things right and that appreciation is my greatest gift.
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A cooperation with Lifestylehotels and Lillet.