THE HISTORY OF HOTEL BÜGELHOF
Destiny brought skiing to Sälen
Heinrich, Josef Schwalm, the Austrian from outside Kitzbühel was one of the first good alpine skiers. When he was just a young boy, Heinrich decided that being able to go downhill on the snow must be the most fun thing ever. After having made around 60 different varieties of skis, he found the right design.
In 1929, when Heinrich had mastered his skiing, he was out on the meadow Hahnenkamm Alm where the now famous Hahnenkamm downhill race is held each January. When he stopped just after the steep section Mausfalle, where he flew at least 60–80 metres, he saw a boy further down the valley waving at him.
The boy told him that a man from another country was looking for him.
Curt-Ewert, who was born in 1912 and graduated from the school Norra Latin in Stockholm, was a very active in various associations and had heard of Heinrich, Josef Schwalm. So he just had to go visit him. They became good friends and talked only about skiing. Something they were both enthusiastic about.
Heinrich visited Sweden and Sälen which Curt-Ewert was fond of. He said “this is where I will bring people to go skiing”. Heinrich agreed. And they did. A lift was built on the slope above what is today known as Sälfjällstorget. In 1935, the “old” Sälen cottage was built. Skiing and tourism was established in Sälen.
The two men remained friends for life.
The first ground was broken in 1968 for what today is Hotel Bügelhof. The hotel opened in 1971 and has been run by many different people and under different names. These include Hotell Tangen, Hotell tre hästar, Hotell Jonas.
Heinrich had a son in 1944, Manfred Heinrich, Josef Schwalm. Heinrich often told him how beautiful is was in the Swedish mountains and Sälen. Manfred who also was a curious man decided to go to Sälen and experience what his father Heinrich had experienced. Manfred, who had studied at hospitality schools in Switzerland, stayed in Sälen and took over the hotel. He named it Hotel Bügelhof 1989–2004 after a farm in his village outside Kitzbühel.
Today Hotel Bügelhof is run by Ulf Clacton, Ylva and Kalle Strömmer with their staff. Obviously, the love for Austria is still here and will remain, as will the joy of serving other people and exceeding their expectations.