Our love for the Kühberg has a long history.
Since the 18th century, the slopes at the foot of the Schattenberg have been used to cultivate pine trees to make kindling wood. Over time, the name “Kienberg” became “Kühberg”, as it is still called today.
The special task was to modernise the traditional establishment and add a new building in such a way that it would remain sustainable for the next generation, all the while ensuring that tradition was not lost.
Architect Martin Unzeitig
In 1874, a certain Thaddäus Blattner built a wooden house above the site of ski jump found here today. Blattner’s house soon became a small alpine farm which sold produce derived from its own cows and goats.
In 1894, the property was bought by brewer Andreas Schraudolph, the great-great-grandfather of the current owner, Verena Eichhorn-Lange. He worked at the Sonnenbrauerei, Oberstdorf, which also owned “Die Sonne,” the first and most highly-regarded hotel in Oberstdorf.
The renowned kitchen in this hotel was run – uncommonly for the time – by a woman: Augusta Burger. Augusta and Andreas got to know each other, fell in love and eventually married. With their savings they were able to buy Kühberg. They extended and converted the farmhouse into a pub, the “Restauration im Kühberg.” Very quickly it gained a reputation for good food, cake and coffee, attracting locals who enjoyed drinking, playing music and dancing there on Sundays.
In 1896, Augusta and Andreas’s only child was born, a daughter who they called Katharina. In 1910, the Schraudolphs built an all-weather “summer house” to better accommodate their continually growing number of guests. The “Sadettle,” as this building was called, existed in its original form until 1969 when it was converted into garages and storage room.
Daughter Katharina learnt cooking from her mother and then, in 1919, married alpine dairyman, Martin Zeller. Soon afterwards, the newlyweds took over the running of the pub; Katharina having learned many of the tricks of the trade from her parents (especially). While most of the clientele still consisted of locals, there were increasing numbers of “summer visitors.” They decided to keep the restaurant and café open all year round.
Two rooms were available for overnight guests, while the other rooms offered space for the family and staff. In 1931, the couple enlarged the restaurant and were now able to host parties in an 8o-seat hall.
In 1920, their son Andreas was born. He trained as a confectioner and was poised to take over the family business, when he was immediately drafted into the German war effort after his return home and mortally wounded in Russia in 1943.
The Zeller’s daughter, Auguste, was born in 1925. The grandmother of current owner, Verena Eichhorn-Lange, Auguste took over responsibility for the Kühberg farm with her husband, Fritz Berktold, following their marriage in 1967.
Daughters Luise and Katharina, born in 1932 and 1935, respectively, remained unmarried and childless. They ran the family business together from 1967 to 1994.
Incidentally: The youngest daughter, Elisabeth, who was born in 1937, lives in Oberstdorf and is married to a “Blattner” – so the circle closes!
In 1968, Luise and Katharina got the dilapidated restaurant and guesthouse demolished and rebuilt. Their father Martin Zeller oversaw the renovation. The result was a larger, 100 seat restaurant and a total of 22 beds for the hotel, with most rooms boasting balconies and en suite bathrooms. The rooms generated additional income, while the focus remained on the high-turnover café and restaurant, where up to 300 lunches were sold daily at the beginning of the 1970s.
When it became time for another family member to take over at the helm, it was the niece of the diligent sisters who stepped in. A well-trained and experienced hotelier, Auguste’s daughter, Theresia lead the business with her husband – and kitchen master – Gerd Eichhorn, from 1995 until 2019. The couple managed Kühberg with steady hands, keeping the property in good shape through many smaller renovations.
The next generational change took place in 2019, with Theresia and Gerd’s daughter, Verena, and her husband, Christian Lange, taking over the running of the guesthouse. For Verena – a hotel finance manager with international experience – and Christian – a chef used to starred kitchens – this fulfills a shared dream. They too have made the hotel their own: after extensive renovation, Kühberg Hotel returns with a new look that celebrates its long history – join us in the continuing story of this traditional hotel!