A native knack for design and a creative spirit
© Familie Strolz

A native knack for design and a creative spirit

The Schmelzhof’s design is a family affair.

The Strolz family’s Schmelzhof is a place where you can – and want to – just be. Particularly after having moved into one of the beautifully designed rooms. A sense for style and design that takes shape in perfectly placed accents, all of which makes it clear there is an extraordinary sense for aesthetics behind it all. And it’s not about being hip but rather about being authentic – something Lila Strolz and Franziska Strolz know very well. Together, the two Strolz family youngsters face the challenge of redesigning two of the hotel’s rooms where they want to offer guests a truly special “home away from home”.

Every beginning is hard … or is it?

How to design a hotel room so that it elicits the same emotions as your own four walls? There are many different tastes and preferences, so many that it might seem like an impossible feat to fulfil this wish for cosy comfort. “It’s all about the right concept”, Lila Strolz explains, and continues in more concrete terms: “a lot of it is about intuition and the right floor plan. It’s important to picture oneself in the guests’ shoes by considering all of their movement patterns from the moment they enter the room. At home we design our spaces to make sure they offer the maximum comfort a specific room allows (short distances, everything is close at hand etc.). That’s exactly what a hotel room is supposed to do, too. As an interior designer it is my job to try and find the interface between functionality and art in order to create something very special.”

© Familie Strolz | fabric pattern & wallpapers | Romy Schneider & Brigitte Bardot

At Schmelzhof, the term “special” is synonymous with “individual”, because each and every one of the 48 rooms is different. A significant fact the two young design pros wanted to take into consideration.

© Familie Strolz | Schmelzhof

“The rooms are supposed to carry our particular signature without being interchangeable. Similar to our two characters as cousins – similar yet completely different”, Franziska Strolz explains and adds with a smirk: “that’s why our guests will soon stay in two beautiful rooms with fitting names: Romy Schneider and Brigitte Bardot.” Both grew up with a passion for design. “The hotel and restaurant business were no-brainers for Lila and me, but in the end it was our affinity for design and fashion, inherited from our mothers, that decided our career paths.” Lila is an interior designer and Franziska finished design school and then moved on to study management at ESCP Business School. After Paris and Turin, Berlin is now her third and last stop before graduating.

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© Familie Strolz | Romy Schneider
“As an interior designer it is my job to try and find the interface between functionality and art in order to create something very special.”
Lila Strolz

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© Familie Strolz | Brigitte Bardot
“The rooms are supposed to carry our particular signature without being interchangeable.”
Franziska Strolz

A zest for action, bubbling over with ideas

Striking patterns, captivating colours, and interesting shapes – the eye sees, the head processes, and the hand puts it on paper. “In our designs, Franzi and I used the contemporary and international tendencies of the Edelweiß in Zürs – my parents’ former hotel – for inspiration, while simultaneously making sure that the Schmelzhof’s individual character – its soul – remained intact”, Lila tells us. This way her former home and then place-to-be on the Arlberg forms a creative starting point and the basic design concept pays homage to that which was. This is something the guests can not just see in the photo album available in each room – a reminiscence of “the good, old times” – but that is also very visible thanks to traditional motifs like a wallpaper with glittering deer of different colours – a cleverly chosen design that celebrates a fusion of past and modern times; homage and exciting taste at the same time. Still, Lila likes to point out: “Trends come and go. Which is why, when it comes to interior design, it’s always important to keep the base classic and timeless. And in following the times, individual elements can then be adapted bit by bit.”

© Familie Strolz | Romy Schneider and Brigitte Bardot

“Growing up in a cosmopolitan environment like a hotel – Lila at Edelweiß and myself at Schmelzhof – leaves you with a certain sensitivity for aspects of different cultures and customs”, Franziska adds, underlining how important it was to them to make sure their design idea would incorporate a certain material cocktail. Highland-style tartans, mixed with soft velvet fabrics or the “black wallpaper with edelweiss flowers that meets a brass floor lamp and braided rattan”.

© Familie Strolz

Creativity knows no boundaries

All those looking to decorate their own home usually have free reign and can let their creative juices flow. When your own home is a hotel, however, that’s a different story. Not so with the Strolz family though. “At the beginning it was particularly difficult to find our own line”, Franziska remembers, “but my parents never felt our ideas were too daring and would not reflect the hotel’s DNA.” This way the collaboration of the two generations within the framework of finding ideas and putting them into practice ended up being comfortable and harmonious, making it a truly fun process to choose wall colours, fine fabrics, baseboards, curtain rods, lamps, and mirrors – simply every little detail of the rooms – together.” Now all that remains to say it that the guests will hopefully enjoy their home for a time - those special retreats like Schmelzhof, where design is a family affair.

© Familie Strolz | Franziska & Lila Strolz
Inside story

They are young, full of beans, and incredibly creative: Lila and Franziska Strolz are not just filling their parents’ shoes, they followed their own sense for design and management. In Milan, London, Paris, or Berlin they gathered valuable experience, found inspiration with the local subcultures while never hiding their roots. Their style? Tradition paired with urban, modern elements. A great basis for fulfilling their design mission “rooms/Schmelzhof” to the family and the guests’ fullest satisfaction.

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