Austrian hotel’s expansion boosts wellness, business visitors

Support from the European Regional Development Fund has allowed Hotel Lebensquell, a health resort in Bad Zell in Austria’s Oberösterreich region, to expand and improve its facilities to meet the ever-growing needs of its varied clientele. The result is a significant increase in business and higher customer satisfaction. And as well as creating new jobs, the hotel’s success has had positive effects on the regional economy.

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The Hotel Lebensquell health resort in Bad Zell, in Austria’s Oberösterreich region, expanded and improve its facilities. ©ÖROK/APA-Fotoservice/Greindl The Hotel Lebensquell health resort in Bad Zell, in Austria’s Oberösterreich region, expanded and improve its facilities. ©ÖROK/APA-Fotoservice/Greindl

" The total turnover of the hotel complex increased by EUR 350 000 in the first half of 2018 alone. "

Thomas Fröhlich-Kriechbaum, CEO Hotel Lebensquell

As part of its transformation, the hotel, nestled in the picturesque Mühlviertel hills, extended its restaurant area from 110 to 180 seats; built two new saunas and an outdoor swimming pool; and added a new relaxation area, exclusively for hotel guests.

The benefits of the project were felt quickly – completed in autumn 2017, the hotel enjoyed an increase in turnover of EUR 350 000 in the first half of 2018.

A more relaxing experience for hotel and day guests

Hotel Lebensquell has been a popular destination for weddings, business seminars and tourists, and for day visitors to its spa and wellness centre, since its opening in 2006. But high occupancy rates were stretching resources and infrastructure to their limits. Owner Thomas Fröhlich-Kriechbaum didn’t feel that visitors were getting the experience they deserved.

Previously, hotel guests had to share their relaxation area with day guests, and with increasing numbers of people attending business seminars and visiting the spa and wellness centre, this was often crowded and noisy. Thanks to the new project, hotel guests now have their own relaxation area, the ‘garden lounge’, with around 50 additional recliners. The needs of day visitors were also taken into account – a relaxation area accessible to them was enhanced with the installation of infrared beds and cabins.

Extending the restaurant improved the experience for all guests. Seating for an extra 70 guests was added, and direct access to the terrace means that in good weather, guests can more easily enjoy the Upper Austrian sun. ‘This has led to significantly calming the pace at breakfast and in the evening,’ explains Fröhlich-Kriechbaum.

Supporting local employment

Thanks to the expansion, 10 new jobs were created, bringing the total number of employees to over 200. Around 90 % of these come from the village of Bad Zell itself, or from the immediate vicinity. Not only does this mean that the hotel provides local employment, but it also keeps down traffic on the already busy roads around Bad Zell in high season.

Food from the region

Hotel Lebensquell’s increased capacity and popularity has a positive impact on local businesses and suppliers, from which the hotel sources a maximum of its raw materials. ‘We need about 100 000 eggs a year. We buy them, just like vegetables or fish, from nearby businesses,’ says Fröhlich-Kriechbaum.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Extension Health Resort Lebensquell Bad Zell” is EUR 2 500 000, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 400 000 through the “Investments in Growth and Employment Austria” Operational Programme for the 2014-2020 programming period. The investment falls under the priority “Improve SMEs’ competitiveness”.