The Hotel Straubinger is located directly at the Gastein waterfall. It was once the largest hotel in the health resort and, together with its Hotel Austria branch, had around 200 rooms. The main building was built from 1840 to 1842 in place of the tavern at Mittereck, which was built in 1509, and was owned by the Straubinger family from 1602 to 1980. The Gastein Convention was signed in the Hotel Straubinger in 1865. Eckart Witzigmann completed his cooking apprenticeship at the Hotel Straubinger from 1957 to 1960. Today it is empty and waiting for a new investor. On November 14th it was announced that the Hotel Straubinger had found a new investor. The new investor is the Munich-based “Hirmer-Immobilien-Gruppe”. With the assignment contract, the buyer undertakes to set up a commercial hotel in the 4-star superior or 5-star category within three years of obtaining the necessary permits. This is to ensure that the historic center of Bad Gastein does not fall into disrepair.
From 1840 to 1842 the main hotel building was built by the architect Josef Wessicken instead of a tavern on the property, which was owned by the Gastein hotelier family Straubinger from 1602 to 1980. Together with the associated Haus Austria, the Grandhotel Straubinger offered around 200 rooms.
The hotel Straubinger was also a place where world history was made. In 1865, the Gastein Convention between k.k. Austria and Prussia signed.
In the last years of its existence, until July 1999, the Grandhotel Straubinger was used as a spa hotel for public employees and was owned by the Federal Real Estate Company.
Between 1999 and 2005 two Viennese, the real estate agent Franz Duval and the architect Franz Wojnarowski, bought the Congress House Bad Gastein and the old post office in addition to the Grandhotel Straubinger, Haus Austria and the Badeschloss. Since then, these buildings have fallen into disrepair without any use. In November 2017, the State of Salzburg acquired the building and began a process of revitalization (see Straubingerplatz).
As a result, the Grand Hotel was acquired by the Munich-based Hirmer Group. She plans to invest up to 60 million euros in the revitalization of the Grandhotel Straubinger, bathing castle and old post office. Construction work started in early 2021, everything is going according to plan, and then the magnificent buildings from the Belle Epoque will reopen in 2023.
Until the beginning of February 2021, only a few initiates knew what the ensemble would look like. Until the weekend 6./7. February 2021, an apparently secretly taken picture of an architect's plan found its way onto the Internet. This shows a hotel tower, directly behind the bathing castle. The building owners had announced an extension from the start, but many probably did not expect the dimensions. In any case, the plan sparked controversial discussions on the Internet. In the picture, a more than ten-story tower rises up.
The commissioned architecture firm BWM Architekten from Vienna refused to comment on the project on February 8, 2021, as there would be an official press conference with the governor on February 24. The Hirmer group also did not provide any information on the content. Bad Gastein's mayor Gerhard Steinbauer (ÖVP) was less closed, he stood behind the project.