At the highest point of Murnau, this enchanting hotel is set in the middle of a large garden with many retreats and an impressive panoramic view. Artist and host Gina Feder has personally designed every detail
Gallery & Art-Hotel "Am Eichholz"
SPONSORED STORY In spring, the cherries are in blossom, and thick umbels of blue vine frame the entrance courtyard. A little later on, there’s azaleas and rhododendrons, and on warm summer nights, the lotus tree smells bewitchingly of jasmine. In the evening, the mountain scenery from Benediktenwand to Herzogstand blurs into hazy blue. In the garden of the “Galerie & Art-Hotel Am Eichholz”, you immediately grasp what it was that fascinated Franz Marc, Gabriele Münter and the other artists of the Blaue Reiter so much about the area around Murnau.
Well Travelled and Cosmopolitan
But blue is not everything. “My favourite colour is red, a rich, deep red with light gold accents,” says Gina Feder. This can be found on many of her works in the rooms, suites and public spaces, sometimes as “magic squares”, and sometimes as floating discs reminiscent of Chinese gongs. The well-travelled and cosmopolitan artist was inspired in Morocco, Egypt, Vietnam, Bali and Sulawesi. Not only for her artistic work, but also for the hotel: there are Moroccan tables next to massive Indian doors, and Balinese sculptures next to Asian lamps in a sleek design.
Gina Feder’s grandfather built the charming villa in the 1920s, and later her father treated spa patients here. After his death, Gina Feder transformed the villa into a mixture of gallery and hotel: “At that time, of course, we had a lot of footfall and also some pretty major events.”
In 2004, she and her husband Alexander Zentgraf also set up another gallery complete with culinary offering in the middle of the village, where they showcased renowned international artists: “An insanely intense time.” In 2015, they sold it again, and Gina Feder has since devoted herself entirely to this hotel gem, which has “slowly hatched from its egg” over the years, in addition to her art.
“Since childhood I have redecorated my room every week”
Favourite Spots in the Garden
Today, it is an insider’s tip for weddings and birthday parties with its many enchanted garden spots spanning the 3,500 square metre plot, as well as the glass house that is more than four metres high. And for guests who appreciate a unique ambience in the middle of a lush Mediterranean garden – everyone will be sure to find their favourite spot here.
The garden is taken care of by Alexander Zentgraf, who is a landscape architect by profession. He overwinters sensitive plants such as agapanthus, lemon and olive trees in the greenhouse, and conceptualises the flowering splendour a little differently every year.
Gina Feder does the same with the hotel’s interior and exterior spaces. “From my childhood, I redecorated my room every week and painted new pictures,” recalls the hostess. Today, she loves rearranging individual pieces, repainting furniture and also constantly changing the artwork that adorns the hotel. In her separate studio in the garden, new things are constantly being created, while guests and visitors alike buy individual works – at the “Galerie & Art-Hotel Am Eichholz”, things never stay the same for too long.
Whirlpool with a View
The latest project is the light-filled wellness room in one of the many garden courtyards. The steel and glass construction includes a whirlpool with a view of the Ester Mountains, a steam shower and infrared cabin – everything can be booked individually for two people.
“I once had such a private spa experience in a riad in Morocco,” says Gina Feder, “and now I would like to offer that to our guests as well.” The cultural programme with music and readings that the hostess regularly offers is also quite individual.
When the weather is good, you can enjoy a sumptuous breakfast with freshly prepared egg dishes, fresh fruit, matured cheese, a wide range of muesli and homemade pâté – all outside, of course. Guests enjoy sitting on the wind-protected arcade terrace for a long time with a cup of coffee. From Wednesday to Saturday, the passionate chef Alexander Zentgraf also spoils them on request with Mediterranean-inspired menus, spiced with flavours from their own herb garden.
Museums and Moss – A Great Place to Stroll
Those who fancy hearty Bavarian cuisine will find inns in the centre of Murnau, which is around ten minutes’ walk away. The main attraction in this small town on the quiet Staffelsee is the “Münter House”, where the artist couple Gabriele Münter and Wassily Kandinsky lived, and the castle museum with a magnificent Blaue Reiter exhibition. In Gina Feder’s artistic development, however, the Expressionists “didn’t play a formative role”, as she says.
On the outskirts of this lovely climatic health resort, the Murnauer Moos – which is accessible by a twelve-kilometre-long hiking path – stretches out in front of the grandiose towering Alpine chain. An area far less frequented is the hill near the mini-chapel in Leibersberg on nearby Riegsee, which Gina Feder recommends because of the “fantastic view”. And, after a lovely walk and with a good glass of wine in hand, you can enjoy your very own private Alpine panoramic view in the garden of the “Galerie & Art-Hotel Am Eichholz”...