On board with... Klaus Ladurner at Preidlhof
Located in Naturns in South Tyrol, Italy, the award-winning luxury hotel & spa - Preidlhof - re-opened in April 2017, following a €6 million refurbishment and luxury upgrade overseen by designer, Reinhard Köck. Pilot PR sits down with Klaus Ladurner, Preidlhof’s Owner and Director, to find out more about the impressive changes that have been made to the hotel and what’s in store for Preidlhof in the future.
Monika and Klaus Ladurner, Co-Directors of Preidlhof (on the right) and Family
1. You have owned and operated The Preidlhof for over 20 years – What were you doing before? What drew you to this property?
That’s right - since 1996 I have been the owner and director of The Preidlhof. The hotel has always been family-owned, and I wanted to keep that tradition going. In fact, Preidlhof will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Hospitality has been in my blood, inherited from my father and my mother. I also gained an excellent grounding in tourism education in the nearby town of Merano. From there I worked extensively abroad, completing internships and learning along the way. In 1996, I returned home and so far the rest is history!
2. Who else in the family works with you and what are their roles?
My wife, Monika is a Co-Director, and she manages the reception desk with a lot of passion and a high level of competence and skill. She, together with her team, go out of their way to ensure that every guest is well looked after! It is the mission of The Preidlhof to offer the best quality in everything we do.
My mother, Rosa is a Senior Director and has operated the hotel for 35 years with a lot of enthusiasm! Since the beginning, she has accompanied our guests on hikes once a week. She is the heart and soul of the hotel and as a real South Tyrolean, she cares a lot about the local culture. That is why home-made schnapps by my father, Senior Director Josef Ladurner, along with a slice of his own-smoked bacon, are an integral part of her hiking tours. With her infectious smile and laughter, and her numerous stories and songs to sing along to, she really knows how to entertain our guests.
My father, Josef Ladurner is a gifted farmer, winegrower and distiller. He uses the hotel’s original oven to smoke the famous South Tyrolean Bacon. Guests are always fascinated to hear his stories about this beautiful region.
I, myself, work front of house and I’m responsible for managing the hotel as a whole. I’m a strategic thinker and entrepreneur – like my wife, I also have great passion for my job and for everything we do at The Preidlhof!
3. What is so special about South Tyrol?
South Tyrol offers so many beautiful things! On the one hand, you will find palms, gentle vineyards and luscious orchards, and on the other, there is this wonderful landscape of pastures, glaciers and mountains. The Dolomites are just a half-hour´s drive away. Merano is on the doorstep and offers fantastic shopping opportunities. Furthermore, there are so many cultural highlights and interesting excursions in the surrounding area. With 315 days of sunshine, it is the ideal place for a holiday.
I was very lucky to take over the family estate in this wonderful place - it was a matter of honour for me to create a real paradise for our guests.
4. You have just recently finished a multi-million pound renovation and luxury upgrade – what was the driving force behind this decision and why did you decide that now was the right time to do it?
I think it is always a good time to make changes. We want to say with a good conscience that The Preidlhof is the best it can be, and that it is the absolute highlight of the region of South Tyrol. That is always our challenge, and something we always have to work towards. We are really pleased with the results and feedback from our guests would indicate that they are delighted too.
5. Was The Preidlhof purpose built as a hotel or did it have a previous function?
Originally the hotel was a simple farm with rooms for rent. It’s amazing to see how far it has come!
6. Do many guests return to the Preidlhof after their first visit?
Yes, we have a great number of repeat guests. We cherish their stories about their experiences with us – there are tales of friendships made, love found and of course love re-ignited! The secret of Preidlhof is simple: it’s magic!
7. What are your favourite recommendations for getting the most out of a visit to Preidlhof – what are the top things to do in Naturns?
Naturns and its surrounding area offer an incredible snapshot of nature’s physical diversity between glaciers and valleys. Palms, cypresses, lemon trees thrive in Mediterrean gardens, in stark contrast to the snowy peaks of Italy’s mightiest mountains. The Texel Group national park is 33,430 hectares and as such, is the biggest and most beautiful nature reserve in South Tyrol – it’s a paradise for nature lovers and adventurous climbers alike.
There are also quaint farmsteads, lush larch forests and also the largest group of alpine lakes in South Tyrol – the nine Spronser lakes.
Very close to the hotel, and absolutely worth seeing, is the spa town of Merano, which was the centre of the Earldom of Tyrol for centuries and stands out with its castles and palaces.
Many guests also find the local legend of Ötzi the Iceman, a mummy that was discovered in South Tyrol and is estimated to be 5300 years old, to be very interesting. You can learn about his story at the archaeological museum in Bolzano. With our highly qualified mountain guides, experienced mountaineers are able to visit the place where the Iceman was discovered, in the Similaun glacier. The Archeopark provides a unique insight into life during the copper era as well.
This is definitely a great destination - come and stay with us!