A long history - a fascinating chronicle
The story of the Steinerhof begins on the Breitenberg, along the Leifers High-Altitude Trail. The Untersteinerhof is one of the oldest farmsteads in Leifers / Laives and was first mentioned in documents in the year 1406, where it was referred to as the "farmstead on the Stayn." The name comes from its location on a large flat rocky platform. In 1907, the parcel of land in the valley was acquired by Elisabeth Alber and Franz Pfeifer. In 1936, the noble farmhouse began being used as a wine-cellar. At the same time, a "Buschenschank" (informal seasonal tavern) was started. In 1956, it was expanded into an inn.
A friendly man
Our great-grandfather Peter Pfeifer (*1894 +1984) was highly esteemed in our village as a cheerful person and member of numerous associations. We are proud of the very many awards he earned. Some of our guests may still remember him or his wife. He entrusted his oldest son, Fritz (*1925 +1997), with important managerial duties at a young age.
After experiencing the horrors of the war and returning home together with his brother, Karl, Fritz devoted his not inconsiderable energies and optimism to founding several cooperatives and the tourism agency (which back then were referred to as "beautification associations"). The cherry trees in the 3rd Street planted by the two brothers still stand as symbols of this spirit of renewal.
On Nov. 11, 1948, Fritz Pfeifer married Marianne Mittermair, and she focused on the wooden cottage, the laundry room, and the sauna. The couple raised four children: Peter, Walter, Johanna, and Paula. Fritz organized bus trips throughout South Tyrol and wrote an information pamphlet that has been expanded and continues to be reprinted to this day. He had many friendships and enjoyed traveling about the province with his guests and friends. He also built the Gasthaus (inn) in several construction phases to its present grandeur with the sun terrace and the large dining room.
The younger generation with new ideas
In the 1960s, the cellar was expanded to serve as an entertainment and dance hall. That's where the first automatic bowling alley of South Tyrol was installed. Today, the Steiner Cellar is still the subject of many stories told between the Vinschgau / Venosta Valley and the Pusteria Valley. Many South Tyrolean couples became acquainted here. The guests of the hotel and the camping park met with the locals and celebrated many an enjoyable evening, with dancing and wine. In the 1970s, a large laundry room was built, and shortly thereafter, a long-term cooperation with RotelTours was launched. In order to preserve the identity of the old Steinerhof, the existent arbor was retained when designing the Camping Park; Peter Pfeifer placed the cornerstone for the individual camping sites.
The construction of the swimming pool – which was used also by the local citizenry – was the sensation of the year 1960. The first camping bathrooms were still located at the hotel until new ones were installed at the outdoor swimming pool. From 1966 till 1968, 29 wood cottages were built and the miniature golf course was established. The public sauna was finished in 1974, and from then on, both locals and guests happily used it until the early-1990s.
In 1971, the eldest son, Peter Pfeifer, took over management of the Camping Park. Since then, he has been totally committed to this task. He is fondly known as the "man with the blue apron," and is always happy to share a smile and help "his guests" explore the area. Because the Camping Park is a matter very close to his heart.
A pioneer for vacationing without borders
Even back then, the Steiner Camping Park was a popular summertime destination for vacationers throughout Europe – as far away as the Netherlands and Denmark. Some of our long-time guests from Germany, the Netherlands / Belgium, and Denmark have been coming here to Leifers / Laives for three generations. Peter Pfeifer exhibited an uncanny ability to learn these languages, and thus many guests were delighted to converse with him in their native tongue. Especially families with tents and tent trailers visited here in the vacation season. Today, trailers are the primary mode of holiday transportation. And among the guests, there were more and more couples who appreciated the mild climate in the spring and autumn.
In 1988, family circumstances required Peter to take charge of the Hotel Bozen, too. Thanks to the considerable support of his wife, Olga, and the industrious Steiner team, he was able to run these operations, too. But in the following years, it wasn't possible to devote all their energies to the Camping Park, so the camping guests often didn't get to see much of Olga and Pete. Because of the new safety requirements, the very old Steiner Cellar and the stairwell as well as the hotel façade were renovated. The Steiner Cellar, with its vaulted ceiling and rustic style, is an ideal venue for closed Törggele groups or private celebrations.
Our loyal and long-term coworker Reinhard assumed numerous duties at the Camping Park from the start. Today, after 30 years, he is the "guiding spirit" of the place, the desk manager, and the man to speak with in all important matters.
A successful combination of tradition and modern tastes
In 2007, the open hotel lobby with the elegant rising staircase was completed. As visitors can plainly see, in making these improvements in recent years, the focus was always on the highest quality. In 2009, the first grandchild, Paul, was born, followed by a second grandchild, Lukas, in 2012. In 2013, the furnace was retrofitted to burn pellets. These were the first two 70-kW boilers installed in South Tyrol.
Petra and Claudia Pfeifer agree: "Since our childhood, we have enjoyed working in our parents' business. We now can't imagine our lives without the hotel!" The two are intimately familiar with the business and are especially active in those areas they find particularly interesting: Petra focuses on "Camping" and dealing with guests; Claudia devotes herself to the hotel's organization and works as sommelier at the popular wine-tastings held in the Steiner Cellar. Their sunny dispositions and enterprising spirit do much to make their guests' stays more pleasant and interesting.
2015: Another step forward
The hotel's rooms and various other areas were renovated. The Grand Re-Opening has been a good opportunity to review the past: That's because the cohesion of our family with its rich traditions and cheerful cooperation of all members of the team are the foundation of Steiner's famous hospitality. The "Fritz" – a celebratory aperitif named in honor of the founder and based upon his own recipe – now has a firmly established place in Steiner's beverage list!