Fascinating. enchanting. analog. original ambience

The Suedbahnhotel Semmering

The original Suedbahnhotel Semmering (also called “Hotel Semmering” or “First Suedbahnhotel”) was the 1st Hotel am Semmering at all and was opened in 1882 at the foot of Pinkenkogel Mountain–at precisely 1000 m above sea level. The Suedbahnhotel am Semmering was one of several grand hotels along the Suedbahn route from Vienna to Triest which were commissioned in order to stimulate the tourism in the respective regions and also the Suedbahn route from the privileged K. u. k. Suedbahngesellschaft. Semmering was already easy to reach at this time through the pioneering accomplishment of the Semmering Railways and was consequently expanded to create a popular holiday and spa resort. Semmering was popular with Viennese society as well as with the multi-national guests from all levels of the royal monarchy. Fin de Siècle and Belle Époche are two eras at the end of the 19th century and/or at the beginning of the 20th century which were characteristic for the Suedbahnhotel Semmering, but not just from social-political and sports history perspectives. A section of the Austrian tourism history also had its start here.

“The Suedbahnhotel Semmering is not dead, only asleep!”
This Austrian hotel icone is merely sleeping and currently waiting to be kissed to be awakened. This Grand Dame continues to tell you many stories as well as convey its unique historical patina. The Suedbahnhotel Semmering invites you to an uncomparable time travel embedded in the picturesque landscape of the UNESCO World Heritage Semmering-Railway.

Excellent location and accessibility:

S6 – motorway exit  Semmering/Maria Schutz ~ 5 km

Suedbahn railway – station Semmering ~ 2 km

VIE – Vienna International Airport 103 km (~ 60 Min.)

Airport Graz 119 km (~ 78 Min.)

Airfield Wiener Neustadt East 53 km (~ 34 Min.)

Airfield Voeslau-Kottingbrunn 63 km (~ 38 Min.)


The “Second Suedbahnhotel” has a gross floor area of more than generous 18.000 sqm

The “Second Suedbahnhotel” has 33.014 sqm own land

" Historical, iconical & unique! A magical jewel of the Austrian architectural, social and tourism history"

est. 1882


“The international grand hotels of the k.k. Suedbahngesellschaft–whether in front of the backdrop of the Dolomites in Toblach, the azure-blue Adriatic in Abbazia/Opatija or the powerful Rax Mountains near Semmering–are world-famous architectural monuments of the Austrian past.”

Mag. phil. (Master’s Diploma Holder in Philosophy) Désirée Vasko-Juhász
Art Historian and Journalist,
ÖGDO-Board Member,
Österreichische Gesellschaft für Denkmal und Ortsbildpflege (Austrian Society for Monument and Local Historical Heritage Site Protection),
Author of the architectural and scientifical book “Die Suedbahn – Ihre Kurorte und Hotels”
The Milestones of the Developmental History of the Suedbahnhotel Semmering below:

19th century


Purchase of the real estate plot (including the building) from Semmering farmer Polleros around 4000 Florin through a consortium around the sculptor and the academic painter Franz Schoenthaler sen. (1821 – 1904) and the General Director at that time of the K.u.k. priviligierte Austrian Suedbahngesellschaft (Imperial and Royal Privileged Southern Railways Company), Friedrich Julius Schueler (1832 – 1894)



Formal ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the “Hotel Semmering” (the Suedbahnhotel was referred to in the beginning as the “Hotel Semmering” or retrospectively also as the “First Suedbahnhotel”). The architect of this First Suedbahnhotel at Semmering was architect Franz Wilhelm. The selected building style was the “Swiss style”



Opening of the Hotel Semmering (60 rooms) with champagne. The basis for the rapid tourism and also societal
development of the Semmering region was thus laid. For the tourism in Austria, the construction of this hotel was already then of far-reaching importance as well as all grand hotels of the K. u. k. priv. Suedbahngesellschaft for the invigoration of the Suedbahn route from Vienna to Trieste. Additional grand hotels of the K. u. k. priv. Suedbahngesellschaft were and/or are located in: Abbazia, currently known as Opatija (Croatia, 1884) and Toblach (southern Tyrol, 1878)



Construction of the elegant Waldhof annex (50 rooms) in close proximity to the Suedbahnhotel. This had become necessary because the Suedbahnhotel was constantly completely booked and, on the other hand, in order to be able to appropriately house the aristocratic guests. As the result of a major fire, the Waldhof annex was reconstructed in 1893/1894 based upon the plans of Josef Daum. On 22 March 1902, a second fire broke out. As a result, the Waldhof annex was not able to be used temporarily until December 1902

20th century


Ankauf des Grundstückes vom Semmeringer Bauern Polleros um 4000 Florin, durch ein Konsortium um den Bildhauer und akademischen Maler Franz Schönthaler sen., sowie dem damaligen Generaldirektor der K.u.k. priviligierten österreichischen Südbahngesellschaft, Friedrich Julius Schüler (1832 – 1894)


1901 – 1903

Construction of the Second Südbahnhotel (also referred to as the Palace Hotel) directly adjacent to the restaurant of the First Suedbahnhotel under the management of the architects Alfred Wildhack and Robert von Morpurgo


1906 – 1908

New construction of the steam laundry business which was operated until 1960. In 1993, the real estate property (approx. 1 km away from the Suedbahnhotel) was acquired by the building contractor Otto Geiger and converted into residential housing



Third construction phase of the Südbahnhotel: Construction of the post office and telegraph office as well as a coffee house. Architect: Alfred Wildhack



The largest construction phase of the Suedbahnhotel was this expansion in which, firstly, a new dining room was constructed which was linked via a passageway to the Waldhof. Secondly, the old restaurant (1882) was torn down and a new 3-storey restaurant was constructed. During this construction phase, two old German beer bars were constructed as well as a modern cinematic theatre. The wide-ranging renovation produced a completely new room organisation and organisational processes. After it was completed, the Suedbahnhotel had at that time, including the Waldhof and all annexes, approx. 350 guest rooms. Architect: Alfred Wildhack



The hotel central section was heightened with an attic. The central section – the Director’s flat was also located here – was used exclusively for operational purposes



Opening of the Semmering Golf Course, the 1st and thus oldest golf course in Austria, where once the ski-training area and the ski-jumping hill of the Suedbahnhotel were located. Still located there today, the “Meierei” (Dairy Farm) was originally a farm which was acquired in 1885 by the Suedbahngesellschaft. It was renovated around 1902 to become a picturesque breakfast pension with dairy farm operations. Peter Rosegger (a famous Austrian author, 1843 – 1918) was also a guest at the Suedbahnhotel


1928 – 1931

The Suedbahnhotel’s garage was constructed on the site of the old horse stables. Planning: Emil Hoppe and Otto Schoenthal (both Otto Wagner pupils). The garage was located below the Suedbahnhotel, was torn down in 1982 and replaced with residential housing



Opening of the very modern cubic “indoor swimming pool” in the Suedbahnhotel with terraces. The pool itself has dimensions of 20 x 8 m. Architects: Emil Hoppe and Otto Schoenthal


1932 – 1934

Expansion and redesign of the hotel entrance area to form a function, modern and spacious entrée area, construction of an American bar in the hotel lobby. The ceiling downstand beams and columns in the four-axis hotel lobby were adorned with wood in the Neo-Empire style. Architects: Emil Hoppe and Otto Schoenthal


1939 – 1940

Military hospital operation


1940 – 1942



1942 – 1945

Military hospital operation


1945 – 1947

Russian occupation



Reopening of the hotel by the DOSAG (Donau Save Adria Eisenbahngesellschaft)



Sales of the hotel to a Carinthian private company



Conversion of the “First Semmering Hotel” from 1882 into condominiums and the separation from the “Second Suedbahnhotel”



Cessation of hotel operations



Aquistion of the “Second Suedbahnhotel” by the Suedbahn Ges.m.b.H.



Aquisition of the “Second Suedbahnhotel” by the currenty owner


seit 1994

Conducting essential restoration work in order to preserve the “Second Suedbahnhotel” (e.g. completely new roof, partial fundamental upgrading of the building technology, incl. technical preparatory work for the expansion work, on-going maintenance of the real estate plots of the Suedbahnhotel, and much more)

21st century

2000 – 2010

The Suedbahnhotel was, respectively in the summer, the venue of the always sold-out “Reichenauer Festspiele (Reichenau Festivals)” with works from, among others, Thomas Mann – „Der Zauberberg (Magic Mountain)“, Karl Kraus – „Die letzten Tage der Menschheit (The Last Days of Humanity)“ and Arthur Schnitzler – „Das weite Land (The Wide Land)“ and „Traumnovelle (Dream Novellette)“


Summer 2017 – summer 2021

In the summer months 2017 – 2021 the Suedbahnhotel was the venue, the fascinating scene and the stage for the Kultur.Sommer.Semmering


January 2022

In January 2022, SBH Immobilienbesitz GmbH, a company owned by Austrian real estate entrepreneur and cultural promoter Mag. Christian Zeller, acquired the Südbahnhotel Semmering. A year-round, international art-, culture- and events program will be offered as early as summer 2022. Details will be announced in due course.


High society …

A brief extract of prominent guests of the Suedbahnhotel:

Erzherzog Albrecht, Eduard Ritter von Engerth (Teacher, Director of galeries, Art Writer and Artist of portraits of the imperial family as well  the gentry, Designer of the wall decoration of the Imperial loge in the Vienna State Opera House), Princess Maria of Greece with her family, His Royal Highness Prince and Princess Elmer von Lonyay, Graf Dubsky, Ida von Ferenczy (Sternkreuz – Orden lady and longtime confidante of Empress Elisabeth), Baron Franz Kubinsky, Prof. Dr. Sigmund Freud, Queen Maria of Rumania as well relevant artists like:  Gustav Mahler (Director of the Viennese Imperial Opera House) with his wife Alma Mahler, Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Friedell, Peter Altenberg, Adolf Loos with his wife Lina, Franz Werfel, Gerhard Hauptmann, Otto Zarek, Hans von Huelsen, Adrienne Gessner (Actress at the Viennese Burg-Theatre), Kolo Moser (Co-founder of the Viennese Secession and the Wiener Werkstaette resp. Vienna’s Workshops), Karl Kraus and many many more…

Visit of the Queen Maria of Rumania at the Suedbahnhotel in summer 1932

360° panoramic photographs


Panoramic view from Suedbahnhotel


Large dining room


Suedbahnhotel south evaluation




Südbahnhotel Semmering & region Semmering aerial video

an inspiring video showing breathtaking aerial shots of the wonderful Suedbahnhotel as well as the region Semmering

You can find our video here on YouTube “Südbahnhotel Semmering – aerial views

Südbahnhotel Semmering

Watch our video “Südbahnhotel Semmering – aerial views” on YouTube.


Early-Bird News

Magical analogue reawakening of the Suedbahnhotel Semmering in Austria

In Jens Meurer’s 35mm documentary “An Impossible Project” the Suedbahnhotel Semmering wakes up for a truly magical night, the “Analog Superhero Dinner.” But was it really just for one night? With the Early-Bird News you will be informed first about upcoming developments and news at the Suedbahnhotel Semmering.


Books about the Suedbahnhotel Semmering


Das Suedbahnhotel
Am Zauberberg des Fin de Siècle

by Yvonne Oswald

Boehlau Verlag

Die Suedbahn
Ihre Kurorte und Hotels

by Désirée Vasko-Juhász

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