Hosts & History

Pioneers of
upscale hospitality

For two generations, the von der Thannen family has been spoiling guests with Alpine luxury at the Gourmet and Relaxation Hotel Trofana Royal. The foundation: Unobtrusive, excellent service and sophistication with a personal touch. In 2009, the hotel was awarded the rare predicate “Superior” for absolute perfection. It all began with a bold vision. A look back ...

Once upon a time in the up-and-coming winter sports resort of Ischgl during the mid 90s... Johann and Margot von der Thannen have already done much to shape gastronomy, accommodation and nightlife in their beloved homeland for twenty years. But their big break is yet to come: With a great deal of passion and an unerring sense for the zeitgeist, the von der Thannen family creates a bold new gem of a hotel, which surpasses all that came before in terms of style and comfort. The Trofana: A grand hotel for passionate winter sports enthusiasts, wellness fans and gourmets who want to enjoy sophisticated savoir-vivre in Tyrolean style. An award-winning establishment whose walls have been steeped in legend from day one. When the Trofana Royal opened in the winter of 1996 and revolutionised the hospitality scene in Paznaun, indeed in the entire Alpine region, there were very few 5-star hotels even remotely close by. Such courage would be rewarded: To this very day, the synergy of tradition, experience and pioneering spirit has allowed the exclusive resort to remain a decisive step ahead, making it a leading hotel throughout Europe.

Alexander von der Thannen

Innovator and perfectionist

From an early age, Alexander was taught that it is worth working hard for his goals - and that along the way you should not forget to enjoy the good things in life as well! A busy person by nature, good food, a good glass of wine and sport in the Paznaun mountains are today chief amongst his sources of strength. As managing director at the Trofana Royal, Alexander is following in big footsteps. He heads a dedicated team that is helping lead the family tradition into the future. Under his direction, the Trofana Royal now boasts a ‘Superior’ rating as the leading gourmet and ski hotel in Austria.

Johann von der Thannen

Visionary and doer

Over several decades, the Vorarlberg native and trained chef has created an empire of highly successful tourism businesses that have helped underscore Ischgl’s nearly mythical status. First and foremost amongst them is the flagship Trofana Royal in which Hans displayed entrepreneurial virtues such as courage, drive and vision. Paired with fine antennae for the wishes of the guests, his personal love for fine wine (which has resulted in a legendary wine collection) has been an additional inspiration. Though he has handed the reigns of the business over to the next generation, the thoroughbred hotelier is always ready to talk shop with guests about exquisite wines.

The enterprising hotelier and visionary is also a member of the Tiroler Adler Runde. The Tiroler Adler Runde is a politically independent platform of renowned entrepreneurial personalities from various industries. It combines entrepreneurial spirit, vision and a deep connection to their Tyrolean homeland.

Host Johann von der Thannen

“Even after more than 30 years, our innovative spirit is still alive and kicking. At the same time, we remain true to our values and roots.”

A Royal Story

From Trofana Inn to Trofana Royal

The upswing begins

In the middle of the last century, skiing became more and more popular all over the world. One of the first areas in the Alpine region to specialise in the skiing tourism boom was the Silvretta Arena in Ischgl/Samnaun. The Silvrettaseilbahn AG was founded in 1961. The Silvrettaseilbahn, at that time the longest cable car in Austria, was opened in 1963.

Big dreams

Johann von der Thannen progressed from apprentice chef to cook to head chef. This path led him to Ischgl 54 years ago. At that time, Ischgl was a relatively unknown mountain village at the very beginning of winter tourism. During his professional journey, he met Margot Kathrein, whose parents ran a private pension with 6 beds in Ischgl. After Margot and Johann married in 1969, they began to build up their professional and private lives.

First steps

Together with his wife Margot, Johann von der Thannen put his ideas and vision of hospitality into practice. At the same location, they built the Trofana Inn with 14 beds and capacity for 70 at their restaurant. The foundation for the Trofana now set, they started their first winter season on 3 December 1977.

1979 The hard-working entrepreneurial couple opened the Trofana Tenne nightclub.

With the beginning of winter Johann von der Thannen opens the Trofana Alm. Since then, the Alm has been the meeting place in Ischgl.

The Trofana Inn was expanded and became the Trofana Alpin Hotel.

Early 1990s new plans

Increasingly popular with guests, the snow-secure Ischgl ski resort boasted many private accommodations, middle-class hotels and a burgeoning après-ski industry. With a sense for the needs of the market, the von der Thannen family noticed a gap in the market to offer accommodation at the highest level. After the purchase of the perfect property, they lay the first stone for the Trofana Royal with a 98-bed hotel of the 5-star category.

Pioneering work

Johann von der Thannen family makes the most out of necessity and doubles the size of the rooms, aiming instead for the 5-star category. It is a courageous undertaking that demands a great deal of trust in one's own sense of trends.


The opening

As the first 5-star hotel in Paznaun, the Gourmet and Relaxation Hotel Trofana Royal enjoyed its first winter season with occupancy rates of nearly 100 percent! Then up-and-coming young chef Martin Sieberer was also on board. Even at that time, he was already setting new standards in gastronomy (in Ischgl and beyond) with his in-house restaurant “Paznaunerstube”. In addition to regular guests from all over the world, several employees have remained loyal to the hotel since its inception.

Accommodation for employees

It was recognized at an early stage that proper accommodation had to be provided for employees. 5 staff houses with a total of 200 beds have been built since 1992.

All signs point to growth

Time for the first expansion: The west wing was built and the wellness area expanded. Around 60 new beds allowed the number of regular clientèle to grow further. In the following years, the south wing and the show arena were also constructed.


Together with Karl Handl, Johann von der Thannen designed the Trofana Tirol motorway service station in Mils near Imst featuring gourmet food.


After training as a chef and spending time abroad in England and Italy, Alexander von der Thannen joined the family business and took over management of the Trofana Royal.


50 new beds were once again added, bringing the total to 214. The natural growth was for the benefit of all guests. The Trofana Royal became just the 4th hotel in Austria to receive the rating "Superior" in addition to its 5 stars.

Constant improvement 

To continue to live up to the 5****Superior standard, the traditional rooms in the main house are completely renovated & shine in new splendor.

In 2014, the wellness area undergoes a comprehensive modernization.

From now on, everything revolves around the well-being of the guests on 2,500 m². In the fabulous pools, in warming saunas and baths & with exclusive beauty treatments, no wishes remain unfulfilled.


Johann von der Thannen receives the “Leader of the Year 2014” award for his life’s work.

The LEADERS OF THE YEAR award is one of the toughest, but also fairest awards in the entire business. ROLLING PIN created the award and once a year honors those personalities who have most influenced the gastronomy and hotel industry with their courage, their innovation and above all through their creativity and thus motivated others.


A new state-of-the-art fitness area was added to help keep guests fit.



In 2016, the gourmet restaurant "Heimatbühne" joins the gourmet restaurant "Paznaunerstube" with 4 toques and starts right away with 2 toques from Gault Millau.

The Trofana Alm is being rebuilt

The most legendary après-ski club in the Alps more than justifies its reputation. With artfully executed details, carefully chosen materials & technically up to date.