Io Tondolo and Itshe Petz cause a stir in Styria.

Io Tondolo and Itshe Petz cause a stir in Styria.
© thomas_galli_magerl

"Absteige zur bärtigen Therese": Austria's first queer hotel opens

With their mountain retreat on the Koralm, Io Tondolo and Itshe Petz want to offer a colourful program for the entire diversity of the queer community as well as for their "allies".

The mountain village of Trahütten in the Styrian municipality of Deutschlandsberg is now a colourful place. Io Tondolo and Itshe Petz, better known as the artists and activists behind the itshe+io project, are not only causing a stir with their unconventional looks and lifestyle, but now also with the opening of a hotel. Their hotel at an altitude of 1,000 metres is intended to break down the traditional boundaries of art, culture and individual identity, and is thus providing plenty to talk about.

With their Absteige zur bärtigen Therese, the two have breathed new life into an old Alpine chalet and are positioning it as Austria's "first decidedly queer hotel". "We are part of the queer community ourselves and not just LGBT-friendly. In our hotel we want to be a safe space for queer lifestyles and queer culture," Tondolo and Petz told Die Welt. Their aim is to create a safe space for queer lifestyles, where heterosexuals who see themselves as supporters of the community are also welcome.

Schedule instead of season

However, there will be restrictions: for example, weekends are planned on which only men or people identified as male will have access. For restaurateurs, the season is something like a playbill at a theatre. The guests make their plans in advance based on what will be performed on which weekend - "an immersive theatre experience", quotes Die Welt. The event kicked off with a Queer Carnival Weekend, where guests were provided with robes in the in-house drag room.

The season runs until the end of March, with the new programme starting at the beginning of May.

Art plays a major role in the Absteige zur bärtigen Therese anyway; "Fred", who is supposed to represent Frida Kahlo's little brother, greets you at the entrance to the Absteige zur bärtigen Therese. Everywhere inside queer art hangs on the walls. Everything from the planning to the craftsmanship was done in-house, and a queer library offers the appropriate literature.

In the kitchen, the couple focus on regionality. Io stands at the stove with a wood fire and prepares vegan and vegetarian dishes, as well as good meat that comes exclusively from farmers in the region.

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Falstaff Editorial Team
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