History of the Eisvogel

It was back in 1950 that the masseur Hans Zettl and his son Karl Zettl began to extend the apartment that had been converted from a barn and set up a small café in it.

At the start it was only 3 tables but they enabled the trained carpenter Karl Zettl and his wife Anna to take the first steps into catering.
The first problem arrived soon enough – finding the right name for the small café. "Kur - Café" simply did not work as people would have laughed because of the simple setup. But as the guests observed the kingfishers time and time again by the adjacent pond and were totally enthused by their magnificent colour and their hunting artistry, the family opted for the name “Eisvogel” (kingfisher).

One step at a time, almost every year, Karl and Anna Zettl renovated the building and added to it.


There was a major construction as the "Eisvogel Hall" was constructed. It was the largest hall in the surrounding area and soon had a firm place in the social life of Bad Gögging and its surroundings. Carnival balls, weddings, harvest suppers, Christmas parties – it was perfect for them all.


A first floor was added to the building and guest rooms were created.


Soon the “Eisvogel” became a popular restaurant for guests undergoing treatment, an attractive excursion destination for the entire region, but above all a dance hall for the young people of the entire area.


A drill hole was lowered in Bad Gögging in search of thermal water and they struck lucky. A new era began for the small village as guests houses and spa hotels sprang up and the “Eisvogel” simply had to keep pace.


Karl handed the restaurant over to his son Karl with the condition that he extend and modernise it.


The public rooms in the main building were also rebuilt and renovated in the same year. A central entrance was created from three separate entrances, and new dispensing equipment as well as an entirely new coffee kitchen, cake display and ice cream counter were installed. The entire first floor was completely renovated and showers and WCs were fitted in all guest rooms.
The “Eisvogel” reopened in October 1982 with a completely new image and a totally new character. It had not just become an attractive and lovely building, but the food and drink served from this moment on from the kitchen and cellar was a big hit with spa guests, locals and also the world of business.
The small café became a cosy and comfortable small hotel. Karl Zettl was lucky because he had found two outstanding professionals in the kitchen in Mr and Mrs Hedler. Just one year later, the kitchen was already too small and the equipment was no longer suitable or modern enough.


The entire kitchen was then rebuilt and extended and almost continuously modernised with new equipment being added. 


The existing rooms were no longer adequate for daily restaurant business and the large old hall was no longer contemporary. Renovation could no longer be postponed. The large room was therefore completely redesigned and sub-divided into the Bavaria and Zirbel (Swiss pine) Rooms.


Today the "EISVOGEL" remains a hotel with many cosy rooms decorated in Old Bavarian style: the Guest Room, Stove Room, Kingfisher Room, Oriel Room, Swiss Pine Room and Bavaria Room. Whenever there was something to celebrate – whether in the family, amongst friends or in business – whenever people wanted a celebratory yet comfortable venue with “outstanding cuisine”, they always headed straight for the “EISVOGEL”.


The hotel was presented with a quality certificate in the “Bavarian Cuisine”competition by the Bavarian State Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Forestry.


In the same competition, the hotel became “District winner”.


The development at the “Eisvogel” continued unabated.


On 16 June, the Zettls, together with the Chairman of the Bavarian Hotel and Restaurant Association, laid the foundation stone for a new 60-bed hotel. The topping-out ceremony was held on 16 September.


The first guests were welcomed into the Hotel Eisvogel at Easter. The new “EISVOGEL” had 61 beds (predominantly double rooms furnished in a comfortable but sophisticated country house style), a spacious entrance hall, a breakfast room, an evening restaurant for hotel guests and 3 conference rooms.


The pool area in the basement of the hotel became operational on 7 April. This completes the hotel’s offering with natural mud and sulphur baths, as well as treatments for the entire rheumatic disorder spectrum. The EISVOGEL had blossomed into a SPA HOTEL.


We took part again in the “Bavarian Cuisine” competition and were once again crowned “District winner”.


And then we suffered a flood on 5 August. This was the worst flood in our lifetime and even Grandpa Zettl, born in 1913, could not remember the water ever being that high.


The Bavaria Room was once again behind the times and underwent a complete makeover, with all new seats in contemporary fabrics, to give the EISVOGEL Hall the pleasant, modern and attractive atmosphere it has today. Karl-Peter Zettl passed his secondary school leaving certificate in July at the Johannes Nepomuk Gymnasium secondary school and began his degree in Business Studies at the Ingolstadt Faculty of Economics in November.


The Zettl family bought the Römerbad in Bad Gögging, the nucleus of Bad Gögging. This land bordered the EISVOGEL and enhanced the amenities available to hotel guests by allowing them to use the swimming pool.

The EISVOGEL was then granted authorisation and approval in accordance with § 111 of the German Social Security Code (SGB V), authorising the Römerbad to provide and invoice inpatient spa treatments directly with the health insurance providers.

Karl Zettl celebrated his 50th birthday on 15 January

Our grandfather celebrated his 80th birthday on 7 September

Grandma Zettl celebrated her 75th birthday on 9 December


Times are changing and the Eisvogel is therefore also called upon to meet and adapt to guests’ changing requirements. The “EISVOGEL’s” new USP will be to underpin the hotel’s offering with Bavarian cuisine, as guests prefer to eat good, homely food at reasonable prices. The EISVOGEL will return to its roots as a Bavarian “GASTHOF” and accordingly match its services and ambience to this. The hotel plans to renovate and build a new kitchen to meet the new and stricter statutory requirements, but above all streamline processes and hence streamline working in the kitchen. The new kitchen building will create around 100 to 120 new restaurant seats and, apart from the objection of a neighbour, therein lies the reason for the procrastination – what is the right thing to do, what do guests want, where is the trend heading.  Only once these questions can be answered with a definitive idea will things move forward at the EISVOGEL, enabling it to finally spread its wings.

 We experienced flooding on 15 April – almost as bad as in 1991.

 On 29 April we were once again presented with the “District Winner” award in the “Bavarian Cuisine 1994 - 1997” competition by the Government President Mr. Giehl. In 1995, the long-planned rebuilding work began shortly after Whitsun.

The hotel’s garden had to yield to the new kitchen and administrative buildings. The Eisvogel’s kitchen is now state of the art, with central refrigeration units and energy conservation. The jewel in the crown of the kitchen is the Ferrari-red “Molteni range cooker”, the Rolls Royce of ovens and the heart of the kitchen.  A roof was added to the old farm yard and it became the Eisvogel’s conservatory, providing a link between the hotel and the restaurant. After 6 strenuous months, with all the problems and disruption associated with building work, we moved into the new kitchen on 18 December, without needing to close for a single hour or even abridging our menu. The conservatory was completed on 23 December – just in time for Christmas. A major step in the history of the Eisvogel had been achieved.


No time to rest. Following the move into the new kitchen, the former kitchen and counter unit were renovated to create additional guest rooms and public rooms. The "Alte Kuchl", "Alte Schänke" and "Herrgottswinkel” public rooms were completed in a record time of only 12 weeks. The new buffet unit with drinks, ice cream and cake also became operational on Maundy Thursday. Everything was ready for Easter.

The large official opening ceremony began on 2 May with a church blessing.

We then celebrated our opening on 4 May from 14.00 onwards with a host of attractions
1997 Erwin and Regina Zettl married on 2 May



Daughter Margit married her husband Martin on 16 January.


The hotel was admitted to the “Chaine de Rôtisseurs” group on Ash Wednesday during “Fishing on the Abens”.

Theresa, Margit Feldmann came into the world on 2 May - the 5th generation in the Eisvogel. In August, the “Eisvogel” was once again the recipient of an award from the Bavarian State Ministry in the Bavarian Cuisine competition and is designated as one of the 60 best restaurants in Bavaria.

3 days before his 85th birthday, Karl Zettl, now a great-grandfather, died on 3 September. The founder of the Eisvogel.

Margit Zettl-Feldmann was enthroned as Maitre de Table of the Chaine de Rôtisseurs at the Grand Chapitre in Frankfurt on 14 November.

Son Karl Peter Zettl was awarded his Management Assistant degree on 6 December. He thus became the first academic in the Zettl family.


The catastrophe at Whitsun, the hundred-year flood in Neustadt and Bad Gögging. The Eisvogel is also under water, with the restaurant rooms and the hotel’s cellar significantly affected – and yet, despite it all, the Eisvogel only remained closed for a single week. Thanks to the hard work of our employees, friends, acquaintances and the entire family, as well as the district fire service, we were able to avoid the worst. Guests holidaying over Whitsun were evacuated by boat on the Tuesday. The damage caused by the flood was significant – around DM 600,000.00.


The “Eisvogel” was designated “Lower Bavaria Winner” in the Bavarian Cuisine competition and is thus one of the 7 best restaurants in Bavaria.


Martin Feldmann is now Chef and Commercial Manager and deals with restaurant management and buying.

The 2nd daughter of Margit Zettl-Feldmann and Martin Feldmann, Maxi Elisabeth, is born on 28 May


The Zettl family bought the “Trajansbad” on 8 May, a spa hospital with 120 beds in the heart of Bad Gögging


Son Karl joined the family firm on 1 June. His role is to manage the Römerbad Clinic and the Kurhotel Kaiser Trajan.

Mrs Anna Zettl - Grandma Zettl for over 50 years - died on 25 September at the age of 86. She had initially built up the business with her husband Karl, before managing it and supporting the “boys” in their work. Her cheesecake with meringue topping is a recipe that had admirers beyond the boundaries of the district and is a firm favourite on the cake counter.


Werner Hedler celebrates 25 years as Chef de Cuisine at the “Eisvogel” and, together with his wife, is responsible for the culinary delights served in the restaurant. (12.09)


Bishop Dr. Daniel Nlandu Mayi of the Diocese of Matadi/ Congo consecrates the family chapel on 25 April 2009, built between 2006 and 2008. The reason for this was the vow by Karl Zettl that he would build a chapel when he became a grandfather. After a long planning phase and a search for the right location, the construction work began in 2006 and was completed in 2008. The chapel is dedicated to the two grandchildren Theresa and Maxi. The celebrations were accompanied by Alpine horn blowing (Wolfgang Diem), the group Künstlerblech led by Reinhold Furtmeier and the singer Inge Stibich. 100 family members and friends celebrated this special occasion with the family.


The mini-golf course, which was starting to look rather tired, made way for a modern mini-golf course. Players play on artificial turf with a “real” putter and golf ball.


Planning work and financing discussions are in full swing. The construction work for the extension to the hotel begins on 25 August.

12.09. Mr and Mrs Hedler have been at the EISVOGEL for 30 years. Mr Hedler has worked as Chef de Cuisine for all this time.

15.09. Mr Hedler becomes seriously ill – Thomas Krammer takes over the position as Chef de Cuisine.


15.01. Karl Zettl celebrates his 70th birthday

01.03. The topping-out ceremony is celebrated

01.06.  The Abens flood keeps us busy for 2 days – thankfully we just get wet feet this time.

23.06. The first guests arrive at the new hotel. Everything has been completed on schedule

19.07. 400 guests celebrate the official opening under blue skies. All are impressed and look forward to the exciting extension. 1600 sqm of SPA with pool, saunas (Finnish, infra-red, steam bath), gym, fitness studio, 13 treatment rooms for massage, packs, baths and beauty treatments, as well as 2 private SPA suites, 2 conference rooms, hotel bar & bistro, 14 “Grandl” double rooms, 4 “Holledau” double rooms, 2 “Felbern”junior suites, 2 “Idyll” suites and 2 “Juwel” suites


A total of € 7 million has been invested   

Chef de Cuisine Thomas Krammer leaves the EISVOGEL. Fabio De Seta and Andreas Felkel take over the role as Chefs de Cuisine at the EISVOGEL.

Theresa Feldmann sits her secondary school leaving certificate at St. Anna’s Girls’ School and moves on to a vocational college.

Karl Zettl jun. marries Nina Regler and Karl Thomas comes into the world on 3 August.

Fabio de Seta leaves the EISVOGEL – Andreas Felkel continues as Chef de Cuisine, with Alexander Härtl as Sous Chef



The Hotel EISVOGEL joined the WELLNESS HOTELS & RESORTS group on 1 January.

Theresa Feldmann completes her vocational leaving certificate and begins her training to become a hotel clerk in September.



Karl Zettl sen. hands over the Gasthof EISVOGEL and the HOTEL EISVOGEL (Zettl Hotel OHG) to his daughter Margit on 1 January. Both businesses are merged to become the new company, Der EISVOGEL e.K.

The flood protection on the Abens is completed and the EISVOGEL will be protected in future from devastating flood water by a dam to the south and the flood protection wall along the River Abens.

The EISVOGEL currently employs 85 people (full-time, part-time, weekend jobs and apprentices). The "EISVOGEL"- a family-run business for over 4 generations. The entire family - Karl and Hermine Zettl, Margit with her husband Martin - look after the wishes and well-being of the guests in the "EISVOGEL” day after day. A typical family-run Bavarian hotel and restaurant business

Bad Gögging, June 2017