Born in 1858 and raised in his parents' inn with vineyards on the "Weiler Bach" - not far from Boppard - he was driven into the world early on to gain experience as a waiter in Wiesbaden, Cannes, San Remo, Bern and Monaco, among other places. Together with his wife Laura, a Boppard innkeeper's daughter, he bought the two adjacent hotels "Rheinhotel" and "Bellevue" along with the alley in between over the years.
The Chronicle of the Bellevue Rheinhotel
1st Generation - Era of Construction
In November 1910, Josef Breitbach demolishes both hotels and builds the distinctive building in only half a year, "for the first time with the aid of electric light", working day and night shifts. In May 1911 it is opened as the "Grand Hôtel Bellevue", with 3 rooms with private bathrooms, a telephone connection (Boppard No. 2 - the hospital had number 1) and central heating.
2nd generation - difficult times during and between the world wars
In 1928, the daughter Laura Breitbach, in the meantime married to the lawyer Dr Fritz Fußhöller, takes over the hotel. Despite the hard times after the war and high inflation, she builds a new building with 28 beds in 1930. (Today you will find the "Atelier" conference room there, among other things).
Early 1934: Foundation of the first German hotel cooperation "Die 6 vom Rhein" with the establishments "Die Bastei" in Cologne, "Dreesen" in Bad Godesberg, "Fürstenberg" in Remagen, "Riesenfürstenhof" in Koblenz, "Bellevue" in Boppard and "Schwarzer Bock" in Wiesbaden. This cooperation existed until the outbreak of war in 1941.
As during and after the First World War, the hotel was confiscated as a war hospital in 1941 and used after the war until 1949 for officers of the occupying forces. When the hotel is returned to its owners, it is completely looted: Laura Fußhöller starts from scratch.
3rd generation - characterised by new buildings and innovations
From 1951 onwards, the son Horst Fußhöller, incidentally a recipient of the Federal Cross of Merit, supports his widowed mother together with his wife Lissy - daughter of the master carpenter Henrich from Boppard.
As early as 1952, the hotel property was rounded off by the purchase of a house, and the kitchen and the restaurant wing were enlarged. In 1965, the speciality restaurant "Pfeffermühle", the winter garden, the bar and the "Dudelkeller" were built.
In 1973, the "Villa Mosel" and parts of the building behind it are demolished and 4 floors are built on a flood-proof concrete basin: swimming pool, sauna, congress floor and roof terrace.
In 1985/1986, another part of the old building is demolished. 14 rooms, the "Rheingold Suite" and the wellness department with sauna, Turkish steam bath, massage room and panorama relaxation room are created.
4th generation - safeguarding the heritage by turning towards Art Nouveau
In mid-1994, the great-granddaughter of the founder and her husband, Doris and Dr. Jan Gawel, took over responsibility for the business.
Over the course of a decade, the interior and exterior of the hotel were completely renovated and new furniture was installed - all with the aim of restoring the hotel to its original flair. This runs like a thread from the entrance to the hotel room. At the same time, the latest technology is introduced.
In 2000, the ballroom "Le Bristol" is redesigned in the style of the Gründerzeit. In 2002, the restaurant "Pfeffermühle" is renamed "Le Chopin", emphasising the cultural aspect to which the hotel is dedicated. The redesign of "Le Chopin" in 2004 is entirely in the spirit of Art Nouveau.
In 2003 - 40 years after the sale of the last vineyards - a vineyard in the Bopparder Hamm, planted with Riesling and Kerner, is once again part of the estate. In addition, vineyard peach trees are planted here.
Many people who have gone down in history have visited us in the course of the century:
For example, the "Iron Gustav" in 1928, King Rama VII of Siam (today Thailand) in 1934, General Patton in 1945, Fritz Walter, Juliette Greco, O.W. Fischer, Dagmar Altrichter in 1958, Theodor Heuss in 1950, Willy Brandt in 1961, Walter Scheel in 1970, Dr Bernhard Vogel, Kurt Biedenkopf, the Emperor of Japan and Chancellor Helmut Kohl in 1993.
125 years - and no end in sight - because the 5th generation has also already chosen the hotel business.
Marek, our eldest, has been working in the family business since 2012.
Liza, our second, wine queen of Boppard from 2001-2003, learned with Roland Burtsche at the "Colombi" in Freiburg. After "Lampart's Art of Dining" near Basel (CH), the "Cheserey" in Gstaad (CH) and the Söl`ring Hof on Sylt, she completed hotel management school in Heidelberg and now works with her husband Jochen Helfesrieder at the "Storchen" in Schmidhofen near Freiburg.
Abel, our youngest - although connected to the hotel industry - discovered his vocation in science and studied mechanical engineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. He is currently working on his doctorate at the ETH Zurich.
5. Generation – 129 Jahre und kein Ende abzusehen...
Seit 2012 arbeitet der Ur-Ur-Enkel des Gründers, Marek Gawel, gemeinsam mit seiner Frau Judith (geb. Steimer) im Familienunternehmen mit, und der fließende Übergang der Hotelleitung ist eingeleitet.
Aktuell arbeiten 4. und 5. Generation gemeinsam im Familienbetrieb.
2011 Judith Gawel: 1. Platz HDV Wissenschaftspreis mit einer Arbeit über Change Management im Bellevue Rheinhotel
2012 Marek Gawel: 1. Platz FCSI Junior Champion (Deutschland – Österreich)
2013 Marek Gawel: 1. Platz FCSI Young Persons Competition (Europe-Afrika-Middle East)
2014: Eröffnung der Résidence Bellevue. 20 Appartements im Longstaysegement entstehen 150 m entfernt vom Bellevue in direkter Rheinlage neben der Bopparder Burg.
2015: Umgestaltung von 20 Zimmern zur Rheinseite
Marek Gawel wird in die Vereinigung Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe aufgenommen.
2016: Umgestaltung von jeweils 20 Zimmern zur Rheinseite
Nach 31 Jahren Austritt aus der Kooperation Best Western und Positionierung als individueller Familienbetrieb.
2017: Umgestaltung von 23 Zimmern zur Stadt- und Rheinseite
2018: Kauf zweier Häuser für Personalwohnungen
2019: Eröffnung Mitarbeiter-Restaurant „Le Team“, Downtown Studios und Mitarbeiterhaus Elzterhofstraße