The Johnsons have always felt very blessed to have been able to call Leavenworth home. The beautiful scenery, the crisp mountain air, the wide variety of outdoor activities as well as the remarkable people who make up this little valley have led them to dream of sharing the Bavarian Village with others.
Having a solid background in construction, in 1983, Bob and Nola and their son, Rob and his wife, Nancy, sat around the kitchen table gathering ideas and drawing up plans for the Enzian Inn. Building began in August of 1983 and in May of 1984, the doors opened on phase one of the Hotel. They’ve never stopped building since! A total of 104 rooms were finally built including the breakfast room, meeting rooms, indoor pool, hot tub and racquetball court. Also added was a picturesque 18 hole putting course featuring a 20 foot waterfall and traditional Alm Hutte.
They have since expanded their dream to a breathtaking spot on Mountain Home overlooking the Leavenworth Valley. Their plans include a quaint downhill ski run and a scenic railroad with an antique German steam engine.
The last twenty years have provided the Johnsons with an amazing opportunity to meet people from all over the world. They have found it to be a genuine joy to share with others this beautiful little spot in creation.
One of the most distinctive traditions at our hotel is the alphorn performance that entertains guests at breakfast each morning. Every day, Bob Johnson or his son, Rob, don their lederhosen and hats and perch atop the balcony rail outside the 4th floor Continental Room to wake the village with the low and mellow tones of the famous alphorn. This father and son team built the Enzian Inn, and you will see, everywhere around you, evidence of their old-world craftsmanship and talent with wood. Being so capable as designers and builders, one could rightly wonder how these two added alphorn-playing to their list of trades.
In 1984, a local, but Swiss-born logger, Karl Wyssen, invited Bob to his home. After dinner that evening, the logger showed the elder Johnson how to play the traditional instrument from the mountains of Europe. Bob picked it up quickly and soon the alphorn became a regular part of daily events for guests at the Enzian Inn. In fact, Bob composed a tune especially for the morning concerts. That original alphorn, a gift of Mr. Wyssen and used at our hotel for two years, can be seen above the entry of the main lobby.
The alphorn, similar to many other features of the Enzian in its uniqueness and authenticity, represents the rich traditions and European charm you will find throughout our hotel.