My husband and I couldn’t resist an overnight stay in Salzburg on our recent journey to Munich and Vienna. Only an hour and a half by train from Munich, getting there was a breeze. While many are drawn to Salzburg for its well-preserved baroque-style architecture (it is postcard beautiful) what drew me most to Mozart’s hometown was a strong desire to channel Julie Andrews!
No, literally, we took a four hour Sound of Music tour immediately upon arrival and before checking into our hotel. Salzburg is, after all, the hometown of the original Von Trapp family who inspired the movie, so there was no passing this up. My husband had no choice but to come along.
After our tour, we eagerly checked into the historic and highly recommended 113-room Hotel Sacher Salzburg. Located on the serene Salzach river, this 149-year old hotel has seen its fair share of historic events as well as famous guests including the Dalai Lama, and my gal, Julie Andrews. This Leading Hotels of the World property has been privately owned by the Gürtler family since 1934 and they are very much involved in every aspect of the running of the hotel.
It is worth noting that the hotel recently completed beautiful renovations on over twenty guest rooms and suites as well as the famous Sacher Bar, adjacent lounge, and Wintergarten. With the help of designer Pierre Yves Rochon (who also designed the Four Seasons Hotel in Paris), the hotel was updated tastefully without losing its traditional charm. We definitely enjoyed staying in one of the newly refurbished rooms and recommend you request one upon booking. Having checked out the competition, there’s really no other place I would recommend in Salzburg.
Upon checking in, we were delighted to see a couple of the hotel’s four-legged guests at reception. These special guests were happily wagging their tails and made us miss our two pups back home.
Dogs have always been welcome at Hotel Sacher (with doggie beds, bowls and food at your disposal for your pup). In fact, legendary owner Anna Sacher was always seen with her beloved French bulldogs. So much so, French bulldogs in Austria are sometimes referred to as Sacher dogs. If you want to dine with your best friend, the Salzachgrill will accommodate you both.
There is no shortage of places to linger about at Hotel Sacher, including six restaurants to satisfy your appetite and sweet tooth!
- The Sacher Bar – One of the newly renovated spaces in the hotel is the Sacher Bar (pictured above). Elegantly decorated, the bar has a formal, sophisticated ambience. If you show up in a three-piece suit or your smoker’s jacket, you will not feel out of place. Ideal for sipping on cocktails and enjoy piano music during the evenings (and on the terrace during warmer months, I imagine).
- The Wintergarten – Just off the Sacher Bar is this traditionally decorated room with open views to the Salzach river. Consider it a great place to read the paper and take in the sun during the day and a quiet place to lounge at night.
- Sacher Confiserie Salzburg – This in-house confectionery store is the place to buy the decadent Original Sacher Torte and other delicious Original Sacher products. If you don’t want to fuss with waiting on the perennial long lines, you can place your order here.
- Cafe Sacher Salzburg – A perfect spot for coffee (best enjoyed in the spring and summer) and yet more desserts!
- Zirbelzimmer – We loved, loved, loved the decor in this charming, old school dining room (pictured below) serving traditional and modern Austrian dishes. This wood-panelled room harkens back to another era.
- The Salzachgrill – This casual restaurant is known for its burgers. Order the Salzburger that was actually inspired by an American chef and has been given the royal Sacher Salzburg treatment.
- Roter Salon – Where breakfast is served to hotel guests. I felt as though I was dining in an upscale French country room (pictured below).
ROOMS TO GET
Of the 113 rooms, guests can choose between a wide variety of rooms and suites. Views include the old town/Salzach river (pictured below from a Junior Suite balcony) which we highly recommend, or Makart Square views.
Rooms and suites are decorated traditionally with silk wallpaper and Austrian rugs (no modern/contemporary design here). Complementing the decor, you will find original paintings and antiques collected by the Gürtler family (who happens to own the largest art collection in all of Austria).
Note that the twenty rooms and suites that were recently refurbished are facing the old town and river, so be sure to make your request known at booking for a renovated room.
We stayed in a newly renovated 33-square foot Deluxe Double Room (pictured below) overlooking the old town and Salzach river. There was plenty of room to spread our legs from the comfy couch to the dining table tucked in a separate area that extended past the bedroom. Typical in European hotels, king beds are two twin beds combined. While the “gap” in the middle usually bothers me, I hardly noticed it here, and I especially loved having my own comforter separate from my husband. I’m tempted to try this technique back home.
We also got a peek inside one of the newly refurbished one-bedroom suites and would definitely consider this for our next stay. This 540-square foot room (a little smaller than my first NYC apartment) has plenty of room to spread out and comes with a fireplace, original artwork and a balcony to enjoy your morning coffee.
WHAT WE LOVED
- The location: the hotel is perfectly situated in the heart of picturesque Salzburg and we loved our room with stunning views overlooking the Salzach river.
- The heated floors in the bathroom in the cold weather. I could have slept on that bathroom floor, it was that warm and cozy.
- Not having to wait in the long lines for the famous Sacher Torte! We loved that the hotel serves this special treat for breakfast every morning. While breakfast isn’t an ideal time to devour such a rich, chocolaty treat, it’s nice to know you can taste it whenever you want.
- The dining options at the hotel. Food service was excellent and plentiful (think American-sized portions). This was actually the first time we tried Wiener Schnitzel and it did not disappoint. Whether we wanted a good burger (Salzachgrill is known to have the best burgers in Salzburg), or traditional Austrian cuisine, we could find it all under one roof.
- Along with welcoming our four-legged friends, the hotel is extremely kid-friendly. If you’re traveling with young ones, check out the Petit Sacher amenities. Services include a complementary welcome gift, toiletry set just for kids, a special turn-down service, a petit Sacher robe, and more.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LOVE
- As our room was on the 1st floor, we were able to hear our upstairs neighbors walking about. I would suggest requesting a higher floor to avoid any disruptions.
We were in Salzburg literally less than thirty hours, so in true Anthony Bourdain “Layover” fashion, here are the top things to check off your list:
- For Sound of Music geeks like me, I highly recommend taking a tour. There are several companies out there, but the most convenient one for us was Salzburg Panorama Tours since it picked up right in front of our hotel (40 Euros, per person). It is 4-hours which is lengthy, but it includes a 30-45 minute drive to/from St. Gilgen where the opening scene of the movie was filmed as well as the wedding scene in the end. Our guide was so informative and we learned so much more about the movie visiting the sites that I was belting out “Do-Re-Mi” like a true Von Trapp. Note that the 50th anniversary of the movie is this year, so expect more crowds than usual on tours this spring and summer.
- If you are visiting during the Christmas season, you must check out at least one of the notable Christmas markets. We checked out Castle Hellbrunn Christmas Market (home to one of the largest Advent calendars in the world), and the famous Christkindl-Markt (a 10-15 min stroll from the hotel; pictured below).
- While we didn’t go the museum, Mozart’s Birthplace is less than a 10 minute walk from the hotel and worth checking out.
- Speaking of Mozart, stop by for coffee and apple strudel, just like Mozart did at Salzburg’s oldest cafe,Tomaselli. We loved that locals and tourists alike were warming up inside this bustling and charming cafe.
- Overall, the city is very walkable and its charm makes it that much more romantic. We definitely recommend setting aside some time just to stroll around. We especially loved the area surrounding the hotel because it is very central to everything including the many charming restaurants and shops on Getreidegasse street in the old town, and the Mirabell Palace and Gardens (the scene where Maria and the children skip around the fountain and sing Do-Re-Mi was filmed here).
- Upgrade on arrival (based upon availability)
- Daily buffet breakfast, for up to two in room guests
- Complimentary one-way private airport transfers
- Early check-in/late check-out subject to availability
Photos courtesy of: Hotel Sacher Salzburg and Inviato
|Rooms to Get||Tips|
Hotel Sacher Salzburg
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