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the luxury hotels of Salzburg

the luxury hotels of Salzburg

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Old Oct 1, 13, 10:19 am
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the luxury hotels of Salzburg

I've spend the past three days in the Salzburg area. These are my reviews of the Virtuoso hotels in and around Salzburg. As always, I want to emphasize these are my personal and subjective perspectives of the hotels' physical product. Others can and should disagree!


Schloss Fuschl

Located some 20 minutes west of Salzburg and situated on a beautiful lake, Schloss Fuschl is an all-season destination resort that offers its guests hiking, mountain climbing, golf, and fishing in the summer; skiing and snowmobiling in the winter; and a spa year round. The surroundings are peaceful and quiet, and had my stay been longer, I would have taken a hike around the entire lake — a 12 km hike (about 3 hours) which can be interrupted with lunch in the town of Fuschl.

Originally built in 1450 by the archbishop of Salzburg as his summer residence, the original tower building has a commanding view down the entire length of the lake and the small town of Fuschl. The resort, part of Starwood's Luxury Collection, has 70 rooms and 40 suites.

Room choice is essential here. Stay away from Deluxe rooms (the lead-in category) and Traditional Suites (the fourth room category). The styling of these rooms is nondescript with bland colors and did not impress me. Deluxe rooms can be quite small; Jessica's room was barely larger than the King bed. While our upper floor Deluxe room was nicely sized, its ceiling followed the slope of the roof and had dormers. Bathrooms had a single vanity, soaking tub, step-in shower, and WC.

The other categories are quite nice: Grand Deluxe, Junior Suite, Castle Suites, and Lake Cottages.

Grand Deluxe rooms are much superior to Deluxe; definitely book this category or above. Styling is more distinctive with attractive splashes of color in the room. Some rooms have terraces, a nice feature in the summer months. Bathrooms are similar to lead-in rooms, providing just a single vanity.

Junior Suites are larger versions of the Grand Deluxe guestrooms with the same interior style. A typical Jr. Suite, these rooms have an open floor plan. Bathrooms in this category and above have dual vanities.

Pass on the fourth category, the Traditional Suite, with the same nondescript styling as the lead-in Deluxe rooms. I prefer the Jr. Suite to the Traditional Suite and would recommend declining an upgrade into this suite unless a door to close off the living area is essential.

The rooms of choice are Castle Suites. Located in the original 1450 building, these suites have a sense of history with attractive traditional furnishings. These rooms offer uninterrupted lake views. This is where I would want to stay while at Schloss Fuschl, unless your budget allows something even better...

Lake Cottages are the ultimate choice at Schloss Fuschl. Built in 2005 right on the edge of the lake, these are WOW duplex accommodations with nice contemporary furnishings. The large top floor bedroom provides an uninterrupted lake-level view. Its bathroom features a jacuzzi tub and sauna. The downstairs living room features an open wood-burning fireplace, kitchenette, and separate powder room. There is one 2BR cottage, and 1BR cottages do connect to create 2BR units. You cannot upgrade into these units, and they are typically fully booked during popular times of the year.


Sacher Salzburg

The sister hotel to the Sacher Wien (with the same ownership), the Sacher Salzburg is the clear choice for visitors to Salzburg who prefer the predictable luxury, classic updated interiors, and comfortable accommodations of most five star hotels. Occupying an 1866 building just across the river from the old section of Salzburg, the Sacher has undergone a thorough renovation begun in 2007 and still underway on some 2nd and 3rd floor rooms; it is due to be completed in March, 2014. The attractive original lobby, with marble pillars and mosaic floors, flows seamlessly into a new, classically contemporary Lobby Lounge and Lobby Bar whose new mosaic floors help complete the transition. Fresh and modern, these rooms still fit perfectly alongside the original lobby. The hotel's old roof has been replaced with a huge glass roof that brings natural light into the lobby and central courtyard. In other words, huge sums of money have been spent very effectively to accomplish a wonderful transformation of the hotel's public spaces.

And the guest rooms? Due to high occupancy levels, I was not able to view any Superior (30 sqm) or Deluxe (35 sqm) guest rooms. Guest rooms have the same interior schemes of suites but are smaller and lack step-in showers.

The Executive Suite we were shown on the 4th floor had great natural light and was attractively decorated in shades of green. It had doors closing off the living room from the sleeping area. Bathrooms had dual vanities, soaking tub, separate shower, and a WC.

We were also shown a Junior Suite on the 1st floor. It was a darker room, though probably just a temporary condition due to the scaffolding erected as part of the renovation of floors 2 and 3. With a taupe color scheme, the Junior Suite had an open floor plan and measured 45 sqm in area. It felt like what most would consider to be a Deluxe room.

Note: I would not book this hotel until April, 2014, when the renovations are complete. We could hear construction noise, and feel shaking, on adjacent floors. Once complete, however, Sacher Salzburg will be a winner!


Goldener Hirsch

Situated in the heart of old Salzburg, Goldener Hirsch (meaning "the golden stag," the hotel's logo) is the clear choice for visitors who want a sense of place. Part of Starwood's Luxury Collection, Goldener Hirsch is an historic 600 year old building authentically furnished with antiques and accents reminiscent of Salzburg a century ago. Ceilings are low, tall guests having to duck at times, but this charm is part of the trade-off which some will appreciate. Exposed centuries-old year old wooden beams add to the ambiance of some rooms. The attention to historical detail is superb; guestroom interiors utilize hand-painted lamp shades and handmade linens and fabrics (designed by the Count who once owned the hotel). Many rooms have antique wardrobes that were gifts from past guests who stayed in the same rooms during every visit and who considered the hotel to be a second home. After one past guest made such a gift, it apparently started a trend! According to the sales manager, the hotel has the best guest satisfaction index of any hotel in Europe ... and obviously many repeat visitors. "We don't have guests," he told us, "only friends."

Every one of the 70 rooms and suites in the hotel is different; there are four room categories — classic, exclusive, festival, and suite. Given the small size of the hotel, you probably cannot expect an upgrade during August (during the Mozart Festival). I stayed in a nice Exclusive room with King bed, working desk (with free WiFi or ethernet access provided), and seating area at the opposite end of the room with sofa and two sitting chairs. The large entry area provided the room's closet, and the bathroom had dual vanities, shower within the soaking tub, and a WC.


Executive Summary

Goldener Hirsch - a charming 600 year old hotel in the heart of Old Salzbug that provides an incredible sense of place

Sacher Salzburg - a very attractive, classically contemporary luxury hotel just across the river from old Salzburg (but wait until after renovations are complete in April, 2014)

Schloss Fuschl - a spa and resort 20 minutes from Salzburg that offers a beautiful and restful natural setting

Last edited by DavidO; Oct 1, 13 at 10:24 am
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Old Oct 1, 13, 11:13 am
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The first and third hotel covered by David are Starwood managed. You'll find masses of details about them in the Starwood forum, though not with the eloquence of the information presented here. I stayed at the Goldener Hirsch and would return in a heartbeat. I loved the location right in the heart of the Old Town. Staff was very helpful. And you can get the traditional Austrian desert, nockerl, in their restaurant. (That's not my picture.)
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Old Oct 3, 13, 1:50 pm
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
The first and third hotel covered by David are Starwood managed. You'll find masses of details about them in the Starwood forum, though not with the eloquence of the information presented here. I stayed at the Goldener Hirsch and would return in a heartbeat. I loved the location right in the heart of the Old Town. Staff was very helpful. And you can get the traditional Austrian desert, nockerl, in their restaurant. (That's not my picture.)
I am a regular guest at the Goldener Hirsch and Schloss Fuschl.

Note especially the Fuschl is a standout hotel that we love to go back to and also there are a couple of truly excellent restaurants nearby. A car is essential for this property however I would put it in the "worth a journey" category.
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Old Oct 4, 13, 2:19 am
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I normally stay at the IC Berchtesgarden, which is in my eyes one of the best hotels in Germany. Next time I stay their I will also give Fuschl a chance.
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Old Oct 4, 13, 2:42 am
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
I normally stay at the IC Berchtesgarden, which is in my eyes one of the best hotels in Germany. Next time I stay their I will also give Fuschl a chance.
I stay there sometimes as well- and I agree the IC is a very nice hotel. The Fuschl is something a bit different- an old classic hunting lodge directly on the lake.

In general if you like all of these areas- I thoroughly recommend going another 150 km away to Merano and the Hotel Terme Merano- which is wonderful if you combine together with a lunch or dinner at Sissi.
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Old Oct 4, 13, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by TRAVELSIG View Post
I stay there sometimes as well- and I agree the IC is a very nice hotel. The Fuschl is something a bit different- an old classic hunting lodge directly on the lake.

In general if you like all of these areas- I thoroughly recommend going another 150 km away to Merano and the Hotel Terme Merano- which is wonderful if you combine together with a lunch or dinner at Sissi.
Its nearly a 400 km drive

Im there at winter, so I think Merano is more a summer destination and the drive can be fun at the cold months
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Old Oct 4, 13, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Its nearly a 400 km drive

Im there at winter, so I think Merano is more a summer destination and the drive can be fun at the cold months
Oops! I thought you were from around Innsbruck and hence the suggestion.

Driving 400 kms for Merano perhaps not as much a great idea (very far).

In the cold winter months I always like to go to San Candido as well (8 km from the Austrian border more or less).

Back to Salzburg- I like to stay outside of the centre when possible as there is always a very high amount of tourist traffic in the centre which is nice to avoid.
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Old Oct 4, 13, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by TRAVELSIG View Post
Oops! I thought you were from around Innsbruck and hence the suggestion.

Driving 400 kms for Merano perhaps not as much a great idea (very far).

In the cold winter months I always like to go to San Candido as well (8 km from the Austrian border more or less).

Back to Salzburg- I like to stay outside of the centre when possible as there is always a very high amount of tourist traffic in the centre which is nice to avoid.
No, Im from the Ruhrgebiet, its a nice 800 kilometers drive even to Berchtesgaden. I absolute agree about Salzburg, I see ne reason to stay inside the center. My parente once stayed at the Sacher, because my father wasnt sure if Fuschl is good enough (it was cheaper!) To be fair, they really enjoyed it.
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Old Jun 15, 15, 10:48 pm
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Has anyone stayed at The Bristol in Salzburg (not Vienna!)??

http://www.bristol-salzburg.at/en/home.html

I was intending to book 3 nights in a suite but I'm leaning towards the Goldener Hirsch instead now because we're already staying at the Gritti Palace and Hotel Imperial on this trip... might as well make it a Starwoods triple play! The Goldener looks like the more unique property anyway.

Just wanted to get some feedback on Bristol if anyone's visited.

Also, is it worth shelling out for a suite at the GH or should I just book a regular room given it's rustic homeyness? Are suites simply larger in size or are they fancied up from the standard country style rooms at the lower tiers? I don't want faux-glitz from an old c.1400's inn. Any advice on how to book this one? Also what distinguishes the "festival wing"?
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Old Jun 16, 15, 3:17 am
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Originally Posted by OliverB View Post
Has anyone stayed at The Bristol in Salzburg (not Vienna!)??

http://www.bristol-salzburg.at/en/home.html

I was intending to book 3 nights in a suite but I'm leaning towards the Goldener Hirsch instead now because we're already staying at the Gritti Palace and Hotel Imperial on this trip... might as well make it a Starwoods triple play! The Goldener looks like the more unique property anyway.

Just wanted to get some feedback on Bristol if anyone's visited.

Also, is it worth shelling out for a suite at the GH or should I just book a regular room given it's rustic homeyness? Are suites simply larger in size or are they fancied up from the standard country style rooms at the lower tiers? I don't want faux-glitz from an old c.1400's inn. Any advice on how to book this one? Also what distinguishes the "festival wing"?
I wouldn't risk dinner at the Gritti if I were you . . . despite the beauty of the terrace.
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Old Jun 16, 15, 8:21 pm
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We stayed three nights at the Bristol 5 years ago. I believe it was a superior double. Service was very good and breakfast was amazing.
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Old Jun 18, 15, 10:56 am
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Blaue Gans the place to go

For people finding that Goldener Hirsch is to much kitsch and US guest centric, try the next door Art Hotel Blaue Gans. Also in a historic building this is the place for real insiders to Salzburg. The whole experience is crisp and breakfast as well as their restaurant (weather permitting on a large terrace facing the fountain and the large festival theater) are excellent.

Sorry this is neither a Virtuoso nor a Starwood "luxury" collection property . Book well in advance! You won't get any perks or freebies in all cases, but the sense of exclusivity.

Staying Salzburg countryside and wanting to escape large brands, may I strongly recommend Weisses Rssl am Wolfgangsee. Best are the "Kaiserzimmer" and for sure you will enjoy the floating pool in the pristine lake.
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Old Jun 19, 15, 12:35 am
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Originally Posted by OliverB View Post
Has anyone stayed at The Bristol in Salzburg (not Vienna!)??

http://www.bristol-salzburg.at/en/home.html

I was intending to book 3 nights in a suite but I'm leaning towards the Goldener Hirsch instead now because we're already staying at the Gritti Palace and Hotel Imperial on this trip... might as well make it a Starwoods triple play! The Goldener looks like the more unique property anyway.

Just wanted to get some feedback on Bristol if anyone's visited.

Also, is it worth shelling out for a suite at the GH or should I just book a regular room given it's rustic homeyness? Are suites simply larger in size or are they fancied up from the standard country style rooms at the lower tiers? I don't want faux-glitz from an old c.1400's inn. Any advice on how to book this one? Also what distinguishes the "festival wing"?
I stayed at the Bristol, nice but not a real 5* in my view. I'm among those also not impressed by the Goldener Hirsch for the reasons behuman describes in his/her post. I personally much prefer the Sacher which I find far more authentic and elegantly understated.
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Old Jun 19, 15, 4:25 am
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Originally Posted by OliverB View Post
Has anyone stayed at The Bristol in Salzburg (not Vienna!)??

http://www.bristol-salzburg.at/en/home.html

I was intending to book 3 nights in a suite but I'm leaning towards the Goldener Hirsch instead now because we're already staying at the Gritti Palace and Hotel Imperial on this trip... might as well make it a Starwoods triple play! The Goldener looks like the more unique property anyway.

Just wanted to get some feedback on Bristol if anyone's visited.

Also, is it worth shelling out for a suite at the GH or should I just book a regular room given it's rustic homeyness? Are suites simply larger in size or are they fancied up from the standard country style rooms at the lower tiers? I don't want faux-glitz from an old c.1400's inn. Any advice on how to book this one? Also what distinguishes the "festival wing"?
The Bristol in Salzburg is superb. It is not over-the-top luxury but it is a very solid 4-1/2 stars. It is done up in traditional European style.

I stayed in a regular room and it was excellent, but I was traveling alone. I don't know anything about the suites or festival wing.
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