Hotel Sacher, Salzburg, Austria
The Hotel Sacher is regally perched beside the river Salzach, in magnificent Salzburg, Austria, the city of Mozart’s birth and where The Sound of Music was filmed.
The only historic hotel in Salzburg, the Hotel Sacher began its life as the Österreichischer Hof in 1866 with its prime location on the banks of the Salzach ensuring its popularity from day one. Several owners later, the hotel has become even more regal, with the latest renovations – carried out over the last five or so years – giving the final touches, without taking anything away from its elegance and traditions. The hotel became the Hotel Sacher Salzburg in 2000, and along with its sister property, the Hotel Sacher Vienna, offer the very finest of Austrian traditions as well as one of their own.
The new Sacher Bar and a newly renovated lobby are so welcoming and act like a second living room for guests. The terraces by the river were expanded and the rooms and suites renovated. The interiors were shaped by Alexandra Winkler with an impressive attention to detail. Original paintings with selected antiques and crystal chandeliers as well as special fabrics are at the heart of the rooms which all give guests the feeling of being in Salzburg. A new Sacher Fitness Club with modern fitness devices, spacious sauna and steam bath that was built in 1866, has also been opened.
As you would expect of a property of its calibre the hotel regularly hosts the world’s finest musicians along with royalty, international statesmen, business people, artists and global celebrities. When you look at the historic photos adorning the photo wall near the lobby, you will recognise many of the people in them, including one of Julie Andrews, who stayed at the hotel while filming The Sound of Music.
Rooms and interiors
The Hotel Sacher Salzburg offers 111 rooms and suites; each individually designed and furnished with modern touches and technology. My room is lavish, with a stunning marble bathroom and a huge bed that I sink into in a daze of comfort, but the highlight for me is the view from my little balcony. The first time I fling open the doors and venture out, I am astounded by the panorama over the river, to the Old Town on the other side and the regal Hohensalzburg Fortress, standing guard over the city just as it has done for centuries.
Enjoy both Austrian and international cuisine in the traditional Roter Salon, the Zirbelzimmer, or the Salzachgrill. The Roter Salon is where breakfast is served, and is also open for lunch and dinner. Zirbelzimmer’s traditional dark wood-panelled walls and ceiling and its magnificent riverside terrace are almost as spectacular as the cuisine inside, with the chefs already awarded a Gault Millau toque. For something more informal, The Salzachgrill with its touches of green, is famous for its grilled meat, fish and burgers.
Before dinner, before lunch, or when you return from a day out sightseeing, have a drink in the Sacher Bar with its fantastic terrace the place to be. Look out over the river to the Old Town, watched over by the Hohenzollern fortress that dates back to 1077 – the largest completely preserved castle in central Europe.
And you absolutely cannot leave Salzburg until you have experienced a slice of Original Sacher-Torte chocolate cake in the Sacher Café, along with a coffee or some other slice of deliciousness. This renowned confectionery is so good, that many take advantage of the service that allows you to send some home for friends, family, or yourself.
The Original Sacher Torte has been arguably one of the most famous cakes in the world since 1832 and the original recipe, by Franz Sacher, is a well-kept secret. I can tell you that the chocolate cake is thinly coated by hand with top quality apricot jam and topped with chocolate icing. Add whipped cream – you may as well go the whole hog.
What I loved
The view over the river is mesmerising and I love that we are so close I can walk over the bridge into the Old Town and be lost in the same streets that a young Mozart wandered. You can even tour the house where he was born. And I must say it was pretty special to have some Original Sacher Torte with none other than Nicholas Hammond, who played Friedrich in The Sound of Music. Well, Nicholas had some and I didn’t want to be rude!