Cultural: News, Travel & Trendsetters

Hotel Sacher Vienna

At the Sacher, to be a guest is to be enveloped in a cocoon of comfort. The Sacher experience begins the minute guests step inside the wood-paneled lobby, where comfy, upholstered furniture covered in cheery, classical fabrics invites visitors to kick up their heels. In the summer, music can be heard wafting from the open windows of the opera house across the street, says Gürtler.

The hotel has 1,000 paintings of 19th-century Austrian artists on display. Many were first purchased between 1876 and 1930 by the original owners, Eduard and Anna Sacher. Gürtler stays true to tradition: When she buys a new painting, she buys works from artists that the hotel already owns.

Elisabeth Gürtler. ©2006 Katharina Schober.

Although the city’s conservation rules prevent Gürtler from changing the hotel’s overall décor and structure, there’s always room for improvement, given her knack for interior design. “I present the old style in a new way. I combine the past with the present and make them work,” says Gürtler.

The luxury hotel underwent an impressive renovation in 2004: 45 new rooms on two floors and a fully equipped modern spa were added. Guests can now lounge by the spa fireplace with a cup of tea or in one of three saunas at no additional cost. The spa’s chocolate treatments leave a visitor’s skin silky and soft via a steam bath, a scrub, and fragrant cocoa butter that is massaged into the skin.

The Sacher is also home of the original Sacher torte, which can be sampled at the hotel café or ordered online and air shipped to your front door. What better way to keep the Sacher’s spirit alive?