Bite through the slightly hardened chocolate fondant of Hotel Sacher’s legendary Original Sacher-Torte to find an airy cake layered with apricot jam. Nobody knows the secret recipe, purportedly locked in a safe, except for one detail: two people crack 11,000 eggs to make a requisite 1,000 cakes daily.
As with its famous dessert, the Hotel Sacher Vienna is a finished product born from countless, well-planned and executed details. A spectacle of fin-de-siècle Viennese perfection, it remains one of the only five-star, family-owned hotels in the world. Its owner and manager, Elisabeth Gürtler, an award winning hotelier, has her hand everywhere. See it in the single red rose in a silver vase poised atop a marble vanity. Note it in the brocade and silk wallcoverings, the glittering chandeliers, the velvet upholstery, Chinoiserie, and abundant, eye-catching fine art. Experience it in conversation with concierges, their vintage-style uniforms flawless, and in the two Gault Millau-awarded restaurants, where white-gloved service reigns.
Overlooking the majestic State Opera House, bordering Kärntner Strasse, a famed shopping street, the hotel has 152 spacious, updated rooms and suites –– plus a spa with chocolate-themed treatments.
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What We Love:
It’s impossible not to love every single detail at this divine hotel, where each room comes with a mini Sacher Torte (no need to rush down to the cafe), the Blaue Bar (a symphony of sapphire velvet, damask and brocade) beckons with champagne, and custom amenities in the guest rooms’ marble bathrooms are chocolate-scented.
Next to the fabled Vienna Opera House, set within the historical center, the intimate grand dame crowns the end of one of Vienna’s most famous shopping streets, Kärntner Strasse. Steps away, the Albertina Museum, the Museum Quartier and St. Stephen’s Cathedral await.
Vienna tends to be a formal place, and that applies to the Sacher too, though well-mannered staff are also friendly and welcoming. Awash in history, the lavish hotel, abundant with ornate touches, lush upholstery and a variety of smaller common rooms and nooks, evokes the fantasy of living in Vienna in an opulent circa 1900 mansion –– perhaps one where Viennese glitterati such as Freud or Klimt might appear.
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Besides the famous Sacher Cafe, a true Viennese experience, where all go to pay homage and revel in the world’s most famous chocolate cake, the Sacher Vienna has two main restaurants: Rote Bar Restaurant and Restaurant Grüne Bar, each gastronomic and one featuring contemporary twists on Austrian specialties. Breakfast excels as a grand affair, a massively enticing buffet with a plethora of overflowing tables. For kids, a separate buffet section serves up child-friendly fare. For afternoons and evenings, diminutive Blaue Bar, sexy with an exclusive aura, can’t be beat for aperitifs or night caps.
Room to Book:
If your trip to Vienna is a splurge, say a honeymoon or a big anniversary, don’t scrimp. Choose the Madame Butterfly Suite, a haven of fantastical proportions. With near 360-degree views of Vienna, the sanctum has a fireplace, a separate study, original artwork, parquet floors, a floor-to-ceiling marble bathroom as big as a house, and stellar carpeting.
Top Ten Things to Do in Vienna:
- Schönbrunn Palace
- Hofburg Palace
- Belvedere Museum
- Leopold Museum
- Spanish Riding School
- Wiener Prater Park
- Visit to a Heurigen in the wine area
- Visit a typical Viennese coffee house such as Cafe Central and Cafe Landtmann
- Eat a wiener schnitzel at famous Figlmüller