Top-Rated Lodgings and Hotels in Austria to Plan Your Itinerary

by Tess Kirkpatrick

The very name of Austria conjures up images of snow-capped mountains, beautiful architecture and, of course, the music of Mozart, Haydn and Strauss. While many travelers just hit the hotspots of Vienna and Salzburg, there are many wonderful villages and towns waiting to be discovered by travelers. There’s plenty to do and see in Austria, and here are some of the top places to stay — all winners of Karen Brown’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards.

Ranked at Karen Brown’s World of Travel as Austria’s Most Romantic lodging is Schloss Kapfenstein. Perched atop a hillside and offering expansive views of the surrounding hills, this castle hotel was once a fortress. The innkeepers raised their family here, then transformed their castle into a romantic hotel. You’ll find spacious guest rooms, including intimate suites in the gate keeper’s quarters and in the castle tower. The innkeepers’ son serves as executive chef, preparing the delicious food, In the summer, meals are often served on tables outside where guests can enjoy the wonderful views. The grounds include a vineyard that has produced award-winning vintages.

Landhaus Zu Appesbach in Saint Wolfgang is truly a lodging fit for a king, or at least a former king. Great Britain’s King George VIII sought refuge at the hotel after abdicating his throne, and guests can stay in the same suite as the former monarch. The hotel’s impressive guest list is just one of its many attributes. The grounds of woods and expansive lawns are impressive, as is the manor’s ivy-covered exterior. Many guest rooms feature decks or balconies with views of the lake, which has its own pier and swimming dock. Landhaus has been rated by Karen Brown readers as Austria’s Warmest Welcome and much of this is due the untiring kindness of the host, Maximilian.

If you are searching Salzburg for the best bang for your Euro, the Hotel Wolf might just fit the bill. The family-run hotel, rated by Karen Brown readers as Austria’s Greatest Value, features a variety of quaint, simply furnished guest rooms with updated bathrooms. The breakfast buffet is just what you need before heading out and exploring the city. Hotel Wolf is located in Old Salzburg and near to plenty of attractions, shops and restaurants.

Hotel Goldener Hirsch is one of Salzburg’s gems. The unique hotel was built in stages, so rooms are tucked here and there throughout the inn. The guest rooms and suites are individually decorated with warm fabrics and a selection of antiques. Chat with your friendly bartender and enjoy a glass of wine in the hotel’s bar or savor authentic Austrian cuisine at the traditional-style restaurant. The hotel is rated by Karen Brown readers as Austria’s best Splendid Splurge.

Perhaps you’ll spend your Austrian vacation in one of the nation’s mountain or lake regions, taking in the scenery and enjoy the fresh air. Another option is to begin in Salzburg and work your way to Vienna, with plenty of interesting stops along the way. Check out the Karen Brown site for more information on itineraries and Austria travel planning. Austria is full of interesting options, and no matter what you choose, you’ll be glad you traveled to this fairy-tale land.

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