We are just returned from a two day visit to Salzburg where we stayed at the very special and lovely Hotel Auersperg. From the moment of our arrival all cares and concerns drifted away, and we were treated with great warmth, friendliness and helpfulness by all at the hotel. It was genuinely difficult to leave.
Salzburg is a beautiful small city that straddles the Salzach river. The abundance of Salz in names comes apparently from the association of the city with the nearby salt mines, but it is music, culture, and Mozart and the Sound of Music in particular that drives the city now. The Hotel Auersperg exhudes an air of calm in an already tranquil city. It is a short and pleasant walk to the old city, which my 81 year old mother managed with ease. On our first night we saw students waltzing for fun at traffic lights, and during our stay we found throughout Salzburg a feeling of good humour and well being. I have seldom if ever been in a city where everyone is so pleasant, mannered and good humoured.
Of our hosts at the hotel, Ann-Sophie deserves a special mention. We had many requests, tickets for a sound of music tour, restaurant recommendations, reservations, taxis, umbrellas, massages to be organised etc and all were arranged effortlessly with a smile, warmth, exacting precision and efficiency. Of note was my request for a restaurant recommendation on our first day. At first I was puzzled by the range of questions that I was asked, what type of food, what price range and so on, until I realized later that Salzburg has seemingly close to 250 eateries. Ann-Sophie's recommendations which we took on both of our two nights stay were absolutely exceptional. On our first night we ate at "Brunnauer im magasin". The restaurant is actually within a mountain, in an old magazine where presumably explosive was once stored. This meal was the highlight of our trip to Munich and Salzburg. The food was extraordinarily good, and the service wonderful from start to finish. We floated warmly from the restaurant that night with full bellies and light wine filled minds. On our second night we visited "Schloss Aigen" which is on the outskirts of the city, but well worth a visit. This provides a more traditional offering, though of equally outstanding food. The owner greeted us as we entered and waived us off as we left. I understand he goes to great lengths to source high quality ingredients and the tastes are wonderful. Again we were treated with great warmth and generosity (I was given seconds without asking).
Breakfast at the Hotel Auersperg was a lovely experience. The breakfast room is beautifully airy, bright and classical in style, and the selections of juices, cheeses, hams, breads and cereals are perfect. Eggs can be ordered if desired. The hotel (and there is also a Villa) wraps around a garden complete with fountain. Blessed with sunshine, an afternoon was spent in our room with the windows open to the garden as the sunshine slanted inwards and a light breeze drifted in. Listening to the sounds of water trickling and small bird song, reading and snoozing blended into one. Our room was expansive, really a small suite, with nice touches such as a Nespresso machine and music player with classical CDs provided. It was extremely clean and comfortable. As we were a party of three, we had two rooms identical in all respects, which were numbers 17 and 19 as I recall.
So it was with a little sadness that we left this lovely haven in a wonderful city, but we promised we would return, and while such promises are often made, on this occasion it will be kept. Thanks to all at the Hotel Auersperg for treating us so well, we hope to see you all again soon.