Few countries conjure images of imperial glamor as effectively as Austria—and if you stay in one of Austria's dozens of centuries-old hotels, you’ll certainly encounter it. But though the bones of the buildings may be old, their features need not be. You’ll find that the old grandes dames and newer boutique hotels alike reflect Austrians’ sharp eye for design and timeless luxury. If you like your hotels to look as cutting-edge as your iPhone, there’s plenty of choice, too.
After receiving the royal treatment on a direct flight with Austrian Airlines, you’ll want accommodations that pamper you. Whether your tastes run vintage or fashion-forward, you’ll find your dream room waiting in one of these hotels.
Hotels in Vienna
Love to tour Gothic architecture during the day, but prefer to rest somewhere more contemporary at night? This sleek, five-star grand hotel, designed by Pritzker Prize laureate Jean Nouvel, is the escape you need. Rooms are fittingly minimalist, with a palette of black, white, and gray throughout. Be sure to spend at least one of your meals in the glass-walled top-floor restaurant, Das Loft; in addition to the panoramic views of St. Stephen's Cathedral, it features a dazzling ceiling mural visible even from the street.
2. Hotel Sacher
If you’re looking for classic elegance, you really can’t do better than the Hotel Sacher—one of Vienna's best luxury hotels that also happens to be one of the city's three designated Leading Hotels Of The World (alongside Palais Coburg Residenz and Grand Hotel Wien). It's located just two minutes away from the Opera House and some of the best Viennese shopping streets. Past guests include a who’s who of world leaders: JFK, Queen Elizabeth, and Indira Gandhi have all stayed in the Sacher’s illustrious suites and guesthouses. Each room is outfitted with fine art, crystal chandeliers, and luxurious textiles. Downstairs you’ll be able to enjoy the Original Sacher-Torte in the iconic cafe. There’s an equally elegant sister property, Hotel Sacher Salzburg.
The Sans Souci puts you practically at the doorstep of Museums Quarter—a fitting neighbor for this design hotel. Purple accents feature throughout, from the nighttime illuminations of the facade to the staff uniforms to the whimsical decor in the hallways and reception area. We recommend luxuriating in the basement spa, which features a chandelier-lit swimming pool and wellness/fitness center.
Though housed in a nineteenth-century townhouse, this hotel is anything but dated. It’s famous for its visually striking rooms: think red-and white-vertical stripes in the breakfast area, Eames chairs and a Bösendorfer grand piano in one suite, and a vintage writing desk and cabinets in another. Stay here and you’ll have easy access to Spittelberg, one of Vienna’s hippest neighborhoods.
Hotels in Salzburg
5. Hotel Stein
Most of Salzburg’s best attractions cluster around the river that divides the city in two, making Hotel Stein an unbeatable home base for your stay. Its prime location in the Old Town just beside the main bridge crossing the Salzach River gives you easy access to both banks and makes dining on the rooftop terrace essential. Few institutions can rival Hotel Stein’s heritage, either; its history dates back to 1399.
A hand-carved counter in the lobby, dark wood furniture—much of it salvaged—in the rooms, and pops of red and green throughout lend this Marriott Luxury Collection hotel a warm, rustic vibe. Aside from the stag’s horns that hang in the reception area, you’ll see plenty of references to the hotel’s mascot—a leaping deer—on door keys, lampshades, and even the glass in the bathroom. If you’re staying over the weekend, set aside time for the free tour of the hotel that occurs every Friday afternoon. Bonus points for the fact that this property is located just steps away from Mozart's birthplace.
Think of this as your luxe country home just an hour’s drive from Salzburg. For centuries, Austria’s lake region has been a favorite getaway for royals and glitterati, and the Schloss Fuschl, built in 1461 as a hunting chateau, is a prime example of what makes the area so popular. The picture book location and spa resort (steam room included) are an irresistible combination when it comes to relaxing—as are the hiking trails and outdoor pool.
At 660 years old, Arthotel Blaue Gans is the oldest inn in Salzburg. Despite its age, it more than keeps up with contemporary standards, in part thanks to the over 100 modern art pieces the owner has assembled. The best room is the maisonette suite, which puts your bed right beneath the angled wooden beams of the roof.
Hotels In Innsbruck
Hotel Goldener Adler is a storied institution dating back to 1390, and thoughtful touches serve to remind you of that fact, with rooms named after Mozart, Goethe, and other luminaries who frequented the establishment. There’s nothing antiquated about Goldener Adler, though: it’s been outfitted with modern amenities like free WiFi and heated towel racks. The historic elements that dot the hotel, including its fantastically Tyrolean facade, are tasteful, not tacky.
10. aDLERS Hotel
Everything about this hotel is unabashedly modern, from its curved silhouette to its pared-back decor. Rooms are on the seventh floor and above, so you’ll have sweeping panoramas of the Austrian Alps no matter where you stay. Even the bathrooms offer a view, so you can check out the mountains during your morning shower before you head out for the day.
11. Nala Hotel
A sumptuous garden would seem to suggest that Nala Hotel veers on the side of the old-fashioned, but the interior design proves that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Plenty of bold colors, quirky furnishings, and modern art decorate the space, with no two rooms quite the same. For those of us who like our travels to be different from everyone else’s, this is an ideal choice. And with options for rollaway/extra beds, it's a great family-friendly option, too.
12. Hotel Mooshaus
A stay in Innsbruck is incomplete without a trip to the Tyrol slopes, and this ski resort hotel plops you at the center of Kühtai, the highest ski village in Austria. After a romp through the snow, return to a high-tech lodge and take in the stunning alpine views from the comfort of your room (or the sauna). We’re willing to bet you won’t be able to resist warming your toes in the outdoor heated infinity pool.
Thinking about venturing to another Austrian ski hub outside of Innsbruck, such as Arlberg or Solden? Your Journy trip designer will handle accommodations for that, too (and snag you some special offers on postcard-perfect chalets).