Tel: 43 662 842 4910
A trendy, tastefully furnished conversion of a medieval building on the city's most popular street, Blaue Gans encompasses its own in-house gallery, complete with a sculpture garden, several "house" artists, and a guest exhibitor. Some of the 40 rooms are small, so consider reserving one of the two junior suites, with their separate sitting rooms and incongruous medieval arches. Decor has been kept simple (think upmarket IKEA), with light color schemes such as pale yellow. There's a garden restaurant and a cocktail bar with chill-out music.
Judengasse 15/Rudolfskai 28
Tel: 43 662 84 85 71
Formerly one of Salzburg's oldest inns, built in 1377, this landmark building in the old town has managed to preserve some of its medieval cuteness despite its new trendily sparse decor. The 42 rooms and 20 suites have knotty exposed beams and, in many cases, charming sloping ceilings as well as atmospheric views of the Salzach River, the Kapuziner Monastery, or the Hohensalzburg Fortress. The serviceable restaurant, Symphonie (you really can't escape the Mozart thing around here), overlooks the river, too.
Tel: 43 662 80840
Probably Salzburg's best-known high-end property, this 69-room mini-Schloss has been an inn since 1407. Its current incarnation as a luxe lodging began with Countess Walderdorff, who opened her hotel here in 1948; much of the antique furniture she collected is still in place. Very much in the bourgeois, traditional style, this is the hotel to choose if you're harboring von Trapp fantasies. Make sure you eat at one of the two excellent restaurants. The Goldener Hirsch, situated in the old stables, is Salzburg's toniest, especially at festival time, when it's the likeliest venue for spotting famous conductors and soloists. The food is traditional Austrian; try the delicious marinated salmon and Kaiser schnitzel with homemade noodles. The Restaurant Herzl is the more folksy option.
Tel: 43 6628 89770
On the banks of the Salzach River, this 1866 grande dame near Mirabell Palace has old-world details that extend from the formal winter garden to the lobby's brocades. Service is traditional too, "dependable and professionalit never disappoints." Rooms soothe with white-and-gray linens and silk wallpaper. Café Sacher slices up its signature chocolate torte.
19 Schloss Strasse
Tel: 43 6229 22530
Perched on the lip of the pristine Lake Fuschlsee and framed by mountain peaks, Schloss Fuschl was built as a hunting lodge in the 15th century. It sits just ten miles south of Salzburg but offers an Alpine idyll that keeps drawing big names (most recently, Prince Charles and Camilla). The 110-room miniresort—with row boats, fishing, a recently expanded full-service spa, and an adjoining nine-hole golf course—lets you design your own kind of getaway. Anyone hoping for an old world vacation should opt for the seven regal suites located in the original, yellow tower—distinguished by the best lake views and serious Baroque-to-Biedermeier antiques—and dine at the Schloss Restaurant, where pike perch hooked fresh from the lake precedes a big Austrian finish (try the pancakes folded around nougat-brittle-mousse). Fans of more contemporary comfort should book one of the recently renovated rooms in the Waldhaus wing, distinguished by a vaguely Mediterranean style that can resemble an upscale San Diego condo (marbleized columns, TVs enclosed in new cabinetry); to dine in a like manner, choose the Eurasian menu (think crayfish and chorizo ravioli) at the urbane Restaurant Imperial. For the rustic at heart, there are six renovated lakeside cabins, each with a sauna.
Tel: 43 6628 74346
Reopened in December 2004 after a top-to-toe renovation, the 55-room Stein now boasts the requisite minimalist mid-century style of decor: No rococo curlicues here, though there's a touch of fin de siècle in the breakfast and dining room. From the hotel's privileged position at the foot of the Kapuzinerberg on the banks of the Salzach, the rooftop café, bar, and lounge really come into their own in the warmer months. Room updates include marble bathrooms, king beds, ISDN Internet ports, and flat-screen cable TVs.
26 Mönchsberg Park
Tel: 43 66284 85550
In high season, Salzburg's quaint Alstadt can grow as jammed and noisy as Times Square, and that makes Schloss M;nchstein an appealing escape. Situated just above the old town on its own miniature mountain, surrounded by leafy M;nchsberg Park, the gabled, yellow Schloss, which once played host to Catherine the Great, is all hushed exclusivity, and patrician enough to eschew passing trends. Although renovated in 2003, the 24 guestrooms mix rococo and Biedermeier, oriental rugs and random tchotchkes, though they don't need too much of a theme when their big picture windows offer photogenic views of Salzburg. That same panorama can be seen everywhere: From the hotel's lush restaurant, which recently added an extended terrace overlooking the Mirabell Castle; from the 16th-century chapel on site; and from the Orangery Apollo conservatory bar, where you can toast the towers of Salzburg.