The hidden refuge Arte Vida is not a conventional hotel, not quite a B&B and definitely not a hostel. While most hotels in Salzburg cater to the richer and prouder visitor, coming to town for the renowned Salzburger Festspiele or to see the Mozarthaus on their way to a ski trip, Arte Vida is like staying with a globetrotting friend who happens to have a bunch of rooms.
We found the doorway, with a lavender sign over it and punched in the code we had been sent by email. It’s near the Landestheater on the Right bank, so literally a hop skip and jump from the Salzach waterfront and over the bridge from the old town. Paired with a yoga studio, the interior is colorful, with dabs of Indian and South East Asian patterns tastefully complied into seven rooms with a shared kitchen. The common room/lounge has shiny billows of cloth draped from the ceiling, reminiscent of 1001 nights.
Throughout the day, breakfast food and drinks are available on a self-service and on trust basis, with a box to collect the €1 for coffee or €2 for muesli with yoghurt. Of the five rooms on the second floor (starting at €59), the “Monte Cristo” is the most romantic, with a canopy bed. All have somewhat awkward showers inserted into small spaces with doors that fold away.
The top-floor “Loft” and “Studio” sleep up to four people, with the Studio having the only bath tub. The reception is manned from 8am to noon and the manager Reinhold, a native Salzburger, knows the town inside out and is happy to help with day planning, tickets and tips on activities.
The Verdict: It’s an unorthodox choice, but half the price of other downtown hotels. If the shower situation doesn’t bug you (we ended up not minding) it’s a great find. It was like a night with Scheherazade at this oriental themed hotel with a DIY approach.
+43 662 873185