We were enchanted by this handsome hotel full of contemporary art and polished interior design. At a prime location in the Old Town on Getreidegasse, this house has been an inn since 1350, making it the oldest hotel in Salzburg. It was renovated in 2012 and has resurfaced with style, modern elegance and fantastic little extras.

The Experience

To reach our room, we meandered through a maze of tight hallways, ducking for the “watch your head” signs above the original archway moldings.  Of the over 100 original contemporary art pieces scattered throughout the property our favorite was a piece right in the entrance hall. It’s a box with a switch, which we flicked (who wouldn’t?) and the top opened to reveal a very life-like hand with a finger-pointing, the hand rose up and forward until the finger hit the switch starting the closing mechanism. We repeated it a few times as we waited for the elevator.  There are iPads inserted into the walls explaining every work of art in the hotel.

No room is like another, but each is decorated in contemporary chic, with dark wood paneling, original art and toilets separate from bathrooms. Not all have tubs, but each is fitted with two sinks on opposite sides, making a them feel more spacious. We stayed in a “large” double room and loved it. The choices for bathroom tiles and the way in which the tiny desk was built as an alcove into the wall aside the minibar was inspired. We’ve noticed that in an art hotel, unlike a business hotel, the trend is going toward smaller desks and closets and more open space and bigger lounge areas. Here even the smaller ones are well-laid-out and didn’t feel at all cramped. Most rooms have beams protruding from the ceiling that mix well with the (almost Scandinavian) furnishings and our bed was very comfy.  We thought the best suite was the City Flat, with antique doors opening onto minimalist furnishings, which include a comfy couch and a designer dining booth. We wouldn’t book the maisonette because due to the old building, the eaves make the bedroom area somewhat cramped and the color combinations were definitely off, and would have driven us crazy.

The staff, especially at the reception were indispensable, giving us insider tips on bars and restaurants to try in town, sometimes being brutally honest about overpriced classics and sullied reputations. We were also lucky enough to eat at the Stadtgasthof, a top-notch restaurant with an adjacent bar. At different niches in the windy hallways we found a well-equipped reading lounge, a herb garden, a tea bar (delicious teas) and a massage parlor. Besides the stellar restaurant and priceless staff, another goody is the tempting “Wine Archive”. You descend into a vaulted cellar with 1,600 wines (including their own vintage, Gänsehaut, meaning “Goosebumps”) lining the classy  bar furnishings, which is open to hotel guests on Fridays and Saturdays.

Breakfast is included in the room price, very generous and served until 11:00, with table service for hot beverages and egg dishes.

The Verdict: The combination of contemporary design, funky art and outstanding service makes this hotel makeover the best we’ve seen in Salzburg. We loved the vibe, the decor, the food and the staff and wish we could have stayed longer.

Arthotel Blaue Gans

Getreidegasse 41-43
5020, Salzburg

+43 662 84 24 91-0