Mittersill Castle

One look at this hotel and we were sold! We knew staying at Schloss Mittersill would be like living in a fairy tale for a week. It came of no surprise that we felt like a king and a queen during our stay.

Sometimes I ask myself the hen and egg question. Do we choose where to stay after we know where we want to go or do we decide where to travel to and then look for a place to stay? As mentioned before in my post on Swiss Historic Hotels, we like to stay at historic hotels, places with history and charm. When trying to decide where to go for a week of hiking in Austria we happened to find this lovely historic hotel. Or did we see the hotel first and then decide to travel to the Hohe Tauren area?! Either way, it was a perfect decision, the hiking was wonderful and the hotel a dream.

We arrived in the late afternoon, sweaty from our drive and the hike up the Krimml Waterfalls, and walked right into the cocktail hour of a wedding. I couldn’t have felt more out of place! But at the front desk we were greeted by a pleasant¬†receptionist, who told us to have a seat and she’d be right back with a glass of sparkling wine. The wine must have gone right my head because suddenly my hiking shoes and shorts weren’t important any more and by the time we had finished our glasses of wine and were given the key to our room, I was floating on air!

There are various rooms to choose from in the hotel, many of them are named after people who stayed in the rooms (Gina Lolobrigida, Clark Gable, Princess Soraya, etc.). Each of the rooms are individually designed and we were lucky enough to be able to visit two other rooms (Coco Chanel and the Hunter’s room) while taking a tour of the hotel. We stayed in one of the oldest rooms in the house, the royal wedding suite.

The hotel has a rich history. Built in 1150 and rebuilt again in 1528 after destruction caused by a peasant uprising, it was a private property until 1934, when it was opened to an “elite club” of guests and went through a glamorous period until 1967. During World War II the Nazis moved in and stayed until the end of the war. In 1967 the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students bought the castle to use it as a conference center. In 2009 two local families bought the castle and have since lovingly renovated the building and brought it back to its former glory.

There are many hidden corners in and around the hotel. The little terrace where breakfast and dinner was served and the winding steps up to the battlement where we’d watch the lights go on in the town below were some of my favorites.

The service at the hotel was impeccable. Everyone was friendly without being over the top. Every evening it felt like coming home. We were asked if we enjoyed our hike and what was on the agenda for the next day. At dinner we were given perfect wine recommendations and by the end of the week we were ready to move in.

But not only was the service amazing, the food in the restaurant was fabulous. The dishes showcased regional specialties, using fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy from surrounding towns. Every dish was delicious. It was a good thing we spent so much time hiking or else we would have rolled out of the castle and down the hill when it was time to leave.

We hope to return again, next time in winter to go cross country skiing and snow shoeing.

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