Autumn 2021. In theory we could travel to other continents, but destinations we had in mind such as Japan or the United Kingdom were impossible to plan ahead. Instead we organised a rail trip to Eastern Europe, travelling to Berlin, Gdańsk, Wrocław, Karlovy Vary, Pilsen, Bratislava, Poprad, Vienna, Linz and Salzburg. By travelling to Germany, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Austria, we explore an area which was in the (not too distant) past bonded together by the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and by Austria-Hungary.
As a treat for our last two nights of our trip we splashed out on the expensive 5-star Sacher Hotel. It is located along the bank of the river Salzach, next to the Mirabell palace and gardens and opposite the old town with the fortress towering above it.
Timothy was a bit scared at first that the atmosphere would be very stiff and old fashioned but as we entered the hotel we immediately received a warm welcome and felt at ease. As we arrived very early from Linz our room wasn’t yet ready, but all formalities where dealt with and we could drop off our bags to keep them in storage.
After spending some time around Freilassing and turning back at 14:00 we were given our room keys of a beautiful river view room on the 3th floor.
Our bags where already placed in the room, truly 5-star service. The room had a big comfortable bed and of course the hotel offers a pillow menu to pick your preferred pillow. There where power points next to the bed to charge your necessary electronics. In the room there was also a sofa and two chairs along a coffee table.
Another table and two chairs with the coffee machine on top where provided in a corner. Opposite the bed you had the open fireplace, which could easily be controlled using a remote control. Above the fire place there was a TV well integrated in a mirrored area. Alongside where two cupboards, containing the complementary minibar and room to store your stuff. The hotel included the minibar stocked with non-alcoholic beverages in the room rate and it is stocked up daily.
On the coffee table there was also a welcome note, two bottles of salty water and some fruits with a pastry and of course a small piece of Sacher Torte.
The room also had a tablet with information and from which you could order stuff like room service, a good idea in my opinion. The different light switches were also labelled to tell you what they controlled, another good idea which should be implemented in more hotel rooms. If you opened the big windows you walked onto a balcony with a wonderful view of the old town and the fortress at the opposite side of the river, equipped with two seats and a table to lounge a bit.
They even provided pillows for the outside seat in the closet in the entrance hallway of the room, right next to the umbrella for use on rainy days. The only negative points of the room where the lack of tea (only coffee with the machine) and for Timothy the lack of a proper desk.
The bathroom was also nice and spacious with a double sink, plenty of storage space and nice and comfortable bath. They even put a towel pillow to be used when taking a relaxing bath, a first for me. There was a separate rain shower and toilet in the rear of the bathroom. There were plenty of soft fluffy, big towels and the toiletries had a chocolate scent (which is very fitting for a hotel known for its chocolate cake). Timothy was also thrilled to find washcloths for him to use.
Breakfast in the morning was once again an elaborate affair. Hot drinks where served at your table along with any eggs to your liking. There were no eggs on the buffet, but it had all the other necessities and of course some Sacher Torte for your sweet tooth.
The last evening we had dinner at the Sacher Grill, the ‘cheaper’ restaurant of the hotel. Here we had a delicious meal on the scenic terrace overlooking the old town and the castle. I started off with some beef tartar, followed by a wonderfully executed Tafelspitz as a main and ended with some typical Austrian Apfelstrudel. Along with the meal we had some of Sacher’s own Riesling, a very nice wine.
The last morning we once again had an early train to arrive at an acceptable time back home after a 10 hour journey. While the buffet breakfast wasn’t yet opened the hotel kindly prepared us a breakfast to go. While not as elaborate as the one from InterContinental Berlin it was still of a good quality.
The fitness was once again in the basement, but nicer decorated than the one in InterContinental Vienna. To make use of it you had to reserve a slot in advance at the reception desk.
2021 Rail Tour of Imperial Europe
- POTSDAM 2021 | Schloss Sanssouci.
- 1945 Potsdam Conference’s Cecilienhof Palace.
- Potsdam 2021.
- REVIEW | InterContinental Berlin.
- BERLIN 2021 | Pergamon, ‘Das Panorama’.
- BERLIN 2021 | Humboldt Forum in the Berlin Palace.
- BERLIN 2021 | The Bundestag in the Reichstag.
- Berlin 2021.
- By train from Berlin to Gdansk via Szczecin.
- Stopover in Szczecin.
- REVIEW | Restauracja Ritz in Gdańsk.
- REVIEW | Holiday Inn Gdansk.
- GDAŃSK | Museum of the Second World War.
- GDAŃSK | European Solidarity Centre or Europejskie Centrum Solidarności.
- A walk through Gdańsk.
- Gdańsk 2021.
- POLAND | PKP Intercity Gdansk to Wroclaw via Warsaw.
- Wrocław Museum of Architecture.
- The Dwarfs of Wrocław.
- Poland 2021.
- By train from Wroclaw to Karlovy Vary.
- Karlovy Vary.
- REVIEW | Hotel Imperial Karlovy Vary.
- Czechia’s Great Spa Town of Europe Františkovy Lázně.
- CZECHIA | Pilsen Historical Underground Tunnels.
- CZECHIA | Pilsner Urquell Brewery Tour.
- CZECHIA | Pilsen.
- CZECHIA 2021 | Cheb and its castle.
- Hotel room for one.
- By train from Karlovy Vary to Prague via Pilsen.
- Czechia 2021.
- RegioJet from Prague to Bratislava.
- Bratislava Castle.
- REVIEW | Crowne Plaza Bratislava.
- Bratislava on a rainy Monday.
- ZSSK Fast Train Tatran from Bratislava to Strba.
- The Tatra rack and electric Railway from Strba via Strbske Pleso to Poprad tatry.
- SLOVAKIA | AquaCity Poprad.
- REVIEW | Hotel Seasons AquaCity Poprad.
- Slovakia 2021.
- Poprad – Bratislava – Vienna with ZSSK’s intercity train.
- VIENNA | Restaurant Steirereck.
- REVIEW | InterContinental Wien.
- VIENNA | Luxury Sisi’s in Schönbrunn Palace.
- The Hofburg in Vienna.
- Vienna’s Furniture Museum.
- Vienna 2021.
- Pöstlingberg & Grottenbahn in Linz.
- REVIEW | Motel One Linz.
- AUSTRIA | ÖBB RailJet from Linz to Salzburg.
- BAVARIA | Lokwelt – Locomotive World in Freilassing.