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Monthly Archives: November 2006

Bed with a lost view

When two guests of Parador de Toledo in the central Spanish city of Toledo crashed with their bed through the floor and landed on a builder working on the floor below, they not only lost their view, but got various serious injuries and injured the builder as well.

Schloss Fuschl: an old love story

Schloss Fuschl

On my recent trip to Vienna I was able to take this photo of Schloss Fuschl as I remembered it. My DW and I stayed once in the mid eighties in suite 101 (the Sissi Suite) which has a magnificent view over Lake Fuschl that is located 20 km east of Salzburg in Austria.

Actually that stay was due to a misunderstanding with my travel agent (no, not the lady from LA) who I had asked to make a reservation for a room in the much more moderately priced Jagdhof which then was (as it is nowadays) located at the entrance to the actual Schloss. Both the (Jagd) Schloss Fuschl and the Jagdhof Fuschl (Jagd stands for Hunting) were still operated more privately (or by a small company) in those days. However, I don’t regret the decision to stay in the Schloss rather than in the Hof that my wife knew from a previous visit.

The Schloss is said being built in the 15th century as a hunting lodge for the Bishop of Salzburg. In 1833 ownership passed from the cleric to the Austrian imperial dynasty. Eventually it became a ruin and had many owners until 1950/51 when the building was turned into a hotel. In 1954 Harriet, Countess of Walderberg, who, in 1939, had bought another hotel, the Golderner Hirsch (Golden Deer) in Salzburg, that she had turned into fame, bought the property. From 1957 to 1958, Schloss Fuschl became famous as the set of the legendary Sissi-films with Romy Schneider and Karl-Heinz Böhm. Even nowadays, hotel guests can stay in the suite where Romy Schneider was in those days (yes suite 101).

In 1958, salt baron Carl Adolf Vogel, who later also would buy Goldener Hirsch, bought the estate from Henriette and, together with his wife Winnie Markus, turned it further into a luxury hotel. Around 1967, he built rooms in the actual Jagdhof which housed the hunt and pipe museum well worth seeing, which burnt down in 1993.

In 1976, an auction took place, which ended with the new proprietor being the Max Grundig Foundation with seat in Nürnberg-Fürth. On 20th of May 1981, Schloss Fuschl was classified as a historical monument. In 1998, the Rafael Hotels & Resorts took Schloss Fuschl over.

On the 1st of January 2001, the Hotel Schloß Fuschl Betriebe were passed on from the ownership of the Max Grundig Foundation to the Hotel Schloss Fuschl Ges.m.b.H. The Hotel Schloss Fuschl is led as a “The Luxury Collection” hotel in conjunction with the Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide by way of franchise by the Arabella Sheraton Hotel Management GmbH.

Schloss Fuschl Airview

When I turned into the drive way I noticed that it had expanded dramatically since our last visit 20 years ago. Then from this photo only the tower and a minor addition and a spa building were in existence.

I am not sure I will stay there again, as it does not seem have the same style it had back in the eighties, as it is now operated by the Starwood conglomerate…but mainly because I wouldn’t want to spoil a good memory of that erroneous glorious stay in a bit run down hotel, full of antique, beautiful paintings and a magnificent view….and memories are what hotels are for…n’est pas?

Sources fro the historic part are: J.P. Moser Hotelguide and the book “Goldener Hirsch, Salzburg” of Andreas Augustin of Famous Hotels.

Food Blogs: Chocolate and Zucchini

I believe hoteliers without interest in food and beverage do not exist. However my problem this month is there is happening so much in Dutch (language) food and restaurant world, that I will never be able to translate any or all fast and efficient enough:

  • Dutch Gault Millau “guide” released, now in glossy format,
  • Dutch Annual “Lekker” released,
  • Dutch annual Special Bite paper issue released,

and

  • Dutch “Guide Michelin” to be released very soon,
  • New Dutch sites and lists sprouting up and still to be analysed…

Only the site of Special Bite giving some interesting information in the English Language, but no summaries of their paper guide…

Therefore I share with you a totally different piece of information I stumbled upon: Chocolate and Zucchini, a Blog by a 27 year young Parisian born lady, Clotilde Dusoulier, who started this blog already in 2003, long before the Big rush of Blogs in 2005 and 2006. She lives in Paris after having worked for two years in the San Francisco area.

Look for yourself here at Chocolate and Zucchini.

Colleague Hotel

A nice title from Travel Daily News for a unique hotel style staff accommodation and leisure facility complex that was opened by employees of InterContinental Hotels Abu Dhabi. By the end of the year 600 employees of the group, approximately 50 nationalities, will be housed in a luxury that is close to the standards of the Abu Dhabi Hotels in the group.

Less luxurious, the Royal Dutch Shell Group plc head office here in the Hague operates a hotel style facility that they prudently call “management trainee accommodation”

Relais et Chateaux

I have been on a short trip to Vienna trough Munich and Salzburg. Before anything else I would like to share this:

The planning of this trip gave me some insight in the pros and contras of planning your own trip versus using a travel agent nowadays. In the days of my frequent business traveling, long before the Internet area, we used a Los Angeles based one woman Travel Agent. Why based in Los Angeles? Because when the travel plans were made, usually after Dutch business hours, each and every Dutch travel agent was closed. She was there, reliable as always, willing to combine unusual travel requests and destinations, and, last but not least, she was one of the first woman I know of who could toggle the GDS schemes in a favorable way for us. One who could suggest a round the world ticket for an Amsterdam Los Angeles round trip as being much cheaper than a simple return ticket. Coming to think of this, I am curious how she is doing these days.

Already ten years ago, in the Internet infancy days, I once booked a satisfactory stay in one of the hotels of their collection through the Internet (then via an aptly answered e-mail exchange) as I did again during this trip to Vienna.

Relais et Chateaux

My conclusion is that they still are way ahead of the crowd. If you want to pick a hotel in a certain area you want to see where it is located. The site of »Relais et Chateaux gives it all: Fast loading and to the point location of the hotel of your choice and in addition to to the point information about the hotel. Moreover they have their complete catalog on line in an easy flip through PDF format which you can also download if you want.

Finally in flipping through their portfolio, my conclusion is that they still are one of the primary sources for a real (luxury) weekend hotel.