10 Stunning Austrian Hotels for Mountain and City Adventures

The hills are alive with these luxury hotels, in settings both natural and urban

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Hotel Goldener Hirsch, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Salzburg, Austrlia
Photo:

Courtesy of Marriott International 

Whether you’re looking for a luxurious ski trip or a culture-filled city vacation, nowhere on earth quite compares to Austria. The country has an inviting mix of awe-inspiring mountains, charming villages, and world-class urban centers — and incredible hotels that let you experience it all.

Below, we’ve rounded up the best hotels in Austria, ranging from ski chalets in Tyrol to impossibly opulent mainstays in Vienna. No matter which one you choose, get ready for one of the most extravagant (but simultaneously cozy) vacations of your life.

The Best Hotels in Austria of 2023

Editor’s Pick: Hotel Goldener Hirsch, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Salzburg

Hotel Goldener Hirsch Interior Space

Courtesy of Marriott International

Why We Chose It

Hotel Goldener Hirsch pairs rustic Alpine decor with five-star service and luxurious amenities galore.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

24-hour room service, complimentary coffee and tea, pet-friendly rooms

Hotel Description

Hotel Goldener Hirsch is the best, most luxurious hotel in Salzburg — full stop. The property dates back to the 15th century, and it still feels very much like a 600-year-old alpine lodge with dark wood furniture and labyrinthine hallways dotted with deer antlers. Even the heavy golden room keys are reminiscent of the past. But this hotel is far from rustic; a modern renovation in late 2019 kept most of the design intact but added high-tech amenities like touch-screen thermostats, heated floors, and marble bathrooms with rain showers.

One of the best features of the hotel is its location on the Getreidegasse, Salzburg’s main shopping street in the UNESCO-protected Old Town. From the front entrance, it’s about a two-minute walk to Mozart’s birthplace and just a little further to the central Christkindlmarkt during the holidays. The knowledgeable concierge will happily point you to the best coffee shops or book you a spot on Panorama’s “The Sound of Music” tour, so you can fill your days exploring before enjoying Wiener schnitzel at Restaurant Herzl and falling asleep in your handmade bed.

Hotel Sacher Wien, Vienna

Why We Chose It

In a city filled with great hotels, Hotel Sacher Wien stands out with impeccable service and the most luxurious rooms you’ve ever seen.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$$$

Notable Amenities

Full spa, free nonalcoholic minibars, pet-friendly rooms 

Hotel Description

For a taste of old-world luxury in one of the world’s most culturally rich cities, look no further than Hotel Sacher Wien. The five-star hotel resembles the royal palaces scattered throughout Vienna, with a grand facade lined with windows and detailed stonework. But that first glance pales in comparison to the interiors, which are filled with a regal conglomeration of dark woods, gilded mirrors, damask wallpaper, and red velvet sofas.

The 152 rooms and suites are equally elegant, each featuring crystal chandeliers, frescoed ceilings, and original artwork. (If you visit in the winter, upgrade to a suite to get an in-room fireplace.) Dining options include the all-red Restaurant Rote Bar for traditional Austrian dishes, the legendary Blaue Bar for cocktails before heading out to the opera, and a two-floor cafe that specializes in Sacher torte. The spa includes a Finnish sauna and 24-hour fitness room — as well as chocolate facials. 

Hotel Imperial, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Vienna

Why We Chose It

Hotel Imperial lets every guest experience life as a royal from the 19th-century.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

Fitness center, 24-hour room service, afternoon tea

Hotel Description

Located steps away from the famous Vienna State Opera, visiting Hotel Imperial is like stepping into 19th-century Vienna. The building originally served as the Vienna residence of the Prince of Württemberg in 1863, and many of the architectural features remain: the neo-Renaissance facade, the crystal chandeliers, the marble floors. This royal sensibility is perhaps best felt in the Royal Staircase inside the lobby, where high stucco ceilings, sparkling chandeliers, and an actual red carpet set the scene.

Taking a cue from the design, guests can expect to be treated like royalty during their entire stay. Even the most basic (and we use that term loosely) accommodations come with balconies, marble bathrooms, Viennese chandeliers, and rich wallpaper and carpeting. The suites, meanwhile, are almost too opulent for words and come with extra perks like personal butlers and limousine airport transfers. The dining venues also pull out all the stops, serving afternoon tea, Champagne brunches, and the hotel’s signature Imperial Torte.

Park Hyatt Vienna

Why We Chose It

It’s hard to beat the location (or room square footage) of the Park Hyatt Vienna.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$$$

Notable Amenities

Indoor pool and spa, airport limousine service, multilingual babysitting service

Hotel Description

Set in the former Austrian Hungarian Monarchy Bank headquarters, this Park Hyatt outpost is a contemporary stay in one of Vienna’s best shopping neighborhoods. The 143 guest rooms (including 43 suites) are some of the most spacious in the city, with oversized windows, marble bathrooms, and sleek furnishings. Even the lowest-tier rooms come with separate seating areas.

Aside from 24-hour room service, guests can choose from four dining options. Most notable is The Bank Brasserie & Bar, an homage to the building’s past life as a bank building that serves premium cocktails and three meals per day. The Arany Spa is located in a former bank vault and boasts a hair salon, sauna, aromatherapy steam room, fitness area, treatment suites, and an indoor pool, the latter of which is a rare find in Vienna.

Aiola Living, Graz

Why We Chose It

Aiola Living is one of the most stylish (and affordable) hotels on this list, not to mention an excellent base for exploring the city of Graz.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $

Notable Amenities

Dog-friendly rooms, fitness center, coffee makers

Hotel Description

Though most foreign travelers overlook Austria’s second-largest city, Graz has plenty of cutting-edge architecture and delicious restaurants to fill a full itinerary. When you’re planning your trip, be sure to book a stay at Aiola Living, located in the heart of the Old Town. Every inch of this property is dripping with style, from the light-filled fitness area to the two-level bar in varying shades of turquoise.

Then there are the hotel rooms themselves, each featuring a different look. The spaces are all chic and moody, with artsy wallpaper, jewel-tone velvet chairs, and bookshelves lined with tastefully curated knick-knacks. The aptly named Fabulous Suite provides even more room to live your best life, as well as a very sexy free-standing bathtub plopped right next to the bed.

Hôtel Bristol Salzburg

Why We Chose It

Hôtel Bristol Salzburg is a gilded stunner filled with chandeliers, oil paintings, and mirrored ceilings.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

Fitness center, limousine service on request

Hotel Description

Hôtel Bristol is located in the heart of Salzburg’s right bank, a slightly newer alternative to the Old Town on the left bank. While it’s within walking distance of popular landmarks like the Mirabell Gardens and Salzburg State Theatre, you’ll be tempted to stay put once you step into the grand lobby filled with oil paintings and chandeliers. The Sketch Bar & Lounge is another inviting space, with dim lighting and plush sofas for enjoying live piano music on the weekends.

The historic and elegant design theme extends to the accommodations, which range from single rooms to deluxe suites. Depending on which room you book, you’ll be surrounded by heavy drapes, velvet headboards, and massive oil paintings that look like they’ve been snatched from a classical art museum. Breakfast is included in every booking, which can be enjoyed in the opulent Crystal Room or delivered straight to your bed.

Hotel Kaiserhof, Ellmau

Why We Chose It

Hotel Kaiserhof is a wellness-focused property with a full spa and easy access to Austria’s largest ski area.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

Breakfast included, fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools

Hotel Description

Hotel Kaiserhof is the perfect place for an alpine ski vacation, overlooking the quaint village of Ellmau from its hilltop vantage point. The hotel is at the center of the SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental resort area, meaning guests have easy access to slopes, toboggan runs, and cross-country skiing terrain, plus a wealth of other mountainous outdoor activities in the warmer months. The panorama terrace is a great place to get sweeping views of the entire scene, whether you’re partaking in the action or not.

All accommodations have great views and contemporary furnishings, an unfussy mix of parquet floors and tasteful pops of color. We recommend upgrading to the Argentum Suite, which comes with towering domed ceilings, private infrared saunas, and oversized balconies with unobstructed mountain vistas. Guests can choose from five dining options, plus take advantage of the sprawling day spa, complete with a glass-walled sauna and heated outdoor infinity pool (so you don’t miss out on those views for one second).

Aqua Dome Hotel, Oberlängenfeld

Why We Chose It

Aqua Dome Hotel is a futuristic wellness center located in the heart of the Ötztal valley.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

Free on-site parking, full spa, e-bike rentals

Hotel Description

This spa hotel is unlike anything else in Austria, looking more like a sci-fi movie set than a typical mountain resort. As its name suggests, water is the star attraction here — namely the collection of thermal baths, complete with three UFO-shaped basins that act like huge elevated hot tubs. The baths are open until midnight on Fridays, so you can enjoy some moonlight bathing, and the spa area also includes a sauna, gym, and full menu of treatments.

While you can book a reservation for the thermal baths alone, we recommend staying overnight in one of the 200 spacious rooms and suites. The spaces are filled with natural materials to emphasize the alpine location, and every room comes with either a balcony or terrace. Suites are particularly cozy with seating areas and fireplaces. For meals, enjoy dishes made with ingredients from surrounding farms and a selection of Austrian wines.

Altstadthotel Weisses Kreuz, Innsbruck

Why We Chose It

Altstadthotel Weisses Kreuz perfectly combines its historic bones with modern interiors.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Smart TVs, organic bath products, free Land Rover rentals

Hotel Description

Innsbruck is perfect for both adventurous travelers and city seekers, with an abundance of outdoor and cultural activities. Altstadthotel Weisses Kreuz is the perfect place to rest up between hikes, boasting a central activity and comfortable rooms. The property was built in 1465 and received a major renovation in 2021, so you can expect a blend of old and new that Austrian hotels are known for.

After checking in at the upstairs bar, guests can choose from a collection of individually designed and sized rooms; all come with sleek monochromatic decor, organic bath products, and either a balcony or terrace. There are also several suites available, like the Mozart Suite (complete with billiards table and whiskey bar) and the Stuben Suite (with historical artwork and an inner courtyard). The aforementioned sixth-floor bar is a stylish space to grab breakfast in the morning and craft cocktails at night.

Hotel Arlberg, Lech

Why We Chose It

If you’re looking for a quintessentially cozy ski lodge (with a few modern touches), look no further than Hotel Arlberg.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

Breakfast and dinner included, heated ski lockers, free shuttle service

Hotel Description

Hotel Arlberg is the epitome of a picture-perfect ski chalet. Aside from its prime location directly adjacent to Lech’s main lifts, the family-run hotel is filled with wood furnishings, deer antlers, and traditional textiles. The 41 rooms and suites are all equally cozy: think reindeer-print headboards, faux fur blankets, antique furniture, and plenty of candles.

Breakfast and dinner are included in all bookings, and meals in all on-site restaurants focus on regional dishes and local ingredients. The room rates also include child care in the winter and heated ski lockers, so adventurous adults can truly enjoy their time on the slopes. On the après-ski front, head to the Arlberg Spa to wind down with hydrotherapy showers, heated pools  (both indoor and outdoor), steam rooms, and a full menu of treatments.

Final Verdict

The best hotels in Austria are divided between mountain chalets and luxurious city properties. If you prefer the latter, head straight for Hotel Kaiserhof or Hotel Arlberg, both of which boast stunning alpine locations, proximity to ski slopes, and full spas. In Vienna, Hotel Sacher Wien is dripping with old-world luxury both inside and out. For a Salzburg scene, Hotel Goldener Hirsch is second-to-none. Of course, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything more unique than the Aqua Dome Hotel and its futuristic-looking thermal baths.

Know Before You Go

  • German is the official language of Austria, though you may hear a few people speaking Croatian, Slovenian, and Hungarian in certain regions.
  • Coffee culture in Vienna is no joke. Be sure to visit at least a few coffeehouses to relax and try the city’s most famous desserts.
  • If you’re in Salzburg, it’s well worth taking the two-hour train ride to the fairytale village of Hallstatt. You can experience the tiny lakeside hamlet in one afternoon, meaning you can head straight back to Salzburg by nightfall (where the hotels are infinitely better).

How We Chose These Hotels

We evaluated dozens of the best hotels in Austria before choosing the options on this list. We considered elements like the property’s reputation, quality of service, design and architecture, location, and notable amenities. We also looked at each property’s dining options, whether there is a spa on-site, and the types of experiences available to guests. In determining this list, we evaluated numerous customer reviews and considered whether the property has collected any accolades in recent years.

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