Wylde World: Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg
Report by Josie Crowley-Roth
Photography by Yamine Daaboul
Famed as one of the main exterior locations for The Sound of Music, the Schloss Leopoldskron hotel has a warm familiarity, despite its majestic appearance. The hotel's starring role in that classic movie is only one facet of this captivating place; you will soon see there that there is so much more to discover. Everything about the hotel radiates history, elegance and beauty. It is the most spectacular location to stay whilst visiting Austria's beautiful Salzburg.
Located overlooking the Leopoldskroner Weiher Lake, the palace is a short fifteen minute drive from the airport and a ten minute drive into the old town of Salzburg.
Due to the city's small nature, a scenic walk takes only twenty minutes. Taking the journey by foot would certainly be the preferred way to travel in Salzburg. The landscape is stunning and around every corner is another breathtaking view.
We arrived at the hotel reception, which is located in the side house, next to the palace, and were greeted by Daniel, the general manager. The welcome we received from him was a perfect reflection of the staff throughout our stay. He was kind, helpful and enthusiastic!
Our hotel room was one of fifty-five in the Meierhof; all of these rooms are located in the side house, while the suites are situated in the main palace building. The palace is open 24 hours – to guests only – meaning we were able to access the function rooms anytime we wanted. And what magnificent rooms they are!
There is a large, two-floor library named the Max Reinhardt Bibliothek, that has a special Beauty and the Beast stylistic quality to it; the Marble Hall with its stunning views of both Untersberg and the Hohensalzburg fortress on either side; the Chinese room and the divine Venetian room, where breakfast was served. The Marble Hall served as our daily breakfast and schedule-planning location and it managed to amaze us each and every time we entered.
Our room was perfectly heated in relation to the cold weather and snowfall outside, with underfloor heating in the bathroom - the dream! The room was pleasantly spacious with a very comfortable bed, but its best feature by far was the view of the lake and the Berchtesgaden Alpsfrom the windows. This was was a real treat for the eyes… and the mind.
A leisurely walk around the lake is recommended, which only takes around 20 minutes in total. You are able to see the palace from the other side of the lake and, further along the path, Untersberg gleams in the distance, fronted by the astonishing local architecture.
Visiting the local mountain Untersberg turned out to be our best decision of the trip. A cable car took us directly to the top of the mountain and offered us magnificent views along the way. At 1,776 meters above sea level we enjoyed panoramic views, made even more special with the snowy weather and at only 25 euros per person it truly is a must see when visiting Salzburg.
Another of our most memorable visits was to St Peter's Abbey; constructed in the Romanesque period and later renovated in a Baroque Style, it features elements from both periods and took our breath away. It was incredibly quiet and an instant feeling of serenity came upon us.
After walking around all day, every day, the Schloss Leopoldskron was the most perfect hotel to come back to and relax. Something that stayed with me from the first meeting with the general manager was the fact that it doesn’t have a star rating, which at first I found quite strange, but soon realised that the reason for this is because the hotel believes that everyone’s perception of luxury is different, and so doesn't want to label itself. I find this very charming and in keeping with its general sense of humility. It is left up to the individual to decide how they experience the grandeur of the rooms, the splendour of the view and the delightful presence of the staff.
Whether you are a lifelong Sound of Music fan or simply after an unwinding stay in the dazzling Austrian countryside, I couldn’t recommend Schloss Leopoldskron highly enough.
Rates at Schloss Leopoldskron start from €135.00pppn for a single room and €165.00pppn for a double room, on a bed and breakfast (buffet) basis. For further information and to book please visit the hotel's website.