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Fete Imperiale and the City of Music

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Adam’s Austrian Fairytale

By Adam Szymanski

I have had the pleasure of working with Sacher Hotels for three years now. To be honest, I thought I knew these hotels in and out…but man was I wrong! I just returned from hosting the most incredible FAM trip to stay at each of the two hotels (Vienna and Salzburg), and amazement aside, it was one of the most informative trips of my life. As I said, I know Sacher Hotels in and out, but because of this trip…I now understand just how iconic they truly are.

Our trip began in the exquisite, historic city of Vienna. Our trip was co-sponsored with Austrian Airlines and they were kind enough to provide us with international business class tickets. They recently recreated their entire business class experience, and it was very impressive – definitely something to check out. I especially liked the fully-flat beds and amenity kit. Upon arrival, we were met and taken to the iconic Sacher Hotel. Greeted and effortlessly checked-in, we had the afternoon to spend touring the old city. Our tour didn’t last long, as we had Waltz Lessons planned for us! None of us had ever really waltzed (for the most part), so the lessons were mainly spent laughing and trying to do the basic four steps. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. The day ended perfectly with outdoor dining at the local restaurant “Heuriger”, specializing in Austrian Cuisine. After filling up on as much wiener schnitzel we could handle, we headed back to our palace for the night.

The next day, we had a fabulous breakfast, followed by an early morning factory tour to see how the world-famous Sacher Torte is made. It was great to see, and of course we stuffed our faces once again (this time before noon)! We headed back to the hotel to begin getting ready for the Fete Imperiale, or the Summer Ball. Each of the ladies on the trip were given a personal, private hair and makeup stylist to help them prepare for the night. All necessary of course when you’re going to a European Grand Ball!

The evening began with the most incredible surprise – the Sacher team arranged for horse-driven carriages to take us to the royal palace. Nope, not dreaming. Everything you read about in fairytales growing up was happening for us at that very moment. We arrived at the ball, where each of us were personally greeted by Mrs. Guertler (Hostess of the ball and Owner of Sacher) herself. We watched the ceremonies, then danced the night away until 5 a.m.! It was unforgettable to say the least.

How to follow-up on that?! The next day was pretty incredible as well. Mrs. Guertler invited our FAM group to have lunch with her at her private home. We were all still in the afterglow from the night before, but somehow, she still managed to impress us even more. Lunch was fabulous of course, like something out of Real Simple magazine. Afterward, we headed to the train station to board our train to Salzburg!

Upon arrival in Salzburg, we were transferred to the Hotel Sacher Salzburg, checked-in, and immediately headed out on an impromptu city tour. We stumbled upon a few of the filming locations from The Sound of Music which was very cool. The night only got better as we then attended a private performance of Mozart’s famous concertos at Mirabell Palace – A unique and unforgettable moment.

We ended the trip with another day touring the beautiful city of Salzburg, including visits to the von Trapp Mansion, the Palace (and lunch there, too!), Mozart’s Birthplace, and more! We ended the tour in the lakes region, at this breathtaking place called Salzkammergut…say that 5 times! It was the perfect ending to our Austrian fairy tale. All in all, it was one of the best moments of my life.

So many wonderful memories from our trip…it really was one of the best FAM’s I have ever been on!!!
From learning the secrets to baking the perfect Sacher Torte at the factory to our fantasy like horse & carriage ride to the ball, our stay in Vienna was truly memorable! Of course I won’t forget our waltz lessons which were so much fun and sure gave us a lot of laughs! The impeccable service, beautiful accommodations and sheer authenticity of this historic property truly define the Hotel Sacher…..and we can’t leave out the best wienerschnitzel ever!!

Judy SteinOvation Travel

Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa Opening November 1

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Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa recently opened its doors to welcome their first guests on November 1 to this beautiful oasis on St. Barths. Set on a perfect crescent bay, Le Barthelemy is refined and fresh, as elegant and restorative as its stunning beachfront location. With interiors by celebrated designer Sybille de Margerie and cuisine by Michelin-starred French Chef Guy Martin, the hotel embraces its chic Parisian pedigree while reveling in its relaxed St. Barth setting. It is perfection without the unnecessary pretense. So build sandcastles, snorkel, or do nothing at all, at Le Barthelemy, the experience is yours. Visit their website


Grand Velas Riviera Maya – Best of Mexico

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Five of the best Mexican chefs known internationally for their trend setting culinary art will highlight the best of the new tendencies in high Mexican cuisine with the Best of Mexico Riviera Maya. The event will be held from October 5 to 9 at the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya. The exclusive resort invited the prestigious chefs including Zahie Téllez, Carlos Gaytan, Francisco Ruano, and Mikel Alonso to share their creativity, talent and passion for Mexican cuisine through this gastronomic event. The event is a 10-course tasting menu, original dishes featuring ingredients and seasonings from all of Mexico. The special tasting menu will be offered over the four nights, and is included in the daily rate for all guests of this top all-inclusive resort.
Sacher Salzburg

Hotel Sacher Salzburg – Celebrating 150 Years

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At the spot where formerly the attendants hut of the Lederer Gate (a former city gate) was and the sandy shores of the Salzach. The leadership of building contractor Carl Frei
herr von Schwarz the street named after him Schwarzstraße was created. On the most beautiful part of the newly gained ground on the banks of the Salzach Schwarz built the former
Östereichischer Hof with the view to the old city and the fortress Hohensalzburg. After the completion of the three-year construction phase in 1866.
Even at that time, the hotel was something very special: It was and remains the only historic Grand Hotel in Salzburg. In 1988, Peter Gürtler took over the hotel with the promise to make it the finest and most beautiful hotel in the city. Thus began a new era for the popular hotel: major renovations started in 1989. In 1990, Elisabeth Gürtler assumed management. Under their aegis,
the three restaurants have been redesigned and the 113 rooms and suites matched to suit the historic style with great attention to detail and furnishings. Despite all the changes, what has remained are exactly those elements that constitute the charm of the house living tradition and atmosphere utterly unchanged.
In 2000, the Österreichischer Hof became the Hotel Sacher Salzburg. Since then the Hotel Sacher Vienna and the Hotel Sacher Salzburg have become sister hotels. The hotel was extensively renovated between 2011 and 2014. In addition, another renovation began between September 2015 until April 2016: Many rooms and suites with the view to the Salzburg State Theatre have been renovated from and correspond in design with the extraordinary high standard of the hotel. The interior was shaped by Alexandra Winkler with an impressive love of detail. The end of this renovation phase was the opening of the new Sacher Fitness Club with modern fitness devices, spacious sauna and steam bath.