A castle caressing the shore of a shimmering turquoise lake complete with mountain backdrop may sound like it belongs in a fairytale, but Schloss Fuschl Resort & Spa is most certainly a reality ready to be enjoyed. Located nine miles away from the Austrian city of Salzburg — best known for being the filming location of The Sound of Music — Schloss Fuschl is hidden in the heart of the mountainous Salzkammergut countryside, while still being close enough to civilization to indulge in the occasional Salzburger Nockerl dessert or a spontaneous opera performance in the city.
Built initially as a hunting lodge in 1450 on the shore of Lake Fuschl, the property has changed hands throughout the years, having been both the summer residence of several of the Archbishops of Salzburg, as well as the filming location of the classic Sissi collection which follows the life of the infamous Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Fans of the film are able to indulge in paraphernalia onsite in the Sissi Museum housed inside a quaint building in the castle courtyard, or indeed, if wishing to go a step further, guests can choose to stay in the regal Sissi Suite.
The 110 rooms range from deluxe guestrooms to suites in the castle towers and chalets set alongside the lake , so guests can choose which lodgings suit their character best. Whichever they opt for, a stunning view is guaranteed, whether it be of the glistening lake or the surrounding countryside. Small touches elevate the stay, such as a complimentary piece of the hotel's own famous Schloss Fuschl cake upon arrival. Those wishing to have the maximum level of privacy will undoubtedly be drawn to the lakeside chalets complete with their own terrace, private lake access, sauna and an open fireplace where they can warm up after a wintery walk or dip in the lake. For guests with opulence in mind, the Tower Suites will live up to expectations with their array of Renaissance, Empire, Baroque and Biedermeier styles.
Oenophiles and gourmands are catered to as well. The castle has sole fishing rights on the lake, and the fishery provides fresh catch each day for guests to savor in the property's restaurant or on the jetty during the summer. For wine connoisseurs, there is the opportunity to book a private session with the head sommelier under the vaulted ceilings of the castle's Vinothek, where they can sample the Schloss' collection alongside some regional gourmet delicacies. Traveling alone doesn't mean missing out though, the Gothic ceilings of the Schloss Bar with its crackling open fires and leather chairs feels like a scene lifted directly out of a novel telling of a knights, emperors and fair maidens; and is the perfect spot to sit back and sip a glass or two of wine.
The calm and tranquil destination lends itself well to the hotel spa which overlooks the lake. In winter the outdoor Jacuzzi nestled in the snow-covered trees is a treat, while summertime allows for guests to opt for a massage on the hotel's private jetty. Schloss Fuschl's winning location also means a multitude of activities are on offer from season to season: hiking, skiing, Nordic walking, swimming, sunbathing, and golf. It is however by no means a waste, if for the entire duration of your stay you simply wish to relax in your suite and admire the scenery, perhaps pretending to be king or queen for a day.