I was ready for an unforgettable weekend at Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron. But what I ultimately experienced, discovered and tasted exceeded all my expectations.
This patch of earth is unique and leaves a profound impression that makes you long to come back.
I can’t say I hang out much in palaces. But the ones where I did all tended to have in common thick red ropes, off-limits signs, and locked private rooms. It is a totally different story at Schloss Leopoldskron. Stay here as a guest and you are privileged with the freedom of the entire private estate. The private property is comprised of the Schloss (English: palace), the Meierhof, palace garden and a gorgeous park. You enjoy breakfast in the opulent Marble Room and roam freely through the other magnificent palace rooms. Throughout reigns a very special atmosphere. I freely confess that I was in awe during the palace tour. Already on entering the great hall, I felt deeply impressed and at the same time very much at ease.
The turbulent history of Schloss Leopoldskron begins in the 17th century. It was built as the family residence for Salzburg’s Prince Archbishop Leopold Anton Freiherr von Firmian and remained in the family for almost 100 years . In 1918, Max Reinhardt, then Europe’s most famous theater impresario, bought the palace and together with Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hoffmansthal in 1920 founded the Salzburg Festival. In 1947, three Harvard students conceived the idea of organizing an international conference between Europeans and Americans from which developed the first session of the Salzburg Global Seminar.
Today, the palace is used primarily for seminars, conferences, corporate events, congresses and incentives. Schloss Leopoldskron seems predestined to serve as a place for spiritual inspiration. You can practically feel the energy of legions of forward thinkers, peace makers, business greats and humanists who have come together and conferred in these energizing surroundings. You positively feel yourself wanting a peace treaty to be negotiated here in the near future. But besides that, they also celebrate glittering society weddings here and not long ago, for example, Karl Lagerfeld used the opulent baroque premises for the Prêt-à-Porter-Défilé Métiers d’Art 2014/15.
The baroque rooms
It certainly makes an impression, this Great Hall, especially when you ponder the fact that Archbishop Firmian liked to be driven into the Hall in his coach to avoid getting wet during inclement weather…
Striding up the staircase leading from the Great Hall, you feel exalted.
I was nearly bowled over by the Venetian Room’s opulence. It counts among Reinhardt’s masterpieces. The Italian wall mirrors were skillfully staged with precious pieces from Reinhardt’s private Commedia dell’Arte collection.
Breakfast is served in the Marble Room with its high stuccoed ceiling and fabulous marble floor and view of Schloss Leopoldskron’s Weiher Lake. An inspirational atmosphere indeed. Close your eyes for a moment and you can easily imagine glittering ball nights in this room.
The Library is my favorite place and the palace’s centerpieces as far as I’m concerned. Max Reinhardt commissioned it from a Salzburg cabinet maker in 1927/28 based on a single photograph of the original in the convent library of St. Gallen. The Max Reinhardt Suite that once was Reinhardt’s residence to this day is connected to the Library by a hidden spiral staircase.
We can also thank Max Reinhardt’s inventive mind for the Chinese Room adjacent to the Library. Here the stage art pictures filling the walls also dating from the Max Reinhardt era blend elegantly with the remaining baroque elements.
The Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron
In addition to these splendid rooms, the palace contains 12 individual suites furnished with antiquities. The adjacent historical Meierhof, the palace‘s former administration building, houses 55 single and double rooms plus the front desk, lobby and the Meierhof Café. . All the Palace Suites were occupied during our visit and hence could not be viewed. You can get an enchanting look at them on the hotel website. Anyone who gets into the spirit of Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron with open eyes and senses will be inspired by the incomparable surroundings and delighted by the warm hospitality.. On the other hand, if you expect a “hotel palace” experience you are likely to be disappointed; in this regard, I like to repeat what another guest told me: “Once you understand that they are not a hotel then you will find it to be a very good hotel.”
Nothing here resembles the standardized average. We overnighted in the Meierhof, in one of the “Sound of Music” theme rooms. The palace having been the setting for the 1964 Hollywood film of the same name “The Sound of Music “ they offer a few rooms that play on the theme.
Seldom have I so promptly felt an intense sense of wellbeing and welcome in a new place. The Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron’s hospitality is outstanding. The staff is superb in how it responds to the guest, is always ready to listen and always with a nice touch of good humor.
I heartily recommend asking for a palace tour and absolutely recommend the bicycles – e-bikes actually – that hotel guest may ride free of charge. We spent an unforgettable, happiness-filled afternoon on the e-bike excursion to Hellbrunn’s Christmas market. Ever since that ride, we secretly dream of owning an e-bike…
Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron sits on the shore of the Leopoldskroner Weiher Lake, with the Hohensalzburg fortress on one side and the Untersberg mountain on the other side. From the lake shore opposite from the palace, the local bus carries you in a few minutes into downtown Salzburg. A one-way ticket to the Salzburg central zone cost € 2.50. It takes ca. 25 Minuten to reach downtown on foot. Guests staying at Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron also have free use of a new smartfortwo electric drive vehicle..
See more pictures in my Flickr Album Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron Salzburg
Warm thanks to General Manager Daniel Szelényi, Sales and Marketing Manager Karin Schiller and Walter und Katja for the unforgettable experience.
Thanks also to you, Vroni, my cool traveling companion and blogger friend, for the terrific photography help, your company, and my new profile picture. I would love to come back, maybe for Shakespeare in the Park, or to write stories in the Library, take a walk around the lake, to partake of the cozy atmosphere at breakfast in the Marble Room, charge up my energy levels and to internalize this unique patch of ground. An acquaintance went ice skating on the frozen lake, which is also a really marvelous idea…