The art hotel Blaue Gans is more than just another cool design hotel, and if like us you have a respect for the period build edging on the quaint, but at the same time, need dashes of contemporary styling to lighten the load – then you will simply fall for this place, a self-assured hub of art and design that oozes confidence.
Milky soft eggshell tones, exposed beams, bespoke furnishings and artistic installations chime well with the period, historic elements of the Blaue Gans, adding to the provenance of this former Inn. It is indeed that signatory blend of old & new that lend an air of space, whilst being firmly rooted in the magical heritage of Salzburg, right bang smack in the midst of Old Town.
This is serious art direction, with credentials & aesthetics of an east-side art gallery - spaces shaped by the inn's aged forms play intelligently to foster contemporary pieces, making the hotel setting innovative, neither obtrusive nor overly designed. Add to this the excellent kitchens and the choice of room types - this design-led bolthole has all the trackings of a hotel that feels comfortable in itself, with a natural “lived-in” feel.
Arthotel Blaue Gans has arguably the best location in Salzburg, on the famous medieval cobbled streets of Getreidegasse in Altstadt - Old Town, a World Cultural Heritage Site and only a short walk from Mozart's birthplace and the Salzburger Dom.
The hotel is opposite the world-famous Salzburger Festspiele - home to two annual classical music festivals and sided by the Mönchsberg Mountain.
Close by, must-dos are the Trinity Church at the top of Makartplatz, Mirabell Palace (where Maria and the Von Trapp children sang Do-Re-Mi in the Sound of Music), Hohensalzburg Castle, Helbrunn Palace and the catacombs of Petersfriedhof. Too much culture? Then do the Sound of Music Tour (disguised, of course).
Socializing in Salzburg is at the heart of the Blaue Gans and is what makes it the insider hotspot of town with a history of more than 660 years. Celebrating a taste of Austria, the key here is elegant simplicity with earthy local dishes, regional specialities and "Oma" inspired dishes. The vaulted restaurant echoes this ethos, serving a "Gastro-Stube" array of tasty delights, while the bar infused with jazz offers light cafe bites and the outdoor olive & fig-potted terrace is the in-spot of town - especially during the Festival days.
Chilled in heritage, Blaue Gans offers a contemporary and unpretentious eatery that has all the echoes of regional cooking, think foodie delights like "Tafelspitz” – slow cooked beef, the “Wiener Schnitzel”, delicious jam filled pancakes called “Powidldatschgerl” or the to-die-for “Topfenknödel”, sweet dumplings made from cream cheese.
For those of you a little more daring in taste, the place is also acclaimed for the speciality offal dishes, including Fried Calf’s Brain, or how about a little Knuckle of Deer, both of which are scrummy. As you would expect from a house of notoriety, the wine cellars are also epic.
Sometimes, hotels are coined to portray an element of coolness – but when art is your calling, then you adopt a more curatorial approach, just like our host Andreas Gfrerer.
He is serious about art, particularly modern and abstract art – his hotel naturally is his canvas.
“Art installations bring another dimension to the hotel, sometimes almost disruptive in nature, other times provocative and others look like they were meant to be there.
What better space than a hotel and restaurant to engage with people, impassive in a sense, and I like it.”
Andreas wears Salzburg on his proud shoulders and fosters the arts in this heritage city. He also likes to have some fun along the way and is a self-confessed foodie.
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