Luxury Hotels

Austria’s luxury Sacher hotels experience seamless transition, again

The Gürtler family’s Sacher empire has grown its luxury stature since it was first founded, and today’s change passes without interruption.  Incoming operational boss is Andreas Keese, left above, who takes over from 32-year veteran, the ever-young Reiner Heilmann.

The two ultra-luxury Sacher hotels, in Vienna and Salzburg, plus all the cafés and production and global dispatch of Sachertorte chocolate gateaux, are today run by Alexandra Gürtler Winkler and her brother Georg Gürtler.

Austria’s hotels re-open today, Friday 29 May, 2020. Hotel Sacher Wien is cleverly selling its 152 bedrooms not only for overnight stays but, also, for private dining venues. Girlahead last stayed at Hotel Sacher Wien in #106-108, the Wiener Philharmonic Suite, in the south-west corner of the hotel overlooking Kartnerstrasse and the Opera House. The suite had original 1874 parquet flooring, and a magnificent 1920s tiled stove that Alexandra Winkler says is one of her favourite pieces in the entire hotel (you also have, what bliss, a bathroom with heated floor and an electric rail, and a Geberit washlet toilet). Girlahead then took the train to Salzburg, where suite 426 at Hotel Sacher Salzburg also had a heated bathroom floor, and rail, plus a view, from the terrace, directly down across the Salzach River to the Old City.  Both hotels, by the way, have delicious Time For Chocolate toiletries.


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Luxury Hotels

LUX* offers luxury at an incredible bargain

Rachel Harrison, above, is co-founder and owner of New York-based Lion & Lamb communications, a think-outside-the-box company managed by 19 energetic female fashionistas who somehow all manage to have enviably desirable dead-straight coiffures. Rachel Harrison tells Girlahead that it was her idea to help luxury hotels at this time by offering bonds – see

Julian Hagger, who heads distribution and marketing for The LUX* Collective, headquartered in Singapore, was one of the first to sign up. LUX* South Ari Atoll in the Maldives is one of over-300 properties offering bons (and Hagger is really pleased with the results).

It is a very simple idea. Hotels do not pay anything for being listed, and they pay no subsequent commission. They are listed on the site, getting publicity for bonds that they sell direct. Bonds cost US$100, and they can be redeemed after 60 days for $150, for spend at the appropriate property any time through 2021.

As well as LUX* South Ari Atoll, Maldives, listed properties include Wynn Las Vegas, The Adolphus in Dallas, The Godfrey in Boston, and The Victor on Miami Beach. Elsewhere, the selection includes Lungarno Vespucci in Florence, and Nihi Sumba, on Sumba Island off Bali.

Where else can luxury travellers get a guaranteed 50% return on any investment after only two months?  Girlahead salutes this bonds concept, and raises a glass to Rachel Harrison for donating her creative idea to support the industry at this time.


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Luxury Hotels

Four Seasons Hampshire thinks about re-opening

Even in a normal Summer, one of England’s most-popular country-set luxury resort-hotels, Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, has 80% domestic business. This year, after its re-opening on Saturday 4th July, 2020, it will be 100% – and clever punters are making reservations NOW.

Why? 580 acres of rolling countryside include stretches of Basingstoke Canal, with canal boats, and over 7,000 trees, many newly planted, tennis, croquet, clay-pigeon shooting, coarse fishing for carp and trout in two Tundry ponds, plus Storck bikes and so much more.The list goes on and on. Wellness offers two indoor pools, one themed as Sharkie’s Reef by designer Justin Pook. Oh yes, and the three-floor brick hotel has 133 bedrooms with stunning views.

The very-English GM, Andrew Harrison (above), is one of those guys who rushes up the Himalayas or Kilimanjaro if he has a week’s hols. As it happens, for the last three months, stuck in the hotel, he has been perfecting such traditional English skills as making dandelion beer, nettle soup or, as in the video below, summer pudding. He has also learned how to construct a barbed wire fence without needing hospitalization.

Stay here, too, for immersion in history. Dogmersfield, this exact location of Hampshire, was mentioned in the 1086 Domesday book. In 1502, King Henry VIII met Catherine of Aragon, the first of his six wives, here: she had left her father King Ferdinand II of Aragon, to travel to England to marry Henry’s brother Arthur, who died, and it is said Henry later married her to avoid having to send her dowry back. The current house was built in 1728 for the Mildmay family, who later sold it on to settle adultery payments. After a spell as a boys’ school, the complex opened as a hotel in 2005 (Girlahead’s favourite suite is, of course, the premium 225 sq m Royal Suite, designed by Martin Brudnizki, but all rooms have electrically-heated towel rails, so appreciated if you have wet togs after taking part in some of the myriad of outdoor pursuits). Now see the summer pudding video:

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