Prague, Czech Republic
A hot-pink confection of Bohemian Neo-Renaissance style, the Hotel Opera stands in the less touristy Nové Město, or “New Town,” quarter of storied Prague.
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Few hotels are as renowned for their amenities as they are for a single desert. The trifecta of chocolate, apricot jam, and whipped cream known as the Original Sacher-Torte has become synonymous with Vienna’s culinary culture, and made the Hotel Sacher a global institution.
This five-star hotel in the Innere Stadt first district of Vienna, Austria was founded in 1876 by Eduard Sacher, son of the famous baker Franz. Sacher married a butcher’s daughter, Anna Maria Fuchs, who would become the “grande dame” taking over the Hotel after Eduard’s passing in 1892.
Under her firm but fair leadership, Anna cemented Hotel Sacher as the meeting place for Vienna’s elite. But when World War I ended along with the monarchy, the Hotel no longer became that point of camaraderie for the wealthy. As Anna’s vision for the Hotel began to diminish, so too did her involvement in day-to-day operations. She died in 1930 in one of the Hotel rooms; a procession of “tens of thousands of Viennese” paid their respects.
Hotel Sacher languished through some difficult years of rebuilding under new management, a joint venture between the Siller and Gürtler families. After Anna Siller’s death in 1962, the Gürtler’s assumed full control and built the Hotel Sacher back up to its prominent status.
The addition of wine bars like the Sacher Eck, renovations in 2004 that added 52 rooms, and the Boutique Sacher Spa have made Hotel Sacher the top luxury hotel in Vienna. As for the Sacher-Torte, sales are still strong with 360,000 cakes shipped globally per year. Since 2008, artists redesign the torte’s box to create donations for good causes.
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