Looking for something a bit closer to home? Try the sumptuous Merchants Manor in Falmouth or the ultra-luxe The Beaumont in Mayfair.
What is it?
A proper medieval Schloss with peerless lakefront access and a life-changingly good restaurant.
What's the deal?
Discerning members of the Alpine aristocracy have been drawn to this dreamy spot on the north shore of Lake Zell since at least the 1400s, when Schloss Prielau was first documented. Over the years it’s changed hands countless times, variously inhabited by bishop princes, elite sculptors and other movers and shakers. In the late 1980s, it was bought by the Porsche family (yes, that Porsche family), and tastefully renovated without losing any of its historic charm.
Today, it’s an exquisite time capsule – all chunky stone walls, vintage furniture, heraldic iconography, hunting trophies. In the rooms, rich drapes hang over gigantic master beds; elaborate iron mechanisms latch reassuringly hefty front doors. Some similarly venerable places can (whisper it) whiff a little of the long centuries, but the delightful team headed by the kindly Anette Mayer run a tight, clean ship. And the bathrooms are bang up to date, with big shiny mirrors, rain showers and luxurious modern tubs.
The real star, however, is the restaurant.Oh man. If you ask Anette how long it might take to wander into town, she'll likely stare at you blankly, as if to say, "Why would you ever want to leave?" Mayers, as it's called, has two Michelin stars (meaning "worth a diversion") and doles out ludicrously fancy morsels like local lamb osso buco, goose liver ice cream and inventively plated desserts, with astute wine pairings amid a sufficiently regal ambiance.
The Porsche family are hands-off with the running of the place – Anette does a fine job by herself –but they’ll happily hook you up with a sports car to get out in the mountains, on request. But Anette’s quite right, of course – why would you ever want to leave?
The best stay for...
Couples, perhaps of a somewhat petrolhead inclination, looking for a knockout romantic fantasy getaway.
10 Hofmannsthalstraße, 5700 Zell am See