It was 1832 when Prince von Metternich instructed the 16-year-old apprentice chef Franz Sacher to create a cake for his discerning guests. The sweet masterpiece was to be made with chocolate, apricot jam, and whipped cream. Today, the Original Sacher-Torte stands as one of Vienna’s best-known symbols and – to quote the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung – “is widely accepted as a currency of interpersonal relationships around the world.” Much like the hotel which the son of the dessert inventor opened years later and which is now one of the most renowned hotels in the world …
1876: Eduard Sacher opens an exclusive luxury hotel in the heart of Vienna by the name of Sacher. The cake of the same name becomes the hallmark of the house.
1880: Eduard Sacher marries Anna Maria Fuchs, a butcher’s daughter, who quickly turns the Sacher into Vienna’s most sought-after hotel and a favourite meeting place of celebrities and high society.
1892: Eduard Sacher dies, leaving the establishment to his wife, who officially takes over responsibility for the destiny of the hotel. Anna Sacher’s management style is strict but fair. The “grande dame” becomes known for her cigars, which she allegedly always had in her mouth, as well as her hobby of breeding French bulldogs.
1918: The end of the monarchy is also a turning point for the select meeting place of figures from the worlds of politics, business, and art. In the years to come, Anna Sacher gradually relinquishes control over the hotel’s operations.
1930: Anna Sacher dies in her room at the hotel. Tens of thousands of Viennese pay her their respects on her funeral procession to the Augustinian Church.
1934: Hans Gürtler and his wife Poldi, along with the Siller family, take over the traditional Viennese institution and renovate the venerable building. The Sacher is restored to the first-class hotel of earlier days.
1938: World War II again puts a stop to tourism.
1945: After the war, the Sacher falls first into Russian, then into British, hands. The Gürtler and Siller families only regain control over the hotel six years later. The Sacher is renovated for the second time.
1949: Co-owner Josef Siller dies, leaving his share of the Hotel Sacher to his wife Anna.
A new start
1950s: The Hotel Sacher is expanded. Several small courtyards are integrated into the hotel, and banquet rooms are created.
1962: Anna Siller dies. The hotel becomes the sole property of the Gürtler family.
1970: Hans Gürtler dies. His son Rolf takes over the business but dies a few months later in a tragic accident. His son, Peter Gürtler, assumes responsibility for the business.
1988: Peter Gürtler begins expansion of the Sacher enterprise, taking over the Österreichischer Hof hotel in Salzburg.
1990: Peter Gürtler dies. The hotel becomes the property of his children, Alexandra and Georg. Their mother, Elisabeth Gürtler, takes over management of the hotel on behalf of her children, who are still minors at the time. Today the hotel is managed jointly by Elisabeth Gürtler and her two children. The Sacher is the only family-owned and family-run luxury hotel in Vienna.
1994: The Sacher Hotels become members of the “Leading Hotels of the World”.
Sacher in motion…
1999: In Innsbruck, the first independent Café Sacher is opened, followed by the Café Sacher Graz in 2003.
2000: The Österreichischer Hof hotel in Salzburg is renamed the Hotel Sacher Salzburg.
2003: The Sacher Eck’, an elegant, modern wine bar, is opened in the Hotel Sacher Vienna.
2004: The Vienna hotel is modernized. For the first time ever, the Hotel Sacher is closed for 10 weeks, as public areas such as the entrance area, concierge desk, lobby, and front desk are renovated. The attic floor is converted, enlarging the hotel by 52 rooms. The new design is developed together with the French interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon.
2005: As the top luxury hotel in Vienna, the Hotel Sacher opens a spa which, thanks to its unique offerings and exceptional standard, immediately becomes a “Leading Spa”.
2008: The Original Sacher-Torte has long been an export success. About 360,000 hand-made cakes are shipped all over the world each year. An annual limited Artists’ Collection was launched in 2008: renowned Austrian artists like Hermann Nitsch, Gustav Peichl a.k.a. “Ironimus”, Christian Ludwig Attersee, Xenia Hausner and Herbert Brandl have so far re-designed the packaging of the world-famous chocolate cake, turning the elegant wooden box into a piece of Austrian art, available in a strictly limited edition of 1,000 pieces.
2010: Sacher joins Facebook and other social media platforms. At the same time, it continues its process of renewal, with both the Hotel Sacher Vienna and the Hotel Sacher Salzburg being “in motion”.
2011: In November the Sacher Salzburg presents the results of a comprehensive refurbishment: 20 completely renovated rooms, a new terrace overlooking the River Salzach, a thoroughly modernized conservatory, revamped banquet rooms and the renovated bar give a lighter, brighter touch to the Hotel Sacher Salzburg.
2012: In February the Hotel Sacher Vienna presents its new “look” after several years of refurbishment: all in all, 86 rooms and 63 suites on six floors were brought up to the latest standards. With the presentation of the last four fully renovated floors in 2012 the Hotel Sacher Vienna has almost completed its refurbishment process.
2012: The completion of the Pellèas et Mélisande Presidential Penthouse Suite and the Katja Kabanowa and Nurejev Deluxe Bedroom Suites with roof terraces on the 7th floor marks the end, for the time being, of the long extension and refurbishment process.
2013: The Sacher proudly presents its new website: bigger pictures, direct booking of rooms and restaurant tables, a Facebook live stream, and many statements by and stories about the people behind the brand make this website a benchmark for the luxury hotel sector.