Hotel Sacher head may snare rival

Some of Austria’s most prestigious hotels may get a new owner in the near future, according to reports by business media.Weekly magazine Format claims today (Fri) Hotel Sacher boss Elisabeth Gürtler has signalised interest in taking over Hotel Bristol. Both the Sacher and the Bristol are five-star establishments situated in the city centre of Vienna. Gürtler refused to comment on the speculations.Format writes that the Hotel Bristol was up for sale for around 100 million Euros. The magazine’s report has it that its current owner, the B & C Holding investment group, was looking for a buyer.Gürtler – a well-known socialite who organised the Vienna Opera Ball for years – was in the news only in February when it was reported that she had interest in acquiring Vienna’s Hotel Imperial and the Hotel Goldener Hirsch in Salzburg.Gürtler is the director of the Vienna Spanish Riding School (SRS). Her family took over the Hotel Sacher, which opened in 1876, in 1934. The five-star hotel’s 152 rooms and suites are currently being renovated and modernised for 14 million Euros while it continues to do business as usual.Hotels in Vienna registered 10.86 million overnight stays last year, 10.3 per cent more than in 2009. The overall number of overnight stays in Austria’s nine provinces including Vienna rose by just 0.4 per cent to 124.82 million at the same time. Hotels and guesthouses in the country feature around 1.1 million beds. The tourism sector accounts for around 18 per cent of Austria’s gross domestic product (GDP).