In a magnificent position in the Wachau, the gorge which is the most picturesque section of the Danube, where Nature and Art combine in perfect harmony, stands Dürnstein Castle, amidst the World Heritage Site. Built in Renaissance style, it was for centuries the property of the Princes Starhemberg. In recent centuries the present owners have converted it into a hotel of great style catering for even the most fastidious guest.
The Wachau enjoys a mild, dry climate, which means not only that Austria’s most renowned white wines grow here, but also that the restaurant terrace is a perfect place for just sitting and enjoying – indeed, it has deservedly acquired the reputation of being the most beautiful terrace on the whole length of the Danube. The fine cuisine of head chef Hans Zusser and the splendidly stocked cellar have made in this castle hotel a meeting-place for gourmets.
Schloss Dürnstein, a 17th-century castle, occupies a magnificent position overlooking the River Danube in lower Austria’s fertile Wachau Valley. Dinner on the terrace is a highlight for guests—a skillful blend of traditional recipes and international cuisine.
Dishes include Austrian classics such as Wiener Schnitzel, goulash, and breaded dumplings with apricots—a characteristic dessert of the Wachau region. And the frequent use of apricots in the region’s traditional recipes has inspired the hotel to pursue its own fruit production—opting for the sweeter and more intense Wachau apricots, grown only in the surrounding valley. The hotel uses organic methods to cultivate some 150 apricot trees that supply a variety of home-made products, including preserves, fruit juices, and—of course—schnapps. Jams are served at the hotel’s breakfast tables, and a small personal pot is offered to all guests as a welcome gift. Many guests also place orders for the schloss’s apricot preserves, which they continue to enjoy at home.