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The Keep, Eco-residence in Salzburg, Austria

Imagine a keyless, receptionless, beautiful, biophyllic designed and upcycled accommodation in central Salzburg. 

The Keep, Eco Residence is a 10 minute walk from the main train station, 2 minutes to thé Salzer river, 10 minute walk to the famous Mirabelle gardens (of Sound of Music fame). Walking along the river for 15 minutes will have you at the footstep of the old town and quaint alleyways that will lead you to the Dom, St Peter’s and eventually for those happy to climb up to the Fortress (or the funicular that can take you up for €8.80).

The Keep is the brainchild of Chef Ralph, a local Salzburg resident, who saved the property from being demolished. It was a former retirement home and is sturdily built. Ralph and his team of 10, rescued logs from the Salzer river, dried them out and used them as hangers and as a lovely wooden chandelier in the main common/dining room. Even the coffee machine has been pulled together from 7 other broken coffee machines. 

The delightful and lovely homemade breakfast boasts that most of the ingredients are sourced from a 50km radius; making everything farm fresh and locally sourced and produced. Plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. A good range of herbal teas available and coffee from the upcycled coffee machine for a small €2 plus fee. The breakfast and rest of the food and drink that is available all day is on a pay what your want charge. Organic waste including the coffee grinds are composted or used as fertiliser.

Walking into my twin room with a shower, the feeling is warm and smells like stepping into a forest due to the wood throughout the room. The festoon bulbs add to the warmth. The hanging powerpoints are by each bed and add to the decor. The bedside table is made from wood offcuts from furniture makers, turning waste into something useful and homely. Astonishingly the shower wall is made from old tents that were to be discarded. Access to the room is via a unique code emailed to you ahead of  your arrival. No unnecessary paper or key cards used here. The beds are comfortable with soft flannelette sheets. 

The soap in the common bathrooms are home made and they offer homemade cakes of soap for anyone in need. The hostel is powered by hydraulic renewable energy and next year they will be installing solar panels.

The Keep truly embraces sustainability principles and is great to see that it can be done in a popular tourist city. It shows that everything is possible. 

Ralph, the owner, is a real rescue warrior, and is a true believer in repurposing and reuse. Travel Bunny can’t wait to see more of these Eco Residence accommodation choices in Austria and Germany. The Keep opened in June 2019 as the flagship for sustainable accommodation. Travel Bunny stayed here in September 2019.

A beautiful, comfortable, sustainable and convenient place to stay in Salzburg. Definitely recommended.

Possibly a price guide would help those that are unable to value the ‘Pay what you can’ breakfast and hosts that can help orientate new arrivals. 

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