The Austrian capital is home to an abundance of first-class hotels. Whether you’re looking for something low-budget, environmentally friendly or romantic, these are the cream of the crop.
The Altstadt feels like love. Everywhere you look there are delightful bursts of colour – in the decor, in the artwork, in the mood. From the striped wallpaper to the turquoise chairs to the oversize paintings on the walls, it’s designed to brighten up your day, quite literally. Founded by Otto Ernst Wiesenthal, this building was originally an art gallery, and it shows. The hotel prides itself on its design – each room is themed – and gives guided tours (in German) to anyone interested in art, design and architecture. Breakfast is included.
You know how Gustav Klimt liked to paint in gold? Well, he’d love the Hotel Das Tyrol. Located on the vibrant Mariahilfer Straße, this boutique hotel welcomes guests to the lobby with hundreds of porcelain leaves painted gold, while the bar is dotted with gold chairs. Thankfully, like Klimt’s famous painting The Kiss, the use of gold here is tasteful and delicate rather than garish, and the overall effect isn’t too overbearing. Contemporary art, much of it by modern Austrian artists, adorns the walls. Elsewhere, Das Tyrol features everything you’d expect from a modern four-star hotel, including a brilliant breakfast and a full concierge service. In the evenings, guests are invited to relax in the dazzling spa area for a sauna or steam, which is lined with – you guessed it – glimmering gold tiles.
Fancy a more discreet hotel? The type where you can pay by the hour, as well as stay the whole night? Well, the Orient’s own website describes the experience as “unforgettable and naughty”. Located in the 1st district, it has existed for 300 years in this same location, silently opening its doors to the likes of… well, no one knows for sure, but the rumours speak of emperors, politicians, artists and poets. Its shadowy reputation was cemented when scenes from the classic Orson Welles film noir The Third Man were shot here in the 1940s. Today, the place is proud of its past, letting you book into the Kaiser Suite, where Emperor Franz Josef apparently conducted clandestine liaisons with his lover, or the Bacchanalian-themed Amethyst Suite. If you’re looking to add a frisson of romantic danger to your visit to Vienna, the Orient is the place to come.
The 25hours is sexy in an aloof, understated way. The guest rooms are funky – think purple bathtubs and clowns on the walls – but the vibe is more cool than crazy. There’s a buzzy rooftop bar, Dachboden, which attracts a hip crowd, and an excellent Italian restaurant on the ground floor, meaning you could quite happily stay here and never leave the building. If you do decide to step out, you’ll find yourself in the heart of the creative 7th district, just a hop, skip and a jump from most of the major museums.
The five-star Marriott Hotel in Vienna’s city centre is a great choice for both business and family travellers. Why? It has an indoor pool (not easy to come by in Vienna), and it’s directly across the street from Stadtpark, which has a full playground for the kids. The hotel offers family rooms for a relaxed, spacious stay. Picky eaters? Don’t worry, the buffet breakfast is delicious and has something to satisfy all tastes. Business travellers will love the convenience of the location and all the facilities that come with that five-star rating – excellent restaurants, a gym and a concierge service.
Hotel Kaerntnerhof, in the heart of the 1st district just minutes from St Stephen’s Cathedral, proves that the best things come in small packages. It is tiny, with only 44 rooms, but the prices are exceptional for the location. Single rooms are small, with simple furnishings and a pale-grey colour palette to create calming little oases. Amazingly, despite the small size, you still get all the bells and whistles packed in – a work desk, free Wi-Fi, a shower and a complimentary breakfast with vegan options. If the weather is nice, enjoy the view from the rooftop terrace.
Sofitel might be an international chain, but its Vienna property can compete with any of the boutique options in the city. It features an amazing indoor rooftop bar with an incredible panoramic view, accessed by a jet-black elevator. Located on the lively pedestrian-friendly Donaucanal, and across from the 1st district, this hotel is the perfect place to visit if you are without children. If you feel like indulging yourself, the large So SPA will leave you buffed, glowing, plumped up and stress-free, ready to explore this most magical of cities.