8 Best Hotels in Vienna
The old-world cafés and Hapsburg-era architecture that has defined Vienna for centuries now share their cobbled streets with hotels and restaurants both stylish and contemporary. Here, 8 new and classic sleeps for every type of traveler.
Decadence is the name of the game at Vienna's Hotel Sacher, built in 1876 just opposite the old opera house. You’ll find it in the silk wall coverings and original oil paintings—1,000, all told—hanging in its 152 guest rooms. You’ll see it in the hall of hanging portraits depicting famous past guests from JFK to John Lennon. And you’ll feel it in either of the opposing Rote or Blaue bars, respectively decked out in—you guessed it—deep red or blue velvet, from the couches to the walls and lamp shades. Did we mention this spot is the self-proclaimed inventor of the equally-as-decadent Sacher torte? Dig in at the Café Sacher, whose glassed-in terrace opens up during the summer.
Modernist Vienna comes to a head at Hotel Topazz, whose unmistakable oval-windowed, curvaceous concrete façade stands out among the city’s top grand hotels. The ultra-modern design carries through inside, where the lobby’s geometric patterns and monochromatic hues nod to the city’s decorative arts movement of the 1900s. Upstairs, 33 earth-toned guest rooms are tricked out with wood paneled walls, edgy slipper chairs, and unique oval windows, while the basement Salon channels turn-of-the-century Vienna with its ornate sofa chairs and afternoon tea. What the property lacks in amenities—guests looking for breakfast will have to head across the street to sister property Hotel Lamée—it makes up for in its commitment to staying green (think low-impact design and low-energy appliances) and its close proximity to some of the city’s best museums, shops, and squares.
David Bowie and Robbie Williams may have bedded down in this stylish boutique back in their day, but Das Triest is about as far away from Chateau Marmont-esque rocker pad as it gets—or even Vienna’s signature Art Nouveau, for that matter. British interior designer Sir Terence Conran injected a heady dose of elegance to this former coach station’s interiors; you’ll find a clean, minimalist aesthetic paired with modern comforts—Molton Brown toiletries, Frette linens, furniture by the likes of Philippe Starck and Monotti. The 72 guest rooms pay homage to the port city of Trieste with porthole mirrors and nautical flags; at ground level, an interior courtyard is the setting for a quality Italian restaurant, where guests can enjoy off-the-grill specialties followed by cocktails at the Silver Bar.
The Guesthouse Vienna
For a stylish taste of local living, book yourself into the Guesthouse, a 1950s-era former youth hostel that’s been transformed into one of the First District’s finest boutique hotels. Sir Terence Conran was tapped once again for the vision—this time, a sleek, modern take on Viennese design (think blond wood, black and white photographs, Wittman sofas, and classic bentwood chairs that harken back to the Vienna of the 1930s). Looks aside, it’s the feeling that you’re living inside a private home that truly sells. We’re talking multiple complimentary bottles of wine, walk-in closets, handmade organic soaps by Wolfgang Lederhaas, and cozy reading nooks, often by bay windows that out onto St. Stephen’s Cathedral or the opera house.
Palais Coburg Hotel Residenz
In Vienna, palaces are everywhere, but Palais Coburg is a step above the rest. Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha commissioned this neoclassical mansion during the mid 1800s, but it fell into disrepair during the 20th century until 2003, when it reopened as a luxury hotel. The prince might recognize a few remaining details—the original double-height column façade; the barrel-vaulted brick cellars that now house one of Europe’s largest wine collections—but the rest has been beautifully updated. A glass foyer now frames the city’s old medieval walls while, upstairs, just 35 guest rooms (all suites) are named after notable royalty like Queen Victoria and King Leopold I of Belgium and done up with grand flourishes like glittering chandeliers and antique Louis Philippe XVI furniture. At the Coburg, it’s all about peaceful spaces to retreat from the rest of the city—be it at the spa with its pool and sun terrace, the outdoor café, or the property’s garden, which features a water basin and swaths of magnolias.
Italian architect Matteo Thun added his art-filled touch to this former aristocrat’s townhouse. Details like black-tiled bathrooms, chandeliers, and dark wallpaper set a moody backdrop for works by Andy Warhol and Christian Attersee. Sure, guests come for the museum-quality collection, but they stay for the amenities, including an impressive breakfast spread featuring freshly baked breads, fruits, and made-to-order eggs, as well as complimentary afternoon tea—paired with cakes, of course.
This is hands down the most impressive palace hotel in all of Vienna. Built in 1863 as the neoclassical residence of the prince of Württemberg, Hotel Imperial—as it was renamed during the 1873 World’s Fair—is every bit as opulent as it was during its first days in operation. The six floors house 139 rooms, all shimmering chandeliers, stucco ceilings, silks and antiques, and, in some, even private balconies. The setting is worthy of royalty even today and has hosted the likes of Queen Elizabeth II and Michael Jackson. Don't miss a slice of the now-famous Imperial Torte (invented at this very hotel) at the hotel's Café Imperial.
Park Hyatt Vienna
Inside a century-old former bank building in Vienna’s Golden Quarter, Hyatt’s first hotel in Austria maximizes the space, location, and history of its stately address. The 143 rooms (among the city’s largest) are a mix of old and new, with coffered ceilings and gold and silver accents and a gray-on-gray color palette. Elsewhere, spaces have been given new life: the restaurant occupies the former cashier’s hall, while the Arany Spa—complete with a glamorous indoor pool—is housed in the former bank vault. Cigar enthusiasts have their own hangout in the wood-paneled Living Room (which also stocks a good selection of whiskeys), but when summer hits, there’s no better place to be than the terrace at Pearl, glass of rosé in hand.
These stylish staples will take you from lunch to the opera to post-performance drinks.
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