Vienna, with its long history and tradition as the home of the Habsburg court and the capital of the vast Austro-Hungarian Empire, is a city full of immense historic and cultural appeal.
It, therefore, is no wonder that the city is a well-loved hotspot for tourists from all over the world and caters to a lot of different tastes and budgets. The same holds true for Viennas wide variety of hotels, ranging from very basic and inexpensive hostels to palace-style luxury hotels. And it’s those luxurious 5-star hotels we are concerned with here.
Lately, the top-most tier of elegance and refinement has undergone a very unlikely expansion. For many years, Vienna’s top hotels were the handful of classic institutions that everyone and their neighbour had somehow heard of regardless of whether they had ever set foot into one of them, or not (we are, of course, talking about the Hotel Sacher, the Hotel Imperial, and the Hotel Bristol), but this selection has been augmented with quite a number of exciting newcomers to the city’s luxury hotel scene.
Many of the following hotels have taken over some of the most beautiful Baroque and Classical buildings of the city, and all of them are something everyone traveling in style should check out at least once:
This dignified hotel oozes grandeur and is one of the most traditional hotels in Vienna. Located right next to the State Opera (and we do mean right next door!) this classic 5-star grand hotel effortlessly combines authentic historic charm (the hotel has first opened in 1892) with modern amenities (24 hour gym, pet-friendly accommodations).
Rooms are available in 10 categories and are furnished in the lavish style of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The one notable exception is the Bristol Suite which is done in the most extravagant and exquisit Art Deco style.
Where: Kärntner Ring 1, 1010 Vienna
Web: Hotel Bristol
Built as a royal residence in 1863 and opened to the public a decade later, the Hotel Imperial is Vienna’s longest-standing hotel and a true marvel. Located at the Ringstraße, the city’s most impressive boulevard, and is the perfect place to see and be seen.
The hotel, comissioned by Duke Philipp of Württemberg, is steeped in tradition and offers guests the utmost luxury treatment at all times. The butlers, whose uniforms are still adorned with the imperial crest, go above and beyond for their charges – morning papers, for example, are ironed before delivering them to the rooms, and the hand-drawn evening baths are a cherished nightly ritual.
The hotel’s interior is lavishly decorated and captivates the eye with gilt and marble details (the grand staircase is a place to see!), as well as the ubiquitous chandeliers that can be found in virtually any room.
Where: Kärntnerring 16, 1015 Vienna
Web: Hotel Imperial
The Hotel Sacher is legendary – even in Vienna and with the Viennese. Opened in 1876, the grand hotel behind the State Opera, is the very definition of luxury and style. And a place of tradition and lore. The rich, the famous, and all those aspiring to fall into either of those categories have stayed here, and they all have left just as much a mark on the hotel as it did on them.
In oder to fully grasp the rich history of the place, here is nothing like a stroll through the Sacher’s portrait gallery, the Sacher Bilderkabinett, which is filled to the brim with pictures of all those well-known personalities that have stayed in the hotel or have, at the very least, indulged themselves with a slice of Sachertorte, the world-renowned chocolate cake.
Any of the 149 available rooms are impeccably elegant and walk the fine line between modern tech and design and traditional, historic style effortlessly. Amenities like the 24 hour gym, the Sacher Boutique Spa as well as the world-famous restaurant, bar and cafe make a stay in the Sacher a true treat of the senses.
Where: Philharmonikerstraße 4, 1010 Vienna
Web: Hotel Sacher
Hotel Sans Souci
If there weren’t about a thousand other reasons also arguing for a visit to Vienna’s Hotel Sans Souci, we think this pool would definitely be a decisive argument. And rightly so – because, let’s face it, where else in the world can you swim laps in a 20m pool in the light of crystal chandeliers?
But the Sans Souci has a lot more on offer than just a pool. Each of the 63 rooms are airy, light, and thoroughly modern – but with those loving antique touches that firmly anchor the Boutique hotel in the great historicity of Vienna. And the service is flawless and up to par with the highest standards of luxury.
Coffee on the house 24/7, a vast array of top-quality goods on the breakfast buffet, as well as the high class restaurant and bar make a stay in the Sans Souci a truly unforgettable experience.
Where: Burggasse 2, 1070 Vienna
Web: Sans Souci
Built in 1840 as a royal residence, this splendid white stone palace houses one of Vienna’s most refined hotels.
With just 33 accommodations, all of them suites, a stay here is an experience like none other. All of the suites are named after members of the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha royal family and are outfitted with true Viennese antiques. The Coburg suites, the largest available, also boast private saunas and terraces for utmost privacy.
And even though the hotel itself is a sight to be seen, what the Palais Coburg is really famous for is its exclusive restaurant that only offers tasting menus, as well as the incredibly extensive wine list that draws oenophiles from all over the globe into the heart of Vienna.
Where: Coburgbastei 4, 1010 Vienna
Web: Palais Coburg
Palais Hansen Kempinski
Part of Europe’s oldest hotel chain, the Palais Hansen Kempinski in Vienna fits in perfect with the historicity and glamour of its location – the famous Ringstraße.
The hotel resides in a gorgeous building from the late 19th century and to this day embodies the spirit of luxury and nobility of these days. Guests can choose between 98 rooms and 54 suites, all of which have a genteel 1920 style and come with state-of-the-art contemporary amenities.
Furthermore, the Hansen Kempinski is famous for its aptly (and cheekily) named restaurant Die Küche (The Kitchen) which changes menu frequently and features different cuisines on a monthly basis, as well as the Edvard restaurant which specialises in market-fresh ingredients and has been honoured with a Micheline star.
Where: Schottenring 24, 1010 Vienna
Web: Palais Hansen Kempinski
Park Hyatt Vienna
One of the newest players on Vienna’s luxury hotel scene is also one of the most exciting. Its look is as exquisite as is befitting for a 5-star hotel, but there is something else, some design element that is so subtle you can’t put your finger onto until you know what it is. And what it is, is the very simple fact that the hotel has taken over an old, traditional bank building, and now combines both its grandeur as well as its inherent starkness (just look at those dark, heavy, latticed doors and windows on the main facade!) into a truly unique look.
The 143 rooms and suites are another example of a perfect blend that makes up something new: the lavish, ornate, gold-plated Viennese Art Nouveau elements combine perfectly with Hyatt’s signature plush, modern look, creating an atmosphere of pure luxury.
Guests love the Park Hyatt Vienna for a multitude of reasons, not least among which are the Viennese experiences packaged hand-tailored to the person’s interests, the lavish Spa, and the simple fact that even the youngest travellers are treated with the utmost curtesy and given a supremely luxurious treatment (if you are a new family, look up the V.I.B.s!).
Where: Am Hof 2, 1010 Vienna
Web: Park Hyatt Vienna
The Ritz-Carlton Vienna is a conglomerate of art, architecture and luxury in the best sense of the word. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a hotel that has taken over and merged not one, not two, but four historic Viennese palaces is one of the most famous and beautiful in a city where the Mélange is one of the best known and most beloved types of coffee.
And while we’re at Vienna’s rich tradition of (hot) drinks and food, let’s just say that the Ritz-Carlton boasts not only one, but three incredible bars, each of which has their own style and specialities, but also Vienna’s single most famous (and renowned!) Steakhouse!
In terms of amenities, guests can have their pick from a stunning number of 202 rooms and 43 suites, each of whom have a distinctive character and offer spectacular views of Vienna, can have access to an even higher level of pampering via the Ritz’s Lounge Club, can enjoy a state-of-the-art gym with a superb (and stunningly beautiful) pool, and let themselves be treated in the famous Ritz Carlton Spa. And all of that is just the tip of the iceberg, really.
Where: Schubertring 5-7, 1010 Vienna
Web: Ritz-Carlton Vienna