Historic Hotels in Vienna
If you are looking for a taste of luxury, combined with a touch of history and a dash of culture, Vienna's luxury hotel accommodation can probably find something to fulfil your specifications.
Many of the five-star hotels in the city are "design" creations remodelling the traditional Vienna buildings. But here are a few who have combined the quality of their accommodation with a sense of tradition and history...
(By the way, that's not a hotel above, but some of them listed below are within spitting distance of it!)
Luxury Hotels with History
The Hotel Ambassador can trace its cultural heritage back to an inn and concert hall where Mozart and Beethoven once performed. The old buildings were demolished at the end of the 19th century and in 1898 Hotel Krantz-Ambassador was opened. The location and luxury meant that it was a favourite of cultural celebrities and crowned heads alike. Post-war, the hotel was known solely as the Hotel Ambassador and was used as the venue for official state visits in the 1950s. The hotel was renovated and reopened in 2001 with 86 luxury rooms.
Address: Kärntner Strasse 22, 1010 Vienna
Tel: 01 961 610
Like many of Vienna's most prestigious hotels, the Bristol was founded at the end of the 19th century and gradually expanded along the Ringstrasse until it reached its present location. It has long been one of the most famous locations and addresses in Vienna with its position and rooms looking onto the Vienna Opera House. The hotel, renovated between 2007 and 2009, has 140 rooms and suites, with some of the luxury accommodation named after famous guests (including the Prince of Wales Presidential Suite named for the stay and the scandal of Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson).
Address: Kärntner Ring 1, 1010 Vienna
Tel: 01 515 160
The Residenz Palais Coburg is a former count's residence which has been turned into a luxury suite hotel. The Palais Coburg is located near the Ringstrasse at the Stadtpark side and the use of "Bastei" ("bastion") in the address gives a hint of the position on the former city walls. The building originally belonged to the noble house of Coburg-Gotha (although it was never fully used as a residence for them alone) and was - in typically irreverent Viennese fashion - known as "Castle Asparagus" ("Spargelburg") because of the columns in front. After the Second World War the building was used as offices and apartments until it was renovated in the early 2000s and turned into a luxury hotel.
Address: Coburgbastei 4, 1010 Vienna
Tel: 01 518 180
Grand Hotel Wien
The Grand Hotel Wien proudly proclaims its status as the oldest of the cluster of the "Ring Hotels" around the Opera part of the Ringstrasse. Built in 1870, originally as a private residence, it was almost immediately turned into a classy hotel to take advantage of the boom in Vienna's popularity. The hotel also played its part in one of Austria's great real-life romantic tragedies - the doomed Mayerling affair which resulted in the death of the Austrian Crown Prince and his lover. Baroness Maria Vetsara, the 16-year-old lover, stayed with a friend at the hotel and the Crown Prince sent his carriage to pick her up at the back entrance of the hotel for the secret assignations. The hotel was occupied by Russian forces after the Second World War and was then used as a headquarters by the IAEA. A Japanese airline took over the building and invested to turn it back into a luxury hotel. It reopened in 1994 and is now part of a luxury hotel chain with 205 suites and rooms.
Address: Kärntner Ring 9, 1010 Vienna
Tel: 01 515 800
The Hotel Imperial Vienna is another of the stately residences built in the latter half of the 19th century on the Ringstrasse. The Imperial was finished in 1863 for the Duke of Württemberg. He sold it only a few years later and it was developed into a hotel in time for the World Exhibition in 1873. Out of all of the prestigious hotels in Vienna, the Imperial probably has the best right to a reputation as the "official" hotel for State visits - Krushchev and Kennedy stayed here during their summit in the 1960s, for example. The current hotel offers a total of 138 suites and rooms from its location next to the Musikverein.
Address: Kärntner Ring 16, 1010 Vienna
Tel: 01 501 100
The Hotel Sacher was built by the same family who invented the possibly even more famous cake - the Sacher-Torte. It was opened as a hotel in 1876 - like so many of its competitors it was originally a grand townhouse. Although the hotel and associated products had benefited from an Imperial Court Warrant as an official supplier, the family business eventually went bankrupt in the 1930s. It was bought by a group of investors including a local lawyer and the lawyer's family, the Gürtlers, have ended up running it as a second multi-generational family business - one which has expanded from Vienna into other Austrian cities. The hotel is located behind the Vienna Opera House and has 150 rooms and suites.
Address: Philharmonikerstrasse 4, 1010 Vienna
Tel: 01 514 560