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Once the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Vienna is a living museum filled with fantasy architecture of the influential Habsburg dynasty. The Habsburgs paved the way for a multitude of famous Viennese residents, including founding psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, as well as master musicians Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. Come to Vienna to stand in awe before world-famous artworks at the Albertina gallery or to sample Viennese coffee and Sachertorte in a café overlooking the Danube River. Whatever your reasons for visiting, stay in one of the city’s best hotels. In this article, we look at a wide range of options, from authentic boutiques to socially responsible budget picks.
Best Overall: Hotel Sans Souci Wien
Five-star Hotel Sans Souci Wien is beloved by visitors to Austria’s capital - as proved by its top rating on TripAdvisor. Located on the edge of the MuseumsQuartier, it reflects the area’s artistic heritage within its own walls. Step through the white wedding cake exterior into the personal art gallery of owner Norbert Winkelmayer, with highlights including original works by Lichtenstein and Picasso. The decor is a playful blend of contemporary and antique. And the service? It's flawless from check in to check out.
All rooms and suites are designed for comfort and style. Expect premium mattresses, a pillow menu, a luxurious circular bathtub and free high-speed Wi-Fi. Breakfast is also included and comprises a veritable spread of regional fruits, fresh breads and eggs cooked especially to order. Throughout the rest of the day, sample the finest modern Austrian cuisine at Veranda restaurant. Le Bar temps with an astounding array of different champagnes, while the basement spa is a sanctuary complete with a sauna and a chandelier-hung indoor pool.
Best Budget: magdas Hotel
Located on the edge of famous Vienna park the Prater, magdas Hotel is a unique option for budget travelers with a social conscience. It provides employment and upliftment for refugees, but has a worldly atmosphere for guests. Together, the hotel staff speak 23 languages. There are 88 rooms, all of them basic and comfortable with recycled furniture and artworks donated by the Academy of Fine Arts.
For the most economic stay, choose a Classic Double Room. There are no frills (if you want to watch TV, you can rent a tablet from reception), but the bed is comfortable, the ensuite bathroom boasts organic toiletries and the Wi-Fi is free. Breakfast features fair trade coffee and honey from the beehives kept on the roof. There’s a beautiful garden with an open-air cinema, while the salon is a cozy meeting place with a bar, a café and changing art exhibits. Keep an eye out for live music events.
Best Boutique: The Guesthouse Vienna
From The Guesthouse Vienna, it’s a few short steps to the Albertina, a world-famous art gallery housed in the largest of the Habsburg residential palaces. This design-led boutique markets itself as a “home away from home” - and it’s true, assuming that your home is an enclave of style and refinement. British designer Sir Terence Conran has succeeded in infusing The Guesthouse with just the right blend of comfort and elegance.
All of the 39 rooms include a Bang & Olufsen entertainment system, a heated bathroom and an espresso machine. Best of all, an in-room wine fridge treats you to free wine, beer and soft drinks. Upgrade to a higher level room for a bathtub and stunning views of landmarks such as the Vienna State Opera and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. All-day breakfast is served at cozy restaurant Brasserie & Bakery, alongside a mouthwatering list of Austrian and French specialties.
Best for Families: Boutiquehotel Stadthalle Wien
Eco-friendly Boutiquehotel Stadthalle Wien is located a 15-minute drive from the city center, near kid-friendly Schönbrunn Palace and Zoo. Its quiet location is a blessing for young families; although excellent transport links keep the best of Vienna’s sights within easy reach. A courtyard and garden offer plenty of opportunities for al fresco family bonding, while the rooftop lavender garden adds a touch of novelty in summer.
The Family Room allows for privacy with two separate bedrooms. Child-friendly touches include a painting book, a tooth-brushing stool in the ensuite bathroom and a satellite TV for movies before bedtime. Cribs are available upon request. Children under the age of six stay for free, while discounted rates for older kids help you to keep your vacation within budget. The hotel offers an organic breakfast buffet and there are several restaurants nearby.
Best for Romance: Hotel Altstadt Vienna
Surrounded by galleries in the MuseumsQuartier district, Hotel Altstadt Vienna is a romantic choice for culture-loving couples. The building dates back to 1902, but its interiors are a celebration of contemporary eclecticism. On the way to your uniquely decorated room or suite, stop to admire masterpieces by the likes of Warhol and Liebowitz. All rooms pamper guests with a minibar, a Nespresso machine and luxury Malin+Goetz toiletries.
For the most romantic stay, however, upgrade to a suite with a stand-alone bathtub and an intimate living area. The hotel’s delightfully simple breakfast buffet is served until late, allowing you the decadence of lazy mornings spent in bed together. Treat yourselves to tea and homemade cake every afternoon, then share gourmet small plates and fine wines by the fireplace in the Red Salon.
Best Luxury: Hotel Sacher Wien
Five-star Hotel Sacher Wien is the standard bearer for old-world luxury in Vienna. Located a short stroll from 13th-century palace the Hofburg, it resembles a royal residence itself - with crystal chandeliers, silk wallpaper and ornate oil paintings. Over the years, it has played host to the likes of JFK and Queen Elizabeth. Luxury touches in the rooms include a TV in the bathroom mirror and 24-hour room service.
The Penthouse Presidential Suite takes indulgence to new levels. Expect magnificent original artworks, a crackling fireplace and a stunning terrace with unforgettable rooftop views. The hotel’s dining options are equally impressive. At Rote Bar, enjoy traditional Viennese cuisine and live piano music or head to Blaue Bar for pre-opera cocktails. The spa includes a fitness center and a Finnish sauna.
Best for Nightlife: Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom
Situated on the north bank of the Danube River, Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom is a short walk from some of the city’s best bars and clubs. For sophisticated revelers, it’s also a party destination in its own right. Eighteenth-floor Das LOFT restaurant and bar impresses with floor-to-ceiling city panoramas. Start the evening’s festivities with Michelin Plate-awarded cuisine before sampling the impressive wine list. Live DJs add to the atmosphere on Thursdays and Fridays, keeping the party going until 2 a.m. The hotel also features a Viennese coffee shop (perfect for next-day revival), as well as a luxury spa. After a late night, all rooms and suites invite you to relax with free Wi-Fi, a Bose sound system and a decadent bathroom tub.
Best Business: Hotel am Stephansplatz
Four-star Hotel am Stephansplatz offers an ideal location in the city center. Despite its boutique feel, this independent hotel caters to corporate travelers with free high-speed Wi-Fi and two dedicated meeting rooms. The largest of these can accommodate up to 35 delegates. Business Rooms are designed for convenience, with a spacious work desk, a laptop-sized safe and a satellite TV for unwinding in the evenings. Triple-insulated windows and a cold foam mattress guarantee a good night’s sleep. After work, meet your colleagues for happy hour cocktails and antipasti at Café Bar Aragall. Other useful amenities include a fitness room and sauna.
Best B&B: Schreiners Essen und Wohnen
Located west of the city center and within walking distance of the MuseumsQuartier, Schreiners Essen und Wohen is a traditional Viennese townhouse with rustic decor and unfailingly friendly service. There are just five guestrooms, all of which have a balcony or terrace overlooking the picturesque garden. Comforts include a King bed, cable TV, a Nespresso coffee machine and a rainforest shower. Breakfast is served in the B&B’s award-winning restaurant. In the evening, pair Austrian beer or wine with classic dishes made using the finest local and seasonal ingredients.