If you made a list of the most civilized cities in the world, Vienna would be at or near the top. As Austria's capital, and before that the seat of the all-powerful Austro-Hungarian Empire, Vienna is a bastion of refinement. This city is an epicenter of classical music, modern design, and café culture. Here you will find unimaginably elegant Baroque and Classical palaces, many of which have been transformed into the luxury hotels profiled in this article.
It's a good thing that Vienna is a walking city, because Viennese pastries are the equal of anything the French come up with. Repeat visitors say that the best thing to do here is to relax in an elegant coffeehouse and marvel at what Vienna has given the world: for a few, Sacher tortes and apple strudels, the Vienna Philharmonic, and psychoanalysis, thanks to Viennese doctor Sigmund Freud.
Palaces, art, a great zoo, inviting cafes, and more: see the top 10 things for visitors to do in Vienna. And keep reading for the 10 best hotels in this lovely destination.
The Park Hyatt Vienna
Park Hyatt Vienna embodies the definition of a five-star luxury hotel. Though it is set in a palatial building and every luxury is provided, what really makes this hotel special is the impeccable service.
Park Hyatt is the uppermost brand of Hyatt Hotels, headquartered in Chicago. The Vienna property, with a bull's-eye location in the heart of the Austrian capital, attracts a mix of leisure and business travelers, many of whom are Americans.
And you know how much Americans value complimentary wifi all over their hotel. Unwavering wired access is one of many perks granted to guests in the 143 rooms and suites. Room decor harmoniously blends sensuous, gold-accented Viennese Art Nouveau with Park Hyatt's signature plush, modern look. Rooms face either a lovely courtyard or beautiful Old Vienna.
The hotel makes the most of its setting, offering curated Viennese experiences for guests intent on exploring the city's fashion, cuisine, art, music, fitness, or the hotel's Arany Spa. (The name means "gold" in Hungarian, and treatments harness the rejuvenating powers of precious metals and gems.)
Park Hyatt's principal restaurant, The Bank Brasserie & Bar, is set in the handsome marbled atrium of a former bank. It offers an acclaimed breakfast buffet plus lunch and dinner. The hotel's Café Am Hof serves coffeehouse specialties, while The Lounge, open till the wee hours, is an intimate space for tea, pastries, light dinners, and luscious Austrian wine or French Champagne. The Living Room is a brawnier cigar-friendly bar focused on spirits like Scotch and Cognac.
The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna
The Ritz-Carlton luxury hotel name is beloved by upscale American luxury travelers, and The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna is a popular choice of upscale Statesiders visiting Vienna. Travel + Leisure has voted this deluxe urban retreat the number one hotel in Austria.
This hotel opened in 2012, but its history goes back much farther. It is composed of four Viennese palaces built between 1865 and 1871, during the height of the Habsburg royal dynasty's Austro-Hungarian Empire. The palaces were constructed in historic styles including moody Gothic and sparkling Baroque. All four are set on Vienna's famed Ringstrasse boulevard, which marks the original city walls as built by Emperor Franz Joseph. To this day, Ringstrasse is the top place to stroll around this capital city.
The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna offers 202 spacious guest rooms and 43 suites dripping in character and flaunting luscious views of Vienna. The pick, as at any Ritz-Carlton hotel, is a room with Club Lounge privileges and perks. The danger when staying in a Ritz-Carlton club floor is that the lounge is so welcoming and delicious, you have to force yourself to leave the hotel and explore your destination.
Amenities for all guests at this hotel are extensive. The fitness center is state-of-the-art and offers a 60-foot indoor pool with relaxing Viennese classical music inside the pool to sweeten your lap swimming. The Ritz-Carlton Spa is an oasis of beauty and wellness; see the spa treatment menu. Guests' pets get to enjoy the hotel too, at a price of 40 Euros per day, as of 2019.
The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna's Dstrikt Steakhouse is one of Vienna's very best places for a beef dinner enhanced by Austrian wines and bars; see its menus here. No fewer than three bars at the hotel comprise Melounge Lobby Bar (offering classic Afternoon Tea service and tea-infused cocktails); Atmosphere Rooftop Bar (known for its views and its Midnight in Vienna cocktail); and the clubby, cozy D-Bar.
The Hotel Sacher Wien
Hotel Sacher Wien is one of Vienna's legends. It fits the very definition of a grand hotel, with a dead-center location across from the State Opera, a classic look, gracious service, a lobby that seems to be a center of local social life.
In short, the grand hotel is a legend, and Hotel Sacher Wien, opened in 1876, is rife with legend and lore. Its portrait gallery, the Sacher Bilderkabinett, is a picture gallery with photos of the famous personalities who have relished a stay at the hotel or a slice of its famous Sacher-Torte chocolate cake, an exquisite Viennese pastry.
This is a hotel whose history and traditions shape a guest's stay. From the entry-level Superior rooms upwards, all 149 accommodations are impeccably elegant and high-tech besides, with a bathroom TV built into the mirror. On-property amenities are many The gym is open 24 hours and offers guests free use of the Finnish sauna, salt steam room, and herbal baths. The Sacher Boutique Spa is full-service and features Switzerland's La Prairie products and chocolate-based treatments. Young guests are welcomed to the hotel and invited to meet other budding travelers at the Sacher Kids club.
Many Hotel Sacher guests see no need to venture beyond the hotel for refined Viennese dining and lounging. Restaurant Anna Sacher, set in a magnificent 18000s parlor, serves traditional Austrian cuisine with modern seasonings in a magnificent 180oos room. The restaurant is known for its tasting menus of four, five or six courses served with sommelier-chosen wines. The "Blind Date" menu leaves the ordering to the chef.
The hotel's Blaue Bar, a cozy lounge accented by rich shades of sapphire, recalls the Vienna of a century ago. (It is open from 10 a.m. until 2 a.m.)
Café Sacher Wien is a time-honored and locally famous Viennese coffeehouse with a dog-friendly sidewalk section. Here, guests treat themselves to a slice of Sacher-Torte and understand the soul of this fabled capital city.
Palais Coburg Hotel Residenz is impressive. It is set in a splendid white stone palace that was built in the 1840s for a prince. Today it is one of Vienna's most refined hotels, offering only suites, and just 33 of them. Each is furnished with Viennese antiques and is named for a member of the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha royal family of Austria. The top-of-the-line Coburg Suites range from around 1,450 to 1,800 square feet.
The hotel's Silvio Nickol restaurant is named for its chef, one of Austria's culinary stars. It serves tasting menus exclusively. The menus range from five to nine courses that range from 233 to 299 Euros per diner, with wine pairings. Oenophiles: Silvio Nickol's wine list is a sight to behold, and the hotel draws intrepid oenophiles from around the world.The restaurant offers six different Wine Experiences that will make you a believer in Austrian wine and the Viennese wine scene.
Palais Hansen Kempinski
Kempinski is Europe's oldest luxury hotel brand, founded in 1897 in Berlin. The Palais Hansen Kempinski resides in a glorious heritage building from the same era. It is set on a legendary Viennese street, the Ringstrasse. In times past, upper-crust Viennese and visitors would stroll the boulevard, showing off their finery and nodding at acquaintances. Ringstrasse is still a destination street for the fashionable, offering trendy boutiques and lively establishments. Now, as in the past, café culture thrives on Ringstrasse, celebrating famous Viennese coffee and pastries.
Palais Hansen Kempinski offers 98 rooms and 54 suites including Vienna's largest Presidential Suite, with 3,450 square feet. Rooms have a genteel and soothing 1920s look and super-high-tech amenities; guests can customize their stay with the help of an in-room iPad.
Dining is just as modern at Die Küche ("The Kitchen"), the hotel's main restaurant. The menu changes frequently, and its Pop-Up Cooking program features a different global cuisine monthly. Die Küche diners can opt for interactive cooking stations and winemaker dinners. The hotel's Edvard restaurant, spotlighting market-fresh cuisine, is honored with a Michelin star.
Palais Hansen Kempinski's inviting Lobby Lounge & Bar is one of Vienna's most popular places to meet with friends to enjoy Viennese pastries and coffee, British-style afternoon tea, and custom tea blends. The hotel's Cigar Lounge caters to devotees of Havana tobacco, a passion of Vienna's own Sigmund Freud.
Guests can opt to relax at Kempinski The Spa, featuring a Viennese Art Nouveau glass wall and a mix of East-meets-West treatments, and thalassotherapy pools including a bio-sauna. The hotel gym is extensive.
Hotel Bristol Vienna
Hotel Bristol is a place to revel in Vienna's artistic grandeur. This dignified hotel is next door to the magnificent Vienna State Opera — right next door. They are both classic The opera house opened in 1869 and the hotel in 1892.
This is a true grand hotel, with a dazzling location. a classic air, and a see-and-be-seen lobby. Hotel Bristol honors the traditions of hospitality and delivers no-question five-star hotel service. But it has a modern attitude, with programs like a pet-friendly policy and guest amenities like a 24-hour gym. (The hotel lacks a spa and pool, however.)
Rooms and suites are available in 10 different categories, from charming and compact to spacious and lavish. Most accommodations are furnished in the elegantly ornate style of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The exception is the Bristol Suites, designed in glamorous Art Deco style.
Dining at the hotel's Bristol Lounge restaurant is classic and refined. In summertime, its Ice Cream Menu delights diners. The Bristol Bar is a Vienna destination for fine wines and modern cocktails made with a deluxe Viennese touch.
The hotel is a member of The Luxury Collection with Starwood Hotels. Guests who are member of Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program accrue points toward free nights and receive perks such as free wifi. SPG enrollment is free.
Hotel Imperial's reputation for Mitteleuropean luxury has been in the making for nearly 150 years. Built as a princely home in 1863 and opened for business 10 years later, it is the longest-standing hotel in Vienna. Hotel Imperial is set on the Ringstrasse, the city's royal boulevard and the place to stroll, see the city, and be seen.
Hotel Imperial revels in its traditions. and its design is lavish, with gilt, marble, and chandeliers everywhere. The builder of the hotel, Duke Philipp of Württemberg, became head of the royal house of Württemberg, and Hotel Imperial is decorated with the crest of this historic kingdom, and the opulent uniforms of the hotel bear the royal crest.
Today Hotel Imperial is a member of Starwood's Luxury Collection. Despite this modern association, guests who choose Hotel Imperial should expect the utmost in tradition. The concierge staff are ultimate Vienna insiders. The hotel butler service, accorded to guests in suites, goes above and beyond (they even iron the morning paper). One much-anticipated butler ritual is the steaming nightly bath they prepare in guests' choice of rose or forest fragrance.
Dining at the hotel is upper-crust. Cafe Imperial is an institution, serving classic Viennese coffees, pastries, and light dishes well into the evening. The Michelin-starred Restaurant OPUS was designed in the 1920s by famed Viennese designer Josef Hoffman and has been restored to its Modernist glory. The OPUS menu is contemporary as well. It is available in a la carte choices and various prix-fixe tasting menus that are modestly priced for their quality. 1873, named for the hotel's birth year. is an elegant lounge bar that offers a festive Sunday Champagne Brunch.
The hotel's pastry shop is famed for its decadent, all-chocolate Imperial Torte, created for Emperor Franz Josef's appearance at the hotel opening party in 1873. (The only other version of the confection is called the Mozart Torte after Austria's musician supernova and adds pistachio marzipan to the recipe.)
The hotel offers a 24-hour gym, but no pool or spa. Pets are welcome, though for a considerable daily fee.
Hotel Sans Souci Wien
The hotel is centrally set in a historic building that straddles the royal district and the artsy Museum Quarter, so guests are within walking distance of hundreds of Viennese attractions. The hotel's design was masterminded by the London design firm YOO Design, whose partners are Philippe Starck and Jade Jagger. San Souci's rooms are very large, light, and tranquil. They are unquestionably modern, but with elegant vintage parquet floors and gracious high ceilings. Bathrooms are enormous and spa-like, with rainfall showers.
Hotel amenities include a full-service spa. The 66-foot indoor pool, elegantly lit by a chandelier, is nirvana for lap swimmers, but guests pay a considerable supplement to use the pool and gym. However, San Souci's wifi is free and the buffet breakfast is complimentary, unusual for Vienna. And room service will bring you coffee at any time of day on the house.
Hotel dining is relaxed and high quality. La Véranda restaurant serves modern Austrian cuisine at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Le Bar specializes in Champagne, craft cocktails, and fine wine.
The Guesthouse Vienna
This hotel does not overwhelm guests with his historic importance and its vintage décor. Modest and utterly charming, it sees itself as "a home away from home," and wants its guests to feel as relaxed as they do in their own house. The wifi is fast and free, and dogs are permitted at no charge, which is very unusual. At The Guesthouse Vienna, guests are encouraged to invite and entertain friends and colleagues to their rooms. Room minibars, which offer complimentary beer and wine, get used a lot at The Guest House.
The hotel is set in Vienna's historic center, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is where visitors stroll the Ringstrasse, take in the music of Viennese composers like Mozart and Strauss, and order coffee mit schlag at heritage cafés.
The Guesthouse Vienna's 39 rooms and suites range from 250 to 560 square feet. Designed by the renowned British style visionary Sir Terence Conran, these contemporary accommodations recall Vienna's Arts and Crafts movement at the turn of the 20th century, featuring shapely modern furniture created by top Austrian designers.
The Guesthouse Vienna's restaurant, The Brasserie & Bakery, serves its much-praised breakfast all day, with lunch and dinner offering as well. Everything served is made in-house, and guests rave about the breads and pastries, the salads, the soups, and (of course) the Viennese pastries. See the all-day menu. The Guest House Vienna has no gym, so guests can walk off The Brasserie's deliciously gained calories.
Hotel Altstadt Vienna
Vienna's signature hotel style is grand hotels in historic buildings. But many visitors prefer the intimacy, style, and individuality of boutique hotels. Hotel Altstadt takes this alternative recipe seriously and positions itself as a lifestyle hotel with a complex and vibrant personality.
Every one of its 58 rooms was created by different designers from all over the world. While all distinctive in appearance, they all make a point of creating an alternative to the 19th century Viennese ornateness you find in the city's grand hotels. Most Altstadt rooms are very modern, with an airy, unfussy feel and a sunny palette. You can peek at quite a few rooms in the hotel's online gallery and see the latest artist-design digs in the hotel's style blog, The Muse.
Altstadt Vienna does not have a full-service restaurant, but does serve breakfast. The hotel is very proud of its morning meal, claiming to serve the best bread, butter and ham in town.
Altstadt Vienna has a special appeal for younger visitors who are looking for a place to stay that is more casual and homier than the city's grand hotels. To sweeten this appeal, Altstadt Vienna rooms are priced lower. The hotel is very promotionally-minded, with attractive packages and deals. (In mid-2017, one such promotion was priced at 318 Euros for two nights).