Ranked the best city to live in for a 10th year in the row, Vienna is easily one of the world’s most popular vacation spots. The city that used to be the gateway between western and eastern Europe and the center of the once expanding Habsburg Empire excites and inspires its visitors with thousands of historic sights, wonderful art collections, musical heritage and so many brilliant palaces.
Vienna managed to preserve its unique cosmopolitan atmosphere to this day, charming everyone with its splendid streets, full of old world architecture and Viennese coffee houses offering delicious cakes and pastries. There’s no way you won’t find a lovely corner of the city for your liking. There’s something for everyone there.
And for sure this storied city doesn’t lack amazing hotels. We’ve been to Vienna several times already but we’ve always wanted to stay in a historic palais there – luckily for us a few months ago we’ve had the chance to stay at the mesmerizing Palais Hansen Kempinski and it was everything we expected, and then some.
This iconic hotel is a true landmark in Vienna – designed by the famous architect Theophil Edvard Hansen for the 1873 Vienna World Exposition and welcoming guests ever since. As the years went by the hotel went through multiple changes (it was even a government building for a while) until the Kempinski group acquired it and started a full restoration of the property to restore its former glory.
The hotel reopened in 2013 as one of Kempinski’s most beautiful hotels, blending understated elegance with modern amenities and historic charm, in the heart of Vienna’s City Centre.
When we got there, we were welcomed by a grand facade that leads right into an airy, refined lobby lounge, with glass elevators going to all the rooms and suites, 152 in total. The lobby looks pretty modern, but it surprises you with the fact that all the historical details have been beautifully preserved during the restoration process, with evocative archways, fluted columns, original ornate chandeliers and suede covered couches.
The glass enclosed courtyard that now forms the hotel’s lobby speaks of refinement and it’s like a modern take on classical European grandeur. Welcoming us to the hotel with a big smile was the Lady in Red, Kempinski’s iconic brand ambassador which takes care of special guest requests, arranging and organizing various events or taking care of VIP guests.
After a quick tour of the hotel we went straight to our room – a luxurious Hansen suite on the first floor. Each suite of the Palais Hansen Kempinski is apparently unique and that makes coming back here more exciting. Ours welcomed us with a calming light inside, a cozy living room and an eclectic interior, blending Viennese history with the modernity of the 21st century.
The suite, with its 570 square feet, is spacious enough for two and comes as a perfect choice if you want your bedroom separate from the living room. The minute you’ll get inside your eyes will fall in love with the numerous details. The imperial looking desk, the comfortable sofa and the minibar with Nespresso coffee machine will make your days here a real treat.
The bedroom boasts a super comfy king sized bed and another elegant wooden desk that comes with a hidden make-up mirror – perfect for the ladies. The bathroom doesn’t lack any comfort either. Luxuries abound, and the heated bath and separate rainshower made our days even better while staying there. And nights.
Eating & Drinking
When it comes to the eating and drinking part of the day, worry not. Hotel Palais Hansen Kempinski has some of the best restaurants in Vienna. Their breakfast at Die Küche Wien is fresh and rich, and the Viennese dishes offered for lunch and dinner are wonderfully delicious as well. The laid back atmosphere here ensures you’ll have a great time tasting some of the best foods Vienna has to offer, from seasonal highlights to Austria’s most cherished traditional dishes.
If you’re in for some fine dining, the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant EDVARD is a must try as well. They offer outstanding modern cuisine with a surprising twist. They’ve got five, seven or nine course menus ready to impress your senses – it’s a mix of talent, fine ingredients and surprising compositions that promises a unique culinary experience. We didn’t get to eat there now, but it’s definitely a good reason to come back.
If it’s raining outside and you don’t really feel like going out, the hotel’s unconventional Lobby Lounge & Bar is the most appropriate option. Don’t leave the place until you try their apple strudel. You can also enjoy a Ladies or Gents tea here, some cocktails, small snacks and a piece of delicious cake.
The Cigar Lounge is also a great place to relax a little bit – it’s a real architectural gem, surrounded by the pillars of the former courtyard, with suede covered couches, low tables, floor standing cigar holders and heavy ceramic ashtrays. You’ll find here fine cigars, aromatic cocktails and some of the best whiskeys and rums you can taste.
Spa & Wellness
At the end of the day, there’s nothing like a visit at Kempinski The Spa. Inspired by the four European seasons and decorated in the old Ottoman Empire style, this wellness haven will take you on a wonderful relaxation journey. The spa boasts some of the best facilities you’d expect, with a modern gym, different types of saunas and steam baths, a lovely hydro pool and six outstanding treatment rooms.
The entire Kempinski wellness space revolves around the cycle of the seasons and the primordial wisdom of nature, with signature treatments aiming to restore the natural balance of the body. Their products come from the top cosmetic brand Babor and if you like them so much you can also purchase them from their Spa Boutique.
The Palais Hansen Kempinski impressed us in every single way. It’s all pure class here, from the wonderful staff to their fabulous suites and facilities, not to mention the restaurants and the dishes. Clean beyond reproach and with a location that’s just perfect if you want to discover all of Vienna’s famous landmarks, we can’t recommend this hotel enough.
The staff has taken care of everything, from the warm welcome to housekeeping and concierge – they went above and beyond to make sure our stay here was memorable. I even got a cool birthday surprise from the lady in red 🙂 In addition to all this, the hotel’s interior decor is simply mesmerizing, as 21st century elements meet classic style. Once again thank you for having us!
Where: Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna
Schottenring 24, 1010 Wien, Austria
Phone: +43 1 2361000