Destination Guide


vienna palace

Amid its stately Baroque and Neo-Gothic palaces, cathedrals, churches and museums and its musical traditions, Austria’s capital is alive with grand hotels, cutting-edge restaurants and classic coffee houses and a vibrant design and fashion scene. Like Paris and Berlin, Vienna is also a place where no matter how many times you visit, there are always new discoveries to be made and new favorites to be found.


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Lobby at Hotel Sacher Wien, Vienna, Austria - courtesy Hotel Sacher

Hotel Sacher Wien

This legendary hotel, opposite the State Opera and within walking distance of the Albertina, opened in 1876, and even today its chandelier-lit reception halls and antiques-filled drawing rooms exude old-world elegance. The 152-room family-owned property occupies a city block, with six connected buildings, but its clever layout and cozy public spaces make for an intimate ambiance. Most of the cheerful rooms, designed by owner Elisabeth Gürtler and star French designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, are done in a sumptuous 19th-century style with high-quality reproduction antiques, silk-covered walls, white stucco along the ceilings and original paintings from the Sacher’s private collection.

Rooms on the first floor have the highest ceilings; those on higher floors have better city views (request one that faces the opera) and some even have balconies. The in-room design scheme on these floors is more modern, with sleek black lacquer furnishings, bathrooms with floor heating and flat-screen TVs, and the layouts tend to be smaller than those on the lower floors.

Considering that the Sacher is one of the city’s most traditional hotels, service is refreshingly down-to-earth, friendly and high-touch. The concierge team is excellent, most likely due to the fact that the hands-on Frau Gürtler, who has been running the Sacher since 1990, is one of the most plugged-in owners in town: she was the chair of the Viennese Opera Ball for eight years, served as the president of the Hofburg, and is the director of the Spanische Hofreitschule.

A major perk is the tranquil Sacher spa on the fifth floor, which is also open to non-guests. It has a short but terrific menu of treatments featuring Ligne St. Barth’s and La Prairie products. The renowned Café Sacher is located on the ground floor of the hotel, and a miniature version of the famous Sachertorte, which originated in the hotel’s pastry kitchen in 1832, is placed on your pillow during turndown service.

Located at the beginning of the Kärntnerstrasse, one of the city’s main shopping hubs, the Sacher is steps away from the Albertina and the State Opera, but be aware that it is an area buzzing with tourists, especially on weekends. And thanks to its famous café, the Sacher is on most people’s to-do lists, so it is not the most serene setting.

A premier room at Rosewood Vienna

Rosewood Vienna

Discover and book now with Indagare Travel: Read the Rosewood Vienna hotel review, Vienna's newest luxury hotel on Petersplatz.

Aerial view - Ritz-Carlton Vienna, Vienna, Austria - courtesy Ritz Carlton Vienna

Ritz-Carlton Vienna

The Ritz Carlton Vienna opened in 2012, joining the Grand and Hotel Imperial on the Ringstrasse, the tree-lined boulevard that snakes around the 1st District. Housed in four 19th-century historical palaces, the Ritz Carlton merges traditional features like a stunning central marble staircase with a contemporary design scheme. Rooms feature white-on-white fabric headboards and abstract paintings, while some suites have unique aspects like a traditional carved wooden ceiling and chandelier. The elegant property has 202 rooms and suites, a club floor and lounge, an 18-meter indoor pool, and classic Austrian cuisine in the Dstrikt restaurant. It also hosts the first Guerlain spa in Austria, offering a range of treatments for guests.

Both visitors and locals have embraced the cafe’s decadent hot chocolate from the on-site chocolate sommelier, which is best enjoyed on the rooftop bar Atmosphere overlooking a spectacular view of Vienna’s skyline. The buzzy rooftop bar has been so successful that they now offer a small menu of bites and light aperitifs.

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