I love the classy elegance, understated luxury and impeccable hospitality of the Ritz-Carlton brand. I had the opportunity to stay at several of their hotels in the past but I have never been to any of their European houses. So I was more than happy to make the Ritz-Carlton Vienna my base during a recent trip to the Austrian capital.
The beautiful Ritz-Carlton Vienna is located on the city’s famous Ringstrasse (ring boulevard), the street that cycles the old town, in easy walking distance to many of Vienna’s main attractions such as the imperial Hofburg, Stephansdom, St. Charles Church and the city’s main shopping streets.
Ringstrasse is famous for its 19th centuries grand historic buildings and the Ritz occupies four of these historic structures, which were carefully restored and merged into a single building. Wandering the long twisting corridors you can still tell them apart however: There will be sudden slight ups and downs and sometimes even a few steps, caused by the differing floor levels of the historic buildings.
The public areas of the hotel beautifully connect the buildings historic past – featuring original parts like marble staircases, walnut wall panels and parquet floors – with contemporary components strewn into the mix. I particularly likes the modern paintings and wood sculptures adorning the lobby area.
My favourite part was the spacious Melounge Lobby Lounge which spots a beautiful classic decord underneath a gold-leaf decorated ceiling. A light lunch and dinner are served at the lounge and it also hosts the hotels daily ‘Tea & the City’ afternoon tea, which is a lovely alternative to the city’s traditional coffee house culture.
All rooms and suites are designed in an effortless, elegant contemporary style. I opted for the deluxe room and I loved that it was really spacious, furnished with a large comfy king-size bed, a cosy small seating area and a large desk. The colour plate of cream and brown along with some hues of burgundy and the high ceilings further enhanced a feeling of space and lightness in the room.
The marble-clad bathroom too was spacious and had both a large rain shower and bathtub. The hotel also lived up to one of my main quality criteria to make it a perfect experience: Providing large and fluffy towels and bathrobes (which unfortunately is not always guaranteed, it seems if there is one area even a lot of luxury hotels fails is here in the bathroom).
There is a strong focus on wellbeing throughout all Ritz-Carlton properties and the Vienna hotel is no exception. It’s beautiful Spa area offers everything that helps to vitalize your senses. You can chose from a large variety of customizable treatments, work out at the gym and there is also a gorgeous 18-metre indoor pool – which by the way is playing relaxing underwater music!
On warmer days, Atmosphere Rooftop Bar is a real highlight. It is a fantastic spot to kick off your evening with some drinks while enjoying a spectacular view over the city. And in case you are visiting in December, the rooftop area is converted into a small Christmas fair.
Staying over the weekend in Vienna, one of the tricky parts in the city is to find a nice (read upscale) independent place for dinner as nearly all the leading restaurants are closed on Saturday and Sunday. Thankfully, most hotel restaurants are open and there are a number of really good locations throughout the city. This includes the Ritz-Carlton’s own Dstrikt Steakhouse, which is credited to offer the best steaks in the city. Therefore, it was a logical choice to book dinner here on Saturday.
The Bistecca Fiorentina definitely lived up to the claim, and the berries schmarrn (a variety from the famous Kaiserschmarrn, which is a light caramelized pancake split in pieces with two forks while frying and usually served sprinkled with powdered sugar, jam or berries) was also delicious.
Before venturing out into the bustling city in the morning, make sure to head to Dstrikt again for a rich breakfast buffet. You will be treated to fresh breads and pastries, various hams and cheeses, fresh fruits, yoghurts and cereals. In addition, you can order from a hot breakfast menu including eggs all style, pancakes and waffles.
All in all it was a lovely stay at the Ritz-Carlton Vienna and returning to the city, I would always make it the hotel of my choice thanks to the flawless service, friendly and efficient staff, it’s perfect amenities and excellent location close to the city centre.
The Ritz-Carlton Vienna
Schubertring 5-7, Vienna 1010, Austria