A quartet of 19th-century palaces, the Ritz-Carlton Vienna holds its own on the city’s Ringstrasse Boulevard, despite a roll-call of glitzy neighbours. A glorious mélange of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles, its ornate ceilings, grand fireplaces and intricate woodwork vie for your attention. Heritage highlights include frescoes by German artist Rudolf Eisenmenger and the Palais Gutmann’s sweeping staircase. And then there’s the 2.5 tonnes of Egyptian crystal to behold in its stately ballroom.
There’s no such bling in its 202 guest rooms and 43 suites, which tread the line between classic and contemporary, endowed with marble-clad washrooms, modern artwork and ample space to perfect your Viennese Waltz. Since the hotel occupies an entire block of the Ringstrasse, guests are spoilt with junior suites boasting walk-in closets and 38-square-metre deluxe rooms (some of the city’s largest). Checking into the seventh floor? Welcome to the club, Vienna’s only luxury Club Lounge that is, which gives guests the full Ritz treatment – think bottomless champers, a private check-in and daily rituals to thrill gourmands, like the apple-strudel ceremony. Suffice to say you won’t go hungry (or thirsty, for that matter).
Some of the city’s best cuts are sizzled to perfection on the ground floor’s charcoal Josper grill at Dstrikt, where diners are presented with not one, but 12 steak knives. Bringing some dolce vita to the property is Pastamara, the hotel’s newly unveiled Sicilian restaurant. Its slick sidekick, Bar con Cucina, does a solid Negroni and wheels out an aperitif cart at around 5pm every day, loaded with antipasti and formaggi. The libations continue at D-Bar, a cosy den specialising in barrel-aged cocktails, whilst eight floors up, Atmosphere’s rooftop terrace reveals the capital’s snow-dusted spires, their Honey Buttered Rum making for the perfect nightcap.
From the concierge
Running rings around you
The same hotel brand that brought you an art and kids concierge can now add running to their impressive list of niche services. Philipp Voigt leads guests on a 5.5km circuit trail around the city’s famed tree-lined Ringstrasse (which marks the original city walls), taking in iconic sites like The State Opera House and The Vienna Observatory.
Have your schnitzel prepared the way it was for Freud and Stefan Zweig (pan fried in lard, served with wild cranberries and a potato salad, in case you were wondering) at Meissl and Schadn. You can find this temple to Austria’s favourite dish in the Hotel Ferdinand, a three-minute stroll from the Ritz-Carlton.