A stately hotel, located in a century-old building in the Austrian capital
Hotel Insider: Park Hyatt Vienna
As my car pulls up to the Park Hyatt Vienna’s stately entrance - the building is 100 years old and was previously the Bank of Austria - the imposing facade has grandeur, it’s the type that is obvious a block away. As I walk into the five-star lobby, the opulence and sense of elegance it elicits is felt immediately by way of the marble floors, luxurious carpets, floral displays - I can even glimpse the brilliant chandeleirs in the restaurant off the lobby. I am a little early, but this poses no problem, and with the check-in swiftly taken care of, I am on my way to my room.
It doesn’t come much more central than this. The hotel sits on one of the city’s most historic inner-city squares, Am Hof, in the thick of one of the city’s most exclusive shopping districts, the Goldenes Quartier. It’s a short walk from some of Vienna’s famed sights, including St Stephan Cathedral and the Hofburg Palace. At Christmas time you’ll need only step out of the front doors and you’ll be in festive market heaven. The property is within walking distance of cafes, restaurants, museums and public transport. The metro is a five-minute walk down the road while the airport is a 20-minute drive from the hotel.
I’m staying in a Park King room, which is spacious yet cosy at the same time. The bedroom feels a bit like an attic, the natural light light and furnishings give it warmth. It has a writing desk and coffee table seating area, and is separate from the bathroom which has a bathtub, toilet, rain shower and dual basins. There’s a walk-in wardrobe in the entry way. The decor is contemporary yet sophisticated and I’m impressed by the copper artworks and cream colour palate. The Mozart chocolate balls on the coffee table are a nice touch. I am disappointed by the lack of view from the room, all I can see is an average-looking courtyard, and much to my dismay I realise if I have the shutters open people walking down the hall way can see into my room.
I’m attended to promptly whenever I seek out the staff, and there’s a friendliness I appreciate too. The food and beverage staff, along with the concierge team, are adequately knowledgeable and helpful throughout my two-night stay. I am slightly put out that at every meal I sit down to on my own at the hotel, I have a newspaper or magazine thrust my way, because as I know from travelling solo quite a lot, it’s no longer awkward dining alone.
The hotel is busy during my stay and appears to attract a mix of leisure and business travellers, as well as many local Viennese who seem to come here mostly for the hotel’s brasserie, The Bank — named in honour of the history of the building, which formerly served as the headquarters of an Austrian Hungarian Monarchy Bank. The Am Hof Square is pleasantly active day and night, which flows on through the hotel’s various lounge and dining areas.
The Bank serves is the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant. Breakfast is served from 6.30am and consists of a full buffet €35 (Dh135) with choices ranging from fruits to cereals and a wide variety of breads and pastries, to omelettes, eggs Florentine and a Viennese breakfast wiener selection. There are plenty of juices and a coffee menu to choose from too. I don’t have lunch there during my stay, but for dinner I’d recommend starting with the French onion soup €7 (Dh27), followed by the braised lamb shank which is served on a bed of polenta with jus and peppers as accompaniments €28 (Dh108). And don’t leave without sampling the vanilla creme brûlée €10 (Dh38). There is also Café Am lounge and a cigar lounge.
The 15-metre pool which is in the former bank vault.
That other guests can see into my room and that the Arany Spa is fully booked during my stay.
A piece of history in the heart of Vienna, great spot for anyone wanting to explore this historic city on foot.
The bottom line
Park King rooms at Park Hyatt Vienna cost from €546 (Dh2,117) per night including breakfast, taxes and Wi-Fi.