Waltz­ing through Vi­enna

With an an­nual ball sea­son, mu­sic com­posed for you and an im­pe­rial suite, the Aus­trian cap­i­tal is a bea­con for ro­man­tics dream­ing of fairy­tale op­u­lence.

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Vi­enna is an icon of gilded splen­dour. Its ho­tels in­vite you to live like a monarch, with no prop­erty as exclusive as the Grand Suite in­side the Schön­brunn Palace. Once the sum­mer res­i­dence of Em­peror Franz Joseph and Em­press Elis­a­beth, known as Sisi, the palace is one of Aus­tria’s most vis­ited at­trac­tions, but guests of this two-bed­room suite will get a very dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive. Once the crowds have de­parted, it’s just you and your loved one. As the only ho­tel suite in the palace, the decor is suit­ably im­pe­rial, down to the damask walls and one-off fur­ni­ture in­spired by the palace’s royal res­i­dents. Choose be­tween the con­tem­po­rary red-and­black bed­room, or the white-and-gold room with a four-poster bed.

For hon­ey­moon­ers and cou­ples with a pen­chant for mu­sic, Ho­tel Im­pe­rial, a Lux­ury Col­lec­tion Ho­tel, in­vites you to par­tic­i­pate in the age-old tra­di­tion of arts pa­tron­age by com­mis­sion­ing your own com­po­si­tion. Your In­di­vid­ual ‘Note’ un­folds over a two-night stay, dur­ing which you and your loved one will work with a com­poser to dis­til your fun­da­men­tal char­ac­ter­is­tics into mu­si­cal archetypes. As a unique sou­venir, mem­bers of the Vi­enna Phil­har­monic or Vi­enna Sym­phony Orches­tra will par­tic­i­pate in the record­ing of your very own CD. The his­toric ho­tel is the per­fect back­drop for mu­si­cal in­dul­gence; among the il­lus­tri­ous names in its guest books are Richard Wagner, Johannes Brahms, Gus­tav Mahler and even Satchmo.

When it comes to fairy­tale ro­mance, how­ever, noth­ing is as laden with magic and for­mal­ity as a tra­di­tional ball. Vi­enna’s ball sea­son is a high­light of win­ter, see­ing ladies don their gowns and men their tuxe­dos for a night of courtly grandeur. There are 450 balls tak­ing place each year, lur­ing lo­cals and vis­i­tors alike to en­joy the cus­toms, in­clud­ing open­ing fan­fares, dance cards and a mid­night in­ter­lude quadrille. To make the most of the evening, at­tend a waltz les­son with a pres­ti­gious dance school, such as El­mayer, and in­dulge in a sump­tu­ous din­ner be­fore ar­riv­ing to your ball venue in clas­sic style by horse­drawn car­riage.

02 All im­ages Vi­enna Opera Ball © WienTouris­mus/Peter Ri­gaud Im­ages 01 & 03 © Cou­ture Vivi­enne West­wood Vi­enna



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