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.
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