Discover culture, luxury and plenty of milestones to celebrate in Vienna this year.
Discover the untouched nooks and crannies of Vienna, Krakow and Switzerland
Check in at the city’s most luxurious new hotel, the Park Hyatt Vienna. Part of the new Golden Quarter luxury precinct at the heart of the city’s historic district, and overlooking Am Hof Square, famed for its summer evening theatre renditions and winter Christmas markets, the hotel is housed in the 100-year-old heritage-listed former headquarters of the Austrian Hungarian Monarchy Bank. Many of its bank-era elements have been beautifully retained, from the gold tiles of the former vault-turned-swimming pool, to the main restaurant, named The Bank, to the imposing marble-clad lobby with its revolving door and elegant staircase.
Opt for the Belle Epoque Suite, an opulent space with exquisitely regal décor located in the gable of the building. The suite features two open atriums and a main bedroom with a plush king bed, combined with a spacious living room with flat-screen TV and a large work desk. There is a walk-in closet for Frack and ball gown storage, as well as a standalone deep-soaking bathtub and walk-in rain shower for two. Am Hof 2, Vienna, Tel: +43 1 22740 1234; www.vienna.park.hyatt.com Alternatively, another lavish newbie on the city’s hotel scene is the Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna, located in another heritage-listed building on the city’s famed Ringstrasse. Housed in a stunning building designed as a hotel to coincide with the World Exhibition of 1873, the Kempinski opened in 2013 and remains one of the most luxurious retreats in Austria. Of the hotel’s 152 rooms and suites, indulge with one of the Ring Suites (ask for one with a balcony overlooking the Ringstrasse), which features a separate living room, elegant soak tub and rain shower, a spacious work desk, and views across one of Europe’s most famous boulevards. Leave time to rub shoulders with captains of Austrian industry in the hotel’s elegant cigar lounge, or dine on contemporary interpretations of regional Austrian classics in the Die K che restaurant. Schottenring 24, 1010 Vienna +43 1 236 1000; www.kempinski.com
It’s only a short walk through the Old Town to the Spanish Riding School, which has a daily performance starting at 10am. This traditional riding school, the oldest of its kind in the world, celebrates its 450th anniversary this year, and attracts visitors from across the globe to its daily performances and training sessions, held in the iconic Winter Riding School, which was built between 1729-1735. Named for the Spanish Lipizzan horses used in performances, the school has its roots in traditional cavalry training. Consequently it only accepted its first female students in 2008 after more than 400 years of history. Watch the riders as they enter on their beautiful white horses, saluting to the portrait of Emperor Charles VI as they pass. Tickets are priced from 14. www.srs.at