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Dis­cover cul­ture, lux­ury and plenty of mile­stones to cel­e­brate in Vi­enna this year.

Maxx-M - - CONTENTS - Text & Pho­tos by Ni­cholas Wal­ton

Dis­cover the un­touched nooks and cran­nies of Vi­enna, Krakow and Switzer­land

9am

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

10am

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

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