As Forbes Travel Guide celebrates its 60th year of rating the world’s finest properties, a dynamic destination makes its way back onto the global stage after quietly undergoing a luxurious renaissance.
Known as the home of Mozart and Freud, Vienna now boasts some of the continent’s leading contemporary art galleries, chic fashion outlets, internationally acclaimed restaurants and cool cocktail bars.
And tourists are taking note. The city experienced its most successful year yet — in 2017, overnight stays in Vienna hotels tallied more than 15.5 million, a 3.7 percent jump over the previous year, according to the Vienna Tourism Board.
The city offers a wide array of lodgings, but the 2018 Star Ratings awards revealed four Four-Star properties that are sure to make you feel like visiting royalty.
The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna
A prime locale, historic details and stellar views all come standard at this elegant Ritz-Carlton outpost. But the luxurious Ringstrasse property doesn’t stop there. In addition to the exceptionally warm and gracious service, this Vienna treasure introduces you to the city’s modern side with executive chef tours of the nearby Naschmarkt and vino excursions to local heurigers (wine taverns).
Hotel Sacher Wien
This boutique belle époque property effortlessly combines luxury and charm through the ornate furnishings so lovingly selected by the Gürtlers, the family who has owned and operated the hotel since 1934. Crystal chandeliers, silk damask details and sparkling service give this sumptuous stay a palatial feel.
Perhaps the most exclusive city-center stay in Vienna, this 35-room property boasts the last remaining view from the Ringstrasse to Stadtpark, best enjoyed from the balcony of your private suite or the rooftop spa. Blur the line between past and present with a tour of the hotel’s historic wine cellar, home to more than 60,000 exquisite bottles. Follow that with dinner at Silvio Nickol, regarded as one of the premier fine-dining destinations in Europe.
Palais Hansen Kempinksi Vienna
The stunning 1873 façade of this elegant building belies the sleek interiors found within its walls. Contemporary accommodations include subtle nods to the past (look for the Jugendstil flower motifs in the carpet) while fully embracing the 21st century with high-tech touches, like the bedside iPads that can be used to summon room service or book an appointment at the stylish Ottoman-inspired spa.