Austrian stage actor Robert Hollmann, who was trained as a hotelier, opened the lodging in 2003 to near instant success. Near the city’s gorgeous Baroque courtyard, Heiligenkreuzerhof, it is ideally located on a quieter street in the heart of the old town. Its originality is what sets the hotel apart: how many hotels have lending libraries and film screening rooms?
YOU SHOULD KNOW The wireless service can be a bit sketchy.
Each room is uniquely decorated in bold accents of orange and red, and some come with a comfy sofa, as well. Extras include an ipad for use during your stay, fresh fruit daily, and little candy Pez treats, to remind visitors that Pez was, indeed, invented by an Austrian. A small blackboard outside the room is a clever way to leave notes to the staff.
Two rooms have a connecting door, which ideal for families.
In some rooms, shower and bath are integrated into the room design, with a freestanding tub situated in the room. The toilet is separated into a private area.
YOU SHOULD KNOW If you're modest, be warned, as there is little privacy when it comes to showering or bathing.
Reception is bright, with a small sitting area across from the front desk. What the hotel calls a “living room,” certainly has the feel of one. There is a small “take a book, leave a book” library and a host of magazines to flip through. There is a self-serve, honor system bar and an upright piano. There is also little screening room that runs old Austrian films (popcorn included).
There is a spa suite, which includes a cozy fireplace and a Turkish hammam.
There is a treadmill for guests to use, which is sometimes all you need.
Parking in the Innere Stadt is difficult to find, and spaces are metered and strictly enforced. You can walk to many of the major sites, and the Stephansplatz Ubahn Station is five minutes away.
One of the nicest little finds in the Old University Quarter is Buxbaum’s (1-minute walk -- around the corner). The interior is intimate and refined, and the courtyard is the picture of romance. The kitchen serves European fare. Gashaus Pfudl (5-minute walk) is your best bet for some Austrian “comfort food.” The schnitzel is delish, the atmosphere warm and cozy, particularly so on a winter evening. The upper level of Bermuda Bräu (1-minute walk) serves hearty Austrian meals and some of the best spare ribs in the Innere Stadt.
Head back down to the ground floor of Bermuda Bräu for the bar; downstairs to the basement level is a higher octane version of what you’ll find on the ground floor. Kix-Bar (2-minute walk) is a low-key space that kicks up some good cocktails. From the outside, it looks like another sidewalk cafe, so don’t be fooled. There are separate rooms for smokers and non-smokers, a big plus. In warmer weather, head to the Lamee Rooftop Terrace (2-minute walk) for a superb drink with an even more superb open view of the Cathedral and environs.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Vienna is often accused of being too staid and Old World, and the offbeat charm here fully breaks out of that mold. The location is quiet, yet just steps from the Cathedral, and the staff really knows how to take care of its guests.