Fodor's Expert Review Imperial
Kärntnerring 16, Vienna, Vienna, A-1010, Austria, Vienna, Austria See on Map
Originally built for a prince in the middle of the 19th Century, it was soon converted into a hotel. Right away, the Imperial became the place to be. It survived intact through WWII and post-war Russian occupation — which headquartered there—and today visitors can still hear echoes of the classical musical greats who frequented the hotel, Brahms and Beethoven among them. It is the official accommodations for state visits and is often overrun with celebrities.
Stately through and through, the decor is conservative opulance, at once tasteful and indulgent and replete with dazzling chandeliers, historical portraits and gilt mirrors. Suites come with a butler, who can help carry all your bags when you go shopping. And whether or not you want your newspaper ironed, he will do it.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Rooms are carpeted, which many allergy sufferers might not like.
Marble, with large tubs and rainforest showers, and heated floors. Decor is a bit dated, but nonetheless pristine.
A recent renovation has changed the floor plan of reception, and now there are direct throughways to the cafe and bar. The renovation has also polished the sparkle on the ceremonial staircase, which is adorned with statues and portraits of Austria's legendary royalty.
There is also now a direct entrance to the Musikverein, the famed venue adjacent the hotel.
There is a small workout area and sauna available to guests.
The Imperial Cafe has a world class reputation, and is where guests can enjoy a full breakfast buffet. Throughout the day, enjoy the scene as Vienna’s movers and shakers walk through the door. In 2016, the Opus restaurant earned a Michelin star, making its award count 4, which includes three Gault Millau toques. It offers exquisite dining in an exquisite setting.
Valet parking is available, but getting around on foot or by Ubahn is the most sensible option. The Karlsplatz Ubahn Station is a two minute walk from the hotel.
Artner am Fraziskanerplatz is one of the newest gourmet restaurants in the city. Located in a former printer’s workshop on a quaint square, there is an extensive wine cellar that is designed to impress. The elegant Steirereck is a Michelin-starred jewel inside the leafy Stadtpark. Wine pairings are an option with six-course meals. One of the last cafes on the Ringstrasse, the Schwarzenberg is also the oldest. Enjoy your meal and coffee while listening to the piano player, who is often accompanied by a violinist.
The Albertinapassage is a chic nightclub located in a former pedestrian underground. The bar is American style with live music and dancing. Kruger’s American Bar is so-named for the actual long, wood-panelled bar inside. This is a cigar-smoker’s paradise, and boasts an extensive whisky menu.
Blaue Bar inside the Sacher Hotel is among the most elegant places to enjoy a drink, particularly after a night at the Opera.
WHY WE LIKE IT
If you want to be ensconced in the grandeur of old Vienna, the Imperial will not disappoint. Great care has been taken to preserve and present history here, and the ambience makes you feel more like an Empress than a guest.
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