Fodor's Expert Review Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom

Praterstrasse 1, Vienna, Vienna, 1020, Austria See on Map Fodor's Choice

In a city flush with Imperial architecture, this rousing modernist skyscraper is as refreshing as it is rare. Designed by the esteemed French architect Jean Nouvel, the hotel opened in 2010 and has been a premier lodging choice for the traveling elite ever since. It is a sleek, towering edifice situated on the edge of the hip 2nd District along the beloved Donaukanal (Danube Canal), and faces the bustling Innere Stadt.

room

The decor is a rainbow of colors if your vision of the world is black, gray and white. Stark is the word, but comfort is not sacrificed. A huge panel of windows brings in plenty of sunlight to soften the edges, and there are fabulous views. Needs are tended to: If a standard pillow just won't do, there is an entire menu of pillows to suit your needs.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Rooms are more or less color coded by compass direction. White rooms face north and are the smallest with the least dramatic views.

bathroom

What you'd expect given the minimalist features in the rooms. The soaking tubs are deep and expansive. The suds and shampoos are by Hermes.

lobby

Corporate in feel, but nonetheless comfortable. There is ample seating with a broad view of the bustling street and canal.

spa

8,000 square feet of pampering, with beauty treatments from Carita and Cinq Mondes. There is a wide array of massage choices in two categories: Asian and Western. You'll also find a small but intimate aromatic steam rooms. Afterward, lounge in your plush robe and take in the wonderful view of the city.

gym

The workout room is well-equipped and comes, as ever, with a fantastic view. The gym is open 24 hours for night owls.

dining

The kitchen at Das Loft, one of the city's premier restaurants, is run by award-winning chef Anton Gschwendtner. The menu is both French and international.

This is also where the view is most spectacular. The entire restaurant offers an unhindered, panoramic view of a grand city. The ceiling holds a remarkable installation by Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist, designed to complement the colors of the city as it goes to sleep.

Go for a dinner at sunset to get the full experience.

drinking

The cocktails are superb and many locals come for one or two just to enjoy the stunning view.

LOCATION

Getting Around

The hotel is within walking distance of all major points of interest, and there are U-bahn stops just feet away. Across the canal, there is a Vienna Ring Tram at the Schwedenplatz for a convenient tour of the city.

Restaurants

Motto am Fluss is just across the way and offers international fare with a lovely evening view of the Danube Canal. Worth the 20 minute U-Bahn ride is Restaurant Kim, located in the 9th District. Kim delights with authentic Asian flavors suited to European tastes. Closer to "home," is the Casino Restaurant in the Inner Stadt, where good food is not a gamble. Note: you don't have to play the casino to enjoy the restaurant, but it is tucked a bit inside.

Bars

Mott am Fluss serves up delicious and creative cocktails, but if you want to break into a different neighborhood, try 7 Tür 7 near the Rathaus (City Hall); it is a small, boutique bar serving up some of the city's finest drinks. Haas Haas, a kindred edifice to the Sofitel, is the best option that doesn't sacrifice the view you left back at the hotel.

WHY WE LIKE IT

The location and five-star treatment can't be beat, but hands-down, the constant, breathtaking panoramic views are the masterpiece of this design.

QUICK FACTS

Hotel
Sophisticated
Central
Design
$$$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 01-906–160

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