Having passed through Vienna once previously on a school ski trip, my lasting memory was more of Mozart chocolates and strudel, than history and culture. I knew a return journey was necessary to explore the city that is held in such high regard by so many. Steeped in history and boasting an incredibly varied list of the great and good who were born or lived in this magnificent city from the obvious… Strauss, Mozart, Klimt to the less obvious… Marie Antoinette and Niki Lauda.
Arriving in Vienna, we had high expectations and were determined to pack in as much as possible in our short trip. Our expectations were immediately superseded in the form of our driver, who surprisingly ended up taking on the role of tour guide as we entered the city. We organised a private transfer from the airport to our hotel Park Hyatt Vienna and this turned out to be an excellent choice. During the relatively short drive in he gave us a brief introduction to Vienna and the sights around us. We soon realised that on every corner there was some kind of fantastic monument/historical site or stunning architecture and it was great to be able to ask questions and receive such in depth and interesting introduction to Vienna.
Park Hyatt Vienna is situated in the ideal spot for shopping, culture and general sightseeing in Vienna. Located inside what was previously the imposing figure of the former Länderbank set in the oldest square of Vienna, the building known as Am Hof 2 has been painstakingly transformed into a stunning luxury hotel. From the moment you step inside, the time and effort which has been invested to create a modern luxurious environment whilst simultaneously preserving Viennese style and history and the bank’s original features is truly breath taking. Many of the original features were removed, restored and carefully replaced back into their original position. This care and attention to detail in the design of the hotel was to be replicated throughout our stay at Park Hyatt Vienna.
We were lucky enough to be given a guided tour of the property, which was incredibly interesting and gave us a chance to see all the nooks and crannies that we definitely wouldn’t have fallen across, including the stunning meeting spaces, rich with warm mahoganies and dark leathers, the ideal space for a discreet business meeting in comfort and style. The largest function room was awash with light and surrounded by beautiful wood panelling and traditional design features, the main attraction being a delightful tapestry which took centre stage and complimented the structure and weight of this regal hall. We were also introduced to The Bank restaurant, which was my favourite of all the rooms at the hotel. Light and airy the previous cashiers hall has been brought to life with exotic marbles and beautiful crystal chandelier details and provided a glorious environment in which to relax and enjoy breakfast and a delightful evening meal.
The Park Hyatt Vienna is known as the pearl of the Hyatt group and this is reflected in the mother of pearl through the property, from the tables in the bar area, to the intricate marble detail in the floor of our room to the Pearl Bar which can be entered via an inviting mirrored hallway which sweeps downwards, just crying out to be photographed! As a mother of pearl fan, I was totally in my element and took more photos than I have in any other hotel before. Our bedroom was no exception and after our tour we made our way up to relax and enjoy. Spacious and comfortable our room looked out onto one of the main luxury shopping districts, the perfect location. The high-tech bath and beautiful marbled floors were a delight to behold and the separate living and bedroom area is perfect for those visiting Vienna for work or play.
After spending far too long exploring our room (and photographing all the mother of pearl) we ventured out into Vienna and found our way easily around the city, taking in a beautiful food market in one of the central park areas which was filled with tourists and locals alike enjoying the sunshine and the incredible array of meat, cheese and wine on offer! We didn’t try and cram in too much and enjoyed wandering the city, getting lost in the winding streets and taking in the incredible beauty of the architecture. Park Hyatt Vienna is minutes away from the key attractions including The Vienna Riding School, which offer daily shows and many of the incredible classical music concerts which take place day and evening in the city. The concierge can assist in booking tickets and the process is effortless.
Another key site for us was the state hall at the national library which is known to be the biggest baroque library in Europe. Absolutely mind-blowingly beautiful is the only way to describe this room, floor to ceiling books and the most divine frescoes by the court painter Daniel Gram. I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Vienna.
During our stay another highlight was the food, we definitely sampled a variety, from street food in the park, to small jazz cafes the local food was delightful. We were keen to try some of the traditional Viennese food and our favourite was The Bank restaurant in the hotel. We were guided by the knowledgeable hotel staff and tried a selection of regional cuisine, using sustainable locally sourced products. Schnitzel and Veal came beautifully presented complimented by a beautiful sparkling Viennese wine. The highlight of the meal was Kaiserschmarrn (the emperors pancakes), of which we ate far too many.
Unfortunately although we should definitely have got involved in the super high-tech gym to burn off all the Kaiserschamrnrn, it didn’t happen, so in the name of research I indulged and organised a treatment as a last hurrah to finish what was a truly beautiful weekend. Situated in the old bank vaults the Arany Spa offers a discreet yet beautiful hideaway in which to relax and retreat surrounded by healing crystals. The mother of pearl theme continues throughout the spa (to my delight) and the layout of the spa aims for maximum privacy and relaxation. After my delightful massage I was led to the relaxation area overlooking the pool, unfortunately with a flight to catch I didn’t get to spend as much time as I would have liked there. I could have happily sat, herbal tea in hand taking in the rich tones of gold and turquoise. For those who wish to take a little peace of heaven home with them, the spa also stocks the fabulous Cire Trudon candles, which again are one of my favourites and remind me of my trip and the Arany Spa to this day. I will definitely be returning and would advise one and all to choose The Park Hyatt Vienna as their go to hotel when in the city and I am not alone. Tyler Brûlé agrees.
Nightly rates at Park Hyatt Vienna will start from EUR480/approx. £340 per room for two persons in a Park Room (King or Twin) excluding breakfast. For further information please visit www.vienna.park.hyatt.com or call +43 1 227401234