Hotel Review: Park Hyatt Vienna
Few cities are as elegant, vibrant and as historic as Vienna. As famous for its art and history as it is for its contemporary design, the Austrian capital has long attracted those with an appetite for culture, grandeur and great schnitzel. And the hotel truly worth its salt is the imposing, perfectly positioned Park Hyatt.
The first thing that hits you as the liveried doorman welcomes you through the majestic doors is the sheer scale and opulence of this stately hotel – the lobby is awash with gleaming marble, a sweeping staircase and fluted columns. Having opened in 2014, it has been carefully carved from the century-old former HQ of the bank of Austria and is part of central Vienna’s UNESCO World Heritage Site (it was originally home to part of the Roman military camp Vindobona).
The style and character is certainly worthy of a Roman emperor – it’s gloriously glamorous, designed in the spirit of Art Nouveau. Walk around and you will be greeted by unusual artwork at every turn, the pinnacle being the bronze and mother of pearl piece inspired by a Viennese brooch at reception.
The rooms are refined and light-filled, with polished wood, marble and mother of pearl – ours overlooked the bustling Am Hof square but was totally silent. And, as is the Austrian way, the luxury is seamlessly paired with practicality, comfort and efficiency. Televisions are hidden by mirrors, desks concealed by headboards and lighting is to hand at every turn. Likewise, the spacious, well-planned bathroom allows you to soak in the tub at leisure or hit the wet room at speed, with plenty of indulgent toiletries by cult skincare brand Le Labo.
Yet what marks the Park Hyatt Vienna out is that the combination feeds into the service – a wonderful mix of Austrian order and thoughtfulness. The city is breathtaking, but this hotel is worth a trip in itself.
The boutiques of the stately Goldenes Quartier are right on your doorstep, and it is a short walk to the Hofburg, the Imperial Palace with its Hapsburg treasures. Mark Twain claimed Vienna’s coffee was the best in Europe – head to Palmenhaus to enjoy a delicious cappuccino overlooking the Schönbrunn Palace park.
Before any sightseeing (Klimt’s ‘The Kiss’ at the Belvedere Complex is a must, as is the Imperial Library) the first stop should be The Arany Spa, an oasis of quiet luxury in the Park Hyatt Vienna’s former bank vault. You can float in the lavish, gold-coloured glass bottom pool, indulge in one of the signature treatments inspired by semi-precious stones in the six treatment rooms, relax in the men’s and women’s saunas and steam rooms or work out in the fully-equipped fitness centre.
If you are a fan of art, there are also some incredible galleries, and none are as crowded as other European cities. Kunsthistorisches Museum, with its host of old masters, is unmissable, but perhaps one of the most pleasant things to do in Vienna is to grab a table at the Park Hyatt’s Bolligarden with a glass of bubbles as the stylish Viennese walk by.
One of the most popular places to dine is conveniently right there in the Park Hyatt Vienna, at The Bank Brasserie and Bar. The elegant dining room, housed in the former banking hall, is resplendent with its stained glass, giant crystal orb chandeliers, acres of polished marble and an open-view show kitchen, where you can watch the culinary magic unfold. The atmosphere is warm and buzzy and the food even more so, whether it’s the vegetarian celery baked in salt dough with beetroot hummus and vegan caper raisin jus, the carnivorous steak from the lava stone grill or the soft braised beef rib, with sweetcorn, pak choi and cherries.
The menu focuses on sustainable products sourced from local suppliers and is a real experience. And if it is too early to retire for the night, a perfect end to the evening is a nightcap from the long list of refined whiskeys and spirits in the elegant, wood-panelled Living Room fumoir. Then it’s off to dive into that delicious, super-king bed.
THE FINAL WORD
If Vienna is the ultimate city to get lost in, then the Park Hyatt is the place to call home.
Doubles from €650. hyatt.com