Vienna, Austria

Hotel Motto

Price per night from$279.08

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR262.73), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Années folles vs Ultravox

Setting

Chic shops and sachertorte

Turn-of-the-century Parisian chic is given a modern Viennese swirl at Hotel Motto: think tile-and-parquet floors, polished brass fittings, Arts-and-Crafts fabrics and ostentatious chandeliers (sourced from the Paris Ritz, no less). There’s an onsite bakery, Motto Brot, an aromatic wood-panelled wonderland serving up sourdoughs, petite patisseries and voluptuous Viennese specialities. Grab a slice (or two) of the famous local sachertorte (dripping with chocolate and apricot jam) and head back to your room, where the addition of a sparkling minibar and cocktail-making kit makes for decadent elevenses that could last all day…and night.

Smith Extra

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A selection of seasonal sweets from Motto bakery

Facilities

Photos Hotel Motto facilities

Need to know

Rooms

91, including six suites.

Check–Out

11am. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Prices

Double rooms from £246.99 (€289), including tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Rates don’t usually include breakfast, but there is an à la carte breakfast menu in the mornings at Chez Bernard.

At the hotel

Restaurant and rooftop bar. Sauna, steam room and gym. Free WiFi. In-rooms: flatscreen TV, vintage Roberts radio, minibar with cocktail-making facilities, coffee machine, organic Saint Charles toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

Polished parquet floors, gleaming Art Nouveau mirrors, tasselled lampshades and teal, scarlet and moss-green fabrics lend an air of mid-century opulence in all of the bedrooms. But if you really want to vamp it up in Vienna, opt for a Junior Suite, where you can sip your evening negroni when soaking in the freestanding roll-top bath tub or while admiring the views from your balcony. Heck, why not do both? These spacious suites have separate kitchenette and seating areas, too.

Spa

Coated in calming pink tiles, Hotel Motto's 65-square-metre spa is decked out with a relaxation room, sauna and steam bath. There's also a gym (open from 7am to 10pm) with a WaterRower, treadmill, weight bench and yoga mats – you're also welcome to book on to one of the CrossFit, boxing or yoga classes.

Packing tips

Go full immersion mode by settling into an atmospheric Viennese coffee house and tearing into one of Stefan Zweig's electrifying Jazz Age novellas.

Sustainability efforts

More than 80 per cent of Hotel Motto has been built in tandem with regional craftsmen and companies, and the hotel continues this sustainable work within day-to-day operations. All cleaning is done with re-fill ready products and disinfectants produced by St. Charles Pharmacy, whose organic amenities you'll find each bathroom. Energy wise, Motto works with renewables and other energy-saving resources like district-connection heating (80 per cent biomass and co2 neutral). In rooms, you’ll find sensor-controlled windows and electrics with automatic shut-down as well as individual heating and air-conditioning. You'll find no plastic packaging in the minibar, though you may find a bottle or two of the local craft beer, Brewdi, made from the stale bread of the hotel’s in-house bakery. What’s more, restaurant Chez Bernard uses organic, regional ingredients wherever possible.

Food and Drink

Photos Hotel Motto food and drink

Top Table

Views from the upper section make this the more desirable seating area, but downstairs is no slouch either, with smart banquette seating, a sleek bar and lush vegetation as far as the eye can see.

Hotel restaurant

Specialising in contemporary Austrian cuisine with French and North African influences, Chez Bernard is a beautiful, buzzy space that’s spread across the top two floors. It’s chock-full of greenery and bathed in natural light that streams in from the impressive new dome that caps the hotel. Guests can get breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between right here, but make sure you book in advance.

Hotel bar

Those with a head for heights, a penchant for expertly mixed cocktails and an ear for a well-curated playlist should head for the rooftop bar, with views across the city to landmarks including St Stephen’s Cathedral and beyond – even as far as the vineyards. Parisian and Viennese DJs provide the musical accompaniment until 1am.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 7am on weekdays and 8am on weekends. Nightowls rejoice: the bar stays open until 1am.

Location

Photos Hotel Motto location
Address
Hotel Motto
Mariahilfer Straße 71A / Schadekgasse 20
Vienna
1060
Austria

Hotel Motto cuts a debonair figure on Mariahilfer Strasse, its imposing Baroque white facade overlooking Vienna’s colourful cavalcade of consumerism and cute cafés, just a couple of subway stops – or a 20-minute stroll – from the city centre.

Planes

Vienna International Airport lies 11 miles from the hotel and connects to the city centre via regular (and reliable) bus and train services. From there, a short subway hop delivers you to Neubaugasse U-Bahn station right on the hotel’s doorstep. Should you wish to avoid the (minimal) hassle of Vienna’s excellent public transport system, a cab will set you back €35-40.

Trains

Vienna’s sleek Hauptbahnhof provides the sky-shy traveller with several scenic routes in and out of the city from major international hubs including Budapest, Berlin and Belgrade. Hotel Motto can then be reached via subway, bus and taxi.

Automobiles

The hotel is on a pedestrianised street, so you’re advised to contact staff in advance if you wish to avoid an awkward scene with angry shoppers when you pull up in your ride. Secure parking is available nearby at a cost of around €20 a day.

Worth getting out of bed for

Hotel Motto is on Mariahilfer Strasse: a pedestrianised parade of international brands that spans a wallet-emptying mile or so. But the more discerning patron may be drawn to quieter, boutique-filled side streets like Neubaugasse and Kirchengasse where one-of-a-kind antiques, artworks, hats and handbags make for a more edifying consumer experience.

aIf you’re still not quite done with browsing, Vienna’s Christmas market season kicks off mid-November and runs right up to the big day. Nothing quite beats the heady scents of gingerbread and mulled wine while browsing for festive trinkets under thousands of sparkling fairy lights.

Romantics should head for The Belvedere. This grand Baroque confection is famed for its kaleidoscopic collection of Austrian art, boasting more Klimt pieces than any other museum on the planet. There’s even a dedicated (and always crowded) selfie room with a reproduction painting of The Kiss, meaning you’re far more likely to get an uninterrupted view of the real thing.

Local restaurants

Set in Vienna’s sprawling Stadpark, a huge city-centre green space dotted with statues and pavilions, intimate Steirereck Restaurant is a gourmand’s dream come true. Adventurous Austrian dishes like veal kidney with new potato and seabuckthorn are served behind its futuristic mirrored facade, with many fresh ingredients coming from the sizeable herb garden. Its two Michelin stars are not without merit.

If you’re going to try authentic schnitzel in Vienna (and quite honestly why wouldn’t you?) then a schnitzel specialist is your best chance of avoiding diner’s regret. Step forward Schnitzelwirt, a laidback Viennese institution of 35 years standing, located on nearby Neubaugasse. Portions of their thin, crispy schnitzels (and indeed all other dishes) are gargantuan, so avoid a big lunch if you don’t wish to be schnitzel-shamed in the evening.

Local cafés

The tale of Café Sacher and The Demel’s bitter rivalry over the sweet stuff is engrained in Viennese legend. Their centuries-old ‘cake war’ over which could rightly lay claim to the origins of sachertorte – that delectable ganache-covered chocolate confection – was won (legally) by the former back in the 1960s. Even so, the dispute rumbles on, ensuring that visitors’ stomachs do not. Cake connoisseurs must of course make up their own minds as to the superiority of one or the other. By trying both.

On Franziskanerplatz near the river is Kleines Café, the diminutive size of which is considered a selling point rather than a drawback by discerning locals. Bohemian in style, it has only seven or eight tables, with wooden chairs, a deliberately rustic feel and an excellent line in traditional Viennese coffees.

Local bars

A firm favourite with in-the-know locals, Krypt, as its name might suggest, is a subterranean stalwart of the Vienna cocktail scene. Its tiny staircase is much easier to negotiate on the descent than after you’ve seen away umpteen cocktails in its smart vaulted cellar. Fruit and vegetables play a starring role in Krypt’s unusual but highly moreish concoctions, from Pineapple Express to Carrot Daquiri, the latter of which may aid your vision in the atmospherically lit booths, but will do nothing for your sense of balance.

A day of studious culture-seeking should always be rewarded with light refreshment. Rooftop hangout Der Dachboden at the Twenty Five Hours Hotel is handily located in the Museums District and serves up a strong selection of Austrian wines alongside cocktails, bar snacks and some of the best views in town.

Reviews

Photos Hotel Motto reviews
Felicity Cloake

Anonymous review

By Felicity Cloake, Gourmet globetrotter

We’ve been in Vienna a mere three hours when I think I spy our hotel on the wall of the city’s most popular art gallery. Excitedly we scrutinise the print (dated 1911) for clues, before Mr Smith gently points out that our current address, Hotel Motto – though similarly and strikingly wedge-shaped – is, with its balconies and colonnades, clearly from a much earlier era than the stark Alfred Loos-designed structure in front of us. 

Still, it’s indicative of the stay’s notableness that neither of us would have been particularly surprised to see it up there – from the chic Chinoiserie-print staff uniforms (which I later learn are by Austrian designer Lena Hoschek) to the large Franz West mask sculpture in the marble stairwell (apparently a sarcastic commentary on the Viennese tendency to gawp –  and it’s hard not to when confronted by such an enormous pink face), it just feels, well, arty

Even the modest gym seems to have been stocked with design in mind; instead of hulking great plastic machines there’s a sleek wooden treadmill, static bike and water rower; a beautifully tiled sauna and steam room; and a bowl of green apples so obscenely perfect I’m scared to take one in case they turn out to be an installation.

The art theme continues upstairs, assuming you appreciate the sight of yourselves in the nude – rather than a bathroom, our Deluxe room boasts a large shower panelled in smoky mirrored glass which startles me on first use. (Thankfully, for us anyway, the loo is more discreet). Though not huge, the room has high ceilings and generously sized windows looking onto the busy pedestrianised Mariahilfer Strasse, offering excellent gawping opportunities, but letting in relatively little noise after the shops shut for the evening. 

Indeed, helped by the elegant cocktails at Chez Bernard bar on the seventh floor, I enjoyed the trippiest series of dreams during our stay – well, it was either the alcohol or the ghosts that haunt the tapestry-panelled walls to blame. With a history dating back to the 17th century, this building was briefly home to Johann Strauss, housed the Golden Cross Inn and French military during the Allied occupation, and – in a previous incarnation as the Hotel Kummer – was the setting for John Irving’s 1981 novel, The Hotel New Hampshire

Looking out from the roof terrace, which is open as a bar in warmer months, and as a self-service hangout for the rest of the year, the city’s history is hard to avoid. One of Vienna’s four Brutalist-leaning concrete flak towers is less than a five-minute walk away. Too big to safely demolish, it now houses the Haus des Meeres, with aquarium tanks and modest zoo enclosures (think rare Bavarian pine voles rather than lions) set over 11 stories, plus a bonus collection of wartime memorabilia, albeit with captions in German.

With no offence intended to the magnificently ugly Australian lungfish, most of our other outings from the hotel are more aesthetically pleasing – we tick off the soaring Gothic arches of the Stephanskirche, and both the Leopold and Albertina galleries. The latter’s Schieles and Klimts prove more to my taste than the glittering, but largely empty, state rooms of the Hofburg, former residence of the royal Habsburgs dynasty – though perhaps my distaste is due to memories of A-level history their name stirs up.

Most importantly – as well as gazing open-mouthed at the architecture of a capital that lost a fifth of its buildings to war bombs – we make time for edible art in the form of the viennoiserie-crafting practised in the city’s grand cafés. Mr Smith is sceptical about the precisely layered cakes, objecting that anything that looks so perfect is sure to be style over substance. But, ultimately, he finds himself won over by the Dobos torte, a Hungarian confection with stripes of sponge and chocolate buttercream, glazed with caramel, at the celebrated Demel salon, while I lose my heart to Café Landtmann’s chestnut-and-cherry torte.

Such places may feel like tourist traps, but boast their fair share of locals on shopping breaks, poring over that day’s Der Standard newspapers from the mahogany racks by the door. They’re also handy places for a late dinner on a rainy Sunday evening after a showing of iconic Vienna-set movie The Third Man at the Burg Kino, one of the oldest cinemas still in operation, still with deliciously low velvet seats to prove it. 

Of course, we then have to ride the Ferris wheel the film made famous, yet even the view from the top can’t beat that from the mid-century Rondell Café am Cobenzl; perched in vineyards high above the city, it serves hearty food with an all-Austrian wine list. It was recently refurbished by the Motto group, and breads and pastries come from the bakery below the hotel, which produces a strong contender for the best French-style croissants in town alongside kipferl, the chunkier local take. 

Hotel Motto guests, rejoice – both feature on the breakfast menu back at Chez Bernard (book ahead, particularly at weekends, as the views and food make this a hot venue for locals as well as guests), but you’ll follow your sweet tooth back for lunch and dinner too, to see the loveliest Viennese art of all – for what mere Klimt or Monet could live up to the beauty of a plump plum dumpling or hefty slice of speculoos cake?

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Price per night from $279.08