First impressions of stately-looking luxury hotel Rosewood Vienna suggest a staid steeped-in-history stay. But like a quiet uncle who cracks out the dance moves at a family do, this savings-bank-turned-des-res has a welcome dose of swagger to sway you. Velvet-and-parquet interiors and a genteel tea salon are its typically Viennese turns, teamed with service that’s deftly choreographed – and yet there’s counterpoint to the canon, courtesy of a finessed sixth-floor brasserie and rooftop bar, a cocooning spa and state-of-the-art gym. Not even the chorus line of nearby historic monuments, designer stores, convivial taverns and coffee houses can steal its limelight…
Noon, but flexible, if arranged ahead and subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £486.17 (€566), including tax at 13.2 per cent.
Rates exclude breakfast: a continental buffet of cold cuts, pastries, bread, granola, fresh fruit and yoghurt, with hot dishes à la carte, starting at €45.
Three Deluxe rooms are fully adapted for wheelchair users; all communal areas are accessible, including the rooftop bar.
At the hotel
Spa, gym, tea salon, concierge, paid laundry service, free WiFi. In rooms: smart TV with Chromecast, Marshall Bluetooth speaker, minibar, Nespresso coffee machine, kettle, free tea and bottled water.
Our favourite rooms
Deluxe and Premier rooms are separated mainly by their views, although looking onto the quiet inner courtyard is hardly a short straw… Executive Junior and Hofburg suites have our heart for their sixth-floor vistas and romantic in-the-eaves architecture. All junior suites have finessed Vienna-referencing decor and oodles of space – although the addition of a walk-in wardrobe makes it tempting to upgrade to a suite. Of the signature suites, Hoffman House is presidential, with a private street entrance and dedicated lift, unbeatable views from the dual-aspect living room, a fit-for-royalty master bedroom and an enormous ensuite.
Taking time for yourself reaches cosseting, carefree heights on the sixth floor at Asaya Spa – a marble-tiled sanctuary devoted to rest (its light-flooded lounge with views straight onto the copper dome of St Peter’s is a serenity-bringing showstopper), revival (steam room, sauna, experience shower) and rejuvenation (four treatment rooms and a starred menu of Augustinus Bader spa therapies). Down an internal flight of stairs to the fifth floor, an extensive private spa suite comes with an exclusive lounge, dedicated changing area, plus a sauna and steam room, with options for private catering, too. Down on the second floor, the former savings-bank board room has been transformed into a fitness centre where Technogym equipment, treadmills and ellipticals contrast the traditional parquet-and-stucco setting.
Rosewood Vienna is such an immersive stay, you’ll want to pack locale-related reading too, such as Eva Ibbotson’s The Morning Gift; Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd, and 1950s novella, Graham Greene’s The Third Man.
You can book in-room spa treatments. If you’re staying in a suite, minibars are free, and groceries can be ordered to be in your suite kitchen on arrival, with options for a private chef and butler service, too.
Very welcome. Junior suites and suites have room for a rollaway bed or cot and there’s a wealth of interconnecting rooms. Little Smiths get their own bathrobes and bath amenities, play-mats and teepees, and there’s a kids’ menu at Neue Hoheit.
Junior suites are ideal for families of three; if you’re travelling with more than one child, interconnecting room options vary, but can involve rooms from Deluxe right up to signature suites.
This is not a hotel for organised childcare, but the level of kit provided and choice of room configurations make for carefree family stays.
Museums and monuments dominate traditional sightseeing in Vienna, but little Smiths will love the abundance of manicured gardens and parks, horse-drawn carriage rides, the natural history museum and the world’s oldest zoo, Schönbrunn. There’s a children’s museum in the city, and look out for seasonal ice-skating by City Hall and tobogganing slopes.
There’s a good choice of dishes on the children’s menu at Neue Hoheit for lunch and dinner; highchairs can be provided, and the buffet breakfast is there to placate even the fussiest of eaters.
The hotel is happy to help you arrange babysitting with a childcare professional, but you’ll need to book well ahead (extra costs apply, too).
No need to pack
Cushioned play-mats for babies, highchairs and cots are provided; single-digit Smiths will delight in setting up den in your room with a hotel play teepee.
Children at Rosewood Vienna get the spa treatment with family-friendly bath products and size-appropriate bathrobes and slippers.
When summer deigns to make the mercury rise, an alfresco table, overlooked by the dome of St Peter’s, is worth dining early for. Weatherproof top spot goes to the four-seater in the far corner of the pillared glass-walled dining area.
Classic glamour – possibly for lunch, definitely for dinner – cashmere; ruler-sharp tailoring; black and bejewelled tops; shimmering knits or statement-print shirts.
Neue Hoheit (meaning ‘new highness’, named for its sixth-floor location and elevated cuisine) is Rosewood Vienna’s all-day brasserie. Rust-red velvet tub chairs, leather banquettes, chequered flooring and warm spot lighting create a cosy ambience at this warren of a restaurant, which has rows of booth tables flanking the open kitchen and, beyond, a pillared room with sloping glass walls looking onto St Peter’s. An alfresco terrace has tables for two edging railings above the hotel’s inner courtyard, and the Garden Room is a conservatory-like space for private dining for garrulous groups. Breakfast is continental – help yourself to cold cuts, pastries, bread, granola, fresh fruit and yoghurt from the restaurant’s island buffet – with hot dishes cooked to order. Its pan-European cuisine is broad in reach with a seafood bar for oysters, tuna tartare, cured swordfish and rouille-accompanied sardines, and an Austrian section that’s heavy on schnitzel. Steaks are dry-aged and barmarked over the grill, be they T-bone, fillet or rib eye; fish, lamb and duck cover the middle ground, with a handful of vegetarian options including roasted roots, pepper risotto and krautfleckerl (Austrian pasta with caramelised cabbage that’s a tastier sum than its parts).
Up on the seventh floor above the brasserie, Bar Hoheit fans outdoors with corridors of table seating and high stools perched to take in the panoramas. Nine signature cocktails have been created to represent Austria’s nine provinces, including a sharp-but-fragrant Golden Roof for the Tirol and tonka-coke-pinot-noir medley Figaro Collins for the Salzburgers.
Salon Aurelie is open 11am–6pm; Neue Hoheit is open for breakfast, 6.30am–10.30am (until 11am at weekends); all-day service starts at noon and the kitchen closes at 10.30pm.
A dedicated menu is yours to order from around the clock.
If Rosewood Vienna were a human body part – no mere beating heart – it would be the Austrian capital’s aorta, situated between the Old Town’s twin centres of worship, Petersplatz (where a copper-domed Catholic church presides) and Tuchlauben (lined with d
Vienna International is a 30-minute drive from the hotel, who can arrange luxury car transfers from €130 each way (for up to three passengers).
Vienna Central (Wien Hauptbahnhof) is a few stops from Stephansplatz, the hotel’s nearest underground station, on the U1 line. By road, it’s a 20-minute cab ride; the hotel can arrange luxury car transfers from €130 each way.
The hotel has an underground private car park with 20 spaces; from €50 a day, including valet parking.
Rosewood Vienna’s nearest U-Bahn station Stephansplatz is a useful interchange for those looking to navigate the city via underground.
Worth getting out of bed for
Rosewood Vienna’s pedestrian entrance is on Tuchlauben, which is Vienna’s answer to Bond Street with a model line-up of designer stores including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta and Emporio Armani. If you prefer something more artisanal, Vienna has a thriving slow-fashion scene: discover hand-dyed, -cut and -sewn wearables and homewares at Rudolf Vienna; handcrafted shirts at Gino Venturini, fine footwear from Scheer shoemakers, and bespoke tailoring from Niedersuesz. Simpler finds are yours to unearth at the Saturday fleamarket at Naschmarkt. Or take home a handmade soap from Wiener Seife. If the movie classic has inspired you, you can take a The Third Man tour of the Vienna sewer system. Or keep the guided wandering above ground with an organised bike tour (try Pedal Power or Vienna Explorer); a tram ride (the Tramway Museum has a calendar of tours), or a boat trip down the Danube Canal or its namesake river. Art is ubiquitous in the Austrian capital, so to bring your hundred or so museum-and-gallery options into focus, let your tastes guide you – pop art and photorealism at Mumok in the MuseumsQuartier; design at the Museum of Applied Art (MAK), or art nouveau and expressionism at the Leopold Museum. If opera is the magnet that draws you, you’ll need to book ahead for the State Opera House but Vienna Volksoper may be more forgiving to impromptu ticket-seekers. Making your sightseeing agenda entirely culinary is a legitimate use of time in Vienna. Kaffeehaüsen – often with added architectural wow – are dotted across the city: to add to the authenticity, start your day with zwei eier im glas, which may sound like the start of a joke (two eggs in a glass) but is a traditional breakfast of soft-boiled eggs with toasted brioche; a café or gasthaus auf dem platz makes a classic lunch stop, and explore the city’s diverse wirtshäuser for beers and schnitzel or tafelspitz (veal served with minced apple and horseradish).
There’s a buzz around the cafés and restaurants on Franziskanerplatz, a short walk from Rosewood Vienna, that’s worth investigating. Gasthaus Pöschlis a vaulted, wood-lined dining room serving Austrian classics including schnitzel, knödel and tafelspitz that’s favoured by locals (always a good sign). Refined plating and a meat-focused menu are the main draws at Artner am Franziskanerplatz, a basement restaurant of linen-topped tables and bare-brick walls. By late afternoon, orders at on-the-square Kleines Café drift from syrupy espressos towards Austrian reds by the glass and foam-headed beers at tables spilling onto the cobbles. For home cooking with a focus on organic and seasonal ingredients, head south to the Wieden neighbourhood where you’ll find Zur Herknerin – a good lunchtime stop for Serbian cabbage rolls, spinach dumplings in brown butter or dumpling-topped goulash.
On your doorstep on Brandstätte, Café Korb offers excellent coffee and tipped apple strudel in a warmly lit, wooden lined café with a pleasingly yesteryear atmosphere (it’s a good shout for lazy brunches, too). Paris-worthy patisserie is the trump card of Crème de la Crème, a decent stroll from the hotel westwards, but handy if you’re near City Hall – their lunchtime sandwiches made all the tastier with home-baked bread.
Loos American Bar is a storied nightspot with regular live music including jazz nights, where booths are high backed in solid wood and art-deco surroundings conjured by its turn-of-the-century architect founder (Herr Loos) bring a romantic air to craft cocktails before or after dinner.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this storied Old Town stay in the Austrian capital and unpacked their Augustinus Bader spa kit and Mozartkugeln chocolates, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Rosewood Vienna…
Geography is king at Rosewood Vienna: this boutique hotel in the capital’s Innere Stadt flashes fabulous views of its prized position between Petersplatz and shop-lined Tuchlauben at every turn – from the board-room gym, in the St Peter’s-dome-side spa lounge; framed by French windows in most rooms, and up close and personal with Old Town spires and gables from the hotel’s roof-terrace bar. Its co-ords put you in pole position for ticking off must-see monuments such as the Hofsburg and Gothic cathedral by day, and after-dark forays to the city’s storied taverns and night spots. The hotel’s architecture, spanning a clutch of 19th-century buildings (once home to a savings bank), is typically Viennese, cloaked in a neoclassical façade, studded with wrought-iron balconies and crowned with elegantly sloping eaves. Peel off her layers, however, and it’s clear that this storied stay’s passion for place is more than skin deep. Blue and green glassware behind reception channel the Danube; Alexander Waterworth interiors (as seen in Soho Farmhouse and the Kensington Hotel London) incorporate archive prints by Austrian artist Josef Hoffmann (find them on everything from slipper linings to room curtains) as well as designer lighting by Lobmeyr and Bakalowits, and art-nouveau-referencing bespoke furniture. In the tea salon, adorned with Palmenhaus-inspired botanical murals by Austrian artist Marie Hartig, the china is home-fired Augarten and even the cutlery (by silversmith Wiener Silber) is local. But perhaps Rosewood Vienna’s greatest accomplishment is that its love letter to the city will have you falling for Vienna, too.