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“Old World Charm”

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Hotel Imperial Vienna
Ranked #18 of 361 Hotels in Vienna
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 August 2013

My first trip to Vienna for holiday. Usually my taste for hotel décor gravitates towards the modern contemporary. However, as Vienna is such a historic city, why not try something different, a hotel that has old world charm and traditional classical décor? Well, there is no better choice in Vienna than the Imperial.


Arrival

I arrived by taxi and the bell man quickly took care of my luggage. Upon check-in, I was told wrongly that I was upgraded to a Junior Suite ( actually my original booking was Junior Suite ). Regardless, I was told they have given me a very good room. A staff escorted me to the room for check-in. Shortly after my butler follows to introduce the features of the room.

I soon noticed that the room was not what I wanted as it has a twin bed. The suite, despite very beautifully appointed, also has other issues. I called to ask if they can assign me another suite with a King Bed. The frontdesk staff than showed me another room, an Executive Junior Suite which is more spacious and have an outdoor balcony and a King Bed. However, I was still not happy with the suite because of a slanting ceiling that makes the bedroom rather claustrophobic. The obliging staff than show me yet another suite, which this time has a King Size Bed though it looks slightly less nicely appointed. I took this room.


The Accomodation

The first suite that I was checked in to besides the bed was wrong type also have other issues. The walk in closet was located far away from the bathroom. The bathroom shower stall is very small, a triangle area and without a glass door and instead a curtain. Also for some weird reasons, the safe was located high up the ceiling. The suite that I finally settled for has a much better layout as the walk in closet is directly opposite the bathroom. And the bathroom is newer and much nicer. It doesn’t have that piano though and the interior is slightly less bespoke but I will be picking on bones to find any fault.

The room comes with an in-suite entertainment system and LCD TV. The hotel thoughtfully provide some CDs with classical music for guests listening pleasure. The welcome amenities are generous, with a box of chocolate and a full fruit platter. Morever, the butler helpfully provides luggage tags, maps and city guide on check-in. There is a large crystal chandelier in the room. The suite is very clean and well maintained, and I think they did an amazing job considering the hotel and the building is 140 years old.

The bed is very comfortable and the sheets are of high quality. Shower water pressure can be better though. The hotel thoughtfully includes Bulgari bath amenities in the bathroom. During my stay, I did not have any noise issues, except from some street noise.


The common areas and Restaurant


The hotel has a high ceiling lobby and a single restaurant ( Café imperial ). The second and third floor has very nice decoration, hanging chandeliers, sculptures admist marble walls and sumptuous carpets. All very nice. The café imperial however, I do not like. It’s small, and one feels like eating in a small dark restaurant. No wonder most of the guests choose to sit at the terrace but it is also not very spacious.

I had breakfast at the Imperial café for two days and it is buffet style but the selection is not very good. One good point is that the kitchen can also prepare made to order hot food like eggs and waffles on request and it is included in the breakfast package. The food quality is just passable. I find the orange juice too diluted. The bread and pastries are not fresh and hot. The croissants are not flaky enough. It appears that the hotel purchase these breakfast items from a third party supplier and not prepare themselves. Maybe that’s why the quality doesn’t measures up.

I also had lunch at the café as my room rate includes a benefit for one free lunch. Well, fortunately it is free because I won’t pay for it given the poor food quality. The salad is loaded with so much dressing that it becomes inedible. The beef is fine, but nothing that a café along the street cannot prepare better.

There aren’t many facilities in the hotel but then most European hotels are like that. Besides the restaurant, there is a self service gym and business centre and that’s it. There was some renovation work going on during my stay and the lobby was rather noisy. I would suspect it might affect guests staying at lower levels.

The hotel is also located centrally and within walking distance to major shopping district and tourist attractions.


Service

The hotel is 5-star so naturally I am expecting a certain standard. The services seems to be demarked clearly between the younger staff and the older generation staff. The younger staff are clearly more enthusiastic, welcoming and eager to serve and they include the butlers, the frontdesk reception ladies and some of the staff at the café. The older staff come across to me as rather indifferent and impatient. For example, the concierge staff gets kind of impatient when I ask for clarification on directions. Also, their recommendation for restaurants wasn’t very good. I tried one (Rauchfangkehrer ) and find the food quality very lacking and the seating very uncomfortable. See my review also.

One of the older staff in the café, I think he is the captain also appears to have attitude issues. I was having lunch at the café as my room rate includes a free lunch voucher. After I finish my meal, I checked with him if I need to sign a bill and he said “No, nothing to sign. You can go now!”. Granted the restaurant was filling up and I had a free lunch and it is my fault that I was alone but occupying a four seat table, I still think that reaction was very tactless.


Conclusion

Overall, I think my stay is quite good and would not mind to return but I may also try other hotels. The other options of comparable quality will be the Ritz and Sacher Wien but the Ritz rooms are very plain with uninspired Unitarian finishing while the Sacher is not as nicely appointed as well. So in comparison, I think the Imperial Vienna is still better choice and it has that charm and uniqueness about staying at a Palace hotel that is quite hard to duplicate.

Room Tip: Try out a few rooms to find the best layout and decor that suits you.
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank BENLEE123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 August 2013

Our suite was tremendous. the service is impeccable. the bathroom was huge. the décor in the hotel is ornate elegance with marble and red carpet. you will feel like royalty if you stay here. this was the nicest room we had on this trip. it also has served as a stay for historical figures.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Joefrombrooklyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Heinrich D, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Imperial Vienna, responded to this reviewResponded 12 August 2013

Dear "Joefrombrooklyn" and family,

first of all I would like to thank you for sharing your experience with us and the TripAdvisor community. It is such a great pleasure to read your comment about your recent stay and your good experience at the Hotel Imperial. Especially during the time of our renovation we are more than happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and that the revitalization did not cause any disturbing factors. The hotel Imperial is indeed a former private palace and since 1873 its doors are opened for an international clientele.

We hope that we will have the privilege to welcome you soon again at our establishment and remain,

with sunny greetings from Vienna,

Heinrich Dominici (Director of Guest Services)

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Reviewed 3 August 2013

The Imperial is very well located for the major sights and easy access to public transport and a taxi rank down the street. You can easily walk to the Opera, Karlskirche, Albertina, Belvedere and u-bahn to Schonbrunn and walk or tube to Stephansdom.

Palace feel is strong, beautiful entrance and staircase, you really sense the history of the place. Gold leaf and carvings are all in good condition, silk/satin wall fabrics in the room and on the bed are sumptuous, historical oil paintings on the walls. Air conditioning works well, thankfully as August was extremely hot, touching 38C or 100F. Very comfy beds. Large rooms, and the Imperial suite we had was also large and carried a fine sense of being in a special hotel.

Bathroom a touch poky but fine, Bulgari products.

Breakfast is a let down, croissants and eggs and coffee are just not 5 star international standard. Bizarrely excellent melon though. Room service also is fine but only fine.

Service generally good and nice touches like chocolates on your bed at night and welcome card from the manager.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Robin91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Heinrich D, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Imperial Vienna, responded to this reviewResponded 12 August 2013

Dear “Robin91”,

first of all I would like to thank you for your enriching words and it is a great pleasure to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. The hotel Imperial is truly a palace of its time, formerly used as a private residence of the Prince of Württemberg. The building is therefore strongly protected by the Austrian Bundesdenkmalamt (Austrian Heritage Department), hence the reshuffle of our bathrooms is not always possible. However we are happy to undergo a revitalization currently and to present a new Café to our valued guests by the middle of December.

We hope to have the honour to welcome you back to the Hotel Imperial and the beautiful city of Vienna in the not too distant future.

Yours sincerely,

Heinrich Dominici (Director of Guest Services)

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Reviewed 3 August 2013

For my first visit to Vienna, I chose to stay at the Hotel Imperial, a classic and authentic hotel right in the heart of Vienna. I stayed for 2 nights to attend a friend's wedding that was a little outside of Vienna and I definitely made the right choice. I requested airport pick up on a little short notice (less than 24 hours) and was picked up in a new mercedes by an extremely helpful gentleman who when we started talking, went out of his way to take me on a slightly longer, scenic route to see more of Vienna (he asked me whether I was ok with this before taking the longer route) before reaching the hotel, al the while pointing out and suggesting some of the must-see attractions that Vienna has to offer. Once I arrived to check in, the reception staff were extremely courteous and offered me an upgrade during my stay to a beautiful junior suite. The hotel staff are all extremely friendly which really put me at ease and really made me feel at home. When asking the concierge whether there were any nearby hairdressers, he suggested a place right enxt door. I mentioned that I'd take the number and call the salon for an appointment but he graciously offered to book for me and everything was taken care of in less than a minute. While the hotel i sundergoing renovations, I nvever heard anything from my room and was out for most of the day. By the time I would come back, renovation works for the day would be over (by around 5pm). Hotel Staff were also kind enough to book, a cab for me to the airport and negotiate a price for me with the driver ahead of time, ensuring no problems or price fixing.


The only complaint I have was with the gym - I like to get in my workouts when I travel and usually make sure the hotels I stay at have large, well equipped gyms. The gym here is a small room with a treadmill, a bike, an elliptical and step machine and some free weights and benches. The plus side is that the gym is open 24/7. Got to work out in the evening and had the gym room to myself which was nice.

In short, Location is absolutely perfect - highly recommend this hotel for anyone visiting Vienna and the hotel staff are sweet and funny! Definitely returning to Vienna soon. Thanks for a great stay Imperial Staff!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank busstraveler85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Heinrich D, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Imperial Vienna, responded to this reviewResponded 12 August 2013

Dear “Busstraveler85”,

thank you very much for your touching words. We are happy to read your comment and we can guarantee you herewith that your honest feedback will further encourage our entire team to go the extra step in the future again! The hotel is indeed undergoing a major revitalization and it is such a pleasure to hear that none of the works caused any discomfort. We hope that you enjoyed your friend´s wedding and that you had the chance to see a little bit of the gorgeous scenery in and outside Vienna. Even though our gym space is rather limited, we just equipped it with new workout machines and so we hope that it did not hinder you to follow-up with your daily workout.

Dear “Busstraveler85”, once again thank you very much for your enriching words and we hope to have the pleasure to welcoming you soon again.

Yours sincerely,

Heinrich Dominici (Director of Guest Services)

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Reviewed 2 August 2013

We are traveling to several cities in Europe, staying all Starwood hotels. We arrived at the Imperial , the front desk personnel were so gracious, it was our 100 night stay with Starwood, and they were very pleased to give us a suite! We loved the suite, but more than that we loved the wonderful service and the special way they make their guests feel, they were so kind and looked after our every needs.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Dollor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Heinrich D, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Imperial Vienna, responded to this reviewResponded 12 August 2013

Dear “Dollor”,

with great pleasure I read your comment about your recent stay with us and can therefore only thank you for your patronage and euphonic words. Allow me to thank you furthermore for having selected the Hotel Imperial for your 100th night with Starwood Hotels & Resorts and it was our pleasure to treat you with an upgrade to one of your unique suites. We appreciate your benevolent words about your experience with our staff and I’m confident that it will further encourage them to deliver the same high level of service in the future as well.

It would be an honour to welcome you soon again at the Hotel Imperial in the beautiful city of Vienna!

Allow me,
Heinrich Dominici (Director of Guest Services)

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Reviewed 29 July 2013 via mobile

I was very satisfied after choosing the Imperial as my first hotel to stay in my honeymoon in Europe..

The professional friendly staff made us feel at home away from home..

The incredible charming honeymoon suite met our expectations..

The entire fully marble palace, the grand red carpeted stairway reflect the historical level of royalty we are staying in..

The buffet breakfast was of high quality as it should be.

The restaurant we had dinner in ' Gained the Wow factor ' , I spent my expected romantic dinner at this charming restaurant, listening to the most relaxing music, tasting the finest Viennese cuisine on the fully loaded silver wear table serviced by a gentle maitre d'hôtel ..

Yes we were the only guests in the restaurant , yes we payed 180 € for 3 courses which is standard for such class of restaurants , yes it worths, and the most important thing is : It made my moment

My overall experience in this hotel is perfect and I consider it my home in Vienna..

  • Stayed: August 2012
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1  Thank DrAlqassimi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Heinrich D, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Imperial Vienna, responded to this reviewResponded 2 August 2013

Dear “DrAlqassimi",

it is such a great pleasure to read your comment about your recent stay and your experience in the Hotel Imperial. We truly appreciate your enriching words about the hotel and the provided service and I can guarantee you herewith that your honest feedback will further encourage our entire team to go the extra mile in the future again! It is indeed the palatial style dating back to the 19th century and the high level of service which distinguish the Hotel Imperial and I hope we will have the pleasure soon again, to welcome you at your Viennese home.

Yours sincerely,

Heinrich Dominici (Director of Guest Services)

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Reviewed 25 July 2013

We just returned from a five week driving trip through Europe and the Imperial is somewhere in the middle of the pack in our 4 and 5 star European stay experience. Our perspective might be a bit tainted by late June high winds and rain that plagued the city during our visit.

We tend to like the "classic" hotels that are strategically located, have some history and culture about them but have been modernized in terms of comforts and furnishings. The Imperial fills the bill in many aspects.

Good location, average value at the price point. Overall a good place to stay for a few days tour of the city.

The fitness area is quite good for this age and type of hotel, this came as a very pleasant surprise.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank BigBonker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Heinrich D, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Imperial Vienna, responded to this reviewResponded 29 July 2013

Dear “BigBonker” and Partner,

first of all I would like to thank you very much for your recent stay at the Hotel Imperial and for sharing your experience with us and the TripAdvisor community. I was more than happy to learn that you overall enjoyed your stay with us at the Hotel Imperial Vienna, indeed a former private palace located in the heart of the city centre, surrounded by many of the renowned concert halls, museums and shopping areas.

I hope you will give us the privilege to stay with us soon again!

With sunny greetings from Vienna,

Heinrich Dominici, Director of Guest Services

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Imperial Vienna

Address: Kaerntner Ring 16, Vienna 1010, Austria
Region: Austria > Vienna Region > Vienna > Inner City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 361 Hotels in Vienna
Price Range: £307 - £595 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Imperial Vienna 5*
Number of rooms: 128
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