I stayed here while in Vienna on business (with a little bit of free-time, too). This is only the third Best Western that I have stayed at during the 10 or so years that I have been traveling both for work and pleasure. The hotel is without a doubt better than just about any Best Western, at least when compared with the two-star, motel-style Best Westerns back in the United States.
In all honesty, the Best Western name probably does more harm to this hotel than good. Think boutique hotel, not a crummy, old Best Western.
While the hotel brands itself four stars, I would say this is a bit generous. Think more three or three and a half stars.
The location is a little removed from the business district of Vienna as well as the more touristy parts of the Austrian capital. It is about a 20-minute walk, at a semi-brisk pace, to the major tourist attractions. The closest subway station is about 5 minutes away, again at a brisk pace, so probably more like 10 minutes for the normal person. Even that isn’t terribly far, unless you are arriving from the airport with luggage. Otherwise, the hotel's location is fine, especially if you don't mind the distance and enjoy the exercise.
I happened to like its location because the surrounding neighborhood is quiet and residential. There are many little shops, including some upscale stores, independent bookstores and other boutiques. In short, it's a world removed from the hustle of Vienna's major tourist areas.
Service was better than a typical Best Western. The breakfast was actually one of the best in terms of hotels. I would easily pay $15 for it. While it is a self-serve buffet, there are two or three waitresses on duty to serve coffee and espresso. All of the breakfast offerings seemed to be local, organic and high-quality. It can, however, get busy in the restaurant, especially if you want the much-desired outside seating, so it is best to take your breakfast early. My only complaint was the wait for coffee and espresso could be quite long, as the waitresses are more attendants than servers.
For everything else, skip the hotel's restaurant. I made the mistake of having dinner with a business colleague here one night, as it was included in my rate. The food was not bad, but the menu was very, very limited. The restaurant had absolutely no atmosphere and, at least for the hour that we dined, no other patrons. The one waiter was very young and poorly trained. He was running all about, too, as he was also the bartender in the drawing rooms, where a nightly reception with cake, tea, wine and bread is served. It is really too bad the dinner service is so horrendous – we had to seat ourselves! -- because the hotel has a nice dining room. I really dislike having to travel out of the hotel after a long day of work or sightseeing.
The room itself was very clean and nicely decorated. The whole hotel is a good blend of contemporary and classic. Again, it is not what you would expect from a Best Western. I did not, however, care for the bed. Instead of a proper double, queen or king bed, I had two twin-sized mattresses put together side-by-side. This struck me as very cheap not to mention it was a bit uncomfortable because the two mattresses would separate from each other in the evening and I actually fell down into the void. The toiletries were of a nice quality, but body lotion was never provided and I did not care for the communal shampoo dispenser in the shower. Speaking of the shower, it is actually a bathtub with a convertible shower on a long attachment. (I am not a plumber, so I do not know the technical name for this.) It actually took me about five minutes to figure out how to use this, as I have never seen one before. I guess it must be a European thing.
The wireless internet was complimentary, but you needed a code from the front desk. This was bothersome, as I had more than one device. It did not work well with both devices connected at the same time. As for the television, I have no complaints. Not only was the TV itself of top-quality, but the selection of channels was more than enough.
In terms of staff, everyone I encountered was very nice but the hotel seemed short on staff. I had an in-room issue and instead of a bellman, the front desk sent the chef up to fix the issue. That was a first for me! There was always a wait at the front desk, as I never saw more than one front desk clerk on duty. Despite claiming to be a four-star hotel, there was no bellman or concierge. This meant no luggage assistance and no expert advice on where to go and where to see. While the front desk staff -- particularly Walter -- were helpful, they should not be doing added duties.
Overall, this was a good hotel but not a four-star hotel. If you go into it expecting three stars then you are getting an exceptional value. If you expect four stars, look elsewhere.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At the beginning of 2013, the Best Western Premier Harmonie Vienna was completely renovated and has thereby retaining only its leafy facade. The two houses in Harmoniegasse 5 and 7 were in 1863, so 150 years ago, built by the renowned Viennese architect Otto Wagner.The hotel is located outside the tourist trails in the beautiful “Serviten”quarter, but still in the center of Vienna. The “Serviten”quarter is the heart of the 9th district of Vienna, and an unforgettable and authentic Viennese area, with small, trendy restaurants, bars and boutiques.The hotel has a lounge, which is the heart of the hotel. Business travelers or guests who want to stay informed while on holiday will find a range of international newspapers and magazines in the library area of the Harmonie lounge. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Harmonie
- Best Western Vienna
- Vienna Best Western