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“Believe the Hype: Beyond a Luxury Hotel”

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Palais Hansen Kempinski
Ranked #10 of 361 Hotels in Vienna
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 August 2014

Hyperbolic though it may be, there really is no other way to start this review aside from saying that this is the best hotel I have ever stayed in. I've been to some exceptional properties around the world but this was my first time in Vienna and our group wanted to make the stay memorable. I'm not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination but apparently the Elysian Fields have been relocated to Austria so that they may be confined under the roof of this Kempinski property. It's the only logical explanation because everything about this place is otherworldly, divine and just all around fantastic. Need more proof? In my room was a provided magazine that had an interview with Tony Jaa. This is a man who made a movie where he backflips up an elephant and dives headfirst into a live grenade - he knows ridiculously awesome things when he sees them, and he praised the Kempinski for its luxurious setting and exquisite service. That right there should be enough to convince anyone that this place does not joke around.

We arrived in Vienna at the train station to a gloomy morning full of mist and fog and other dour environmental settings. When our cab pulled up in front of the doors leading into this hotel, it was like we had walked into a completely different climate: bright, elegant fixtures and a combo of classical and modern furniture extend through either set of doors leading inside. A doorman was over in a flash and had our bags prepped for delivery in seconds flat while we scooted out of the rain and into the main lobby. We passed a small floral shop on the left and found a front desk set up that allowed for maximum customer satisfaction via multiple stations fronted by the most polite and engaging hotel staff I have ever seen.

And their politeness extends far beyond the front desk: a gal came around the counter with our room keys and walked us to our rooms for a sort of pseudo orientation. Yes, that's right: the staff volunteered to take us personally to our rooms and show us the nifty bells and whistles at our fingertips. We piled into one of the two elevators opposite the front desk and rode up a couple floors in possibly the quietest lift mankind has ever engineered. You could sleep in it if you were really tempted to do so, I have no doubt.

The rooms are ethereal. For one thing, practically everything is controlled via touchscreen pads located throughout the room: lights, air conditioning, the obligatory "DO NOT DISTURB" notice for the door, etc. That's not even taking into consideration the provided iPad that does everything from giving you complimentary Wi-Fi access to allowing you to get an overview of the various amenities of the hotel. You can also dial down to the concierge and bend their ears for local recommendations (more on that in a second). The beds are dangerously comfortable to the point where you will not want to get out in the morning because, after all, walking away from one of the best night's of sleep you have enjoyed is a tough walk to make. Meanwhile, the bathrooms operate in a similar fashion with touchscreen pads working the bath and shower. The shower was initially intimidating due to the multiple faucets for water and me, being the luddite that I am, was convinced I would find the button that shot bees through the pipes instead of soothing H2O. But even I managed to find a comfortable temperature of water for the showering experience.

The housekeeping staff are all ninjas. That's my only explanation for how efficient they operated. I went down to breakfast one morning for maybe 40 minutes and came back to find the room completely done over. Someone in our other room asked for an ironing board and iron, and while there were currently none available at that time, both were found upon returning after dinner later that night. Seriously: housekeeping ninjas. Or wizards. Either way, they continue the tradition of stellar service.

Actually, service is nothing short of perfection in motion as both concierges we spoke with pointed us toward some wonderful local dining, both Viennese and Italian (we were just about burnt out on Viennese food by this time). And the waitress and bartender operating the lobby and lounge area late at night were also suitably amazing. The late-night menu is practically a full-length novel of mixed drinks, scotches, wines, appetizers and other fanciful indulgences that are delivered with speed and are expertly made. You can flip through a couple coffee table books just sort of sitting out for anyone to enjoy, or plan your next drink… which is how a Sidecar and a round of a 126-proof bourbon somehow came into my digestive tract in the span of 45 minutes. And I'd do it again in a heartbeat if I could. They also had live DJs the nights we were down there that played everything from Blondie to Simian Mobile Disco. Variety really is the spice of life.

Other notable points of discussion: the breakfast buffet in the morning is massive. I actuality think the room the buffet is in was bigger than most of my college apartments. Breads, meats, fish, eggs, drinks, etc. are yours for the enjoying, and the dining room is run by a cheerful group of servers who can melt any hangover you may be nursing with their personalities and helpfulness. And that vitamin booster they provide you is a nifty bonus: I'm not sure if you do them as shots but I know I did and I woke right up to go partake in the buffet as I walked through a grand dining room flanked by two walls of ivy and greenery. Other eating spots are on the property, as well, but I believe one of them (dinner-centric) closes for a couple months at a time - we were told July 31 was its last night for service in the immediate future, so this one may not be open when you come. We did not try it out but in walking past it, the place was packed. A spa, accessed via a separate spa elevator, is on the property, and from what I heard ranks among the best worldwide. You can also sit out in a grotto-like area immediately atop the lobby in the center of the rooms surrounding it, but due to the weather and not wanting to drown in a torrential downpour, we never went out there.

You really have to struggle to find anything to take the Kempinski Vienna to task over. Yeah, this place does not come cheap but like the old adage says, you (more than) get what you pay for. And as these other reviews on this site can attest, this place has a reputation for excellence for a reason. Sometimes it's okay to believe the hype. And this is easily one of those times.

Room Tip: I'm willing to bet there are no "bad" rooms in this place. Call it a hunch.
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
8  Thank Alex S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 August 2014 via mobile

Beautiful hotel so relaxing and peaceful. Close to the centre and all the buzz. Rooms are kitted out to 5* quality and the beds are Devine. A relaxing spa within the hotel allows you to relax after a day sight seeing. A delightful hotel to stay in.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Johanne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2014

We were visiting Vienna for a few days of sightseeing and wanted to stay in a nice hotel. Well, this one did not disappoint!

The hotel is in a good location, just outside of the city centre, so a little quieter and the building itself is stunning. Although we arrived before check-in, we were immediately looked after, with our bags whisked away and some good advice given on getting to the innere-stadt. When we returned later we were quickly given our key-card and were able to get up to our room, accessible through a very elegant lift and lobby area. We were extremely happy with our room, which was very well decorated and thoroughly clean all over. The room was all controlled via an IPad, so it was easy to change the settings of things if you needed to. Service was always attentive and discreet.

Overall this was a case of you get what you pay for. Be warned - more a less any 'additionals' are extra money, but we did not feel too aggrieved by this, such was the quality of the hotel (Wi-Fi was free). Staff were uniformly excellent. We would definitely stay here again if we were in Vienna.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank A W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2014

From the moment we pulled up outside the main entrance in a taxi we were greeted with polite, friendly and efficient service. Before we knew it we were out of the car and ushered to the desk whilst our bags were already being removed and loaded onto a trolley. Checking-in was efficient by immaculate staff speaking perfect English. We were then 'escorted' to a our room via the jaw dropping lobby-lounge and silent lift to our lovely (upgraded) Grand De-Luxe room. Everywhere and everything is just immaculate and smacks of quality - but then again this is 5 star so it probably shouldn't come as a surprise. We were met with a 'keepsake' box on the table (warning - which is not a keepsake!) that contained fruit, cake and other fancies. A nice touch. The same high standard applies to the room and bathroom with the much mentioned 'hi-tech' controls and services via I-Pad. Old is spectacularly combined with new in this place. The breakfast was a treat and quite simply an 'event' with the chef preparing your eggs to your request. €39 is probably a bit steep for a breakfast but it was worth it as a one off experience. There were some very minor down sides from out perspective when you judge it against a 5 star standard - i think plastic milk pots in a drawer for tea and coffee is a bit 'motel' like; not only that but there were little errors most days such as milk pots missing and even a cup on one day! If you are English then there is only BBC World News available on the TV. The Hotel is situated on the edge of the 'Ring' that encircles the historic and impressive centre of Vienna. It is the quieter end from what we could determine. The opposite end of the 'Ring' where the State Opera House and the Hotel Sacher is much busier. A previous reviewer mentioned that this Hotel was a bit soulless. I think we would agree. We sat in the lobby long during the evening to have drink and often found we were the only ones there. It did come across as a bit empty and lacking atmosphere. However this is nit picking and really trivial stuff and not enough to down grade our rating. Overall it was just lovely and we would certainly return.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank 19MET63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2014

This is a great hotel with luxury and five star quality and service all around. We were in the Hansen Suite and it was gorgeous. The staff were exceptionally helpful, the rooms were fantastic, and the breakfast buffet was extraordinary. About two weeks before our arrival we received an e-mail offering to upgrade us to a high floor with a vIew of Vienna for an extra 15 Euro per night if the room was available when we arrived. I thought it would be nice to have the view, so I said yes. When we arrived we were put in room 366 and our view was of other rooms in the hotel. I figured the room with a view was not available. We went about enjoying our Vienna stay and at check out I was surprised by the additional 15 Euro per night charge. When I asked about it, I was told that the third floor was the highest floor because the 4th and 5th floors were private apartment. I needed to catch a train to Budapest and did not have time to argue. I think this was a scam and we were slated to be in room 366 all along. My advice is not to say yes if you receive the e-mail.

Room Tip: We enjoyed the suite with the extra space, but watch out for the scam.
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank StevenB-cpa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Markus L, General Manager at Palais Hansen Kempinski, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2014

Dear Mr. StevenB,

thank you very much for sharing your feedback regarding your recent stay at the Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna. We are very happy to read that you enjoyed your stay and time in Vienna - have taken note, however, that you were not satisfied with the fact that we charged you extra for the suite allocation on a higher floor - which in our case is 3rd floor.

I do apologize for the inconvenience and would like to add that we will refund you the money accordingly. A separate email will be sent to you to confirm this transaction.

Looking forward to welcoming you again at the Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna.

With kind regards,
Markus Lueck

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2014

The accommodations were top notch. Everything controlled by your hotel provide iPad. The food service was also excellent. We arrived and the hotel reception knew who we were before we crossed words(probable thanks to the taxi driver), checked us in and we were on our way in less than 3 minutes.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank fernando g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2014

One of the best hotels I've stayed in. Helpful, knowledgeable staff and quiet, comfortable rooms. Rooms are high tech, with everything controlled by an iPad. Location is convenient to the excellent subway system. Concierge was very helpful, with excellent guidance and suggestions. I would definitely stay there again.

Room Tip: We had a junior suite, which was spacious, quiet, and modern. Excellent accommodations.
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Richard H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Palais Hansen Kempinski

Address: Schottenring 24, Vienna 1010, Austria
Phone Number:
Region: Austria > Vienna Region > Vienna > Inner City , Innere Stadt
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 361 Hotels in Vienna
Price Range: £260 - £538 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Palais Hansen Kempinski 5*
Number of rooms: 152
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna - originally built as a hotel for the World Exhibition in Vienna in 1873 - captivates the visitor with a historic building, modern architecture and contemporary luxury. It is a glamorous hot spot with 152 rooms & suites, 2 restaurants, 1 bar, a large spa and fitness area as well as conference rooms and one ballroom. ... more   less 
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