Finally a hotel providing contemporary luxury in Vienna. Rosewood Vienna opened in August and our project director Stepan Borovec went to Austria to explore.
A New Style of Hotel in the Austrian Capital
I’ve visited Vienna too many times to count. It takes a lot to get me over the border, but after our team experienced Rosewood London and Rosewood Madrid, a new Rosewood hotel in Vienna is a big deal.
Vienna has always been a very formal city, the centre of an empire for centuries. Naturally the city’s hotels are formal and posh, which is why I was so excited to see how Rosewood would deliver their sense of place.
The hotel is smartly tucked away on Petersplatz, a very small square just a few metres from The Graben, one of Vienna’s most famous streets. It’s literally a three-minute walk from St Stephen’s Cathedral, the very centre of the city. But there was zero bustle.
Entering the lobby I immediately felt an intimacy and privacy which is hard to find in capital city hotels.
My favourite space was the tea room, with dazzling botanical murals by artist Marie Hartig. She was inspired by Vienna’s famed Palmenhaus and painted the exquisite foliage and flora by hand.
All the interior spaces are actually luxury apartments and not once did I feel like a standard hotel guest, more like a residential tenant instead. This is so refreshing in Vienna, where the top five-star hotels are of the old-world style.
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Discovering a Sense of Place
Rosewood’s promise is to create a sense of place. It’s not just a marketing slogan. It’s real. I loved how the hotel presented a contemporary vision of Vienna.
It’s not hyper-modern – it can’t be in this city – but it combines Viennese character with something new for today’s traveller.
The whole hotel is a mix of wood, marble, gold and copper. I have to give it ten out of ten for design and overall atmosphere. It feels so creative and invigorating, proving how a known destination can also be surprising. I appreciated the details in my room, like custom leather covers for the Nespresso machine, made exclusively for the hotel in Paris.
Another highlight for me was the rooftop restaurant and bar. I could spend a whole day there. The amazing bartender serves nine Austrian signature drinks, one for each region. My favourite was Tyrol and it was tempting not to collect them all! Again, true to the sense of place but something new to experience. I’m curious as to which cocktail will be your favourite!
Challenges in a New Hotel
Opening a new five-star hotel with 99 rooms is a challenging task. I always like somebody from our team to do a site visit before we recommend a new hotel to our clients.
Usually it’s the areas of service and staff where most room for improvement can be seen. This was true here as well, with some staff who couldn’t speak English and a rather confusing setup. The food for breakfast was good and it was lovely to have it a la carte outside on the terrace. But I was confused about what I could order and the service was slow at times.
What really impressed me was the management. The Assistant Director of Sales Frederico was very visible, greeting guests and taking their feedback. Every morning I saw the General Manager speaking to guests at breakfast. When the GM asks how you are and what are your plans, you feel a personal connection with the hotel. I’m confident it won’t take long for hotel management to train their staff to perfection.
A Beautiful Spa in a City Hotel
Just like my colleague Stephen Bailey experienced in Rosewood Villa Magna, Madrid, Rosewood Vienna has a really nice spa for a city hotel. It features a sauna, hammam, experience shower, and multiple treatment and massage rooms. Unfortunately there’s no pool due to it being such an old building, but for a city it’s very good.
I recommend walking there on the corridors, as you pass fewer people than going through the courtyard and taking the spa elevator. The spa lounge is lovely as well, with views of the church. I hope they add a drinks menu here because it’s an amazing space.
A Refreshing Vienna Experience
I had an entry-level room and it delivered really good value at around 800 EUR per night.
I definitely recommend going for a suite with a balcony. Not all suites have balconies but we will make sure you get one. It’s like a private window onto the city.
Listen to Viennese sounds while sipping a coffee, absorbing the old and new, like horses, people and electric cars going past. Thanks to the location, building and design, this was not just another Vienna trip. It was memorable.
Right now I’d give the hotel 7,5/10, which is outstanding for a brand new opening. And Rosewood Vienna definitely has 10/10 potential. I expect it to become the standard for hotels in Vienna.