View from the rooftop bar - Courtesy Ritz-Carlton Vienna
Shifting focus from grannies with pearls to the oligarch in all of us, Vienna's palace-like properties on the Ringstrasse have gone from staid to stylish.
Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Vienna
Lobby - Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Vienna
The Ritz-Carlton opened in late August, combining four landmark historic buildings to provide 202 rooms. Prime in-house amenities include a local-and-seasonal restaurant with classic Viennese cuisine from top Austrian chef Wini Brugger, a rooftop bar looking out over the Karlskirche's green copper cupola, and spa that includes treatment rooms for couples as well as separate gyms for men and women. Decor is on the beige-chintz side, but with modern lighting and room layouts that emphasize flowing space.
Deluxe Junior Suite - Courtesy of Hotel Sacher Wien
Superior Double Room - Courtesy of Hotel Sacher Wien
The famously starchy 148-room Hotel Sacher Wien (yes, of the torte) has updated its almost jokily Baroque look (big oil paintings with gilt frames in guest rooms, heavy wood and stucco flourishes everywhere) with a gentler pearlescent-gray palette. Gone are the little boxy TVs of yore, replaced by flat-screens, though many rooms still feature pieces from the hotel's art collection. A new rooftop spa offering chocolate-infused skin care covers more than 3,000 square feet.
Lobby of Ring Hotel - Photo by Rafaela Pröll
The 68-room Ring Hotel is boutique in scale but has big-time ambitions: the spa includes high-floor views of the city, the bar specializes in obscure vodkas from around the world, and the service and amenities are on par with its five-star neighbors. Here, it's the "concept" that rules from "workstations" (a.k.a. desks) with free high-speed internet to the flattering lighting (combining sconces, low lamps and soft spotlights) and color palette (café au lait complements the in-room Nespresso machines).