Hotel Imperial, Vienna, Austria Review

Reception, Hotel Imperial

By Jonathan Spira on 1 May 2007
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The majestic Hotel Imperial, built originally as the residence of the Prince of Württemberg in 1863 and transformed into a hotel in 1873 in time for the World’s Fair, is for business travelers accustomed to staying at the best addresses.  It is renowned for impeccable service and discretion.

Guests are treated like regulars, even on the first visit.  The hotel is also the official residence for visiting heads of state. Charlie Chaplin, who visited in 1931, reportedly said “Stay at the Imperial and feel like an Emperor.”


The Imperial is on the Kärtner Ring, a section of the magnificent Ringstraße, which encircle the city center, having replaced the walls of the old city.  It is within walking distance of the State Opera House, the Stadtpark (city park, replete with statuary of Vienna’s musical gods), St. Stephan’s cathedral, the Hofburg Palace, the Spanish Riding School, the Hofburg Convention Center, and many embassies and corporate offices.

It is also across from the Musikverein, home of the Wiener Philharmoniker (Vienna Philharmonic) from which the annual New Year’s Day Concert is broadcast.


Sumptuous yet welcoming. Nothing else can describe the feeling I had when I was shown to my room, which was furnished with antiques, crystal chandeliers, and a marble bathroom larger than most hotel rooms.  It combined timeless elegance with the latest creature comforts.

My first floor room overlooked the Ring, although the windows did not allow any street noise to enter.  From the desk in my living room, I could sit and watch my fellow Viennese go by.  As a business traveler, I had to spend considerable time at the desk but the surroundings made work very pleasant.

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