Saturday, 1 November 2014

Hotel Review: Hotel Imperial, Vienna.

As soon as we stepped into the revolving door of Hotel Imperial we knew we were in a splendorous heaven. The epitome of the Imperial City of Austria, Hotel Imperial was originally built as a palace for the Duke and Duchess of W├╝rttemberg, and it's original name was Palais W├╝rttemberg. The Duke and Duchess however moved out of the palace in 1866, five years after it was built, and the palace was converted into the hotel it is today, with Emperor Franz Joseph officially opening it in 1873.

hotel imperial vienna entrance

hotel imperial vienna

The revolving doors are not like other hotel revolving doors. You will not find four sections spinning quickly, forcing you to jump in and out in fear of getting caught. You will find two sections moving at a speed which allows you to gather your thoughts, and slowly move with the doors whilst admiring figurines on golden shelves between the sections, before you gently and gracefully step out into the most bejeweling and breathtaking lobby you will ever see.

hotel imperial vienna lobby
Press Photo

hotel imperial vienna lobby

After a calm and quick check-in with very welcoming and friendly reception staff, we were shown to our suite. We were staying in the Elisabeth Suite. Because the hotel used to be a home, every room and suite in Hotel Imperial is different, no two rooms are exactly the same. We were incredibly lucky with ours - it has the most amazing ceiling in the bathroom because our bathroom used to be part of the palace chapel!

The gentleman opened the door to our suite with a big heavy key, and we stepped in. Before us was a long corridor of rooms; it felt like an apartment. We walked through the hallway and into a room with chairs and a sideboard where the mini-bar was kept, then we walked through the next door to find a beautiful living room with a large television, and a desk and chair by a full-length-front-facing window. Huge white mirrored doors slid open to reveal the bedroom, the oversized beds resting beneath a chandelier. Through the bedroom, we eventually found the bathroom, and possibly the biggest bathroom I've ever seen. It was so big you could dance around it (I may have done this), and looking up was a huge domed ceiling with a chandelier hanging from it. 

hotel imperial vienna elisabeth suite

hotel imperial vienna fruit bowl

hotel imperial vienna elisabeth suite

hotel imperial vienna elisabeth suite bedroom
First world problem: the chandelier was not inline with the bed. 

hotel imperial vienna elisabeth suite

The pink marble bathroom was so big I couldn't get a photo of the whole room. It had everything we needed; Bulgari bath amenities, thick cotton robes, soft slippers, and two, yes, TWO hairdryers. Unlike other hotels I've stayed at, every towel, flannel, and napkin was Hotel Imperial branded. This was pure luxury. Also, the shower was amazing - it was huge and even had a foot shower at the bottom that felt as thought it was massaging your feet!

hotel imperial vienna bathroom

hotel imperial vienna bulgari amenities

hotel imperial vienna bathroom ceiling and chandelier

When the gentleman left us to unpack I did the jumping on the bed test. It's a tradition. I have to jump on every hotel bed I sleep in. However this time I almost hit my head on a chandelier....that's never happened before. I then also did this...

hotel imperial vienna travel blog review

Shhh, don't tell anyone.

hotel imperial vienna's imperial torte

Anywho. After settling in and nibbling on some fruit and Imperial Torte, we unpacked and then went to meet the lovely PR coordinator to have a tour of the hotel. She explained to us the history of the hotel, and told us all about the recent renovation of the lobby and public areas to restore it to what it would have been in the 1800's. Before the renovation the ceilings were low and the walls were hidden due to renovations made in the 1960's (typical, eh), but thankfully they've now uncovered everything and it is how it should be, glittering in all it's majestic glory, with Empress Elisabeth (also known dearly to the Austrians and Hungarians as Sissi, and apparently the great great grandmother of my old boss!) watching over the guests who grace it's hallowed halls.

Empress Elisabeth painting Hotel Imperial

We were very lucky to be allowed inside the Royal Suite, where everyone from Queen Elizabeth II to the Rolling Stones have stayed. When Liz stayed, they removed every item of furniture as they didn't want people claiming 'I've slept in the same bed as the Queen of England!' etc, and instead they put furniture in there from the Habsburg Palace for her! Hotel Imperial is known as the most exclusive (and as one American woman we met in Budapest put it, 'fanciest') hotel in Vienna, with Heads of State regularly staying there when visiting the city. If you're looking for luxury, this is it. 

Hotel Imperial Vienna Royal Suite

We also got to see one of Hotel Imperial's standard rooms, which are cosy and cute, but still a decent size. All rooms have a working area, and all rooms have absolutely beautiful bathrooms. Every room is decorated with different antique furniture and artworks, which makes each one completely unique. Apparently regular visitors all have their favourite room. 

Hotel Imperial Wien staircase

The thing that astounded me the most about Hotel Imperial was the service. Each suite gets their own dedicated butler. Your butler is on hand to help you with anything you may need, whether it's accompanying you on a trip, or ironing your morning newspaper so you don't get ink on your fingers. You're also given personalized headed stationary and business cards with your name and 'temporary resident' on - these are presented to you in a branded business card holder and luggage tag. A really lovely keepsake from your visit. 

As well as the stationary it was the little touches that made our trip. A huge glass vase full of fresh white roses in the room when we returned on our first day after our afternoon at the Belvedere, and bottled water and 'Sissi' chocolates by the bed every evening with our turn-down service. On top of this our butler also turned up one evening with a three-tiered plate of cheeses! Amazing!

hotel imperial butler service roses

hotel imperial wien butler service
As well as the top notch service and fabulous restaurant (more on OPUS tomorrow!), the bar was also beautiful. Everything just glistened and felt so so special. After dinner we went to the bar for cocktails and we think the Piano-player was psychic - we kept whispering which tunes we wanted him to play and shortly after he played two of them!

Hotel imperial wien bar

The whole hotel is just so glamorous and so mindblowingly impressive - we were literally staying in a palace. Chandeliers hung everywhere, while flowers were nestled amongst pearls rather than soil in huge vases.

Hotel imperial Wien

The breakfast was also exceptional. Laurent-Perrier Champagne waited for us every morning, alongside the huge selection of pastries, yoghurt, and fruit. Soft boiled eggs in china egg cups, and a chef making fresh omelettes made the whole experience otherworldly. This hotel wasn't just any old five star hotel, it was so so much more than that.

hotel imperial wien breakfast

hotel imperial wien champagne breakfast

Thank you Hotel Imperial for such wonderful service, and a truly memorable hotel experience. After staying in countless five star hotels all over the world, I have to say that this was one of the best stays of my life.

hotel imperial vienna travel blog review
I wear: Yull Cornbury Shoes, Iris Boutique Bag, Primark Skirt.
If you're interested in booking a stay at Hotel Imperial, which is a Luxury Collection Hotel, you can visit their website. Classic rooms start from 450 Euros per room per night, while the Elisabeth Suite starts from 800 Euros per room per night. You can also see my room tour of the Elisabeth Suite in the video below...

*We received our room complimentary for review purposes. Despite it being complimentary this does not in any way influence my views, and everything I have said is my 100% honest opinion.


  1. Well I guess we will have to trust that in no way you receiving your room for free had in any way reflected in your review. Good mix of imagery with your words. Well done, keep blogging, you are obviously very invested in it.

    I would have also been a bit thrown off by the chandelier off center from the bed.

    1. Hi Michael,

      Don't worry, I'm always completely honest, as you'll see from my Le Meridien review a few days ago. We paid for that hotel yet it was also wonderful, and I admit in that review that The Corinthia which we stayed at in Budapest for free was not as good as the Le Meridien which we paid for. I'll have the Corinthia review up in a few days, so you're more than welcome to come back and see how I review a hotel that was complimentary, but frankly disappointing.

      Thank you for the compliments, it really does mean a lot to get feedback :)

      Haha yeh, not great for people with OCD eh!

      C x

    2. Thank you for clarifying your reviews to me Catherine. My first love, my undergrad in language, literature and writing is always pulling at me to read, to continue my own writing/blogging. Although my career has taken a different path, I continue to include writing as a package deal.

      I have bookmarked your site and will do what I can to prioritize a visit at times. Although, much of the time I am extremely busy. As you know, time is valuable and not something they are making more of.

      Good luck with your travels and reviews, I have Lux Life bookmarked Catherine.


  2. What a great experience, the small details make such a difference. Great pictures too xo

    Anca @ ancaslifestyle | UK

    1. It's definitely all in the small details! Simple little things like fresh flowers that make a mark and make it more memorable.


      C x

  3. Oh my gosh, this all looks so divine! Extremely jealous.

    hannah bee | australian lifestyle blog


    1. It was so beautiful! Don't be jealous, you're in Perth where I long for haha!

      C x

  4. Wow! Vienna surprised me by just how imperial it all felt during our visit there and this hotel looks like no exception. What a stay!

    1. Yes, Vienna really does feel very imperial. It was a wonderful hotel!

      C x

  5. wow, it's certainly not cheap but looks gorge, love the flying jump pic :) i went to vienna last year and stayed in an eco hotel!

  6. Definitely need to go here. I visited Vienna heaps, but never this beauty. Adding to my list

    Lucy x ||

  7. The hotel is beautiful! Unfortunately most of the 5 star hotels I stayed in was when I was really young and honestly couldn't really appreciate them!

    I finally realise who Sissi is! There was a programme that they used to show on Saturday mornings called Princess Sissi and it must have been based on her - I was a bit old for it but used to love it anyway!

    Katie <3

  8. Holy moly this is unreal... I've never stayed five star in my life and... You know... Just wow! Think it'll have to go on the bucket list!

    pierrelecat | fashion jewellery blog

  9. Ah..loving the shaky vlog at the end!
    Vienna is such an impressive city and the imperial is a good choice. If you want to go over the top the Hotel Sacher would be your top choice. The new Kempinski is lovely as well and the DO & Co is a very chic boutique hotel.
    Glad you loved your stay - austria brings together tradition and luxury in such a charming way.


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