Ritz-Carlton, Vienna: the essence of true luxury

For those looking to discover architectural treasures and cultural wonders in the timeless capital of Austria, don't miss an opportunity to stay at the palatial Ritz-Carlton in the iconic Ringstrasse.

The charming city of Vienna is the perfect destination for an unforgettable experience in an elegant, historic setting. As one of one of Europe's most impressive cities, it is renowned for its grandiose buildings and old-world glamour. With opulent baroque palaces and stately boulevards, history abounds on every street corner as it honors its past. Once the Imperial capital of the Habsburg Empire, its beautifully maintained architecture has made it a vibrant, cosmopolitan destination, tempting travelers around the world to experience its rich culture, boutique shopping and arguably one of the best culinary scenes in Austria. It is also home to the Vienna State Opera, the Museum of Fine Arts and is also well known for its essential role as a leading European Classical Music Centre.

No hotel in Vienna better represents the city's unique balance between historic charm and modern luxury than the Ritz-Carlton, Vienna. It is a testament to imperial grandeur with the unique appeal of being perpetually associated with luxury and comfort. As one of the most aesthetically pleasing hotels in Vienna, it promises something all travelers dream of: a rich hospitality combined with an enriched culinary experience.

Location and history
Located in the city center of Vienna, along the prestigious Ringstrasse and adjacent to Stadtpark, the Ritz-Carlton is really not that far away from anything. It offers mesmerizing views of the city's ever-changing landscape on various levels, not to mention the city's landmark - St. Stephan's Cathedral. The Ring Boulevard which was officially opened by Emperor Franz Joseph in 1865, is lined by Austria's most important buildings such as the Vienna State Opera, the Imperial Palace, the Parliament or the City Hall.

Vienna is a city well suited for walking and many of the main attractions are nearby. Top museums and galleries such as Albertina, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Hofburg Palace and the Cathedral are on the Schubertring and is just a grand 20-minute stroll away. Public transport is easily available with taxi-stands, horse-drawn carriages, buses, tubes and trams all within a 100-yard radius. Reaching the Vienna International Airport is a cinch too, and just a 20-minute drive away. All in all, the location of the Ritz-Carlton, Vienna is among the most desirable locations in the city for a luxury hotel.

For history buffs, the Ritz-Carlton, Vienna is packed with historic character and is made up of four grand, 19th-century houses known as palaces: the Adels Casino (Schubertring 5 designed by famous architect John Romano), Palais Otzelt (Schubertring 7 built by architect Anton Olzelt as a residence for his family), Palais Gutmann (Beethoven Place No. 3, designed by famous architect Carl Tietz for Wilhelm Ritter von Gutmann) and Palais Borkenstein (Beethoven Place No. 2, built by renowned architect Friedrich Schachner for the Borkenstein family).

A deeper look into the hotel's design reveals its history and the nature that surrounds the city. Built between 1865 and 1871, all four palaces were constructed in an architectural style that blends Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic influences. Some of the original features of the Ritz's palatial beginnings are visible even today and include the 150-year-old staircase of the former Gutmann palace, parquet flooring, walnut wall-paneling, an intricately detailed wooden-carved fireplace and the sumptuous ceiling fresco enhanced by gilt mirrors and chandeliers. The skillful design of the hotel's overall interior by German-based renowned design firm Peter Silling and Associates celebrates Vienna's rich cultural and artistic heritage.

Style and Character
It takes something special to stand out in a city full of remarkable buildings and the Ritz-Carlton, Vienna manages that. Through the combination of contemporary luxury and historical Viennese charm, the hotel creates a unique sense of place. It's palatial setting, makes it a great starting point to discover Vienna and it is a breath of fresh architectural air on the prestigious Ring Boulevard. Its distinctive design and perfect balance creates a comfortable home away from home that captivates guests. The grandness of the hotel strikes you upon entering, its atmosphere is gracious. The personalized service at the Ritz-Carlton, Vienna creates incomparable, moments that guests will remember for the rest of their lives. The charming spirit that is characteristic to the Ritz, also adds that special touch making it the perfect retreat in the heart of Vienna.

Rooms and Suites
With its 202 rooms and 14 suites that are individually designed with subtle luxury, the Ritz-Carlton, Vienna evokes a feeling of grandness, that entices its guests into a comfortable stay in a relaxed atmosphere. Tasteful, genuine colors (neutral tones, creams and browns) and noble fabrics together with precious wood finishes provide the setting for a mix of old and new features.

Aimed for guests to leave feeling better than when they arrive, rooms feature selected curtains and wallpapers, upholstered chairs, original paintings, exclusive lamps, finest rugs and carpets. Of the 202 rooms, 170 have king-sized beds and 32 are twin bedded rooms. For families traveling together, the hotel features 26 connecting rooms. Five Deluxe Rooms are specifically designed to meet the special needs of disabled guests.

The attention to detail and quality is a cursory nod to space, light and elegance. All rooms have sound-proof windows and classic furnishings which include a large wardrobe, full-size iron and ironing board, a large desk for writing and working, iPod docking stations, Nespresso coffee machines and a separate lounge area. The lavish marble baths have a separate rain-shower and tub and heated floors. Together, they underline the dignified ambience of the hotel with its exceptional comfort for the guest and pay homage to its 19th-century heritage.

The Presidential Suite of the Ritz-Carlton, Vienna is a blend of history and prestige and offers sophisticated interior design and traditional architecture to create an elegant sanctuary. The 2000 square foot room is set under the magnificent ceiling fresco and authentically reflects the Viennese Noblesse living from the 19th century.

Traditional architecture combined with stylish interior design demonstrates individual character, personality and charm. The overall look is a stepping-stone between elegance and freshness. The hotels' historic character is suited for the most discerning guests by creating a peaceful atmosphere in the guestrooms combined with exemplary luxury comfort.

Service and Facilities
As impeccable as its location, the service at the Ritz-Carlton, Vienna is hard to fault. The staff of the hotel are dedicated to indulging its guests with the finest in Viennese hospitality. From the friendly receptionists to the restaurant staff, all are efficient and highly responsive in typical Ritz-Carlton fashion and thoughtfully anticipate guests' needs.

The hotel hosts the only luxury Club Lounge in Vienna, which is like a hotel within a hotel. Club members are welcome to smoke cigars and unwind with access to a computer station, extended hot breakfast, light fare lunch, hors-d'oeuvres, delicious desserts and complimentary beverage service including wine and spirits. Membership amenities include private check-in and check-out, a personal Club Concierge, complimentary regional and international newspapers and magazines.

Elsewhere, there's the hotel Spa offering a truly exceptional wellness experience with six luxurious treatment rooms. It includes a Health Club and Fitness Area, as well as a 60ft-long indoor swimming pool which plays classical music underwater. Rounding off the contemporary offerings are wellness areas which include a sauna, steam room, and heated relaxation beds. Customizable treatments at the Ritz-Carlton Spa can untwist even the stiffest muscles and translates to enhanced well-being.

The hotel also serves as a subtle venue for events and business meetings. It has 900 square meters of flexible meeting space including two boardrooms, three breakout rooms and a stunning 300 sqm Crystal Ballroom whose walls are covered with half a million of crystals. The ballroom is ideal for small, large and ethnic weddings, as well as vow renewals and special events like bar/bat mitzvahs. The hotel also offers a variety of in-house activities for guests, including waltz lessons in the lobby and treasure hunts for children.

Food and Drink
In a city renowned for its cuisine there's no shortage of dining options but the culinary experience at the Ritz is unparalleled. The exquisite delicacies enable a remarkable synergy between the interior and surrounding landscape. With a high level of creativity, the Ritz-Carlton, Vienna offers decadent cuisines that are pretty sublime. Coupled with its warm and welcoming backdrop, it enhances tradition and transforms dining into a memorable experience.

The hotels' main restaurant, Dstrikt Steakhouse, is an attention-grabbing space that serves up savory delicacies such as Carinthian cream cheese dumplings, sauteed young spinach with braised garlic, cheese Spaetzle, Austrian Prime Rib and original Wiener Schnitzel with buttery potatoes. One can look forward to the finest selection of Austrian meat cooked on a charcoal grill and served with delicious side dishes. The simplicity of good-quality regional, seasonal ingredients shines through, thereby allowing guests to experience an authentic local dining adventure. The restaurant also has a unique selection of wine featuring Austrian greats and also serves Beer from local microbreweries. Then there is D-bar which serves handcrafted Cosmopolitan cocktails presented in a unique yet refined way, Austrian draft beer, Fine cigar rarities and Viennese coffee that comes with direct views over the Ring Boulevard.

Besides that, there's the 'Atmosphere Rooftop Bar and Lounge' and the 'Melounge Lobby Lounge'. Located on the 8th floor, the Rooftop Bar offers superb views over the city with a wonderful panorama from St. Stephan's Cathedral to Karlskirche. During the summer, it serves as a getaway where guests can cool down and get refreshed with cocktails or a glass of fine champagne, while in winter during the festive season, the place transforms into Vienna's highest Christmas market. The Melounge Lobby Lounge is home to the hotel's famous afternoon tea and cake and is adjoining the reception on the ground floor. Guests can indulge in sweet and savory delights in a relaxed ambiance as well as enjoy lunch and dinner.

The Verdict!
There's so much to love about the Ritz-Carlton, Vienna. Designed for guests looking to stay for an extended period, the hotel offers many of the comforts of having your own apartment. It is an oasis where imperial heritage meets modern flair and captures the essence of Austria, representing all that Vienna has to offer through the concept of art and time. By combining Viennese hospitality with its exemplary service philosophy, it creates memorable experiences for guests whether traveling on leisure or for business. Keeping true to its reputation for prime luxury, its resplendent elegance is renowned with a modern, feel-at-home luxury, that offers a flair of exclusivity which is refined but not ostentatious. Altogether, it epitomizes luxury in all true sense of the word and if one could live in a hotel in Vienna, this would be it. Nothing thrills like the Ritz-Carlton, Vienna does. It is truly one of those hotels you will never want to leave, while a stay can be difficult to forget.

This article first appeared in the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of LOVEFMD magazine. Download the digital edition from www.lovefmd.com to see more stunning images of The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna. Alternatively, you can also order the print edition here.

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