My review of the InterContinental Vienna and where to find the best breakfast in town!

This is my review of the InterContinental Vienna hotel.

What do you do when there are no British Airways redemption flights from Split to London and you don’t want to pay £500 due an event inflating the prices?

Simple – be grateful that you have some Avios and book yourself an airberlin redemption from Split to Vienna.  Due to a lack of immediate onward connections, I got to spend 24 hours in Vienna and review the InterContinental Vienna hotel at the same time.

I raided Rob’s IHG Rewards Club points to pay for the room.  IHG was not involved in this review in any way.


Getting from Vienna International Airport to the city centre (Wien Mitte) is pretty easy. You can either go non-stop on the CAT (City Airport Train) and spend €12 (€17 return) or take the S7 for €3.70. The CAT is 5 minutes faster and has more room to store luggage. I chose the S7 and cannot say much about the CAT, but I assume it’s a bit like comparing Gatwick Express to Southern Rail, albeit without the same risk of cancellation.

The InterContinental Vienna is in the heart of Vienna right next to the Stadtpark and about a 10 minute walk from most of Vienna’s key sights. From Wien Mitte station it’s a 10 minute walk along the Stadtpark to the hotel itself.  I reckon a taxi would take about 3 minutes.


The first thing you notice when entering the InterContinental Vienna are the imposing chandeliers and mirrors throughout the entrance hall. If there wasn’t an overload of those decor items, it could look classy, but instead it gives the hotel a very dated look.

Check in was relatively quick. I was offered a Mozartkugel (pistachio/nougat chocolate from Vienna) but had to decline as I’m allergic to hazelnuts. I should probably mention that the receptionist tried to convince me the chocolate was without hazelnuts …… that could have ended badly!


My room

I was upgraded from a Classic room to what appeared to be a Deluxe, although it could even have been a Studio Suite – although if it was, I didn’t get the club access which normally comes with a Studio Suite.  The room was large and bright with two windows overlooking the city.


The bed had two small duvets instead of one large one. This is typical for Germany and Austria, but I’m not used to small duvets anymore and woke up a few times during the night as my duvet kept moving around ……


The desk was a good size, but the desk chair was too low to sit comfortably.


The TV was attached to the wall and you could move it from one side to the other to either watch TV in bed or on the chaise lounge. The channel list was impressively wide with channels in English, German and Arabic.


The bathroom had a combined shower / bath with a showerhead. The area around the sink was big enough for all my make-up, creams and toothbrush. The toiletries were the usual Agraria green ones.

The hairdryer was awful. It wasn’t very powerful and in order to use it, you had to push down a button whilst holding the hairdryer.  I’ve stayed at hostels with better hair dryers….


The wardrobe had enough hangers for shirts, blouses, dresses, jackets, t-shirts, trousers, skirts …


The kettle and mugs were on top of the safe inside the wardrobe. There was a socket inside the safe which wasn’t working so I ended up using the plug next to the desk. The tea selection was good, the coffee instant and there was also hot chocolate powder.


This was the view out of one of the windows – could have been worse ….



Compared to the rest of the hotel, the gym was very bright and modern with lots of equipment.


There was also a sauna and a steam room.


Throughout the hotel you find a lot of artwork and chandeliers:



I didn’t eat in the hotel and I did not have club access so could not take a look there.  With Vienna being famed for its cafes, I couldn’t bring myself to pay the inflated price for a hotel breakfast.  Scroll down to the lenghty PS. to see where I went.


The InterContinental Vienna is a good hotel in great location in a beautiful city.

The chandeliers are gorgeous, the artwork classy and my room was open and light but overall it didn’t impress me much. I know that it  is a matter of taste, but I found the hotel a a bit dated with room (sic) for improvement.

There is definitely potential to improve the interior of the InterContinental Vienna (and I say interior as the building itself is very ugly and beyond help!).  I do expect a good hairdryer in a 5* hotel, a kettle with a socket and a comfortable desk chair with an appropriate height for the desk.  Small things can make the difference.

However, for a night or two, the InterContinental Vienna is a good choice thanks to its location if you can get a good deal or IHG is running a decent promotion.

As a redemption, it is 35,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night.  A typical weekend night in October costs €150 – €175 Advanced Purchase so this is roughly on a par with Rob’s current 0.4p valuation.  You will pay over €200 midweek which makes a redemption look a decent deal.

The hotel website is here if you want to find out more.

PS ….. Breakfast in the park

I only had 24 hours in Vienna and didn’t want to waste too much time in the hotel.  As breakfast wasn’t included in my rate and the weather was too nice to sit inside, I decided to go to a restaurant in the Stadtpark right outside the hotel.

The Meierei Steirereck serves breakfast, lunch and dinner:


If you plan to eat breakfast after 10am it’s recommended to reserve a table as it gets quite busy.


I had a mushroom egg dish (BEST EGG DISH EVER!), salmon, avocado with olives and some bread. All the dishes on the breakfast menu were around €6. You could also choose from one of the set breakfasts for around €20. A regular black coffee was €4.  Menus in English are available.  This was closer to the real Vienna than the pricier buffet at the InterContinental.


If you want any more tourist tips:

Walk around without a map – everything in Vienna is pretty and very close.

If you want to see the skyline, you should go to the Domkirche St. Stephans. The Nordturm (North Tower) has a lift and it costs €5.50 to go up.  If you like stairs, choose the Suedturm (South Tower) with its 343 steps – you save €1!


(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Bits: British Airways launching buy-on-board?, Etihad 30% discount code, Concorde memorabilia
'Kids Fly Free' on BA until 1 November to/from Leeds, Newcastle, Inverness and Belfast
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  1. Excellent review. I stayed twice in this hotel. Tried the club lounge, one of the best IC European lounge.
    All your comments are right. Many thanks for this complete and very accurate review.

  2. Nice Cons. My favourite colour!


  3. Stupid question, but how does one use the points of another?

    • Book for 2 adults, on the final page is an option to add the name of the 2nd guest, in the notes put ‘MsX will arrive first and check-in’.

  4. The CAT has, or used to have, the advantage of your being able to check in your luggage the night before your flight at Wien Mitte, saving you the hassle of carting it to the airport. Never used it, though – it’s a complete rip-off.

    Apparently, the IC is going to undergo a complete refurbishment – sounds like it needs it. There is also a Holiday Inn in Vienna which is in the 4th district, in the so-called trendy area.

    Love the comment about the wardrobe… :))

    • I was in Vienna last year and looked at using the CAT so that I could check-in our luggage at Wien Mitte, but IIRC it was only available for a few airlines, and they didn’t include BA!

      As there were two of us, we used a taxi, about €30, which is not much increase on 2 x €12 for door-to-door.

  5. Excellent review, Anika – loved the comprehensive wardrobe coverage of all clothing types, nicely done 😛

    • Lady London says:

      and the picture of the sneakers…

      Oh, and I enjoyed your wonderful comment about the “I assume it’s a bit like comparing Gatwick Express to Southern Rail, albeit without the same risk of cancellation” !!! :-)

  6. I stayed at the Intercontinental in Vienna once in the early 1980s (and never since…). I was a young boy (travelling with my parents) and I remember that the carpets caused a lot of static electricity. Guests where talking to each other about it in the lifts because it became (painfully) noticeable when touching the lift buttons – this would usually cause an electric shock… I bet the chandeliers are still the same ones 😀

  7. We go to Vienna every year and have stayed at the InterCont on a number of occasions. The Hilton at Stadtpark is even better from a location perspective in my view as it is just across the street form Landstrasse, where the CAT direct connection with the airport terminates. It is also a major station and underground. From the Hilton St. Stephans cathedral is less than 10 minutes by foot.
    Your comments on the Steirereck are very well justified. It is a culinary gem.

    • The Hilton treats Diamond members very well – I’ve been upgraded both times – last time to a huge corner suite that was essentially two large interconnecting rooms. Lounge is decent, too.

      • When you’ve recieved upgrades were they paid or redemption stays?

        • One of each. In fact, the first one was my brother’s Visa free night – I contacted CS to ask if my name could be added to the booking and they gave me the status benefits (he has no status).

  8. Great review – I spent a night at the Intercontinental on points last summer and the staff and room were great.

    Just one point re the Nordtum- don’t do it if you’re scared of heights! Once you get out the lift the walkway onto the top of the actual tower is a sort of metal cage bolted on to the side of a wall. I’m fine with heights if I’m on a solid floor but being able to see down through the mesh was too much for me!

  9. OT, Will be going for holiday in Asia as a family (3 adults). I have noticed that IC has started to apply 3rd person charges on some countries if booked on the best available rate. Has anyone encountered if the extra 3rd person charge would be applied on a room book via points+cash? It is understood there will be no extra charge on a reward night booking.

    Or may be better to get the IC ambassador to avoid that?

    • IHG doesn’t have points and cash, it just makes you buy the points and then does a full points redemption, which is what the hotel would see.

      It really depends on the hotel, even if the IHG booking page says the room fits 3 people. Some countries even have charges for a 2nd person. Suggest you book a redemption (it’s cancellable anyway) and check with the hotel to avoid surprises.

    • Also Ambassador is probably good value if you plan to pay for more than 2 nights in an IC. But if you only want to redeem and don’t otherwise stay in ICs then it is of no use.

    • It is treated as a reward night but that would not necessarily avoid the charge.

      AMB gets you free 2nd guest in countries where it is the norm to charge more for 2 in a room, eg Germany. Doesn’t help you avoid a 3rd person charge (I think).

      • Would the point and cash count as one of the accelerate target – outside of the origin country stay?

        • No. It counts as a reward night not a cash night. Unless one of your targets is to book a cash and points avoid for accelerate.

  10. Love this hotel so much and the Club Lounge is probably one of the best in Europe plus the concierge is fantastic! I totally agree re the hairdryer and the exterior, the one in our suite weighed a tonne and it’s a bit of an eyesore from the outside but the views from the lounge are great.

  11. Mark Potts says:

    Fantastic and very timely review, I am off here next week and have a club room, so looking forward to trying out the lounge.

  12. From the pics and review Vienna is on my to do list looks amazing. Whilst the decor isn’t my cup of tea it looks a v nice hotel. Is the shoe shot going to be in every review now?!

    Also can you please list children’s clothing type that the wardrobe would fit in. My 2 1/2year old commented its not just adults that need wardrobe space you know…..

  13. when in Vienna —>

    amazing & atmospheric

    big cellar —> then there’s another cellar under the first cellar!

    • The historic “Twelve Apostles Keller” welcomes you to its romantic arches!

      Three underground floors which are up to 18m in depth protect moments of history. The origins of the building go as far back as the Romanesque and Gothic period with evidence from the year 1339. The masonry of the “Brunnenkeller” (well cellar) which uses stoneblocks characteristc of the period from about 1100.
      The large gothic arch in the upper floor dates back to the year 1500. After its destruction the house was rebuilt in 1561 and was restored with early barock styled gothic arches in the Brunnenkeller. The foundation stone in the “Brunnenkeller” is engraved with the year 1561.
      In war times, for example the Turkish sieges of 1529 and 1683 the lower floors were used as places of refuge. From this time the completely preserved Gothic “Brunnenstube” (dining room) in the cellar was the water source for the refugees.
      The preseved Barock façade was designed by Viennese Architect Lucas von Hildebrandt between 1716 – 1721 and is still one of Viennas most beautiful facades. The house is named after Hildebrant and is a listed building. The house is also known as “Elloisches Haus”. In the building on the first floor there is a “Volutensprenggiebel” (gable arch) with a statue of our Lady of Mariazell with inscrition and chronogram (1717). On September 8, 2007 Pope Benedict XVI visited Mariazell to celebrate a religious service (Vesper) on the occasion of the 850th anniversary of the basillica. At this point all sacred sites of Our Lady of Mariazell were blessed which includes the “Zwölf-Apostelkeller”.

      Well-known artists, poets and painters have gathered over the years since the establishment of the “Twelve Apostles Keller” in 1952 and enjoy the magic and romance of the past years within these ancient vaults.

      We look forward to welcoming you at the 12 Aspotelkeller!
      Open daily from 11.00 a.m to midnight
      (daily wine tavern music from 7 p.m. onwards)

  14. The breakfast looks good, wish I saw more of these options in the UK cafes!

  15. I’m in and out of Vienna quite a bit and have never used the CAT (I thought it was advertised as EUR18 round trip actually; maybe EUR12 is a day return). I always use the S-Bahn, bearing in mind the ticket includes connecting to anywhere in Vienna on U-Bahn, tram or bus. However, it runs only every 30 minutes, far too infrequent for going to an airport. Does the CAT run more frequently? (Remember you can collect Lufthansa M&M miles on CAT bookings).