Review: the Park Hyatt Vienna hotel, a new favourite
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This is our review of the Park Hyatt hotel in Vienna.
After flying to Vienna on a £1.79 Wizz Air flight (read more about that here) I spent the rest of my stay at the Park Hyatt Vienna hotel, going from the ridiculous to the sublime.
Park Hyatt Vienna is the newest luxury hotel in the city. It opened in 2014 after a multi-year renovation of the former 107 year old Austrian Hungarian Monarchy Bank building and forms part of the First Quartier UNESCO World Heritage site.
I don’t blame you if you are unfamiliar with Park Hyatt, although Rob has discussed Park Hyatt Hamburg a few times which is his ‘local’ when visiting his in-laws and very (compared to London or Paris) cheap. The comparatively smaller footprint of Hyatt hotels, and the relatively small presence in Europe, means that they have historically been less relevant to UK travellers although this is starting to change.
Park Hyatt is the most luxurious of the Hyatt brands and has been around since the 1980s, when it launched in Chicago. According to the hotel website:
“Park Hyatt hotels and resorts offer refined residential-inspired luxury experiences in top-tier cultural destinations. Guests enjoy highly personalized and engaged service, renowned art and design and exceptional food and wine.“
I have only stayed at one Hyatt previously – the brand new Hyatt Place London City East – and was looking forward to seeing how Park Hyatt compares to the luxury brands of Hilton, Marriott and IHG.
Having studied photos of the Park Hyatt Vienna I arrived with high expectations. Suffice to say, those expectations were exceeded – the hotel is undoubtedly one of the best hotels I have ever stayed at, and joins the St Regis Mardavall (review here) and Four Seasons Langkawi (review here) in my top three.
The hotel website is here. The hotel gave us our room for free but we paid all of our other expenses.
As mentioned above, the Park Hyatt Vienna occupies the 1915 headquarters for the Austrian Hungarian Monarchy Bank in Vienna’s Goldenes Quartier. It is within 5 minutes walking distance of St Stephan’s Cathedral, the State Opera House and Hofburg Palace:
The closest metro station is Herrengasse which is served by the U3 line. Total journey time from the airport is approximately 50 minutes by public transport (changing at least once) whilst a taxi will take around 25 minutes and costs just under €50.
Inside Park Hyatt Vienna
You’ll have seen the impressive facade of the building above, but the Park Hyatt Vienna is just as beautiful inside as it is out. It is, quite possibly, the most beautiful hotel I have ever been to. As you enter reception and concierge are on your left:
As a listed building almost all period features remain, although the hotel has done an exceptional job in decorating to create a modern aesthetic with art nouveau elements. For example, the large wall art behind the reception desk is an enlarged copy of original art nouveau brooches designed by Carl Otto Czeschka now on display at the MAK museum. As you will see later these are also featured in every room.
Once you have checked in you head up to the mezzanine level:
…. and into the grand staircase on the right. In the centre of the staircase is a glass lift which takes you to all floors including the spa:
Possibly the only drawback of Park Hyatt Vienna is the lack of lifts. Whilst this wasn’t a problem during my stay I can imagine it getting quite busy at busier periods. There is another lift that traverses the public levels but I’m not sure there is another lift to the guest rooms.
Rooms at Park Hyatt Vienna
I was given a Deluxe King Bed room on the fourth floor, which are advertised as being between 40 and 47 square metres.
Whilst many hotels in old historic buildings must compromise on size and shape, all 143 rooms and suites at Park Hyatt Vienna are large. A far cry from the higgledy-piggledy rooms in other historic hotels.
Mine had a little entrance corridor:
…. flanked on one side by the wardrobe:
As you can see, there is plenty of hanging space, plus the usual iron and ironing board, safe, shoe shine and other bits and bobs you would expect to see at a luxury hotel. On the other side is the mini bar, located in this lovely wooden cabinet:
The coffee machine is an Illy. The mini fridge was stocked with drinks and treats:
The hallway connects to both the bedroom and the bathroom, although as you’ll see there is a second door between the bathroom and bedroom. The bedroom is big:
The bed is (rather unusually) the centre piece of the room. Two large bottles of water are on either side of the bed (still and sparkling) and you also have electronic controls for the curtains and lights. Weirdly, you can’t control the secondary blinds which are on a different control board.
A chaise longue and coffee table is in front, facing the TV which is hidden behind the mirror which can be raised electronically:
Behind the headboard is a very large desk:
It is an unusual layout but perfectly convenient and it simply looks stunning. I had a view of the next door building with this cool turret:
And, on the opposite side, you can see the large Czeschka brooch decoration, this time a different design from the one in reception. You can also see the doors to the bathroom:
The bathroom is huge. It is fairly long, with two sinks either side of the door to the bedroom:
I was told about 95% of the rooms feature two sinks, so this is virtually standard across the hotel. Here is a close up of the sink, with the beaten metal sink:
A large shower with dual heads is at one end:
…. with the toilet at the other. A big bathtub separates the two and is backed by this stunning brown marble:
(It is bigger than it looks in the photo – it is a very large tub!)
Toiletries are Bergamote 22 by Le Labo:
The whole thing is seriously impressive. In true Austrian style the designers and architects have done a proper job; it’s hard not to be wowed when you walk in.
I did have one issue with my air conditioning, which didn’t seem to work. After mentioning this to the staff they called in the engineers whilst I was out to dinner and – it turned out – it was indeed faulty. I was offered to move to a virtually identical room literally next door. Whilst inconvenient, the whole process was exceptionally well managed by Michael and it was all sorted by the time I had finished dinner.
Room service and turn down were incredibly discreet, sorting my room whilst I was away at breakfast or dinner. I assume this is by design because it happened on both days. This is the sort of slick service you often find at brand like Four Seasons but is often missing from luxury ‘chain’ hotels, so I was impressed.
Spa and fitness at Park Hyatt Vienna
Another stand out feature of Park Hyatt Vienna is undoubtedly the subterranean spa and fitness centre. Called the Arany Spa (after the world for gold in Hungarian) it is located in the former vault of the bank.
The original vault door is still in situ and features a view down into the pool:
The pool itself is surprisingly large given the constraints of the building and features a motif on one wall inspired by the building’s facade:
The whole thing is undeniably classy and cool. Underneath the spa reception, and slightly lower than the pool are several relaxation nooks:
As well as the steam room and sauna. As this is Austria clothing is optional in this area.
There are also three treatment rooms. I opted to pay for a 90 minute massage which was truly delightful and made me realise just how knotted my back was.
Eating and drinking at Park Hyatt Vienna
The heart of the hotel is the original banking hall which now forms the Bank Brasserie and Bar, home to breakfast, lunch and dinner at the hotel. It is a truly spectacular space with original marble cladding and beautiful stain glass windows:
On the left is an open kitchen with very sci-fi looking extractor hoods that somehow manage to fit perfectly into the otherwise historic room:
A full buffet is available. It is not as extensive as some hotels (the St Regis Mardavall, for example, is absurdly large) but it has everything you could want or need, inclduing a little diy muesli/yoghurt station:
Everything was beautifully presented. Here is what I went for:
There is a small hot buffet featuring full English style items but the majority of hot items are a la carte. Options included truffle scrambled eggs, avocado toast, Syrian eggs benedict and buttermilk pancakes.
My usual go-to of eggs royale was not available, although I’m sure the kitchen could have made it for me had I asked. Instead I went for the avocado toast:
An Austrian sekt is available: a Schloss Gobelsburg Brut Reserve:
At breakfast they also had a range of daily newspapers available including the New York Times. It was lovely being able to start the morning reading the papers whilst I ate.
Dinner is also served in the Banking Hall. The menu is classic brasserie-style, with lots of sea food and meat. Having overindulged in meats over Christmas I wanted to try something a bit lighter so I opted to go for three starters instead.
Freshly baked bread is brought out whilst you order:
I had the tuna tataki:
The lobster bisque with lobster ravioli, which doesn’t look like much but was delicious:
…. and finally, because I felt like I should eat some vegetables (!) a gigantic salad of mixed greens:
It was all very delicious although, like Austria in general, very meat-based. I finished off my evening with a pisco sour at the bar:
The staff were excellent and weren’t bothered by my slightly ad-hoc ordering!
The brasserie appears to be popular with locals as well as guests, and I can see why – the location and food mean it is unique.
The Grand Salon and meeting rooms
One other feature worth mentioning are the meeting rooms and Grand Salon. These are on the first floor, directly above the Bank Brasserie.
Unfortunately, this floor suffered significant fire damage when a fire broke out during renovations and had to be completely rebuilt. You wouldn’t notice, however. As this is a listed building all the elements had to be built in the exact same way they would’ve been built 100 years ago.
This function area has its own dedicated staircase up from reception, making it perfect for private events and galas.
The former bank director offices have been turned into meeting rooms:
One silver lining to the fire is that it allowed the hotel to rebuild the rooms to modern specs, so air conditioning, heating and other mod-cons are all discreetly embedded. There is even a large flat screen TV that rises out of the marble mantle piece.
The highlight, however, is undoubtedly the Grand Salon:
Like the meeting rooms, the tapestry raises to reveal a large rear-projected screen:
The whole thing is stunning and would make an exceptional venue for any special occasion.
As you can probably tell, I was blown away by Park Hyatt Vienna. The design and aesthetic of the hotel is unparalleled – it is rare to see modern and period features combined so well in a listed building. If it is typical of Park Hyatts globally then I can see why Hyatt has such a loyal following.
Given all this you would expect Park Hyatt Vienna to cost an arm and a leg. It does not. €377 per night is a steal for a quality property like this – I have stayed at many hotels that are more expensive and much worse.
Rooms are available from €377 for a weekday night in February, whilst you can also redeem World of Hyatt points from 25,000 points per night.
However, you may be better off booking via Emyr, our Virtuoso agent. Emyr can access a number of additional benefits under the Hyatt Prive scheme, including:
- Upgrade to next category at time of booking (confirmed within 24 hours of requesting upgrade)
- Complimentary Breakfast for two daily for duration of the stay
- $100 USD equivalent hotel credit once per stay
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
Hyatt Prive is currently also offering three nights for the price of two for stays until the end of March, including a 24 hour cancellation policy. The rate you pay is the same as the Best Flexible Rate shown online, and you pay at the hotel on departure. To get these benefits, simply reach out to Emyr via this contact form.
PS. Comments under this article will close three weeks after publication. After this point, you can discuss the hotel in the Park Hyatt Vienna thread in our forums.
World of Hyatt update – June 2023:
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