OVERVIEW: Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere opened in April and fits well with Austria’s grand historic persona, showcasing contemporary art and design inside an immersion of local Viennese culture. The property was given to the talents of international star architect and Pritzker Prize winner, Renzo Piano, to design with interiors designed by Claudio Carbone and Gabriel Kacerovsky.
HOW MANY ROOMS? 303 rooms and suites
PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS: Rooftop bar and terrace overlooking the city plus an excellent location by the train station make this a prized option for both business and leisure guests.
WHERE IS IT: Close to Belvedere Palace and the city’s main train station, this new hotel is part of a growing development that mixes business and residential spaces. The walk into the city’s main museum quarter, shopping area, and St Stephen’s Cathedral takes about 15 minutes. Public transportation is easy to use from the hotel, and bikes are also available to borrow.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? The hotel is designed in homage to Prince Eugene of Savoy, an important art collector and leader also responsible for the neighboring Belvedere Palace. Decorators took every chance they could get to create contemporary versions of his baroque past. Like all Andaz hotels, they blend art and trendsetting furnishings with local touches so that each one is especially unique. In striking glass, the building is awash with natural light including the lobby, which boasts a plethora of modern art pieces along the walls and side tables. A grab-and-go coffee and bottled water station sits nearby, and the hotel is particularly proud of its focus on sustainability with few plastics used in the operation (even the straws in the bar are made from fruit).
ROOM FACILITIES: Two glass buildings are connected via an elevated bridge taking guests to their rooms. Windows stretch from floor to ceiling with lightwood flooring topped with area rugs underfoot. Beds have thick duvets and bedside power outlets and switches. One button controls the electronic blinds for privacy. Open-plan baths have large marble showers with excellent water pressure and wide vanities topped with plush towels and toiletries from a local apothecary shop, Saint Charles Pharmacy, made for the hotel. Like other functions at the Andaz, these are dispensed from eco-friendly pump bottles to help reduce plastic waste.
The 44 suites range from two-room options with open living areas and desks to the largest Penthouse Suite with separate dining and entertaining areas, a foosball table, impressive wet bar, and outdoor terrace. A signature feature of all Andaz hotels is the complimentary minibar, restocked daily with non-alcoholic refreshments and snacks. Guests are also treated to an evening social hour in the lobby with free wine and Austrian snacks. It is a popular place for guests to mingle with staff and enjoy the artwork of public areas.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS: Eugen21 is the dining room, which the hotel describes as being inspired by Prince Eugene’s travels through the various pieces of art and vintage plates around the space. Each morning, the community table in the center plays home to a lavish breakfast buffet spread with hot and cold dishes including an entire organic station with local vegetables and healthier options. Guests can also choose from a la carte favorites.
Later in the day, the menu switches to a playful take on Austrian favorites including Wiener Schnitzel prepared various ways as well as spaetzle and a traditional beef broth with liver or ham dumplings. Quite unique is Cyclist, which is meant to be a café-style, all-day eatery for guests and locals with fresh salads, burgers, and sandwiches. What makes it special is that this is actually the staff canteen, and hotel employees can be seen here enjoying the same fresh and healthy options that guests can enjoy. Coffee here is another favorite because of the single estate coffee bean blend made especially for Cyclist. On the rooftop is Aurora, which is the bar and terrace decorated with Nordic finishes meant to recall the Northern Lights. This is a popular spot for locals given the hotel’s tall vantage point and exceptional views of the city. The lobby bar has its own lengthy cocktail list as well as plenty of European and Austrian wines to try.
LEISURE FACILITIES: The fitness center is bright with modern equipment, and a small health club provides access to a sauna and steam room.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES: As one of the larger Andaz properties in the portfolio, this hotel is ideally designed for business travelers and group functions. Like the rest of the hotel, the meeting rooms have natural light and free wireless Internet. Groups as large as 900 can be hosted in the various room setups, which vary from ballroom style to collaborative coworking spaces with living room-style areas.
VERDICT: What this hotel does exceptionally well is weave a regional theme throughout the experience while offering plenty of free extras that surprise and delight visitors to the Austrian capital. Coming soon: Andaz continues to focus on appealing to the senses with its latest collaboration with The Society of Scent that will incorporate local Austrian ingredients, smells, flavors, and memories into a signature scent for the property.
PRICE: Online rates for a traditional room on the random dates we checked start at $205.
CONTACT: Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere, Arsenalstrasse 10, Vienna, Austria, 1100. Phone +43-1-205-7744-1234. Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere