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Hotel Bristol Vienna 4.5

Vienna, Vienna Region

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Prime location across from the State Opera
  • Historic building filled with antiques and artwork
  • Rooms combine elegant traditional decor with modern amenities 
  • Beautiful fine-dining restaurant 
  • Dark stylish bar with snacks and themed cocktails
  • Fitness center open 24 hours
  • Modern meeting rooms and ballroom
  • Business center with printers

Cons

  • Classic Rooms are cramped
  • Smoking in the Bristol bar (a pro for some)
  • No coffeemakers in rooms
  • Fee for in-room Wi-Fi (beyond a tiny free allotment)
  • Fee for parking 

Bottom Line

A grand 19th-century institution, Hotel Bristol Vienna is an elegant luxury property right across from the Vienna State Opera. It's a long-time favorite of opera fans jet setters. Filled with marble and brass, antique crystal chandeliers and stained glass, it's seen over a century of esteemed guests. Many of the rooms underwent a facelift in 2013, although some rooms still have older, classical decor. Both traditional and remodeled rooms combine an elegant setting with modern amenities such as rainfall showers, but they lack coffeemakers. Amenities include a fine-dining restaurant and 24-hour fitness center, though Wi-Fi is disappointingly an extra fee. 

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Scene

A mix of 19th-century ambiance and modern design

First opened in 1892, the historic Hotel Bristol has hosted guests from Theodore Roosevelt to George Gershwin. These days, both well-heeled tourists and business guests traveling in style stay here. Though now part of the Starwood hotel family, it retains many of its original classical design elements, with antique furniture throughout the common areas. However, more recent renovations gave some parts of the hotel a striking Art Deco makeover. Art Nouveau museum pieces accompany original oil paintings depicting the turn-of-the-century high society. The lobby has a mahogany grandfather clock from the mid-1700s crowned by gilt statues of trumpeting angels, and the polished brass elevators have tufted leather benches. 

Location

In the city center on the Ringstrasse, across from the Vienna State Opera

The hotel has a unique location directly across from the Vienna State Opera, near numerous cafes, museums, and restaurants. It's walking distance to nearly all of the city center's attractions, including Ringstrassen Galerien's upscale shopping. Kohlmarkt Street -- known for luxury showrooms of brands such as Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel -- is also less than a 15-minute walk away. The U-Bahn station at Karlsplatz is three blocks away, making for easy access to other parts of the city. Expect a 25- to 30-minute drive to Vienna International Airport.

Rooms

Variety of room types with 19th- and 20th-century decor, some with balconies and marble bathrooms

In addition to the Classic and Deluxe Rooms with their 19th-century decor, there are also renovated rooms with a more modern Art Deco look. The Classic Rooms are cramped, with barely enough room to walk between the beds and the decorative fireplaces over to the armchairs, but the classic furnishings, chandeliers, and elegant draperies all exude old-world luxury. Deluxe Rooms have more space and come with Juliette balconies. Older rooms have marble bathrooms with shower/tub combos with rainfall showerheads, while the newly renovated rooms have walk-in rainfall showers and separate soaking tubs. All rooms have stocked minibars, but no coffeemakers, and there's a fee for in-room Wi-Fi beyond a limited free minimum.

Features

Stylish restaurant and bar, modern meeting rooms, and posh business center 

There's no spa or pool at the Hotel Bristol Vienna, but guests can still luxuriate in the Bristol Lounge's Art Deco dining room, which is centered around an open fireplace. The restaurant serves seasonal Austrian and international cuisine, and a buffet breakfast (not included), complete with Viennese coffee. Smokers can light up in the stylish Bristol Bar, which has cocktails with names such as "A Night at the Opera," served alongside snacks like club sandwiches and sausages.

The Bristol also has five event spaces, all modern and fully equipped. These range from small meeting rooms for 14 people, to a ballroom that can accommodate up to 180. The business center has leather armchairs and printers for guest use and while there's a fee for Wi-Fi in the rooms, it's free in common areas. With backlit half-walls, the fitness center looks like a cheap sci-fi set from the 1990s, but the stationary bikes and treadmills area modern and the space is kept in good repair. Most machines have a small TV attached and there are also weight machines, free weights, and yoga mats. Expect to pay extra for Wi-Fi and parking. 

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Address

Kaerntner Ring 1, Vienna, Vienna Region 1010, Austria