Palais Hansen Kempinski, Vienna, Austria

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Where is it: On a quieter stretch of Ringstrasse in Vienna, Austria.

Why Go: It has a great location in Vienna, away from tourist-dense shopping strips.

Best For: Couples and business travellers.

Three Things We Loved: The friendly service, the cigar bar, and the apple strudel in the lobby.

The Ultimate Factor: Classic Kempinski Viennese charm.


Originally designed to be a hotel for the World Exhibition in 1873, the five-star Hotel Palais Hansen Kempinski is a stately landmark directly on the Ringstrasse. The building blends historic architecture with modern design, sumptuous luxury and more than a touch of romance from a bygone era. With its sleek lobby, premiere spa facilities, and two award-winning restaurants, the hotel is at once innovative and classic, relaxed and unconventional, and ideal for romantic escapes. Visiting Vienna for the first time you really should opt for a classic, traditional Viennese hotel blending tradition, culture and Viennese charm; the Kempinski offers all this in a modern setting. The staff is welcoming upon arrival and the chief concierge, Daniel Wukovits sets the bar high with his bellowing, friendly approach to all guests entering the hotel. As a renowned member of Les Clefs d’Or concierge association, you are in good hands when asking for tips on where to eat, walk and explore when in Vienna. Another luxury hotel is currently under construction across the street but the noise levels are kept down and barely noticeable. And a 10 minute walk gets you Stephansplatz, which is the main city centre, and the Danube Canal is easily reachable, along with the U-bahn station, Schottenring, and The Sigmund Freud Museum. Overall the service was warm and friendly despite being a well-known chain hotel; this is why luxury travellers still opt for hotels over AirBnB.

The Accommodation:

There are 152 rooms to choose from, including 98 doubles and 54 suites at 68 square metres, and 17 penthouse residences. The high-ceilings bring in natural light and it is refreshing to open up all the large windows despite the view being just another hotel wall, while state-of-the-art technology is available in every room, with an iPad available to call upon room service or book spa treatments, as well as manage all functions in the room at the touch of a button. You can also ask for fluffier or firmer pillows or ring down for their famous apple strudel without having to leave the comfort of your room. The showers are also something for tech-geeks being push-button operated in the marble bathrooms. Rooms come with a fully stocked mini-bar and a Nespresso machine. 

Where We Stayed:

We were accommodated in the Hansen Suite, which was luxurious and very fitting for an iconic and grand stay in epic Vienna. The suite was akin to having two conjoined rooms together, benefiting from two bathrooms and spacious desk, with two wide-screen TVs. It was a delight having such modern technology at the touch of a button to order extra pillows or ice.   

What Else Is There:

The lobby is bright and open, and it was quiet when I stayed during the summer months when locals all go on holidays to their vacation homes and offices are empty. The elegant cigar lounge, piano bar and famed Edvard Restaurant make up the remaining section of the lobby with plenty of seating for weary guests. Head up to the second floor for fresh air on the terrace. The main restaurant Die Küche, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offers traditional and classic dishes. Norman Etzold, Chef de Cuisine is a relatively newly appointed chef and in charge of Edvard, the gourmet restaurant of Palais Hansen Kempinski.  With a Michelin-star, Norman Etzold advances and develops the cuisine of Palais Hansen Kempinski and reinvents his style with every new menu. He combines techniques and flavours from all parts of the world with regional recipes to the natural, fresh and green "Fresh Cuisine" style. Full breakfast is available at weekends till 2pm and afternoon tea comes with freshly baked scones served in the Lobby Lounge daily from 2pm-6pm. Would have been awesome to try the restaurant but it was closed for the summer, but perhaps next time! 

The Verdict:

The Palais Hansen Kempinski is a good choice for novice travellers visiting Vienna. The old-world charm shines throughout this elegant hotel, offering an oasis from the tourist-crowds in the city centre. The staff is warm and inviting, making it an easy option for a return visit.

The Palais Hansen Kempinski is located at Schottenring 24, 1010 Vienna,

Michelle Tchea is the bestselling author of four books about travel, food and culture. Her work has been published in over 100 international magazines, and she has a steady stream of followers on social media reaching millions. Michelle is also the owner of a Organics Company, Healthy Spoon, in Australia and a consulting firm in Europe, PopIntel Group: A luxury strategy firm in F&B. Michelle's new book, Chefs Collective is out now.

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Guest Writer: Michelle Tchea