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Luxury Travel Guide to Vienna

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Oh, Vienna! It’s almost impossible to avoid musical references when it comes to Europe’s capital of all things classical.

Vienna is compact, easy to get around and al

l the major sites and attractions are within 15 minutes of the city’s historic centre. The airport is only 20 minutes away, making the city ideal for a short weekend break.

Vienna is famed for its Baroque palaces and State Opera House and is considered the musical capital of Europe. Add to this a thriving restaurant scene and some great hotels, making the Austrian capital the perfect luxury travel destination.

Best Hotels Vienna
The Hotel Sacher is among the finest hotels I have had the pleasure of staying in anywhere in the world. I consider the hotel comparable to Claridges in London because of its understated class and attention to detail.

If you want a more qualified stamp of approval, virtually every film star, music icon and state dignitary have stayed here over the years, and they have the pictures on the walls to prove it!
I would describe the Hotel Sacher as a boutique hotel in size, which results in the service being personal and attentive (without being in your face).
The hotel was incredibly kind in upgrading us to a Deluxe One Bedroom Suite on the top floor, which was more like an apartment than a hotel room and came complete with an outdoor terrace overlooking the Hofburg Palace.

Breakfast is epic (pastries, fresh eggs any way, sausages, bacon, coffee, sparkling wine – oh go on then why not!), and served up in one of the most beautiful hotel dining rooms imaginable.

Lunch and dinner options are equally good with Michelin star quality food (in quality if not recognition). The cocktail bar stays open until 2 am and provides the perfect backdrop for pre and post Opera drinks.
There is also an onsite spa, which sadly we didn’t get time to experience, but there is always next time!
Rooms start at £500 per night. Suites with a terrace will set you back from £2,000 up to £6,600 for a Presidential Suite.
If you are after something a little grander than the Sacher in scale and size The Hotel Imperial is for you.
Built in 1863 the Imperial was originally one of the palaces lining the new Ringstrasse, but within ten years it had been converted into a hotel.

Rooms are opulent, if a little dated, and the hotel has maintained its air of grandeur with clientele including heads of state and celebrities.
Foodies should sample the hotel’s Michelin star restaurant, Opus.
Rooms will set you back from £365 per night.
Best Restaurants Vienna
The Rote Bar in the Hotel Sacher is open all day from 12 pm until 1 am. The restaurant serves up traditional Austrian fare and is the perfect pre-dinner destination before the Opera, as the Vienna State Opera House is located opposite the Hotel Sacher.

We had two meals here during our stay, and both were equally delicious.
Starters of Goose liver pate, bouillabaisse, wild garlic quiche and black Caviar, blinis and eggs were all superb and perfectly proportioned to leave enough room for the main event.
The Weiner Schnitzel was light and succulent, the Dover Sole melted in the mouth, and the Chateau Briand with Dauphinoise potatoes stole the show on Sunday.

Obviously, we finished off with the obligatory Sacher Torte, which trust me is well deserving of the fame!

Anna Sacher is based in the Sacher Hotel and opens from 6 pm – midnight, Tuesday to Sunday.
The restaurant serves up traditional Viennese dishes in a refined atmosphere. The dining room is eloquent without being stuffy and oozes an old world charm and class as do all the rooms in the Sacher.

Opus serves up local produce with a modern edge. The restaurant is located within the opulent Imperial Hotel and has been awarded one Michelin star.

The two Michelin star restaurant Steirereck is located in Vienna’s Stadtpark on the banks of the River Wien. Steirereck takes local ingredients and produces modern but unfussy dishes that hit the mark with Vienna’s foodie elite.
Book well ahead to get a table.

The unassuming one Michelin star restaurant Walter Bauer oozes charm and serves up classic, no frills Austrian dishes. The restaurant has an extensive wine list featuring some of Austria’s finest.

Restaurant ef16 is hidden away in the backstreets of the old university district of Vienna.
Expect Viennese food with an Italian influence here and there. This restaurant is well on the way to gaining its first Michelin star so get in there early while you can!

Things to do Vienna
The Schönbrunn Palace is the former imperial summer palace in Vienna and is a magnificent example of the over the top Baroque opulence of the time.
The state rooms are impressive and provide an interesting view into Vienna’s imperial past.
The gardens are equally impressive and well worth a stroll around.

The Hofburg Palace is half museum / half imperial residence. The museum contains some wonderful musical artefacts from Vienna’s classical past with pianos played by some of the great composers a particular highlight.

The Armoury is pretty impressive with some truly terrifying medieval suits of armour on display.
The Hofburg apartments provide a view of the grand scale home life of the imperial family.

The Opera is a must see in my opinion for any visitor to Vienna, Vienna is after all the home of classical music. Even if you aren’t into Opera, you should visit to see the State Opera House itself as this is an impressive building dripping in gold leaf and chandeliers.
We saw Faust, and this was an excellent choice. The Orchestra were perfectly in tune, and the Operatic singers were incredibly impressive and note perfect.

We booked through http://www.ViennaTicketOffice.com and our tickets cost 168 Euro (for two).
The Spanish Riding School is well worth a visit and is situated in the centre of the old town in another impressive building. The horses are incredibly well trained, and you have to admire the horsemanship on show.

How to get there
We booked through British Airways holidays (which is great for your Avios points!) and flew from Heathrow, returning to Gatwick. The Hotel Sacher is a 20 minute cab ride from Vienna airport.
A number of airlines fly direct from London and flights will set you back around £250 per person.

I am Rob, the editor of Le Bon Lifestyle. I am married to Gemma and love the finer things in life. My passions are food and travel.

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