Originally built as a residence for Prince Phillip of Württemberg in 1863, this grand structure was opened as the Hotel Imperial in 1873. It indeed still resembles a palace, with Greek statues, chandeliers, and high, intricately designed stucco ceilings. The rooms bring imperial Vienna back to life, particularly in the suites. Visitors here feel like royalty, and sometimes they are. Guests have included a who’s who of celebrities and dignitaries, including Queen Elizabeth II, Charlie Chaplin, and Michael Jackson.
It was here that an apprentice chef invented the well-known Imperial Torte in honor of Emperor Franz Josef I, a must-have for any sweet tooth. For some sweet sounds, be sure to check for Bösendorfer piano concerts in the 1873 HalleNSalon.
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Located along the Ringstraße in the First District, Hotel Imperial stands in good company among some of the city’s most illustrious attractions, including the Vienna State Opera House and the Hofburg Imperial Palace. A new luxury shopping area known as the “Golden Quarter” is also nearby and includes brands such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Emporio Armani.
Need to Know
Rooms: 76 rooms, 62 suites. From $405. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Breakfast and lunch is served in the Café Imperial, while a fresh, creative menu is served for dinner at OPUS. Spa and gym details: There’s a simple fitness center with a sauna, but no spa.
Who it's for: Elite travelers with an interest in history and architecture. Those who like to brag about staying at one of the most exclusive addresses in the city. Our favorite rooms: The decor of the blue-and-gold Fürstensuite (Royal Suite), complete with portraits of Emperor Franz Josef I and Empress Elisabeth (“Sissi”), evokes the lavish world of imperial Vienna. Bubbly brunch: Reserve online for the Champagne Brunch, served each Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., in the 1873 HalleNSalon.