Empress Sissi's countryside retreat is an insider gem, just a few kilometres from Schonbrunn Palace.
The 19th century romantic Hermesvilla is located in the midst of Lainz nature reserve. I love it because its beautiful 15+ rooms are not overwhelming by number; you get an insight into Empress Elisabeth's private lifestyle, and you get a glimpse into local residents' family weekends. The space is great for kids, too, as there is an animal enclosure on the grounds.
The onsite restaurant Hermes served ok food,. Sitting on the terrace overlooking the park was fab.
Beware that Hermesvilla is only open during the spring and summer months.