Praterstraße 1, 1020 Wien, Austria
Photo courtesy of Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom
SO/ ViennaIf you're looking for a contemporary counterpoint to the Austrian capital's staid neoclassical aesthetic, you need only wander down the Danube Canal to the 18-story jewel box that is the SO/ Vienna. Formerly the Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom, the property was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel with all the avant-garde accents you’d expect: a minimalist gray-and-white palette in the 182 rooms (though three all-black suites are also available), cutting-edge art, and a living wall off the lobby. The pièce de résistance, however, has to be Das Loft, a scenic restaurant on the 18th floor, where the panoramic city views are rivaled only by a stunning technicolor ceiling mural by Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist.