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Hotel Altstadt Vienna

More Vienna is not possible: A guest at the Hotel Altstadt Vienna

Our author Nadine was allowed vacation in their own city make. She stayed at the Hotel Altstadt Vienna and experienced a Vienna like in a picture book. Starting with the "Viennese joke" of the employees to the rooms furnished with art to the classic Viennese breakfast with rolls, butter and jam.

As I make my way to the Hotel Altstadt Vienna, the sun is shining from the sky. We have a warm 13 degrees and spring is already in the starting blocks. A perfect day to get to know the city from a new perspective. The hotel is located on Kirchengasse in the middle of Vienna's hip Bobo district "Neubau". As a Viennese resident for many years, I have been there several times, but the old town has remained hidden from me until now.

So I make my way to my accommodation for the night by tram and on foot. I find it quickly because, as I said, I know Kirchengasse. When entering the old patrician house, my companion and I are immediately greeted by a pleasant scent that smells flowery and powdery at the same time. It reminds me of a perfume someone in my circle of friends is wearing. But even after thinking hard, I can't figure out who it is. It doesn't matter, it always smells good.

We go upstairs in the beautiful old building and spot the reception, where we are greeted warmly and told that home-made cakes are served from 16 p.m. How convenient, because when we arrive it is 15:50 p.m.

Staircase in the hotel

A special kind of maze

We are escorted to our room with a glass of lemon and mint water that was offered to us beforehand. Already on the way there we think that we will probably never find our way back to the salon. Because the house is a real maze. A beautiful maze with something to discover around every corner, but a maze.

After a long walk through the corridors of the hotel, where you live next door to the locals, we open the doors to the Josef hoffmann Suite. Upon entering we can hardly believe our luck. In this beautiful room, traditional meets modern, Viennese classic meets international design and the charm of an old building meets contemporary elements. All of them are to be attributed to the namesake of this room, the Austrian architect, designer and co-founder of the Wiener Werkstatte, recall.

Josef Hoffman Suite
Writing corner in the Josef Hoffmann Suite
I leaf through the book about Hoffmann
A design classic

One thing that struck us as we chatted afterwards in the cozy corner: it was as quiet as a mouse. Something I can't say about my apartment, which is 20 minutes away in another district of Vienna and right on a major street. Wonderful, I think, we'll sleep well there!

Art and cake rule at Hotel Altstadt

Briefly rested from our long journey (caution, sarcasm!) we go straight to the cake buffet. There is a kind of sponge cake with berries that is without a doubt homemade and tastes a bit like grandma's. With a piece of it and a cup of tea, we make ourselves comfortable at one of the tables and enjoy the afternoon sun that shines through the window while having a nice chat.

In the Hotel Altstadt Vienna you are always surrounded by art and culture, just like in the center of Vienna. After all, that is also the focus that the hotel has set. You either sit in the salon and enjoy the large selection of books on the subject of design, wander through the corridors decorated with works of art or overhear a philosophical conversation between real Viennese art connoisseurs at the next table. Before the pandemic, there were even regular guided tours through the hotel for external people, and on request you can still be guided through the museum-like corridors and provided with a lot of information, says Saskia Wiesenthal, Marketing and Art Manager and daughter of the founder of the old town Otto Ernest Wiesenthal.

breakfast room
fireplace room

Explore everything on foot

The afternoon and evening activities leave us with many options, after all we are in the seventh district and there is no shortage of hip bars, small galleries and cool concept stores. The Museum Quarter, which is one of the world's largest art and culture areas with around 60 cultural institutions, is also just around the corner. But we decide against a visit and for a little stroll and a pizza afterwards. Incidentally, the area where the hotel is located wasn't the best when it was bought, Saskia tells me. With the density of hip, young people (you always come a little after the new building to be seen) you can no longer imagine that today.

Speaking of people: What I personally appreciate so much about Vienna is its size. Although the Austrian capital has almost two million inhabitants, you get the feeling that you still know everyone here. It is not for nothing that people like to say “Vienna is a village”. Probably true. In an interview, Saskia tells me that she prefers to get around on foot and that she loves Vienna because most of the routes are really easy to cover without public transport, a bike or a car. After all, you can see a lot more and get into corners that would otherwise have remained hidden. The location of the Hotel Altstadt? Pretty perfect for such extended drifting.

By the way, if Saskia has her way, our day would start with a walk through the city center (first district), have lunch at Mochi or Café Ansari in the second district, continue with a visit to the Albertina or Belvedere 21 and finally with dinner in the Herknerin or the Seven North and a subsequent visit to the bar in the If Dogs Run Free. Also a good mix to discover Vienna - especially if you don't know it yet.

Good food meets good stories

Well rested and awakened by the chirping of the birds in the courtyard, the next morning you go down to the salon for breakfast. The buffet has everything your heart desires: teas from Sonnentor (an Austrian company that attaches particular importance to sustainability), various spreads and jams, organic bread from the Öfferl bakery (sometimes the most popular bread in Vienna), vegan Porridge, pain au chocolat, fresh fruit and vegetables and a berry and orange shot as a greeting from the kitchen - perfect for starting the day with enough energy.

delicious bread
I enjoy breakfast

After breakfast Saskia leads me through the house and shows me some of the wonderful rooms. She tells me that photo shoots and film shoots take place in the house again and again - no wonder given the premises. Incidentally, the number of rooms has almost tripled since the beginning, from 24 to 62. More space for more stories, Saskia thinks. And there are plenty of them: from German actors’ woolen suits that were washed too hot, to swarms of bees in the room, to old chandeliers that the hotel got back from former residents of the house and hung in their old place.

picture wall
Another suite
Bathroom with fly motif wallpaper
View of the city of Vienna

After my visit to the Hotel Altstadt Vienna, one thing is certain: this hotel has character, history and, above all, a soul. Be it because of the family that stands behind this house, the courteous employees or the rooms designed with great attention to detail. If you want to experience a real Vienna feeling (without the well-known Viennese grant), then the Hotel Altstadt Vienna is the right place for you.

© Photos: Nadine Pinezits

Nadine is a freelance editor and copywriter. She lives in Austria and commutes between Salzburg, Styria and Vienna. She is therefore either in the mountains or in the urban jungle, but at the same time tries to spend as much time as possible in her heart country Portugal.


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