Vienna can look back on a long and interesting history, but some of the hotels adapted to current standards have a great history and a long tradition as former hostels and first overnight establishments. We ventured a look into the founding years of the first or still existing hotels and put together the oldest hotels in Vienna.
Hotel Stefanie – the oldest hotel in the city
The Taborstraße was at the beginning of the 15th century an entrance road into the center of the imperial city. Duke Albrecht V. had ordered in 1433 that the transients have to spend the night in hostels. As a result, many accommodation establishments settled in Taborstrasse in particular.
One of these companies was the Hotel Stefanie, to which there was a first documentary mention as “Gastgeb” on July 8, 1600. Due to the marriage of Crown Prince Rudolf and Stephanie of Belgium, the hotel was renamed “Hotel Stefanie” in the same year 1888. Already at that time the company had more than 110 guest rooms and at that time was one of the largest overnight accommodations in Vienna.
Hotel König von Ungarn – one of the oldest hotels in Vienna
Originally the building was built as a horse stable and guesthouse of the dignitaries of Stephan. The Hotel “König von Ungarn” has been run in its present form since 1746, as evidenced by the first written mention of the hotel in a Viennese magazine.
Between 1867 and 1918, this property housed predominantly Hungarian nobility and magnates. In the guest book of the house are still the perpetuations of celebrities to see. Today, the historic house is open to all guests 🙂
Austria Classic Hotel Vienna- “Hotel Nordbahn”
In 1838, today’s Austria Classic Hotel Vienna was opened under the name “Hotel Nordbahn”. Due to its convenient location, the hotel was already very popular with Vienna travelers. A plaque commemorates Max Steiner, who was born on May 10, 1888 in the hotel. He became famous for his film music for the film Casablanca, furthermore he was responsible for the background music of more than 300 Hollywood productions.
Hotel Austria Wien – Hotel „Weißer Wolf“
Right next to the former Roman military camp Vindobona, Hotel Austria is located in one of the oldest parts of Vienna. At the end of Wolfengasse, a cul-de-sac between the street Fleischmarkt and Heiligenkreuzerhof, is the original dormitory, which dates back to 1457. For several centuries it also served as the inn “Zum weißen Wolffen”. In 1848 the inn was demolished and a new building was built, which was run from 1850 as the hotel “Zum weißen Wolf”.In 1955 the hotel was continued under the name “Hotel Austria”.
Hotel Ambassador Wien – the oldest hotels
A place for the grain and flour trade, it became a guest house “to Mehlgrube” with ballroom and concerts (most famous conductor was Ludwig van Beethoven) and then converted into a so-called casino with concert hall and gastronomy.
It was followed by the conversion into a hotel, which was opened in 1866 as Hotel Munsch. The neo-Renaissance building was rebuilt by the sale of the business and opened in 1898 as Hotel Krantz, later Krantz-Ambassador. Already then, the new hotel was one of the most exclusive in the city of Vienna and was highly prized by the nobility and politicians alike. The list of guests included Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known as Mark Twain. As a “permanent guest” (he lived from October 1898 to May 1899 in the Hotel Krantz) he watched from the balcony of a room the funeral procession of Empress Elisabeth “Sisi” to her last resting place in the Imperial Crypt.
In 1945, the name was reduced to Hotel Ambassador as part of the reopening.
Hotel Sacher – Luxury hotel in a central location
In 1867, Eduard Sacher, son of the “inventor” of the Sachertorte, opened the Hotel Sacher. The hotel is world-famous not only for the cake and the hotel, but also the Café Sacher is one of the recommended destinations worldwide for a visit to the imperial city.
Grand Hotel Vienna
Originally, on the site of the luxury hotel, there was a Maison Meublée, a furnished house. The building was converted into a tourist accommodation and opened on 10 May 1870 as the first Grand Hotel in Vienna. It is noteworthy that it already had from the beginning of over 300 rooms or 200 bathrooms, which could be reached via a steam-powered elevator. For the communication, there was even an own telegraph office.
Hotel Motto – Hotel Kummer
Another veteran of the Viennese hotel series is located along the Mariahilfer Straße. In 1870 the Hotel Kummer was built, whose reputation was mainly supported by the role in John Irving’s bestseller “Hotel New Hampshire”. Recently the hotel is undergoing a renovation and is due to reopen in 2020 as a “boutique hotel motto”.
Also among the oldest hotels of its kind is the Arcotel Wimberger. In 1873, this hotel was opened on the occasion of the World’s Fair as “Hotel Wimberger”. In 1994, a new building with 225 rooms and 21 suites was presented.
Hotel Imperial – Luxury hotel on the ring road
In the years 1863 to 1865, the hotel was built as Württemberg’s palace. Hard to believe, but at the back of it extended to the St. Charles Church a generous park. For the World Fair in 1873, the magnificent residence was opened as Hotel Imperial.
Going through the revolving door of the entrance area today actually goes on the way, which once drove the horse-drawn carts. Where today is the main entrance was formerly a driveway for the horse teams, which stopped at the grand staircase. Guests were thus able to walk directly from the trolley to the stairs and to the first floor. In 1912, this driveway was closed.