Hotel Imperial, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Vienna

Vienna's historic grande dame

Renowned for its history of hosting celebrity guests and famous writers, Hotel Imperial, A Luxury Collection Hotel is a mainstay in Vienna. A former private palace, the hotel impresses right at the entrance, where the sparkling glimmer of 14 chandeliers, a bouquet of fresh flowers rotating in the glass doorway and attentive footmen to usher you to a red velvet and gold-gilded settee await before you even check in.

The Imperial earned its reputation throughout the 20th century as the preferred hotel of international celebrities such as Sigmund Freud and Charlie Chaplin and has kept it right on up to today, hosting stars like the Rolling Stones, Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga.

Portraits of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Sisi will greet you as you walk up the red carpeted marble stairs, evoking the grandeur of a time gone by that is well-maintained throughout the hotel.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • At a palatial 6,450 square feet, The Royal Suite sprawls across the first floor and is a favorite for visiting royal families and celebrities. It’s been restored to its full imperial glory with silk upholstery, stucco ceilings and antique furnishings.
  • The Imperial has a reciprocal relationship with the nearby Bosendorfer piano makers, so live jazz and piano concerts are held daily in the lobby lounge area.
  • The original baroque style has been maintained in every element of the hotel’s design, with heavily embroidered drapery, rich wall hangings and carpets, royal portraits, crystal chandeliers and authentic antique 20th-century furniture from European palaces throughout.
  • The Imperial Cafe is a favorite for guests and locals alike. Sunday breakfast is the best time to enjoy a kaffee on the terrace of this historic writer’s hub.
  • You can’t leave the Vienna hotel without speaking to Michael Moser, the property’s own in-house archivist who preserves its 150-year history. The property’s chief concierge is such an industry legend that he served as the primary inspiration for Wes Anderson’s main character in the film The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Things to Know

  • For the best city views, request one of the recently refurbished maisonettes on the fifth floor. These accommodations offer fantastic vistas of the Karlsplatz from your own private balcony.
  • During Vienna’s ball season (November through February), the hotel books up quickly due to a partially covered walkway that connects the property to the Musikverein concert hall, a popular venue for the elegant affair. The Imperial also caters to the season by offering champagne breaks before and after the festivities.
  • In the summer, the concierge can arrange a horse-and-carriage ride (complete with a champagne picnic lunch) to help you make the most of Vienna’s fiaker (an Austrian horse-drawn carriage) heritage in fine style.

The Rooms

  • As a former palace, the hotel’s accommodations each come with unique dimensions and spatial advantages. The Royal Suite commands views across the Ringstrasse on the first floor, with palatial amounts of space for visitors or royal envoys.
  • Original architectural elements have been maintained in all room types. You will spy Corinthian columns, decorative frescoes and stucco ceilings.
  • The luxurious bathrooms include Molton Brown or Bulgari amenities, marble his-and-hers sinks and waterfall shower heads.
  • Modern perks, such as flat-screen TVs and desks for business travelers, are discreetly integrated into the baroque design of the rooms.

Nearby Attractions

  • Experience Vienna’s classical music heritage by taking in a live performance at the neighboring Musikverein concert hall, connected to the luxury hotel by a partially covered walkway.
  • Just a brisk three-minute walk from the property, Stadtpark serves as the city’s central green space. Spend the afternoon strolling the grounds and try to spot the golden statue of Viennese composer Johann Strauss before making your way over to the English-style gardens for a refreshment.
  • On the Ringstrasse, the Hotel Imperial provides the ideal location for exploring Vienna’s old town or shopping the luxury labels in the boutique stores nearby.
  • The historic hotel looks out over Karlsplatz, a central hub for Christmas markets, street festivals and local events throughout the year, where you can enjoy live music and food stalls alongside the locals.

Meeting rooms
Getting There
Kaerntner Ring 16, Vienna, 1015, Austria
VIE (18-26 min)  
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