Vienna entered the pandemic with a glut of heritage architecture and superior design talent, and emerged with new hotel openings in historic manors, converted banks and former boutiques. Now a second wave of high-profile, prime-location stays is giving the city an edge on other European capitals when it comes to tourism. Here are the most interesting examples of adaptive reuse in the centre of town.
Perched over the Ringstrasse, between the opera house and Albertina Museum, the Amauris repurposes a corner manor designed by architects Willhelm von Flattrich and Carl Schumann (the name pays tribute to the monarch butterfly, and the Schmetterling butterfly house steps away). The interiors, swathed in velvet and lit by contemporary European lighting, revolve around a cast-iron hydraulic lift dating back to the city’s World’s Fair in 1873.
Recently opened on the edge of Stadtpark, Almanac Palais occupies two 19th-century mansion blocks abounding with Baroque details. Rooms pay homage to the throwback Viennese aesthetic of dark woods, gleaming metallics and crisp whites; a pool and spa are enveloped in marble on the floors below.
From late-autumn a new Hoxton Hotel will occupy a heritage midcentury modern building near the city’s Stadtpark – a feature of the historic Ringstrasse. In-house design studio Ennismore will restore the former Chamber of Commerce and add nearly 200 rooms. They’ll have access to a basement speakeasy, rooftop and private meeting space while concerts and events will play out in the auditorium.
Mandarin Oriental has chosen the former law courts for the location of its new suite of residences and rooms. Dead centre of town, in Vienna’s 1st District, they house 151 guest rooms and suites around a central courtyard, with gardens facing Stadtpark. The Mandarin being what they are, the complex will include a spa and swimming pool – plus a collection of 25 luxury residences on the penthouse floors.