Grand and magnificent, perhaps in equal measure, we compare the Park Hyatt Vienna vs. the Hotel Sacher Wien

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It’s one of those days when we want to give ourselves a challenge…or in this case, the job of comparing, perhaps, two of the most historical institutions of Vienna. One is the former HQ of the Bank of Austria, now turned into a grand and magnificent hotel that’s managed to blend the historic character of the Viennese monument and contemporary designs. Think an imposing columned facade guarded by men in top hats, and interiors that mix polished Italian marble, wood paneling, chandeliers and gleaming brass, blown up into Wiener Werkstätte brooches and inlaid with mother-of-pearl.

The Park Hyatt Vienna is a hotel of a different breed

The Park Hyatt Vienna is a hotel of a different breed

For the other contender in the race, its claim to fame is the most delicious slice of chocolate cake you’ll ever have. It’s like biting into a piece of Viennese history, and the appeal of the Austrian Grande Dame is not lost on anyone. As the guestbook suggests, everyone who is someone stayed here, from Queen Elizabeth to Justin Bieber, but it’s not all about the rich chocolate cake with its slither of apricot jam in the middle… There is the historical ambiance, the legacy of impeccable service and the jewel-tone interiors too, which served as the backdrop of many a ball and cultural gathering of the Austrian nobility.

The Hotel Sacher Wien is a piece of Viennese history

The Hotel Sacher Wien is a piece of Viennese history

But where do you stay on your next trip to the Austrian city? We break it down for you…

The Park Hyatt Vienna vs. the Hotel Sacher Wien

The Park Hyatt Vienna vs. the Hotel Sacher Wien

The Park Hyatt Vienna

The columned facade of the Park Hyatt Vienna is the most eye-catching on Am Hof square

The columned facade of the Park Hyatt Vienna is the most eye-catching on Am Hof square

The lowdown

In Vienna, almost everything feels like a monument…and flanked by churches and palaces on the city’s central Am Hof square, the Park Hyatt Vienna is no different. If anything, its stately facade is the most eye-catching of the lot, and inside, things only get better with the hotel’s sleek interiors, and Vienna’s most lavishly decorated spa housed in the former bank vault.

The Arany Spa

Set in the former bank vault, the Arany Spa is something special at the Park Hyatt hotel

The rooms are also the most spacious in the city, all with large windows that open to let the city in.

What you’ll love

  • The doormen in top hats, ready to open the doors and carry your bags in or simply wish you a good day
  • The hotel’s sleek interiors that channel Vienna’s old-world glamour but blends it with contemporary designs
  • The hotel’s bar, which is one hottest we’ve seen in years

The room to book

Space, high ceilings and materials like dark wood and mother-of-pearl happen in all of Park Hyatt’s rooms and suites, but the Park Suite, with its gargantuan bed and views of Vienna’s old town is something special.

The Park Suite

The Park Suite

Your room also comes with a coffee machine, a minibar and televisions discreetly hidden behind mirrors, while the head-to-toe marble bathroom and toiletries by French perfumer Blaise Mautin are highlights in their own right.

Our coup de cœur

Hands down, the otherworldly Arany Spa. Yes, the lavish decoration of gold mosaic tiles, marble and onyx has something to do with it, but what you’ll remember most is the setting of the underground pool, with Roman-style carvings and underwater classical music. There is no better place to start the morning.

A swim in a former bank vault; we can't think of a better way to start the morning

A swim in a former bank vault; we can’t think of a better way to start the morning

The bottom line

For the Park Hyatt Vienna, there is no beating its location in the heart of the city, and if you’re a little more partial to hotels with sleek interiors, it’s the one for you. It comes with plenty of history, but the years and heritage have been repackaged for the modern traveler.

 

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The Park Hyatt Vienna

The Hotel Sacher Wien

Since 1876, the Hotel Sacher Wien has seen the who's who of the world's elite walk through its doors

Since 1876, the Hotel Sacher Wien has seen the who’s who of the world’s elite walk through its doors

The lowdown

It’s 1892 and Prince von Metternich instructs then 16-year-old apprentice patissier Franz Sacher to create a new dessert for his guests. So the young man sets out to create a rich chocolate cake, but he adds a layer of apricot jam right in the middle, creating, arguably, the most famous chocolate cake in history, the Sacher-Torte.

Franz Sacher's creation remains the world's most famous chocolate cake

Franz Sacher’s creation remains the world’s most famous chocolate cake

Fast-forward to 1876 and the son of Franz opens a luxury hotel right in the historical heart of Vienna, and the cake becomes the hallmark of the house. In no time, the hotel becomes a favorite meeting place for celebrities and Vienna’s high society in the 19th century. To this day, not much has changed about this state of affairs, and the guest list of the Hotel Sacher Wien still reads like the who’s who of the world’s elite, including the likes of Justin Bieber and Queen Elizabeth II.

What you’ll love

  • The hotel’s location opposite the Vienna Opera House
  • The jewel-toned interiors, antiques and curated paintings that make the hotel a piece of Viennese history
  • It’s the home of the world’s most famous chocolate cake

The room to book

There is no bad room at the Hotel Sacher Wien. Done in shades of green, gold or taupe, with minimalist wall panelings and subtly embossed fabrics, there is a timeless elegance to each space, but our top pick has and will likely always be the Madame Butterfly Suite.

The Madame Butterfly Suite is a space fit for royalty

The Madame Butterfly Suite is a space fit for royalty

It’s a room as palatial as they come, with a fireplace, superb original artworks and the most beautiful parquet floor covered with plush carpets. Throw in the terrace with a near 360° view of Vienna, and you’ve got yourself the best room in the city.

Our coup de cœur

The typical Viennese coffeehouse atmosphere of the Café Sacher, and yes, a slice of the Sacher-Torte does not hurt.

The Sacher-Torte

The Sacher-Torte

The bottom line

It’s the hotel to pick if you’re a culture buff. The storied past of the Sacher has earned it screen time in more movies than any in the Austrian city. Think The Third Man, Woman in Gold, and Mission Impossible, while the rooms and restaurants are some of the most ornate in town.

 

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The Hotel Sacher Wien


About Nimah Koussa

The best part about being a travel writer is bringing cities and destinations to life: their stories, secret addresses, luxurious gems and unique holiday moments. And I have been one for a little more than 10 years. From the best bars and restaurants in different cities of the world to hotels where you can check-in to get away from it all, this Magazine is all about making every trip just a bit more meaningful.

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