In collaboration with Palais Hansen Kempinski
When: September 2017
Where: Vienna, Austria
Length of stay: 3 nights
Room booked: Deluxe Room
Room got: Ring Suite
Price per night: 430€ (however we got a 3rd night free discount, so in the end the room was 287€)
Travel companions: Wife, parents, grandmother, brother’s family (including a baby)
Status / collaboration: AMEX Platinum booking / Collaboration with hotel
I travelled to the beautiful city of Vienna for the first time in the beginning of September to celebrate my parent’s 60th birthday. Like on our family trip to Berlin last year, I wanted to be our “travel agent”, so that I could make sure we got a hotel that was up to my standards – which also meant everyone else would surely be pleased with it.
Because I’d gotten a very good offer from my Amex concierge regarding our hotel in Paris, I decided to ask some help from them once again. And it really paid off, because we got a “3 nights for the price of 2” -offer from Palais Hansen Kempinski including some hotel credit and room upgrades. This was quite a find, because we had four rooms, so the savings were substantial. I recommend checking what Amex has to offer in your destination, if you have a Platinum or Centurion card, because at times they have great options.
I’d never stayed at any of the Kempinski chain’s luxury hotels, but I’d heard many great things about them, so I was excited to get to experience one of their properties first-hand. The Palais Hansen Kempinski hotel is situated on the northwest side of the Ringstrasse-street that circles around the city center. It was easy to walk from the hotel to the Old Town area, museums and sights, because it only took a maximum of 20 minutes even with a very slow pace like ours. The drive from the airport to the hotel took around 20 – 30 minutes, which was quite fast.
A grand facade, flags swaying in the wind, red doormats and finely dressed doormen welcome the quests to this recently renovated building that was originally built as a hotel in 1873. The Palais Hansen Kempinski offers both classic and contemporary luxury at the same time, which is a perfect combination. You can enter the hotel either from the glass doors on the left or the right side of the facade, which lead into a beautiful marble hallway. This hallway opens up into a vast, airy and bright hall. Between these two hallways lies the reception desk, where I headed while the others made themselves comfortable on the sofas at the lobby.
At this point I already knew I’d made the right hotel choice, when the receptionist welcomed me with a wide friendly smile and started to handle our check-in efficiently. While I was handling the check-in process, one of the hotel employees arrived with a silver tray full of juice shots for our whole group. In many hotels the staff is the kind, who you forget immediately after the trip, but in the Palais Hansen Kempinski it’s not like that at all. It was apparent from the receptionist that she would do everything in her power to make our stay as comfortable as possible – not because it was her job, but because she genuinely wanted to. This shows the hotel has heart, not just finely decorated rooms.
I had agreed on a collaboration with the hotel so that me and my wife Tiia would get a room upgrade into a suite in exchange for a blog post. Unfortunately it wasn’t possible for me to ask for upgrades for our entire group, but I had informed them that this was a special trip because of my parent’s birthday. We were already getting the Amex-upgrades to the next room class, but I was extremely pleasantly surprised when the receptionist told me that all of our four rooms had been upgraded to suites! This made everyone ecstatic. Especially my grandmother was pretty dumbfounded, because she hadn’t travelled in 20 years and now she was in a 5 star hotel with a huge suite all to herself. Palais Hansen Kempinski really came through for me, because they made me look like a hero, who had made all this happen on this special trip.
After we arrived to our floor with the glass elevator, the first thing that caught my attention was the long wide hallways. The Kempinski only has 146 rooms, so the hotel is quite small when it comes to guest numbers, but the actual hotel building itself feels massive.
We got a 60 sq m (646 sq ft) Ring Suite, that was facing the main street. When entering the room there was a walk-in closet on the left hand side and a door on the right, that led to the toilet. The hallway opens up into a spacious livingroom with a sofa group, minibar, TV, work desk and two balconies. At the back of the livingroom was the bedroom with another balcony, another walk-in closet and the bathroom.
The decor of the livingroom was very muted, so I would have preferred to have some splashes of colour around the room in the form of sofa cushions or something similar. On the other hand the furniture and all the materials used were of high quality, so the general ambiance was luxurious. The colour-thing is just my own personal preference.
On the other hand the muted colour scheme fit the bedroom perfectly, because it gave the room a cosy and relaxing atmosphere, where it was easy to fall asleep.
The bed was just the way we like it – firm enough, but still invitingly soft.
I especially like the use of marble inside bathrooms, because it is such a luxurious material. The bathtub was on the right hand side of the bathroom behind the door, the shower was on the right behind a separate glass door and the toilet was at the end of the bathroom with it’s own sink.
Of course the Palais Hansen Kempinski uses fancy bathroom amenities that I liked very much. I once again took a couple of bottles with me, so that I could reminisce our stay when taking a shower at home.
In some luxury hotels all of the extras like facial tissues and such are hidden inside their own drawers, so that they won’t worsen the aestethics of the beautiful bathroom.
For some reason I especially liked the way the hotel provided real liquid bath gel inside nice glass bottles instead of the usual shower gel that doesn’t foam up properly.
Everything in the tub and shower was operated with these cool touch buttons. I initially thought they might be hard to use, but I didn’t have any problems with them. This was one of the nice modern touches in an otherwise classic luxury hotel that made the Palais Hansen Kempinski stand out from the crowd. The hotel combined classic and modern seamlessly, which is something I really appreciate.
I have to say I prefer to have the shower separate from the tub, so I loved the setup of the bathroom in the Kempinski. The shower room was spacious and there was a fantastic rain shower on the ceiling, which was one of the best I’ve ever used. The pressure was perfect and the water rained down evenly and not as a sparse drip like in some showers.
When I was talking to the hotel via email before our arrival, they mentioned that they have the best breakfast in town. It’s obvious that hotels only say good things about themselves, but this was the first time a hotel made such a bold statement. My expectations were quite high because of this. So far my favourite breakfast had been the one at the Waldorf Astoria Berlin, so I hoped the Kempinski would be a formidable competitor. Unfortunately we don’t have the technology yet to transmit taste through pictures, so you just have to believe me when I say that the breakfast was amazing!
Most of the time we like to go to the breakfast buffet of hotel’s, but on one morning we just had to order it from room service, so that we could enjoy breakfast in the comfort of our luxurious suite.
I can’t say for certain if this was the best breakfast I’ve ever had, but it is at least on a shared number one spot – it was that good. The hotel restaurant that served breakfast, was extremely tranquil each morning, which is a huge plus in my book. I cannot stand rowdy, messy and hectic breakfast spaces in hotels. Two of the restaurant’s main walls had been covered by plants, which gave a nice ambience to the room.
The actual buffet had been separated from the dining area and they clearly had put a lot of thought into the presentation of food items. The foods had been spread out into their own areas in an attractive way. Breads, pastries, cereals etc. had been placed into one end. Freshly squeezed juices could be found in the middle of the area. The warm items such as bacons, eggs and potatoes were at the opposite end, where you could also order omelettes from the chef. The only minimal critique I have is the fact that you had to make your own waffles with a waffle maker. I’d instead like to order them from the waiters and get them hassle free.
I especially liked the drink options the buffet had. Of course you could order different coffees and teas, but they also had small bottles of delicious ice tea and real Moët & Chandon champagne, which is a huge plus. This was the second time I saw proper champagne at a hotel breakfast instead of the cheapest sparkling wine option.
All in all everything was well made and delicious, so I really don’t have any other improvement suggestions other than the waffle thing. You won’t be disappointed, if you come and eat breakfast at the Palais Hansen Kempinski.
When a customer goes to a hotel chain’s property for the first time, that particular hotel has a big responsibility to make sure that the whole experience goes smoothly. Because even though all hotels are individuals, they also say a lot about the whole chain. For example this year I’ve started to lose faith in a hotel group that I have always preferred so far, so I had high expectations regarding the Kempinski. I’m pleased to say that I was extremely pleased with our stay at the Palais Hansen Kempinski and didn’t have any disappointments there. I will definitely keep this chain in mind when travelling the world. I can especially recommend this particular hotel if you are ever in Vienna and in need of a proper luxurious experience in a place that respects the old, but isn’t afraid to combine it with the new.
Thank you to the wonderful staff for an unforgettable stay! I hope to be back there one day to experience your hospitality again.
So what do you think of this hotel? Have you perhaps been to other Kempinski properties? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below, if you feel like it. If you want to keep up to date on my newest travels, please go and follow the blog on Facebook and Instagram.
Also I want to thank my wife / photographer Tiia for most of the pictures seen here. You can follow her on Instagram here: @blackpluswhiteisgrey