Georgia All Over
Touring the sensory experiences of a state that refuses to be neatly categorized.
Courtesy of Park Hyatt Vienna
While we were unwinding over the long Memorial Day weekend, Park Hyatt was busy debuting its newest hotel property—its first in Austria.
Set in a hundred-year-old building that once housed the Austrian Hungarian Monarchy Bank, the hotel stands on Am Hof, one of the city’s most beautiful squares. The location makes it the only hotel in Vienna’s Golden Quarter—a UNESCO World Heritage site and new pedestrian-only shopping district, home to Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent and Prada’s recently opened flagship.
“We were inspired by Vienna’s rich artistic history and had a lot of fun with the building’s past as a bank,” says Katherine Melchior-Ray, vice president of luxury brands. “Our design goal was to reinterpret the past with a modern approach. As such, we preserved the most interesting aspects of the building and then made them our own.”
That includes the ceiling mural discovered beneath layers of paint, now restored and on display in the hotel’s main restaurant; the golden-colored, stone-tiled pool area, which plays on its location in the original vault; and the Art Nouveau–style panels of polished inlaid wood, hand-picked Italian and Greek marble and fine leathers and custom-designed carpets featured throughout. “We created a sense of place that celebrates the traditions of Vienna in a sophisticated, uncommon and enriching way,” she adds. “It’s a mélange of old and new.”
The hotel’s 143 guest rooms include some of the largest in the city, with 14-foot ceilings and accommodations ranging between 430 and 1,830 square feet. The Arany Spa features six treatment rooms, a Technogym fitness center and a separate wet area with steam bath, sauna, sanarium and vitality shower. The four food and beverage options include Austrian and international cuisine at The Bank, Wiener schnitzel and tapas at The Pearl, afternoon tea and pastries in The Lounge and single-malt whiskeys and cigars in The Living Room.
“The brand brings to life the culture surrounding each hotel,” Melchior-Ray says. “And we feel that Park Hyatt Vienna does just that.” Rooms start at $510; Am Hof 2; 43-1/ 2274-01234; vienna.park.hyatt.com.