Highly Anticipated Park Hyatt Vienna Opens

Hotel Exterior with Concierge

Park Hyatt Vienna Exterior

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Check in at Park Hyatt Vienna

At the opening of the Park Hyatt Vienna on Thursday night, it was hard to believe that the hotel hadn’t always been there. Right on one of the oldest squares, the Am Hof, in the UNESCO-protected heart of the city, the hotel is gracious and imposing, its great classical stone columns rising up to a pretty attic-style copper roof.

Park Hyatt Vienna's Bank Restaurant

Park Hyatt Vienna’s Bank Restaurant

The spacious presidential suite

The spacious presidential suite

The Pearl Bar

The Pearl Bar

Locals refer to the building as “The Bank” for good reason. Until a couple of years ago, the building housed the Bank of Austria – which explains the grandeur of its interiors. Beyond the imposing lobby, original stained glass windows from the early 1900s send light throughout the enormous space. Pillars and floors are of polished marble. Walls are embellished with multi-coloured stone cladding, painted with gold, lit with chandeliers and at the back, watched over by the bank’s original clock. As a guest was overheard to say: “It’s the closest thing Vienna has to the Georges V in Paris: the most glamorous opening the city has seen.”

Couples Spa Treatment Room in the Arany Spa

Couples Spa Treatment Room in the Arany Spa

Park King Room

Park King Room

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Park Hyatt Launch Decorations

Although the building’s historical details have been painstakingly preserved – and overseen by the city’s Antiquities and Monuments office – the interiors have been given a fresh, 21st-century look by hip Amsterdam-based designers FG stijl. Lounge chairs are covered in cool silvery velvets and super-soft metallic leather. Massive works of art by contemporary Viennese artists adorn the walls. Flowers arrangements are modern and sculptural (on the newspaper desk a row of orange arum lilies with grasses decorated the desk). Even the crockery and cutlery is clean and unfussy: the very antithesis of the fin de siècle architecture.

In most hotels, while public spaces are knock-out, often the rooms are unimpressive. Not here. Not only are the guest rooms the most spacious in the city (the smallest 35square metres, the largest 120), but characterful (of the 143 rooms, there are 100 different layouts, the warm, friendly young GM Monique Dekker told us).

Of the “standard” rooms, the sixth floor are the most characterful: with sloping “attic”-style ceilings and windows (best are road-facing, rather than courtyard-facing). All are similar colours: with unpolished oak parquet floors and limed oak wood pillars and panelling; latte-shaded walls; spacious lime-oak wardrobes; and bathrooms with unpolished marble finishes, capacious showers and baths, pretty beaten silver basins with clean-lined Grohe taps. Spoiling little extras in the bathroom included generous silver tubes of lime-scented Blaise Mautin products and super-soft white towelling robe that (unlike many hotels) were light and velvety.

Then there are the little luxury finishes: the elegant art-deco-style leather-covered desk; the mother-of-pearl-covered coffee table and (our favourite) a handsome wooden stand-alone drinks cabinet with hand-crafted mother-of-pearl handles and inside not just an Illy espresso machine, and local chocolate, cereal-bars and snacks, but an easy-glide fridge drawer stocked with delicious local drinks.

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A delicious Viennese Spread!

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Chocolate Infused with Ginger

The hotel’s Presidential Suite has to be one of the most sumptuous and glitzy in the capital: double-height, with a grand oak four-poster, a elaborate Viennese crystal chandelier, a pretty balcony looking over the square, and a bathroom with not just twinkly silver mosaic tiles around the bath but a whole lapis lazuli wall. All I could think of was just how many necklaces you could make out of it…

As one would expect of the Park Hyatt’s first Austrian hotel, the food at the opening party was sensational. One entire room was dedicated only to chocolates: strips, balls, squares and truffles, arranged in beautiful glass bowls set at different heights. There was a caviar bar. A cheese room where they showed off dozens of the different breads the Austrians breads are known for (gruyere cheese sticks were particularly moreish). And in the open-air kitchen of Bank, where chefs prepare local seasonal international food, little platters were being dished up: the rarest roast rump with grilled artichokes; foie gras with cherries; risotto with morelles. And of course, in the glamorous wood-panelled ballroom, there were platters of famous Viennese chocolate cakes, speckled with gold and adorned with cherries. And that was before one got to the library and drawing room, where the cream of silk-clad Viennese society were sipping XO Hennessey cognac and smoking cigars in a scene that could have been from a 100 years ago.

The next morning, things were a little quieter (the last guests left at 4.30am, a slightly weary looking Monique confided!) Perfect, then, for the spa. Called Arany (Hungarian for gold), it is set in the basement in the former bank vault, where the thick steel door is still installed as a reminder of the building’s past. In what must be a first, the 100m-long pool is floored in tiles the shape and size of gold bullion, overlooked by a handsome wood-panelled Technogym gym, and next to a soothing spa, with six treatment rooms. We soothed tired bodies with a full Sodashi massage, sauna and pummelling massage-rain-shower, followed by a huge array of pastries and breads. Then feeling human again, went out into Vienna to explore.

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Shopping in the Golden Quarter

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Gorgeous Suede Gloves

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A Milliner’s Dream!

The hotel is right at the heart of the revitalized Golden Quarter, just renovated (to a reported cost of 500 million euros), and now home to upmarket shops from Louis Vuitton to Church’s shoes. Keen to see some of the city’s more historical shops, we headed first to see its most famous cake shop: Demel, where within wooden-panelled rooms, they sell every sort of cake one might imagine, from strudels to rich sache torte (some handily packaged in easy-to-pack wooden boxes). Vienna is known for its gloves, so we visited its tiny Stiassny glovemaker, where Mr Stiassny makes gloves, and his sister sells them in the tiny wood-clad store. We popped into the three-story Knize, gentleman’s outfitters to the aristocracy for centuries (where the men among us bought raincoats with removable woollen lining). We ogled the jewels in Schullin jeweller, its shop designed by famous local architect Hans Hollein. We met the seventh-generation shoemaker at Scheer (where all shoes are made to order, and cost from 5,000 euros).

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Schullin Jewellers

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Schullin Jewellers

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Scheer’s Made-to-Order Gold Shoes!

And when we were exhausted – too much partying and way too much shopping in the glamorous Kohlmarkt, the street on which coal was now sold, and which is now the Madison Avenue or Bond Street of Vienna – we strolled back, taking in the grand domed palace, the churches and spires of this immaculately maintained Austrian city. It was a flying visit but next time, it will be to go to the opera, St Peter’s baroque cathedral, the Spanish Riding School, the museums. And, of course, back to the Park Hyatt Vienna, for yet another slice of rum-and-poppy-seed cake.

Synchronised swimming display to launch the Gold Bullion Swimming Pool. 

For more information please visit: http://www.vienna.park.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html

Images source: © Park Hyatt Vienna

A Sneak Peek Of Park Hyatt Vienna, Austria

Grifco were fortunate enough to recently visit Park Hyatt Vienna, which is scheduled to open on 1st June 2014, marking the first ever Hyatt hotel in Austria. Despite being partially hidden behind the construction during our preview of the hotel, the 100-year-old building is magnificent in appearance.

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Park Hyatt Vienna is located in Vienna’s new pedestrian Goldenes Quartier and on the Am Hof square; a central location minutes away from the important city sights surrounded by luxurious shops and fashion houses. The area is brilliant for business and leisure guests of Vienna. We put on our hard hats (safety first!), and had a look for ourselves around the making of Park Hyatt Vienna.

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We toured the hotel’s bar ‘Pearl,’ Ballroom, lobby, ‘Lounge’, Whisky and Cigar Lounge ‘Living Room, restaurant ‘The Bank’, the spacious Arany Spa, several different styled guestrooms and a gigantic penthouse equipped with an outdoor terrace. Although it was still very much under construction when we visited, it is clear to see that Park Hyatt Vienna is filled from top to toe with hints of Viennese culture, art, history and of course, Park Hyatt’s sense of intimate yet understated elegance. Here is a look at some of Park Hyatt Vienna’s gorgeous interiors, fabrics, carvings and materials integrated into the hotel’s design:

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We craned our necks to gaze up at the magnificent ceiling in the hotel’s Ballroom.

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Every detail in the hotel’s interior colouring, textiles and resources have been meticulously sourced to reflect the connection with Viennese culture.

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The building that Park Hyatt Vienna will occupy was formerly an Austrian Hungarian Monarcy Bank, which is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The subtle historic design influences around the hotel, like this dramatic wooden embellishment, are truly remarkable.

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We were able to see some of the luxurious hotel fabrics being used…

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… along with lush metallic tiles, which will be present in the hotel’s spa.

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The Bank will be home to Park Hyatt Vienna’s all-day dining restaurant. It is a former cashier hall boasting an extraordinary sense of space. Check out the ceiling!

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The highly esteemed and passionate team at Park Hyatt Vienna let Grifco see the first glimpses of their incredibly glamorous staff uniforms, which looked as if they were right off the runway.

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Functional whilst highly fashionable, the hotel’s employee uniforms are designed by Magdalena Adriane and Nina Eiber from enVie heartwork.

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Whilst Park Hyatt Vienna is still making final alterations to the hotel and their employee uniforms before the grand opening, we are most impressed with what we have seen so far.

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Grifco are waiting with high anticipation for Park Hyatt Vienna to officially open on 1st June 2014! For further information in the meantime, please see vienna.park.hyatt.com