Overlooking the Danube Canal and a short walk across the canal from Stephansplatz, the heart of Vienna, the Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom has indefinitely changed the landscape of the Austrian capital, establishing itself as not only an architectural landmark, bearing the signature of Jean Nouvel, but also setting new standards in luxury hospitality, in a class of its own.
Inspired by the Stephansdom, Jean Nouvel has created a timeless, sleek and contemporary design. Through the cleverly chosen materials, of the highest quality and the impeccable finishes, the Sofitel is heavenly comfortable, cosy and warm. Functionality has not been overlooked, attention to detail having been of utmost importance.
Each and every corner of the hotel lends a subtle yet impressive WOW factor, from the vertical natural garden, a modern kaleidoscope, hard shell window shutters which recreate the frame of a camera to capture the stunning views of the city not to mention the colour scheme of rooms.
‘’Living in a work of art’’ is the probably the best way to describe the highly personalized customer service which the Sofitel excels in its Vienna property, from name recognition of guests, the intuitive approach and the quality of dining, the property sets the highest standards for a luxury property at a calibre so difficult to achieve, especially in nowadays economic environment.
The fact that Sofitel was involved from the architectural plans was probably one of the main ingredients behind its success, especially in a city like Vienna, renowned for its luxury accommodations and a sophisticated and very demanding traveller.
It was such a pleasant surprise to discover Sofitel’s rare achievement in Vienna, to attract the otherwise, very conservative locals –firstly by its contemporary design mall (housed within the same building, today known as the Jean Nouvel Tower) which is home to some of Vienna’s finest contemporary designer showrooms and secondly by the impeccable French cuisine of the Le Loft Restaurant, Vienna’s only roof top restaurant at such a high level (18th floor) with panoramic views of the entire city.
Breakfast at Le Loft is probably the best starting point of discovering Vienna for the most discerning travellers. Besides the views, the quality of service and foods, many with a genuine Austrian twist transform breakfast into a most unique experience.
As for Jean Nouvel’s interior design, especially the art installations on the ceilings of the Le Loft and the winter-garden, which is partly dedicated to the SPA are impossible to describe in words – one must experience them. Each of these installations have a uniquely subtle connection with the city and the views. The changing light from the outside and each personal perspective and viewing point are just some of the synergies which provide for this artistic ‘’dialogue’’
My room, a generously sized Junior Suite was one of the entirely white accommodations – every single item in the room except the TV sets being of white colour, making for a glamorous yet very comfortable, residential feel. The already legendary Sofitel bed is indeed a cocoon of luxury, which makes one not want to leave the bed in the morning… Complimentary high speed wi-fi, two LCD Tv screens and one in the bathroom, as well as the sophisticated lighting make up the high tech offering of a truly luxurious 21st century luxury hotel room.
French chic is sensibly ‘’hidden’’ in many details throughout the hotel from the greeting of the doormen, the bespoke teas created especially for the Sofitel Vienna, the natural beauty line of Cinq Mondes at the SPA or the very scent of the public spaces. Contemplating the views of the city at different times of the day, returning to the hotel after a walk, watching the boats which take you in one hour, on the Danube, to Bratislava and the hot whirlpool with a diamond shaped glass ceiling at the SPA – were among my favourite moments at the hotel…
Oliver Petcu in Vienna
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