A Tale of 2 Hotels: Where to Stay in Vienna
We book-ended our recent trip to Ibiza, with short visits to Vienna, Austria. Since there were no direct flights to the Baleric Isle anyway, we figured we might as well see someplace new, and Vienna was the shortest, direct long-haul flight I could find from Seoul.
While there, we stayed in 2 different centrally located 4 star hotels, and had a near booking disaster with one of them.
SCHICK HOTELS: Hotel City Central
Hotel City Central bills itself as having “the best breakfast buffet in the city,” (which is why I booked it in the first place) and I’m inclined to agree. Obviously, I didn’t eat breakfast in every restaurant or hotel in the city, but I can say that what the hotel offered for breakfast was impressive by any standard.
Served from 6:30 – 11 in the morning, there was enough variety to please even the pickiest of eaters. From hearty breads, to pastries, to meats, cheeses, eggs, jams and spreads, fruits and cereals, there was A LOT to choose from. There was so much available, that I kept discovering new things to eat, even on our 3rd morning there.
The breakfast is definitely the best thing about the hotel though. Our double room, while comfy and fitted out with all the required amenities (including a minty organic shampoo/body wash that I loved), was really small, and the bed was 2 separate twin mattresses stuck together in 1 big frame. I can’t be the only traveler that really, really hates those kinds of “doubles”, can I? I’ll never understand why hotels insist on using them.
I booked the hotel directly through their website, for 144 euros per night. Normally, I wouldn’t spend anywhere close to that amount on a hotel, but I figured their breakfast buffet would save us money on breakfast AND possibly lunch as well…and it did.
Located in the 2nd Leopoldstadt District of Vienna, the hotel was walking distance to the historical centre, Schwedenplatz Square (which has Starbucks if you really, really, really need a drip coffee), and the Prater with its giant ferris wheel.
The most direct route to the hotel is via Airport Limousine. The bus stop is a 5 minute walk away, and round-trip tickets cost 13 euros. It takes approximately 30 minutes to reach the hotel from the airport.
STARLIGHT HOTELS: Suiten Salzgries
I’d originally booked a 1-night stay on our return from Ibiza, at the Starlight Rengresse Hotel, but due to a dumb mistake on my part (mommy brain), and incredible customer service from the Starlight Group, we ended up staying at their Salzgries location a few blocks away.
Let me explain.
When booking the Rengresse Hotel, I’d accidentally put the arrival date, as the same night as I was making the booking. Unfortunately, we were still in Ibiza at the time.
You see the problem, right?
What can I say? I booked the hotel last minute, late at night, with a toddler running around in circles. When I contacted the hotel about my silly mistake the next morning, after some back and forth, they were gracious enough to offer us a room at their sister hotel for the right date. At no extra cost!
However, this only happened because I’d booked the room at 11:30PM and given an arrival time of 4-5pm the next day, which the hotel had acknowledged via email.
Still…from a policy point of view, Starlight was under no obligation to help us out at all, and the fact that they did, well, that’s a customer service WIN if you ask me.
On top of that, the Suiten Salzgries was one of those places I walked into and instantly wished I had a whole lot more time to stay in. It was more like a studio apartment, than a hotel room, with a mini-kitchenette, 2 televisions, a desk, living room, and separate sleeping area (with a REAL double mattress).
The 4 star Salzgries was even MORE centrally located than the Hotel City Central, in the 1st District of Vienna and minutes from the historical centre by foot. It’d be the perfect place to stay for a weekend in Vienna. It also included a buffet breakfast, which was not as extensive, but still included plenty of hot and cold choices. I definitely didn’t leave hungry!
Add in the compassionate customer service I received from Starlight, AND the fact, that this room cost us 109 euros (last minute), and I’d recommend them over the Hotel City Central in a heartbeat. I just wish I’d stayed with them from the beginning.
Have you ever made a booking booboo? Did it get resolved happily or did you have to pay a price? Share your experiences in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
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