My wife, 15 year old son and I enjoyed eight nights at the Palais Coburg Residenz in late December, 2012. I recommend the hotel. While our stay was not flawless, the positives greatly outweigh the negatives.
The setting of the hotel – in the 19th century Vienna Palace of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha – is extraordinary. Moreover, the renovation of the property meshed a gorgeous modern addition seamlessly with the historic core. Almost all of the public areas of the hotel are in the modern addition, while all of the rooms are in the historic structure. The design and architecture of the place are spectacular.
Our room was Dom Fernando – classified, I believe, in the hotel’s “Palais Suite” category. I chose it because it was one of the few rooms that was all on one floor – since I’m sensitive to heat, I was concerned that the upstairs of a duplex room, in winter, would be too warm for me.
The room was comprised of an extremely large living room (probably the size of three normal hotel rooms) with a 20 foot ceiling, a smallish 9 foot ceiling bedroom (there was room for the king sized bed with just enough space to walk around it), a small but useful kitchenette, a large foyer, and both a full bath and a half bath.
The appointments of the suite were, across the board, deluxe or even superior-deluxe. Our living room had two couches, several occasional tables, a desk with two comfortable chairs, a dining table with eight chairs and several bookcases. There was a fireplace (non-working) and two 15 foot high windows (these looked out at the neighboring Marriott Hotel). There was ample room for my son’s comfortable rollaway bed.
The suite had three closets – and plenty of space among them for us to unpack our three bags. For extra space, there was a chest of drawers in the foyer.
The full bathroom, while cozy, had two sinks and a tub-shower combo.
The kitchenette had a microwave, a cooktop, dishwasher and small refrigerator. The cupboards had place settings for 4 – and glassware of various types for the same number. There was an individual sized coffee maker with a generous supply of capsules. The contents of the refrigerator were complimentary – and were replenished daily.
Lighting throughout the suite was very good. We had no trouble with wifi or the wired internet connection, which both worked perfectly.
The linens and bedding were excellent.
On the whole, service was good. The hotel gets high marks for the friendliness of its staff, and the sincerity with which they attempt to please. The breakfast restaurant staff (Basteigarten; see my separate positive review of dinner there) and bar staff in particular stood out for their friendly engagement of us. The food at breakfast was excellent.
We requested and were given tours of the historic staterooms of the palace (now used for receptions, special dinners and other functions) and the extensive wine cellars. The tours were well done, and I’d strongly recommend them to others.
Unfortunately, our luggage didn’t arrive when we did. The hotel concierge drove to the airport and retrieved it for us when it did arrive.
There were some problems with service, however. Communication was the unifying thread of these problems.
First, communication before our stay was intermittent. I relayed my request for dinner reservations about 3 to 4 weeks before our arrival. After an initial acknowledgement and my quick reply there was silence for over a week. It took another email from me to prompt a “working on it” answer. A guest shouldn’t have to ask “how are things going?”
Second, we were told in the pre-stay email exchanges that we had a reservation at Steirereck (my top choice). On our arrival, the comment was “good news – there have been a lot of cancellations at Steirereck and we think you’ll get in.” That was unfortunate, since the earlier communication had been that we were in. Moreover, as part of my initial request for reservations, I had made it clear that while I preferred a 7:30 dinner reservation, I would take whatever time was available to get into places like Steirereck. That message didn’t get relayed, and it was only good fortune that my wife repeated it to staff who instantly brightened and indicated that it would be much easier to get in if we were flexible (the good news is, we did get in --- see my separate review).
During our stay, at least, the public areas of the hotel were pretty much deserted. That's not a problem for me, but if you care about a "buzz" in the public areas, then you should look elsewhere. That said, when we stopped by the bar for a drink, we were immediately greeted, and promptly served.
I agree with the earlier reviewer that the security setup of the hotel is very reminiscent of something out of “Get Smart”. There are lot and lots of places you need your room key to pass through. I wonder whether all that is truly necessary.
In addition, this being an older structure, the rooms were heated with steam heat. So, although one could turn the heat off, the room stayed very warm (around 74 degrees – which for us, in winter, is sweltering). The good news was that by running the air conditioning we could cool the room to our normal temperature of 68 degrees. But – and here’s the problem – all the air conditioning vents were in the living room, so the only way to keep the bedroom comfortable at night was to leave our door ajar (defeating any attempt at privacy between the wife and I and our son).
But, all told, after three months, the service issues and quibbles have receded in importance, and what I remember most strongly is the comfort of the hotel, and the graciousness of its rooms and surroundings. I’d gladly return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Palais Coburg Hotel ResidenzThe Palais Coburg in the heart of Vienna offers culture and luxury comfort to its guests in elegant ambiance. Here it is possible to experience six centuries of building history in an architectural piece of art which was built on the former defence wall of the emperor's city, and as it was in the 19th century , the late residence of the House of Coburg-Gotha with its grand ceremonial rooms is still a venue for elegant representation. Furthermore the Palais Coburg is a place for culinary indulgence, presentation of rare wines and a house in which guests, who love the extraordinary, like to linger.35 suites offer guests of Palais Coburg between 54 m² and 165 m² - an average of 100 m². Most of the suites are spread over two stories and each is uniquely furnished and presents a fascinating combination of valuable historic elements, technological conveniences and modern design. Each suite is dedicated to an important member of the Sachsen-Coburg and Gotha family dynasty who was significant in the history of Palais Coburg. In this way the suites of Palais Coburg also honour the service of royal families from Great Britain, France, Hungary, Portugal, Bulgaria, Belgium and Austria.Chef Silvio Nickol and his team are synonymous with creative cuisine of the highest level. The gourmet restaurant at the Palais Coburg is a place of comprehensive, contemporary dining culture. Creative interpretation of classic dishes and exceptionally composed innovations as well as subtly arranged interaction of food and wine are the main topics. In the wine list more than five thousand positions are listed.The sommeliers are devoted to the care and best presentation of fine wines and Chef Silvio Nickol provides adequate creations to accompany the exceptional vintages from the Palais Coburg Wine Archive .The Basteigarten Restaurant we will offer our guests light and creative cuisine throughout the day. Also, the concept with two exceptional premises, the Garden Pavilion and the Wine Bar which exhibits the harmonious integration of a modern architectural element into a historic setting, will remain unchanged.The extensive Bastion Garden is also available to our guests during the warm months of the year. Leisurely hours can be pleasantly spent under the large trees in the attractively arranged garden while enjoying superb cuisine. Exquisite coffee and a comprehensive breakfast choice offer an inspiring day’s beginning. A lunch menu that displays finesse without being pretentious can be enjoyed with an outstanding selection of wines. Freshly baked cakes, pastries and famous Viennese coffee specialties invite one for a relaxing afternoon break. In the evening, our extraordinary selection of wines can be enjoyed with exceptional dishes created especially to accompany them.The Palais Coburg has several event venues which offer various ambiences. The Bastion Foyer in the entrance area exhibits a distinctive combination of modern architecture with historic architectural substance. Above the city mural, one gains entry to the mundane Coburg vaults in the first cellar storey. The red brick walls of the underground casemates take one back to the Renaissance era and immerse the guest in the history of the Palais and the Bastion of Vienna. In the second story, the Beletage, one finds the Johann Strauss Concert Hall and the Ceremonial Rooms which have been restored to their original splendor from the 19th century. Two outdoor staircases lead from the Ceremonial Rooms to the Bastion Garden. The office rooms of the Beletage offer modernly equipped offices in rooms with elegant and historic atmospheres. All of these venues are furnished with high quality materials and modern technology to ensure the guests of Palais Coburg an exquisite experience and make the aspired goals of event organizers possible. ... more less
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