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“Not exactly what I expected...”

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Hotel Altstadt Vienna
Ranked #8 of 358 Hotels in Vienna
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 8, 2012

We stayed at this hotel for two nights. We chose it based on previous comments and the TA status of number 1 in Vienna. I agree it is a unique property and a bit eclectic - but would not rate it so favorably. It is not a "hotel" and should not be listed as such. It is more like a B&B. We stayed in a one bedroom suite called "Sari" (see comments at bottom of this review). It was at the front of the building overlooking another building (which was covered in graffiti ) and behind that , an old church. The windows were great and we could open them fully which was nice. The church bells ring at regular intervals throughout the day. Some may find this charming at first but tedious after several days. Sunday morning starts at 915AM and goes on for several minutes repeating again after 15 minutes. I find it all part of the experience and different than at home. Staff were pleasant but not overly friendly. The reception desk is in a small room with a counter. Felt like I was in the principals office at high school. Not very charming as a first impression. The lifts are small. There are two to choose from. One person and luggage can fit into one lift and two in the other lift. The entrance is not very welcoming and felt like we were in a university dorm and not a hotel. The trek to our room was like walking through a prewar apartment block. Halls were wide and echoey . Interesting artwork near the elevators , but empty walls as you move further in. There are some units which are not part of the hotel and are occupied by private businesses or residents. We had a psychiatrist office near our room. A little too residential for my liking. The suite itself was fine very large and creaky wooden floors. Separate toilet room from the shower room. Some may not like that prospect. One needs to walk through the kitchen area from the "toilet" to the "shower room". For an avant garde , modern hip hotel I did not like the fact there was no clock or radio / iPod docking station. I had to use my laptop to play music. Also no drawers to put small items in. I had to put my socks, underwear , belts etc into a small suitcase and place on a shelf to use as a makeshift drawer. Breakfast was very good but can get crowded. Staff do their best to keep up. They are mostly pouring coffee and cleaning up tables. No one offered us any hot items except for eggs. We were unaware other items could be made available. No menu. The staff tried their best and I could not fault them as it was very busy. It was overall a good experience but I would not agree with the number 1 rating on TA. This hotel is not for everyone. One thing to note in terms of making a reservation. Be very specific about what you ask for. I initially requested a "Junior Suite". I subsequently contacted the hotel to see if the "Terrace" suite was available as I potentially wanted to upgrade. It was not available, but the reservation staff "upgraded" my Junior Suite to a Suite (not the terrace suite I requested). When checking out I was shocked to discover we had been in a "Suite" and not a "Junior Suite". My bill was Euro 160 more than I expected. I spoke to the front desk who were very willing to listen but needed time to speak to the GM. I paid the extra Euro 160 and checked out. The next day I received an email from the hotel offering a refund of Euro 80. There was obviously some misscommunication on the request to upgrade and I ended up with a room I did not really want. The hotel decided to "split" the difference with me. I appreciated this gesture of goodwill. However felt I should not have had to pay for a room I did not request. I chalked it up to experience and will be extra careful to reconfirm back with the front desk whenever I check into a hotel to ensure the room I get is what I reserved. If I return to Vienna I will probably stay in a more typical hotel - such as Sacher. But this property may suit others and I would suggest one read all the comments and make your own educated decision.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Toby_Drake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Altstadt, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Altstadt Vienna, responded to this reviewResponded August 17, 2012

Dear guest,

first of all thank you very much for your visit and for taking the time to provide us with your feedback concerning your experience in the Altstadt Vienna.

We tried to find out what happened with your reservation and why you ended up paying more. It looks like you originally booked a suite and then changed to a junior suite with the request for an upgrade. Unfortunately this caused a little bit of confusion and we are very sorry about this misunderstanding. As it was your birthday and we did have a Suite available we have granted you a complimentary upgrade, but unfortunately forgot to adjust the rate. We are truly very sorry about this, it is by far not within our policy to charge more than what has originally been confirmed.

Please contact us at anytime regarding this incident as the mistake has been clearly on our side and therefore we would like to also re-emburse you for the total amount of overpayment. We are also very sorry, that this could not have been settled upon your departure and that it took a public review to clear this matter.

Regarding the entrance area you are absolutely right that it needs improvement. We are already working on it, the new rooftop has already arrived and once the function room next to the entrance will be finished (works are already in progress) the new entrance area concept will be implemented latest by the end of this year. The reception area will be renewed until the end of March 2013.

Nevertheless we would like to add, that a lot of frequent guests, including artists and actors, have become loyal customers as the personal and cozy atmosphere is what is very much appreciated rather than having a bustling atmosphere in big chain hotels. Due to the fact that the house used to be a residential home the Altstadt simply is different. Every corridor is different, every room is different and there is a maximum of 8 rooms in each former appartement so guests never feel like staying in a big hotel, it is more your "home away from home"! And that is simply our charme...

As far as technologie goes in the room there is a CD/DVD player in all JuniorSuites and Suites. CD's are already provided in the room, a selection of more CD's as well as DVD's can be chosen at the reception desk at any time free of charge. However, we will consider adding I-Pod docking stations for the future!

Some of the other things you mentioned unfortunately we have no influence on. Vienna is still a traditional city with approx. 70% Catholics, so the church bells still ring for the Sunday morning mass. Just as in any other city unfortunately you will also always find graffities, which however are being removed from time to time. We are not happy about this either, but on the other hand it does not mean that it is a less secure area. In fact Vienna has been quoted the best city to live in (by Mercer) for the 3rd time in a row.

We are very thankful to all the wonderful reviews by all of our guests, it is you who have brought us amongst the Top 5 Hotels within Vienna. Of course these reviews always depend on personal expectations and for everyone looking for a small special hotel we are definetely the right choice!

We might not always find the time to reply to all of the comments, but we can assure you we do take them very seriously. So thank you again very much for taking the time to point out several things. It is really a big help in order to improve upon our service and facilities.

Thank you.

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1,136 - 1,142 of 2,469 reviews

Reviewed August 8, 2012

Excellent boutique hotel ideally situated in a lively neighborhood with plenty of interesting restaurants and shops, but just a short walk from major museums, Hofburg and Ringstrasse. The rooms are large, pleasantly air conditioned, comfortable, clean and well appointed. The staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful in booking restaurants and taxis, recommending museums, providing directions, etc. Our teenagers liked the modern art and decor, the atmosphere and the excellent buffet breakfast. The hotel bar/lounge was a perfect place to end an evening out. I would happily stay here again and recommend this hotel highly.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Westchester13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2012

Excellent boutique/ art / historic hotel in Vienna, located behind the museum quarter. The reception staff are super friendly and really helpful. Rooms are comfortable and kept immaculately clean by the friendly cleaners ( thanks for the chocolates on the pillows) The hotel also has a fantastic chill out bar / lounge area , also serve an excellent continental breakfast lots of variety and FRESH definitely would recommend this hotel.
Helen
Pimlico London

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Helen K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2012

I'm in two minds about Hotel Altstadt.

I loved the original design of the Matteo Thun room in which we stayed and the romantic decor pleased us immensely as did the cleanliness, the spaciousness and the working air-con in the summer heat. However, when it comes to the bathroom you will need to love your partner A LOT as the glass door is insufficient when it comes to any form of sound-proofing. We had to operate a strict policy of "stealth" and "turning up the television" for those moments, which did put a damper on any romance the room may have instilled, but then again, we are British and we have our hang-ups.... The open shower was not a problem for us as there was a modesty curtain. The shower's drainage was not so good though and we felt we had to keep an eye on the length of time we were running the water so as not to flood the bathroom. Other than that, the bathroom was lovely. For the rest of the room, we loved the comfort of the bed. My partner liked having his own single quilt in it, but I personally prefer to share a large one. The choice of TV channels for the English-only viewer was rather poor and we missed not having the BBC World News, if nothing else. CNN is no comparison.

The view from our room was unbelievably disappointing and as it faced an internal courtyard full of fire escapes. We felt overlooked and kept the curtains closed for the duration of our stay.

Breakfast was a pleasant experience. The room was bright and well-kept and the coffee and eggs cooked to order were a delight. The lady in attendance that morning was friendly, jovial and welcoming. The only thing that could have improved upon the experience would have been the offer of toast with our eggs. Mmmm, fresh toast....

The afternoon tea and cake was a mixed experience. It seems tea is self-service and free, as is water. Coffee, which was offered as lounge-table service, comes at a €4 charge which was only mentioned after it arrived. It has gone in my personal records as the most expensive coffee I've ever consumed. No cake arrived on the day we were there, and we gave up after a while and went on our way without.

Now for my biggest gripe - the Wi-Fi. I am of the firm belief that free access to the internet should be a given in any reasonable hotel these days. Come on - it surely takes some of the burden off the reception and concierge staff. Altstadt ticked the bill in this respect, offering free Wi-Fi, but every time I stopped using it for a few minutes, it disconnected and I had to go through the login process again using a laborious username and password that I had to check for the first 20 times or so I used it (I've now entered it so many times, I will probably take it to the grave) . I've never encountered a Wi-Fi service like this before. Please - sort it out!!!

Would I stay here again? Well, it was much nicer than the Mercure Wien Zentrum I stayed in last month so I guess it would be a YES, but only if they could sort out the bathroom door and the Wi-Fi. Failing that, I would be looking elsewhere. My partner on the other hand LOVED IT and so far has not had a bad word to say about it, even though seemed occasionally vexed with the Wi-Fi too.

Room Tip: I'm not sure what to advise. Our room was spacious and clean, but it had no view except of an i...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Eva B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2012

What a find! The hotel was fabulous right from the start. They organised a pick up for us from the airport and it was completely plain sailing from there on in. Unbeknown to me my husband had upgraded us to a mini suite which was gorgeous - sitting room, bedroom, bathroom with bath and shower, and walk in wardrobe. The room was comfortable and welcoming with everything we needed, from maps of Vienna and recommendations of places to eat. The breakfast in the morning was brilliant - fruit, yoghurt, cereals, meats and cheeses, pastries and the most delicious breads. I am coeliac but they provided gluten free options which is something that not all hotels will offer without complications. The location of the hotel was ideal - close enough to the city and all it's attractions without being right in the thick of things. Perfect!

Room Tip: Rooms and suites at the back of the hotel are away from the road and therefore quieter but the area...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank ChristineS_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Hotel Alstadt last week for 4 nights and it was perfectly located for exploring Vienna and a delightful place to stay too. The room was generously proportioned with a very comfortable bed. When we discovered that the pillows were not to our liking they were very quick to replace them for feather ones and from then on, we slept well. The bathroom was good and provided lovely products too. If I had to be picky, the TV was a little on the small side for the size of the room and the choice of channels very limited, but hey, we were there to explore and see Klimt, not watch TV. The breakfast was excellent - a huge choice and beautifully sourced and presented. And the bonus of afternoon tea was a treat and greatly appreciated. The staff could not have been more helpful and they even provided umbrellas for our one day of rain. I highly recommend this hotel if you visit Vienna and want to be in a good area without the crowds. And if you do stay here, do try the Kristian's Monastiri Restaurant which is just around the corner - it's amazing.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Andreanna57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2012

When our cab dropped us off I was sure I had made a big mistake and booked a 2 star hotel. However, after spending 2 nights there I think I would give it 3 1/2 stars for the facility and 5 stars for the staff and the breakfast. The hotel shares the building with people who live there full time. Each guest room is different and ours was on the third floor and fairly quiet. The only problem was that a family lives above our room and we could hear little children running around for quite a while. Our bathroom was modernized and nice and the bed was comfortable. It also had air conditioning which was a must in July. The staff was over the top nice and helpful and the breakfast buffet seemed to have everything we wanted. They will even makes eggs or omelets to order. The facility needs a lot of improvement especially the entrance. There should also be more lighting available. We appreciated the owner's love of art which was displayed throughout. The location is off the beaten path but it seemed to work well for us. It is in the Spittleberg district which is very eclectic. We like to walk so it would take us about 30 to 40 minutes to walk to the central shopping area. Be sure to find the outdoor market. What a treat.

Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
3  Thank FLB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
altstadtvienna, General Manager at Hotel Altstadt Vienna, responded to this reviewResponded August 3, 2012

Dear FLB, dear guest,

thank you very much for staying at the Altstadt on your recent visit and for taking the time to provide us with your feedback concerning your experience in our house.

We understand that often the entrance area is not what one would expect, especially with the reception one floor above. But that is part of the charme of not beingjust like any other hotel!

Nevertheless, just recently we have installed a new rooftop above the entrance and further improvements will be done as we are currently renovating a new function room next to the entrance. We are expecting to be finished by the end of October, this however does not influence the comfort of your stay as this is already concerning the building next door.

We are also truly very sorry to hear that you have been disturbed by children running above your room. The few privately owned appartments left in the building are mainly occupied by singles, couples or elderly persons. We are assuming one of the tenants must have had a visit during the summer holidays, as otherwise no small children live in the house anymore. Again we are very sorry for the disturbance but we hope we could have been of help, once you have reported this to the front desk.

Of course I have also already shared your wonderful comments about the "5-star-staff" with my team, this is very much appreciated and really made our day!

Thank you very much for helping us in improving upon our services and facilities and it would be a pleasure to welcoming you some other time in the near future again.

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Additional Information about Hotel Altstadt Vienna

Address: Kirchengasse 41, Vienna 1070, Austria (Formerly Romantik Hotel Altstadt Vienna)
Phone Number:
Location: Austria > Vienna Region > Vienna > Neubau
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Vienna
#2 Business Hotel in Vienna
#7 Romantic Hotel in Vienna
#8 Luxury Hotel in Vienna
Price Range: $170 - $443 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Altstadt Vienna 4*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the middle of the city’s 7th district and next to Vienna's Museumsquarter, behind the splendid façade of an old patrician house, one finds the Hotel Altstadt Vienna. Since its opening in 1991 the stylish 4-star hotel has been a favourite hideaway for art-lovers, design aficionados and cultural insiders. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Altstadt Vienna Hotel Vienna
Altstadt Hotel Vienna
Vienna Altstadt Hotel

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