Grand.  Historic.  Must-see.  Those are just a few words to describe the everlasting appeal of Vienna.

I recently experienced the city Virtuoso style thanks to partners the Austrian Tourist Office, Vienna Tourist Board and Mondial Destination Management.  Virtuoso-style travel includes top hotels and exclusive private experiences.

In Vienna, those experiences included watching the exercise of the Spanish Riding School Lipizzaner stallions from the royal box seats, and touring the art treasures of the Habsburgs at the Kunsthistorisches Museum before it opened to the public that day.  And the hotels that were part of this special trip are included in Virtuoso’s portfolio of the world’s finest properties.

Hotel Bristol Viennahotel_bristol

Opened in 1892, the hotel is famed for its antiques and art.  Its location next to the Vienna State Opera has made it a favorite of opera-goers, who in summer request suites with a view of the outdoor screen showing performances. Some rooms are named after Opera general managers, with regulars asking for rooms by name. The memorable Prince of Wales Suite features a gym with TV and sauna, and a jetted tub for relaxing post-workout.

 imperial_royal_suiteHotel Imperial, a Luxury Collection Hotel

You’ll feel like a royal Habsburg at the official state hotel of Austria, opened in 1873.  Descend the Royal Stairs like nobility en route to a ball, and enjoy the renowned Imperial Torte with its chocolate and marzipan flavors.  The hotel is renovating its ground floor bar, café and restaurant, but one thing that won’t change is the spacious Royal Suites, formerly the private quarters of the palace’s original royal owner.

Hotel Sacher WienHotel Sacher, Vienna

The hotel, opened in 1876, is home to the world-famous chocolate and apricot torte.  It features one of the largest private art collections in Austria, with more than 1,000 pieces.  The 149 rooms and 63 suites have been updated to blend old and new.  A highlight is the marble bathrooms, with details such as a TV embedded in the mirror, heated towel racks and great lighting.  Its location is steps from the Opera House, Imperial Palace and main shopping street.

Ritz_ViennaThe Ritz-Carlton, Vienna

Opened in 2012, the hotel was formerly four palaces, now united and renovated into a contemporary property.  Historic details such as staircases and molding have been preserved, including in the Presidential Suite with its ceiling frescoes, chandeliers and fireplace.  Guests enjoy distinctive offerings including a chocolate sommelier, one of the city’s largest indoor pools (complete with underwater music), and a rooftop bar with postcard-perfect views.

Sofitel Vienna Stephansdomsofitel_vienna

The hotel’s 182 cutting-edge rooms, including 26 suites, are outfitted in a single tone, so virtually everything from chairs to bathroom fixtures is ultramodern white, black or grey. Don’t miss the top-floor restaurant, Le LOFT, where floor-to-ceiling windows offer a 320-degree view, including landmarks such as St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Prater amusement park with its giant Ferris wheel.

Looking for a Virtuoso-style Vienna experience?  Find a travel advisor who specializes in Austria at www.virtuoso.com.  And check back soon for more on Austria with a focus on Salzburg in style.