Almost as surprising as finding a property in Vienna with a completely French name – Sans Souci, which means “without a [single] care” – is the fact that an intimate luxury boutique hotel is ensconced inside a palatially magnificent edifice in the heart of the city’s museum district. The building itself is historic, dating back to 1872, when it housed a restaurant where immortal composer Johann Strauss premiered his Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka.
The museum quarter location of Hotel Sans Souci Wien is especially fitting, given that this urban hotel-cum-serviced residences project is the result of the debut collaboration of the upscale real estate Sans Souci Group with the exclusive design collective YOO, co-founded by renowned French designer Philippe Starck, of Elysee Palace fame. The impressive interior matches not only the grandeur of the exterior, but is practically a modern art museum in its own right, with rooms and public areas graced by a superb collection of modern art, in particular many Roy Lichtenstein lithographs.
It is actually akin to two different experiences stepping into the hotel in the daytime or the evening: the polished white stone exterior decorated with purple awnings is bathed after dusk in an attractive pinkish purple hue, while the lobby’s glittering chandelier also takes on a royal purple look after dark. The lobby’s plush couches are inviting at any time of the day, and the unassuming yet handsome registration desk does nothing to mar the welcoming look of the hotel upon arrival.
Even something as mundane as entering your guest room is special, as you are greeted by a multilingual smart TV whose picture – also highlighted in purple – is embedded in the large mirror above the vanity table. All 63 of the hotel’s rooms and suites – three categories of the former and two of the latter, with two accessible units – are adorned with designer furniture, beginning with the ultra-comfortable French Treca beds and mattresses, enhanced with light down duvets and premium, hypo-allergenic bed linens by Rivolta Carmignani.
Additional conveniences in the guest units include user-friendly climate control, personal laptop-sized safes for valuables, pillow menu, and kettles for tea service. Coffee machines are not required because of a tremendous – and rare – perk provided by Sans Souci: complimentary coffee service to your room 24/7 (with or without optional Viennese specialties).
The spacious bathrooms are in every way equal to the excellence of the bedrooms. Virtually all the hotel’s bathrooms boast toilets that are separate from the washroom area, and many of these toilets have hygienic washing capability. This writer especially appreciated the oversized faucets and bathmat, while premium Molton Brown toiletries and plush towels and robes complete the picture.
Like every eco-conscious hotel these days, Sans Souci encourages guests to think twice before sending towels to be laundered instead of reusing them – but this property goes even further in its commitment to sustainability, with the establishment of a Green Team and adherence to the standards of Green Globe certification.
Naturally, free high-speed WiFi extends to all units and public areas of the hotel, which is a proud member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts L.V.X. Collection, as well as the associated Preferred Pride and Preferred Family designations. Affiliation at this level comes only with a passionate dedication to service, such as is provided by the property’s concierge.
Sans Souci courtesies extend as well to valet parking – although a car is hardly necessary in the city when staying here, since the hotel is just steps away from Vienna’s efficient tramway and subway system – and within easy walking distance of all the important museums, and onwards to leading landmarks, sightseeing attractions and glittering shopping thoroughfares.
The local neighborhood abounds with popular restaurants and eateries, but fine dining may also be enjoyed in the hotel itself: at the Veranda, the proud recipient of a Gault & Millau toque. The restaurant serves lunch on weekdays and dinner on weekends, but is most notable to all guests for its extravagant – and complimentary – daily champagne breakfast, a delicious combination of individual tiered trays of delicacies and made-to-order main dishes served to your table.
Indeed, champagne is a highlight not only of breakfast, but a signature hallmark of Sans Souci, whose Le Bar stocks no fewer than 60 brands of the world’s finest vintages. Champagne degustations are a favorite activity, and the house’s classic champagne cocktail is not to be missed.
Last but not least, the property’s fitness and spa areas are also, to be sure, state-of-the-art, featuring Technogym exercise equipment, as well as the longest swimming pool (20 meters) of any hotel in Vienna. The fitness room is open around the clock, and the lap pool, which shimmers under crystal lusters, from 07.00-22.00.
The spa is full-service, with a trained complement of therapists offering a variety of pampering massages and beauty treatments. Even if you do not order one of these optional sessions, hotel guests are invited to use the gym and spa facilities – including three saunas of varying temperatures, although no whirlpool bath – as part of the generous overall service package served up at Sans Souci.
See more at the official website here.
Published rates: Double rooms start at USD $265 per night, and suites at $345, champagne breakfast included. Check the hotel’s website for special deals and packages. You can also go to Booking.com to compare rates and make a reservation.
Text and photos by Buzzy Gordon, who was a guest of the hotel for purposes of review. Additional photos courtesy of Sans Souci Wien (individual credits here). Special thanks to the Vienna Tourism Board for making the accommodation arrangements for the author.