Best Historic Hotel: Built in 1869, the Hotel Imperial (tel. 800/325-3589 in the U.S., or 01/501100; www.luxurycollection.com/imperial) is the "official guesthouse of Austria." It has presided over much of the city's history, from the heyday of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to defeat in two world wars. All the famous and infamous of the world have checked in. Wagner, for example, worked on key sections of both Tannhäuser and Lohengrin here in 1875, and some of the great cultural icons of the 20th century -- from Margot Fonteyn to Herbert von Karajan -- have been guests.
Best Trendy Hotel: Created by the famous English architect Sir Terence Conran, Hotel Das Triest (tel. 01/58918; www.dastriest.at) attracts the artistic elite to its stylish precincts near St. Stephan's. Originally a stable, it's come a long way, baby, and now is elegant, luxurious, and stylish. Rooms are decorated with a distinctive flair.
Best for Business Travelers: With state-of-the-art business equipment and an incredibly helpful staff, the Hotel Bristol (tel. 888/625-5144 in the U.S., or 01/515160; www.westin.com/bristol) is the choice of international business travelers. Some suites are large enough for business meetings, and room service will quickly deliver hors d'oeuvres and champagne (for a price, of course) when you close the deal. Many guests like to treat their clients to dinner at the Bristol's elegant restaurant, Korso bei der Oper.
Best for a Romantic Getaway: The outrageously ostentatious private home of the Coburg dynasty has been turned into Palais Coburg Hotel Residenz (tel. 01/518-180; www.palais-coburg.com). Some of the suites here evoke the heyday of the Rothschilds and are as posh as anything in Vienna. You are guaranteed absolute privacy if you desire that.
Best for Families: Only a 4-minute walk from St. Stephan's Cathedral, Hotel Kärntnerhof (tel. 01/5121923; www.karntnerhof.com) is a small, kid-friendly hotel in the center of Vienna. It offers a superb location, attentive staff, and good prices. Rooms are spacious enough to accommodate families and come equipped with modern amenities.
Best Moderately Priced Hotel: In the heart of Old Vienna, less than a block from the cathedral, Hotel Royal (tel. 01/515680; www.kremslehnerhotels.at) was completely rebuilt in 1982. In this price bracket, not many hotels can compete with the Royal in terms of class. In the lobby, you'll find the piano Wagner used when he was composing Die Meistersinger Von Nürnberg.
Best Budget Hotel: Near the Opera in the heart of Vienna, Hotel-Pension Suzanne (tel. 01/5132507; www.pension-suzanne.at) offers a warm, inviting interior and affordable bedrooms furnished in a comfortable, traditional style. The Strafinger family welcomes you to their attractive, cozy accommodations, some equipped with kitchenettes.
Best Pension (B&B): Near the busy Mariahilferstrasse, Pension Altstadt Vienna (tel. 01/5226666; www.altstadt.at) has an elegant atmosphere exemplified by its colorful, velvet-laden Red Salon lounge. The rooms don't disappoint either: Each is the work of an individual designer and has high ceilings, antiques, and parquet floors. This is hardly a lowly pension, but a fair-priced and prestigious address with its own special charms.
Best Service: The Hotel de France (tel. 01/31368; www.hoteldefrance.at), near the Votivkirche, is hardly the best hotel in Vienna, but the attentive and highly professional staff makes a stay here particularly delightful. Room service is efficient, messages are delivered promptly, and the housekeepers turn down your bed at night.
Best Location: Although it's no Bristol or Imperial, the Hotel Ambassador (tel. 01/961610; www.ambassador.at) is definitely where you want to be. The hotel lies between the State Opera and St. Stephan's, with the Kärntnerstrasse on the other side. The Ambassador has enjoyed its position here since 1866, and has played host to both Mark Twain and Theodore Roosevelt.
Best Health Club: The Hilton Vienna (tel. 800/445-8667 or 01/717000; www.hilton.com) sponsors the Pyrron Health Club (under different management) on its premises. This is, by far, the most professional health club in town, with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities for both men and women.
Best Hotel Pool: Of the three hotels in town that have pools, the biggest and best is in the Euro Freizeit und Fitness spa in the windowless cellar of the Vienna Marriott (tel. 888/236-2427 in the U.S., or 01/515180; www.marriott.com). It's about 11*7.2m (36*24 ft.) and ringed with potted plants and tables. The spa has a pair of saunas, an exercise room, and massage facilities. Marriott guests enter free.
Best Views: Overlooking the Danube Canal, the 18-story Hilton Vienna offers panoramic views from its top floors. Plush accommodations and elegant public rooms also lure guests. The cityscape views are quite dramatic at both dawn and sunset.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.