Walking in off the Ringstrasse into the palatial marble lobby instantly makes guests feel like royalty. This is surely why it has been the first choice of visiting diplomats and celebrities since it was reclaimed from Russian forces in 1955. But the Imperial doesn't rest on its laurels. Charlie Chaplin, Queen Elisabeth II, and Michael Jackson have all stayed here, and thanks to constant improvements, in 2014 the Austrian government awarded it five-star-superior status. Some of the most desirable rooms are on the 4th and 5th floors, as they are on a more human scale than the opulent state suites. As you go higher, life becomes more bourgeois; appointments diminish, as do bathroom sizes. It also has perhaps the sweetest period cocktail bar in town, and the piano man at the Bösendorfer plays everything from Hungarian polkas to Cole Porter. If this superb 5-star hotel has a weakness, it is the fitness room and (despite the lovely sauna) the lack of a spa. Along with the rest of the ground floor, the hotel's Opus restaurant was refurbished in 2013 and Sous Chef Stephan Speiser serves up works of art until midnight; an exquisite post-opera choice.
Kärntner Ring 16, 1015
Our Rating Neighborhood 1st District, on the Ringstraße Transportation U-Bahn: U1/U2/U4 Karlsplatz; tram: D, 1, 2, 62, 71 Phone 01/501-100 Prices €308–€474 double, from €810 suite Units 138 Amenities 2 restaurants, bar, meeting rooms, health club, sauna, room service, limousine service, butler service, babysitting, parking (€35), free Wi-Fi (extra high-speed connection €19) Web site Hotel ImperialBook a Room Now