Much time has passed since the grandees of the latter industrial revolution gathered in Vienna for the 1873 World Exhibition. Despite being purpose-built to accommodate guests of one of the great trade fairs of the time, the Palais Hansen didn’t open its doors as a hotel until last weekâ€”some 140 years late. The new Palais Hansen Kempinski is the result of a two-and-a-half year restoration project led by three Vienna-based designers. The structural considerations were presided over by one of postmodern architectureâ€™s leading proponents, Boris Podrecca, while the interiors were rendered in a combination of old and new Viennese stylings by Hayde Architekten and Jean-Claude Laville. The hotelâ€™s 152 guest rooms and suites are spread out over the seven-story building, which is located on the Schottenring just across from the stock exchange. Palais Hansen has brought in some up-to-date technologyâ€”in addition to being checked-in via iPad, guests will find one of the tablets waiting for them in their room along with the usual Kempinski amenities. Die Kuche offers traditional Viennese fare from head chef Philipp Vogel, while the 70-cover, white-linen restaurant Edvardâ€”named for the buildingâ€™s original designer, Theophil Edvard von Hansenâ€”is a more international affair. It also benefits from a separate entrance from the Schottenring. The spaâ€™s six treatment rooms have an interesting Ottoman aesthetic, while the treatments on offer are administered using Elemental Herbology products. To promote the opening, the hotel is offering a one-night stay priced from US$340, which includes Wi-Fi, breakfast, and a 25 percent discount at one of the bars or restaurants. Reservations can be made here.
Schottenring 24, Vienna; 43-1/236-1000; doubles from US$340