45 years from the opening of its first hotel outside the U.S., Hyatt Hotels Corporation inaugurated in Vienna, in 2014, its seventh Park Hyatt branded property in Europe. The opening marks a new chapter in the development of the Park Hyatt brand, the highest ranked of the Hyatt brands, introducing a unique interior design and bringing the pillars of the brand DNA to new heights. Considered Austria‘s largest privately held real estate conglomerate, SIGNA Holding set out on a most ambitious plan, to create a new upscale destination in the heart of the Austrian capital city, perfectly blending luxury retail with a world class luxury hotel (Park Hyatt). Today, the Goldenes Quartier includes major international luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton (second largest store in Europe), Prada, Chanel, Miu Miu etc.
By opting for Park Hyatt to operate the hotel, the hotel’s owners Austrian based SIGNA Group embraced a long term vision for the Goldenes Quartier, the larger real estate development of which the hotel is part of. At the same time, the choice of Park Hyatt was also a very sensitive and risky choice, eventually Hyatt Hotels Corporation coalescing to a completely different interior design concept, which is strikingly different than 80% of Park Hyatt hotels, which are known for their understated contemporary luxury. Ironically, the
Occupying the former site of the Austrian Hungarian Monarchy Bank, the interior design of the Park Hyatt Vienna was entrusted with FG Stijl, a Dutch based firm which already worked with the owners of the hotel on the Hyatt Regency Dusseldorf, one of the finest hotels of the Hyatt Regency brand. The connection has actually gone beyond architecture, the General Manager and the Public Relations Manager of the Park Hyatt Vienna transferred from Hyatt Regency Dusseldorf.
Speaking to Colin Finnegan, c0-founder of FG Stijl, I understood that the aim of SIGNA and Hyatt has been to recreate a long-term unique project which will forever change downtown Vienna. And they have succeeded. Today, the Am Hof Square where the Park Hyatt Vienna sits has become one of the most prestigious areas of the Austrian capital, a sophisticated enclave just steps from Stephansplatz.
The building’s majestic exteriors match the impressive interiors, which FG Stijl has masterfully recreated to highlight functionality, warmth and sophistication. There is a WOW factor in every inch of the property, with tremendous attention to detail. I could help but share with Colin how lucky they were as architects to be given such a fantastic brief, where they could surface the finest in every detail and use of space. For instance, The Bank, the hotel’s main restaurant is flanked by a huge open-space with very high ceilings which is exclusively dedicated to art exhibitions.
Other exceptional examples include the Chanel inspired staircase which adorns the fashionable Pearl Bar which overlooks the luxury stores of the Goldenes Quartier, a perfect spot for all day dining – ideal for pre/post shopping drinks. Another highlight of the hotel, actually my favorite F&B outlet is The Living Room which offers a lavish collection of rare whiskeys and cigars from all over the world, with a dedicated humidor space.
The careful restoration of every single interior design element is complemented by reconverting some spaces, such as the vault of the bank which now houses the Arany Spa (in Hungarian, Arany means Gold). Colin also explained that the interior design of the hotel varied accommodations was also bespoke.
The designers have also made use of unique, locally commissioned art pieces, such as the sculpture made up of pins by local artists, which adorn each room and is re-interpreted in the Pearl Bar. Mention should also be made that throughout the entire hotel, there are several spaces, such as the main ballroom which have been recreated by using the same materials and finishes techniques to replicate the originals which did not make the test of time.
My suite on the fourth floor has magnificent views over the Am Hof Square, with very high ceilings and a Bathrooms may feel, to many, as even more luxurious that the accommodations themselves. Exquisite large marble pieces, sophisticated lighting make up a most plush and warm atmosphere. As many spaces throughout the entire hotel, I could not feel as being homey but as being part of a stately accommodation one enjys while visiting Vienna.
You will love the indoor swimming pool which can be observed from the two sides see-through glass enclosed Fitness and Relaxation Rooms, the lobby space in front of the reception, not to mention the glass enclosed main elevator which takes you to your room or suite. Food quality is outstanding and so are are all drinks!
With the exception of Front Office, Concierge, The Living Room and the Pearl Bar, all other outlets, especially the Bank presented major service challenges. I noticed additional service glitches and a robotic service with housekeeping. Despite its luxury facilities, there is also room for improvement at the Arany Spa, both reception and quality of treatments. However, I am certain that over time, the hotel will fine tune these service challenges, especially considering my stay was within less than 6 months from opening.
Oliver Petcu in Vienna
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