For photographs and a breakdown of our trip to Vienna, click here.
In terms of accommodation, Vienna is by far one of the most expensive places we’ve stayed in across Central and Eastern Europe on this particular trip. Searching for a hotel, hostel or AirBnB that concurrently doesn’t entirely break the bank whilst attaining a little bit of luxury was incredibly hard to come by, but I think we managed it.
We stayed from July 24th through 26th which, after city tax, cost a cool €150 in a Standard Double Room at the Mercure Raphael Wien. We have loyalties with Booking.com and so snagged the room a little cheaper than its usual cost of €100 per night. Upgrade that to a Privilege Double Room and you’ll be set back around €150 per night. I actually stayed in both types of rooms and so can offer opinions on them both, later on.
Cool, modern and incredibly tasteful were all I could think looking around the reception area; a relatively subdued colour palette complimented by spots of yellow and purple. The straight cut lines of the tiled floor and walls were offset by the soft, rounded chairs and sofas arranged in a wonderful social and interactive way.
Although a mile or so out from the central tourist district – Stephensplatz, Opera House and City Hall – this particular Mercure is only a five minute walk from one of the city’s largest train stations, Westbahnhof. It’s possible to depart and arrive on both international and domestic trains to this station, and attached to it is a U-Bahn station from which the U3 and U6 lines run. Access to the city centre is cheap, with a simple metro line with links to all the major landmarks. Around the hotel there are plenty of other hotels, shops (supermarkets inclusive) and restaurants. Directly across from the building is a theatre house.
- Standard Double: On our first night we stayed in a Standard Double Room. First impressions were that the room had been recently redecorated and was incredibly modern. It consisted of a monochromatic colour scheme with, what I thought, was the perfect amount of fury other to seek neither sparsely decorated nor cramped. Basic amenities like a kettle, safe, hairdryer and hangers were included as well as a desk and telephone. Complimentary goods like toiletries and a selection of teas and coffees were also made available. My only critiques of this particular room were that the phone didn’t work to contact reception to inform them that our air conditioning had stopped working, however when we went downstairs to let them know they were entirely gracious and upgraded us to a Privilege Double Room. Typically I wouldn’t complain, but at twenty five degrees during the night air con was entirely necessary. Wifi was also incredibly inconsistent in this room, so if you’re going to stay here and aim to get work done be prepared to use the lobby for Internet access or consider the cost of upgrading your room type.
- Privilege Double: Although the decor between the two rooms was similar, the upgraded room was far larger with a separate living space with a sofa and coffee table. The bed was footed by a white leather ottoman and through sliding doors we had a vast balcony with really wonderful views of the city. Additional toiletries were offered in this room such as moisturiser, and there was an espresso machine as well as the other tea and coffee amenities featured in the previous room. The wifi worked flawlessly, as did the phone, and although I’m unsure whether it was because our machine had broken down I am almost certain the air conditioning was better in the upgraded room, too.
Breakfast was not included in the price and cost €12 per person, per morning. As I presume a lot of the hotel’s clientele are there on business and have their stays subsidised, I personally would rather go out and spend €12 on a breakfast somewhere closer to the city centre. I did sneak a peek of the breakfast room, which was small yet clean and a typical Continental breakfast buffet.
As far as cleanliness goes, the Raphael Wien stands in high stead. I am incredibly meticulous when it comes to where I stay and I was overly impressed with the high standard of cleanliness visible throughout the entire hotel.