Hotel We Love: Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom

Featuring impressive panoramic views and edgy design, this hotel wows.

An all-white room at the Sofitel Vienna. Image courtesy of the Sofitel Vienna.

There are so many things we love about Vienna – the undeniably chic cafés, the fine dining, all those delectable and flaky sweets, tarts, and cakes that this Austrian city is famous for (FYI, cut back on calories before heading to Vienna so you can unbashfully indulge in all those cakes and tortes with no shame). You’ll spend your days strolling the quaint streets, popping into art museums, books stores and shops along Kaerntnerstrasse (the main shopping strip), but by night you’ll need a soft spot to recharge your batteries, get an amazing night’s sleep and maybe even have a drink or two. You can stay in one of Vienna’s classic, old world hotels, or you can do something completely different and opt for an ultra-mod, boarder line stark, all-white room at the Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom.

First off, this hotel is perfectly located. You’ll be steps away from the Schwedenplatz 2 tram station that runs a loop around the city centre (taking to all the major hotspots, cafes, museums and best shopping) and across the Danube canal. It also happens to be located just across the canal from Mott am Fluss (one of Vienna’s hottest daytime cafés and bars by night — stop by for a latte at the very least). Behind the hotel is a growing mix of up-and-coming designer shops and a neighbourhood that is on the rise. It’s the perfect mix of tradition in the city centre and trendy, artsy neighbourhoods.

But what makes this hotel so unique in Vienna is the crisp rooms decked in white from top to bottom and floor to ceiling windows (for some impressive panoramic views of Vienna’s multi-coloured rooftops). You’ll be starting each day with a clean slate. Designed by Jean Nouvel, it’s unlike any other hotel in Vienna’s city centre (where you’ll find more traditional European hotels) and was inspired by fashion, art, architecture, and is a reinterpretation of Vienna’s famed St Stephens Cathedral. If you’re in the mood/lucky enough you might make it into one of the hotel’s very few domineering all black rooms, or a soothing all grey room (the hotel has 182 rooms and 26 suites, with mostly white rooms and a select few black and grey rooms). An all-white room might not always jive with tourists. It definitely has an edge and a design feel too it, but they also have a surprisingly warm and inviting feeling about them (maybe it’s the skyline or maybe it’s the fact that it seems so fresh and clean).

The hotel’s spa, So SPA, follows the same minimalist and clean design. It’s all about clean lines, amazing window views and ambient lighting to set the Zen-like mood. Your best bet treatment-wise? Book in an Indonesian body scrub (that uses products by Cinq Mondes and Carita) to soothe tired skin after a day of cycling the city centre, or walking through the countless museums.

Le Loft at the Sofitel Vienna. Image courtesy of the Sofitel Vienna.

Another can’t-be-missed feature of this hotel is the rooftop bar and restaurant aptly named Le Loft (thanks to it’s incredibly high ceilings and open concept). Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, it’s a must to visit this happening of-the-moment spot – you’ll cozy up next to Vienna’s in-crowd and social set at the bar, dine across from posh ladies in head-to-toe fur and can cuddle on couches next to the floor-to-ceiling, wrap around windows showcasing Vienna by night. The ceiling is what is the most spectacular though. A mix of bright autumn hues (think greens, reds, oranges and yellows) deck every inch of the ceiling casting a pretty glow on the restaurant (it can even be seen from street level). Book a table by the window for dinner, or stop by for pre-dinner bevies at the bar set in the middle of the room with tucked in booths and high bar stools. Hint: Ask the bartender to mix you up a special champagne cocktail before heading out to explore Vienna’s nightlife.

Where to Find:
The Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom
Praterstrasse 1
1020 – Vienna, Austria
(+43) 1 – 906160
sofitel.com