The Hotel Beethoven located in Vienna is like a book that waits to be read page by page. This boutique hotel surprises you with many different stories and reveals the character of the city floor by floor.
The hotel is located at the Naschmarkt in the 6th district and it's perfect to get the right feeling for Vienna. Here it is, where life really takes place. If you enjoy art and music in a hotel setting, keep on reading.
Checking-in at Hotel Beethoven
We arrived in Vienna in the afternoon by train from home (Vorarlberg), the most western part of Austria. Traveling by train in Austria is easy and comfortable, plus it allows me to work online, or get some stuff done. Even if you first come from Germany or Salzburg, hop on a train and there you are in Vienna. If you book early enough, you can travel even in a more relaxed manner, namely, first class for less and you find good deals throughout Europe.
From the underground station Karlsplatz, Hotel Beethoven ist just a short walk away. It's beautiful neighbor is Theatre an der Wien with Papagenotor. From here basically everything is quite close, like the Opera, the Museumsquartier and many traditional Viennese coffeehouses and it's also close to the main shopping streets (Mariahilfer Strasse and Kärntner Strasse). Of course there are many other shopping areas as well, only waiting to be discovered by you.
As soon as we entered the hotel, we immediately could feel the warmth and the nice atmosphere in this hotel. We were waiting in line as the front office lady talked to a guest. As soon as it was our turn, she smiled friendly and immediately knew about our reservation and our names. She briefly explained everything we needed to know and then let us go to our room by ourselves which I also liked. Seriously, I don't know any wish you could have, that won't be fulfilled here. We had to print something during our stay and they provide two computers in the lobby with printers.
The hotel was bought in 2009 by Barbara Ludwig, the owner. Step by step she refurbished one floor after the other. Back in 2010 she started with floor number 5. She has found some great architects who created different concepts for each floor in order to portray Vienna from different sides. This gives the hotel a very unique touch. The interior combines new furniture together with antiques which she collected, many of them from her parents house. That's only one of the reasons why it feels so homey and has such a personal touch.
It's because the owner is there most of the time and she told us she can't walk around without changing anything. Her frequent guests appreciate the fact, that whenever they return, something has changed. Her employees laugh about the fact that she can't leave a floor without changing something. Even while talking to us, she arranged mirrors and touched a few pieces and put them in a new order. The other day as we walked downstair, we found a beautiful side table that was in a room the day before and was now outside in the floor. I love the fact that she can still change so many things and she told us she has so many ideas in her head and can't wait to try them all out. You can sense the love she feels for this house and that this is her true passion. Also, we thought it's no co-incidence that a hotel called 'Beethoven' is finding a new owner with the last name 'Ludwig'. Some things just belong to each other. To no surprise her nickname is 'Ludwig from Beethoven' (Die Ludwig vom Beethoven).
Our room was located on the 4th floor - Theatre an der Wien, being the neighbor of the hotel. The theatre was also the residence of Ludwig van Beethoven for a while. Our room (number 407) is dedicated to Plácido Domingo, Spanish tenor, conductor and arts administrator. He has recorded over a hundred operas. And during our stay he was quite present and as a huge print on the wall behind us.
At Hotel Beethoven you find different room sizes. 'Papageno' has 17 square meters, 'Selektion' is a bit bigger with 22 and 'Salon' offers 30 square meters. If you travel with a bigger family, 'Quartett' is the room type you are looking for. Two rooms that are connected (22 and 16 square meters), with two bathrooms.
Our room was incredibly spacious and very welcoming. It's perfect for couples or if you travel with a friend because you have enough space. There's a comfy sofa where you can read or go through your city guide book. The desk allows you to get your work done during your stay. We were welcomed to our room with a delicious chocolate and a post card with a picture from Hotel Beethoven. I really liked the idea of having own postcards, there's a bigger selection at the reception. The room is bright and has two windows in it. As the hotel is old, you can still open the windows completely (what a luxury!)
Those new hotels where you're not even able to open the windows? Ugh! My personal nightmare. I love to open the windows and let some fresh air in, especially at
night or int he mornings. Here it was perfect as it was quite hot during our stay and at night a cool breeze came into the room. The heavy curtains
allow you to have a good sleep so you won't wake up too early the next day. But don't get the impression this hotel doesn't have A/C. Of course
they do, but somehow we (or many other Austrians as well) are not really used to A/C and I prefer opening the windows instead. I loved the mix of the colors that was chosen for this room and
still we felt, nothing here is a coincidence. It seems like the colors and the materials are all playing so well together, it feels very harmonic.
The bathroom was a bit smaller than usual, but I liked it as the toilet was in another room, just next to the entrance of our room. I found it very convenient as we were much quicker in the mornings or evenings when we both were about to get ready. The bathroom provided everything we needed. As you can see in the pictures, it had an extra mirror by the side which I really liked in the evening for doing my make-up. It's obvious a woman was planning this hotel to think of such details. The products are nice with organic lemon and the shower was perfect too. At the door are bathrobes provided together with slippers and a hairdryer (high quality, what else?). During our stay it was so hot outside, that I didn't feel the need to put on a bathrobe, but I could only imagine how cozy it would be to snuggle into it during the colder months. I did put on the comfy slippers though after I had my shower. Don't get the impression you would need them. This hotel is perfectly clean. The staff is so precise and does a great job, no matter if it's in the breakfast room, at the reception or in the room itself. Wherever we went, the staff was smiling to us and greeted us friendly. That's why I felt so welcomed there and I could feel that all those smiles were not put-on. Those were honest smiles from people who love to do their job and try to give their best every day. And at this point I just want to say thank you. I really appreciated it.
The room is full with little details that are waiting to be discovered. There are two different bedside lamps for example. Next to the sofa is another lamp, so you can change the light as you wish. There's coffee and tea where you can help yourself or a bottle of wine, just in case. But also there's coffee and tea the whole afternoon downstairs in the Beethoven lounge.
Now, quick topic change. I actually thought I wouldn't talk about this. But, I can't keep this little detail for myself. I have traveled quite a bit in Asia but I have never been to Japan so far. I heard from their crazy toilets with a lot of functions. Now, let's just say Hotel Beethoven could compete against those toilets, believe me. You better try it out yourself and let me know what you think.
A sneak peak into some other rooms
As already mentioned, every floor has a different concept and a different theme. The most special things I have encountered are historical editions of wallpaper, old framed theatre programs, 3 D prints, and photographs. Together with the Technical Museum and Kunsthistorische Museum a few impressive things were realized. We had the pleasure to walk together with the owner through a few rooms.
1st floor: Coffeehouse literati
Vienna's coffeehouse culture is something that is known beyond all borders. The first floor therefore is dedicated to known coffeehouse literati as Egon Fridell, Hermann Bahr, Peter Altenberg, Friedrich Torberg, Joseph Roth, Karl Krauss, Hugo von Hoffmannsthal, Stefan Zweig and Anton Kuh. In each room you find personal biographies, quotes and copies where you can skip through a few pages or read mroe, if you'd like. If you're not staying on the first floor, no worries, in the library of the Papageno lounge you can find some more books. I'd prefer to read there as you can enjoy coffee and a good view, isn't this the best combination together with a book?
As you can see these rooms are in a very different design that our room on floor number 4. The colors are darker, also the bathroom has a darker design. The tiles are brown, and the lights in the room have a different shape. Those are just a few details that are different.
2nd floor: Secession
Another famous neighbor of Hotel Beethoven is the Secession. The hotel is a proud patron of the Secession. In the rooms are some posters from past exhibitions and also a few reprints. The rooms are dedicated to Josef Maria Olbrich (architect and founder of the Secession), Gustav Klimt, Beethoven Frieze, Koloman Moser, Oliver Laric, Friedrich Kiesler, Egon Schiele, Francis Alys and Marc Camille Chaimowicz.
3rd floor: Ludwig van Beethoven
Not only is Barbara Ludwig the owner of Hotel Beethoven, she also sees some similarities between the Biedermeier lifestyle of Beethoven and her own childhood. Her mother was very fond of classical music. Therefore she was a very passionate piano player and loved to collect antiques. A few of those are now in the hotel, among others the grand piano. The rooms on this floor are dedicated to Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller (Biedermeier painter), Josef Hayden, Franz Liszt, the Viennese waltz, the Strauss dynasty and of course, Ludwig van Beethoven himself.
4th floor: Theatre an der Wien
The Theatre an der Wien is a historic theatre. Completed in 1801, it hosted many works of theatre, opera and symphonic music. Now it serves mainly as an opera house. The name derives from Wien River, which once flowed by the theatre side, "an der Wien" meaning "on the banks of the Wien". Unfortunately in modern times, the river has been covered. On this spot you find now the Naschmarkt, a well-known open-air market. The rooms are dedicated to Fanny Elser (ballerina), theatre programs, Nikolous Harnincourt, Plácido Domingo, Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes and a few more.
5th floor: Vienna of love & desire
Here's a fact I had the pleasure to learn in this hotel: The 6th district was in historic times the laundry-girl district (Waschermädl-Viertel). Laundry girls met along the river and were looking for flirts. Therefore this is the theme for the 5th floor. This floor is designed in stronger and darker shades. The floor looks mysterious and when you walk along you start wondering what the rooms inside could look like. It feels like there is a dark secret behind each door, waiting to be disclosed. The rooms are dedicated to Muse Alma Mahler (founder of psychoanalysis and sexual research), Katharina Schratt (mistress of emperor Franz Josef as well as a friend of Sissi), Josefine Mutzenbacher (a fictional character), Arthur Schnitzler (author), Empress and Mother Maria Theresia, and Hedy Lamarr (famous actress, especially in the 1940s well known in Hollywood and also an inventress).
Room number 504, dedicated to Katharina Schratt. Her performances as an actress impressed Emperor Franz Joseph and she was invited to perform at Kremser Castle. Soon she became the Emperor's companion and it was said that Empress Elisabeth (Sissi) encouraged the relationship between the actress and her husband. The Emperor enabled her a generous lifestyle with two mansions and even paid her gambling debts.
6th floor: Strong women of the Fin de Siecle
I was in love when I read that Hotel Beethoven dedicated one floor especially to women. It's devoted to all strong women who played an important role in history. Here you find rooms for The Red archdutchess (favorite grandchild of Emperor Franz Josef), Emilie Flögge (artist and designer), Bertha von Suttner (first female Nobel Peace Price recipient), and Berta Zuckerkandl-Szeps (prominent Viennese Salonniere).
Room number 602 is designed for Emilie Louise Flöge. She was an Austrian fashion designer and the life companion of painter Gustav Klimt. She traveled to London and Paris to get to know the latest fashion trends. After 1938 she lost most of her important customers and had to close her salon, but still worked from her home.
Breakfast with a view
If there's one thing you should know about me is, that I am such a breakfast lover. Personally, I find it hard to understand why some people don't see any joy in having breakfast and just quickly take a few sips of their coffee. During the week I mostly just have time for a quick breakfast but without it, my body is not really able to work. That's why it's like a little ritual that I love to spend time on during the weekend.
At Hotel Beethoven, you find the breakfast area on the mezzanine floor, just as you walk upstairs from the entrance hall. Here you can combine a delicious breakfast with a wonderful view over Papagenotor at Theatre an der Wien while listening to classical music that plays subtle in the background.
We were lucky to get this spot for breakfast. While most people sat close to the buffet, we preferred to sit far away and enjoyed the view. Early in the morning it's busier and it will be more difficult to find a place here. We also had breakfast in the breakfast room and it's still a nice atmosphere. The service is extraordinary. The staff was so friendly and already smiled at us when we approached the breakfast area. The ladies were quick with filling up whatever was missing, they immediately came to our table and asked what we would like to drink and even brought a second cappuccino although breakfast was officially over. Talking about breakfast now, are you ready?
Well, here you find it all. Mouth-watering croissants together with three different jams and always a lighter version too. Theres a big selection of fruit juices and also there are fresh fruits which change day by day. You find mozzarella cheese and tomatoes, olives, different kinds of spreads that taste fantastic together with cheese. Scrambled eggs and ham is provided. Different kinds of bread are there for you, tasting fresh and crunchy.
Also, there's a muesli area where we had homemade Bircher muesli. And there are additionally a few bowls where you can pimp your breakfast bowl as you like. Seeds, dried fruits, and much more.
If you are a half vegan/vegetarian something like me, there's a lot to choose from and even if you are fully vegan, there are many things provided and staff will help you if you tell them in advance.
For the sweet tooth like me, if the croissant and the homemade yoghurt with fruits or the breakfast bowl wasn't enough yet, there's still something waiting for you. Austrian pastisserie. There you go! Order your second cappuccino and get yourself one of those treats before you go and explore Vienna.
Walking down from the staircase, you pass the office which is well taken care of by the hotel's dog, Leopold. His lovely nickname is Poldi. The owner walks every morning from her apartment to the hotel together with her dog. The room next door is Salon Ludwig, with one pink wall. It looks like someone's living room and is quite convenient to work inside if you need a quiet setting. Hotel guests are allowed to spend time inside, but it's also available to book for meetings. As already mentioned, if you take a short break in the hotel in the afternoon, go ahead and enjoy a cup of coffee and a cake.
If you plan to spend the weekend in Vienna, make sure you stay Sunday night as well. On Saturday we found an invitation on our bed for the house-concert on Sunday night (Violoncello and piano). An own concert at your hotel, you're wondering? Yes, at Hotel Beethoven you can enjoy a house-concert without even leaving the house. After a long day exploring the city, take a seat in the beautiful Beethoven lounge and listen to some classical music. We enjoyed the concert on Sunday night at 6 PM before we went out for dinner to OM Market which is also just around the corner of the hotel (and the food is delicious!) There was a short break in between which was very pleasant as we were served a glass of champagne. I couldn't say no to that, of course.
To experience Hotel Beethoven fully, I'd recommend to stay at least a long weekend. That's also the time to get a feeling for this city. Stay a week if you like art, music and museums and if you want to dive deeper into Vienna's culture.
Have you been to Vienna? Where did you stay and what did you like the most in Vienna? Hotel Beethoven sometimes offers special deals, feel free to take a look at their rates for your next Vienna stay. Before you do your first booking with booking.com, save yourself 15 € with this link. Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed it, please feel free to share or comment below.
We were invited by Hotel Beethoven during this stay. A big thank you goes to Barbara Ludwig and her whole team for having us and for the great time we had. My opinion is as always my own.