The operators of Chez Cliché let out quirky apartments belonging to make-believe Viennese personalities. Options include ex-jockey Raul's flat - decked out in wood, leather and saddles it's the perfect choice for horse lovers. Elsewhere, flight attendant Bella's pied à terre is brimming with mementos from her travels, while director Koloman's Vienna pad takes its inspiration from the world of theater. Each of the eight apartments (starting at 40 square meters) is centrally located and decorated with superb attention to detail. Visitors are meant to feel as if they are visiting friends in Vienna - on request the Chez Cliché team can supply concert tickets and restaurant tips.
Giving abandoned shops a new lease on life as ad hoc hotel rooms is the idea behind the Urbanauts street lofts. Viennese architects Kohlmayr Lutter Knapp have come up with a clever solution to put these empty retail spaces back into circulation. The disused stores, mostly around 25 square meters in size and located at street level, are being converted to hotel rooms. Guests can decide how much of the view outwards - and inwards - to reveal, using a clever blind system. Various artists have been commissioned to design the rooms and emphasize the units' ties to the local area. The room rate includes a number of extras, such as the use of two bicycles for the duration of the stay. Different Urbanauts clustered together in one district make up a decentralized hotel, with services dotted around the neighborhood: the coffeehouse next door is the breakfast room, the hammam across the street is the spa, and the hotel bar is that trendy watering hole around the corner. All these local amenities and tips are plotted on a map provided in the room. Die Schneiderin, the first of these Vienna street lofts, opened in 2011 near the fashionable Freihausviertel in Vienna's fourth district. Three more locations are set to follow in spring 2013.