Anyone looking to stay overnight in a historic industrial building should make a beeline for the famous Viennese vinegar maker Gegenbauer in the 10th district. A short time ago Erwin Gegenbauer commissioned architects heri&salli (Heribert Wolfmayr and Josef Saller) to convert five rooms of the historic building complex he grew up in, into unusual guest rooms. The power sockets are suspended from the ceiling, the pipework is unconcealed, and brick walls and structural steel elements are left bare. These unadorned Viennese guest rooms are intended to give centre stage to handcrafts, visitors can find out about the art of vinegar making, beer brewing, oil pressing and coffee roasting in the shared kitchen – all among the crafts practiced elsewhere in the complex. There is even honey from the hive on the roof to enjoy with freshly-baked homemade bread.
Anyone who enjoys life on the road is bound to enjoy a night in a trailer. The Hotel Daniel Wien in the third district now features a classic American-style aluminium touring coach. Every millimetre of its 16m² frame has been maximised thanks to the ingenuity of a team of boat builders. In addition to excellent insulation against noise and heat, amenities include air-conditioning, heating, a flatscreen TV, WiFi and even a free-standing bathtub.
The five Chez Cliché apartments in the first and ninth districts, inspired by fictional characters, are the perfect choice for visitors looking to stay at a property with an authentic Viennese feel. Ex-jockey Raul prefers to rent out his apartment – a vision of leather, wood and riding tack – to horse lovers, while flight attendant Bella’s home is brimming with souvenirs picked up on her travels. Maria Theresia, as the somewhat regal name suggests, has a thing for classical music and imperial decor. These centrally-located apartments are finished with a fantastic eye for detail and come with hot tips from the locals on request.
Hotel rooms instead of empty shop fronts – this was the inspiration for a new accommodation concept dreamt up by young Viennese architects Urbanauts around four years ago. They snap up old business premises and transform them into guest rooms, preserving the history of the shops, workshops and studios they replaced. There are currently five of these street lofts, whose names such as Die Schneiderin (the seamstress), Der Künstler (the artist) and Der Galerist (the gallery owner) tell of their previous uses. These decentralised hotel rooms, in the part of the fourth district closest to the new main station, can be booked online. Keys are available for collection from the safe at the entrance to the street loft.
This is not a hotel close to the Danube Canal takes a similar approach, where a commercial property from the early 20th century has been divided into three distinctive suites. In addition to helpful pointers about the city, guests staying at the accommodation can look forward to a great breakfast with regional ingredients.
Anyone looking to salve their social conscience has been able to do precisely that at Magdas Hotel in the second district since February 2015. The Caritas Wien charity has completely remodelled this former retirement home next to the Prater park, offering 78 budget rooms along with facilities including a library, cinema and bicycle hire. The building is now home to a social enterprise run by a group of hotel professionals and refugees from 14 countries worldwide.
In April 2015 Hotel Schani Wien became the first hotel that offers a coworking space in the German-speaking world. Run by a Viennese hotelier family, this 135-room accommodation is located in a prime spot close to the main station. Developed as a smart hotel with the support of organisations such as the Fraunhofer IAO in Stuttgart, its booking, check-in and room selection processes are supported by next-generation technologies. The lobby doubles up as a circulation space for networking.
- Wiener Gäste Zimmer, Wiener Essig Brauerei, Waldgasse 3, 1100 Vienna, www.gegenbauer.at
- Hotel Daniel Wien, Landstrasser Gürtel 5, 1030 Vienna, www.hoteldaniel.com/de/wien
- Chez Cliché, www.chez-cliche.com
- Urbanauts, www.urbanauts.at
- This is not a hotel, Obere Donaustrasse 9, 1020 Vienna, www.thisisnotahotel.at
- Magdas Hotel, Laufbergergasse 12, 1020 Vienna, www.magdas-hotel.at
- Hotel Schani Wien, Karl-Popper-Strasse 22, 1100 Vienna, www.hotelschani.com