Book well ahead to stay in the Konig von Ungarn, which many consider the jewel in the crown of Viennese hotels, right in the heart of the old city and only steps away from St Stephen’s Cathedral. The present building dates from the 18thC, part of a complex that includes the famous Figarohaus where Mozart composed The Marriage of Figaro.
Sitting in the enclosed courtyard, with wood panelling, etched glass and a tree you can imagine yourself back in the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Then, the nobility would stay here for months at a time, attending to courtly duties as well as taking in glittering social events. Some of their portraits line the corridors above, whose windowed galleries are an architectural curiosity. Upstairs, the bedrooms are less glamorous, with the sort of comfortable furnishings found in a private house.
The restaurant, with chandeliers lighting the vaulted baroque ceiling, has a high reputation for traditional Austrian cuisine. At lunch time, it is full of businessmen tucking into boiled beef from the trolley.
The polished service and formal atmosphere does not come cheap, but may be worth it for the Viennese experience.