Part of a multi-million Euro investment to restore Europe’s most iconic hotels under The Luxury Collection, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. Unveiled now is the restored public spaces at Hotel Imperial, Vienna. The one-year, 11 million Euro (US$14 million) restoration of the hotel’s ground floor, which includes the landmark lobby, a signature restaurant, destination bar, Imperial Cafe and Imperial Torte shop, and private event venues, was led by esteemed British interior designer Alex Kravetz, in close collaboration with the Bundesdenkmalamt (Austrian Federal Office for the Care of Monuments).
Hotel Imperial, with its palatial splendour and Italian neo-Renaissance facade, has been the residence of choice for royalty and high society visiting Vienna for the past 140 years. Originally built in 1863 as a private residence for Prince Philipp of Württemberg, the palace was converted into Hotel Imperial for the 1873 Universal Exhibition. Situated on the iconic Ringstrasse (Ring Boulevard) and neighbouring the legendary Musikverein, Hotel Imperial is within a short walk of major attractions such as the Vienna State Opera, Kunsthistorisches Museum and Secession Building.
The original passage connecting the hotel to the Musikverein has been completely re-modelled and enlarged during the restoration. Newly re-opened, the historic Composers Entrance provides guests with a stately departure experience while en route to a performance at the world-renowned concert hall, home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Leading the way to this grand entryway is the Path of History, lined with archival photographs of the hotel and its illustrious guests, including the world’s finest maestros and musicians as well as aristocrats and celebrities. On the creation of the Path of History, the interior designer Alex Kravetz explained, “This new gallery-like environment, which provides a link between all the major public spaces and dining venues of the hotel, was pivotal to the entire master plan of the redesign.”
“The careful restoration of Hotel Imperial reinforces the majestic heritage of this legendary hotel and we are proud to introduce new experiences to Vienna’s rich social, cultural and culinary scenes,” commented Michael Wale, President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East. “Through our Luxury Collection hotels and resorts, we aim to provide global explorers with indigenous experiences in unique destinations offering a service that is unequalled wherever they travel.”
“Just as with Prince de Galles in Paris and the Gritti Palace in Venice, we are thrilled to re-establish Hotel Imperial as the social centre of Vienna following its restoration” said Paul James “Restoring this Viennese icon – one of the brand’s first hotels – marks a momentous occasion for The Luxury Collection”.