It was this winning combination of exceptional accommodations and gracious service that propelled The Ring Hotel to the top of my list of properties to revisit whenever business or pleasure takes me back to Vienna.

Overall Impression In 1857, Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria decreed the demolition of the obsolete 13 th century walls that surrounded the city of Vienna. In their place a broad boulevard, the Ringstrasse, or simply the Ring as it is now most often called, was laid out to circle the city. It was then lined with splendid public and private buildings intended to showcase the glory of the Habsburg Empire. The Ring Hotel was part of this grand urban renewal undertaking: a residential hotel that provided bachelors of the Viennese aristocracy with in-town pieds-à-terre at the very edge of the vibrant inner city. The building experienced varied fortunes through the ensuing century and a half, going from bank headquarters to just another vacant building, before being meticulously restored a few years ago to its original purpose of elegant home-away-from-home hospitality. After 13 months of extensive reconstruction, The Ring Hotel reopened in November 2007 as an intimate luxury property just a few minutes’ walk from most of the cultural and artistic treasures Vienna has to offer.

In addition to its exceptional location overlooking the broad expanse of the Ring, with world-class culture and miles of fashionable shopping on its doorstep, what I appreciated most about the property was the exquisite comfort of my spacious room, which gave me an immediate sense of homecoming. Its subtle contemporary décor had the uncluttered atmosphere of a modern city apartment where no detail had been overlooked to ensure a pleasant stay. Large French windows filled the room with light while their triple glazing cut out any street sounds. Complimentary WiFi service was fast and password-secured. A Nespresso machine came with a choice of coffee capsules. An oversized wall-hung LCD television featured a broad spectrum of international channels as well as movies and music on demand. And the dressing area was designed to neatly hold an entire travel wardrobe.

The heath club was equally inviting. Located at the top the building, it offered a spectacular view of the rooftops of Vienna as well as top-of-the-line exercise equipment. Even the sauna had a view! But for all the luxurious creature comforts, relaxed atmosphere and outstanding location of the Hotel, its trump card was ultimately the staff; a team of attentive professionals who unfailingly delivered personalized service from the moment I checked in. It was this winning combination of exceptional accommodations and gracious service that propelled The Ring Hotel to the top of my list of properties to revisit whenever business or pleasure takes me back to Vienna.

Children Welcome Yes

Class Of Accommodation Luxury boutique hotel

Connectivity There was complimentary high-speed WiFi in my room.

General Manager Karl-Peter Echtermeijer

Handicapped Access Yes

Length Of Stay Two nights

Location On the historic Ringstrasse , at the edge of the inner city. It was a 30-minute drive from Vienna International Airport.

Owned-Managed JJW Hotels and Resorts, Limited, an international private company of Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber. The managing director was Karim Jalloul.

Pets Allowed Yes. There were special packages for dog owners that included dog baskets (with turn-down service) and various pet treats.

Size The five-story property had 68 rooms and suites.

Year Opened-Renovated The Ring Hotel opened in November 2007 following a complete 13-month reconstruction.

Lobby And Common Areas Beyond the classic 19 th century façade, the décor of the lobby harmoniously blended touches of the old, including the historic “birdcage” elevator, into what was a decidedly modern environment. The walls were a mix of exotic wood paneling and cream plaster. The floor was tiled in oversized slabs of pale ceramic. The reception desk was set in a long alcove in the rear wall, its base beveled mirror squares topped with a dark gray marble counter. To the right of the entrance hall, two long sofas upholstered in cerulean blue velvet with cream bolsters faced each other across a rectangular pedestal coffee table made of exotic wood matching that of the wall paneling. Two black leather and wood armchairs completed the grouping, which sat on a dark grey wool rug. At the back of each sofa, a black wood credenza held an assortment of international daily newspaper and a tall glass cylinder with a minimalist arrangement of calla lilies. Cut crystal globe table lamps sat on matching side tables.

Quirky details livened up the lounge area to give it the cozy feel of a living room. The wall that separated the lounge from the bar at the front of the building held a niche with a low bottom-lit display case that housed a procession of white marble rhinos. The top part of the wall was mirrored to reflect a row of tall glass bud vases, each holding a single African daisy. Meanwhile at the far end of the lounge, a heavily carved and gilded rococo worktable with a green marble top held a slick desktop computer and printer for guests use. The desk chair was a 19 th century gilded barrel chair with grey cut velvet inlays. Two contemporary slipper chairs covered in cream velvet provided additional seating. On the paneled wall behind them, a series of randomly hung display boxes held an assortment of perfume bottles, leather clutches, stationery and other small luxury goods.

Bathroom A small foyer led from the front door into the bedroom. To the left of the foyer, a door opened onto a water closet with a commode and bidet. The bathroom was to the right of the foyer, its walls and floor tiled in taupe ceramic. Two rectangular washbowls sat on the black ceramic top of a long chrome and wood vanity. Two tall mirrors bracketed by thin fluorescent strips hung above the washbowls. The deep bathtub had a glass-enclosed in-tub shower with a ceiling rain showerhead. There was a towel rack with bath towels on the wall at the foot of the tub, with an additional supply of bath and hand towels stored under the vanity counter. There was underfloor heating in the bathroom and water closet.

Room I once heard a noted American interior designer declare: “an apartment is like a second skin. If it feels like a cashmere sweater, then it’s right.” My 50 square meter (538 square foot) X-ordinary Room, Number 402, definitely felt like a favorite cashmere sweater; a home where I looked forward to return after a day of roaming the historic palaces and museums of Vienna. While its soaring ceiling and tall French windows were a reminder of the building’s 19 th century origins, the interior design was resolutely modern, in a relaxing palette of browns and creams, enhanced with a touch of paprika in the rich floor to ceiling draperies. Textured cappuccino carpeting covered the floor, in lush contrast with the creamy plastered wall and white, corniced ceiling. Furniture was made of dark exotic wood with clean contemporary lines, including a long room divider that created a storage and dressing area between the interior wall and the remainder of the bedroom.

Furniture included a rectangular Parsons desk and matching square dining table. The seat and oval medallion backs of the desk and dining chairs were upholstered in taupe suede as were the headboard of the king size bed and the seat of the long bench that outlined the foot of the bed. A pair of straight back armchairs covered in cappuccino tweed stood in front of one of the windows, a small round gold-leafed pedestal table between them. The wall sconces, bedside, desk and floor lamps had gilded metal bases and cream parchment shades. A large LCD television screen hung above the desk. Framed etchings of music composers and instruments hung in a square pattern above the bed.

Food And Restaurants To the right of the entrance lobby, the hotel bar, “Drings”, was a trendy after-work gathering place for local and international patrons, and the pre- and post-performance crowd from the nearby State Opera and other performing arts venues. In addition to serving the usual bar beverages and casual snacks, it offered more than twenty different brands of vodka.

To the left of the lobby, the restaurant, “at eight,” had a dual personality. The cozy L-shaped dining room could seat up to 50 guests at well-spaced rectangular tables. For breakfast and lunch, the atmosphere was casual. Natural light streamed through the long bay windows overlooking a busy corner of the Ring. The teakwood chairs were upholstered in celadon green, the tables set with color-coordinated table runners and napkins. At night, the room turned on its glamorous charm with silky amethyst shades drawn across the windows and the chairs dressed-up with ruby and amethyst covers. The tables were set with white linen mats and napkins, and the subdued lighting was complemented by the soft glow of jewel tone Murano votive candleholders for a deliciously romantic atmosphere. What remained constant however, what the quality of the food and service.

Breakfast could be as simple or sumptuous as individual appetite and taste dictated. A buffet of cold staple breakfast fare, such as freshly baked breads and Viennoiseries, and trays of tempting charcuteries , cut fruits, yoghurt and granolas was complemented by a full menu of breakfast dishes cooked to order. In the evening, “at eight” dished out daring and beautifully executed combinations, such as pike confit with apple black pudding and polenta, or lobster with pickled veal tongue ravioli, served with unexpected combinations of fresh herbs and exotic spices. The imaginative cuisine has already earned “at eight” two toques from Gault Millau (one of Europe’s most prestigious culinary awards) in the past two years.

Amenities Room amenities included a Nespresso machine with an assortment of coffee capsules, bottled mineral water, small welcome fruit basket and two boxed local pastries, electronic safe, shoehorn and shoe polish sponge. Bathroom amenities included bathrobes and slippers, magnifying mirror, hairdryer, bathroom scale, facial tissues, cotton balls and swabs, dental floss, nail file, comb, and shower cap. Hand-milled facial and bath soap, hair wash and conditioner, shower gel and body lotion were by Molton Brown.

Facilities There was a restaurant, “at eight”, bar, “Drings”, a fitness center, a spa, and a basic business center.

Fitness Center And Spa A fitness center and spa were located on the top floor. The health club was appointed with state-of-the-art fitness equipment, including treadmills with individual television screens and headsets to keep entertained while working out. It also had a sauna and steam room. All facilities were complimentary for in-house guests.

Cleanliness Excellent

Date Of Review February 2011

Reviewers Article and photos by Josette King

Service The room was serviced twice daily. Every member of the staff I came in contact with during my stay was thoughtful and attentive, noticed preferences and followed through on requests to deliver exceptional personalized service.

Would You Stay There Again? Yes

Contact Information

  • Address:
    • Kärntner Ring 8
    • A-1010 Vienna
    • Austria
  • Phone:
    • +43 1 22 1 22
  • Fax:
    • +43 1 22 1 22-900
  • Website:
  • Email: