By Prashant Kapadia/NHN
On 6 March, 2014, the Intercontinental Vienna celebrated its 50th birthday – a good opportunity to look back at the establishment’s impressive history! The hotel was opened in 1964 as the first major international establishment in Vienna and set new standards in the local hotel industry not only because of its size of 500 rooms, but first and foremost because of its modern flair and innovative strength.
Flagship of international functionalism
Based on a design by the Chicago architectural firm Holabird & Root commissioned by the InterContinental Hotel Corporation (a subsidiary of Pan American), the Austrian architects Carl Appel and Waiter Jaksch developed a purely functionalist hotel building that blended international chic and Viennese charm.
For example, the hotel’s characteristic shape, which is optimally suited to the logistical processes in the hotel, came into being at the time as an Austrian coompromise aimed at reducing the modern building’s height to a size that complied with the local standards.
However, despite numerous concessions to the residents of Vienna, the hotel was seen as being very ”American” (another way of saying “too modern ‘) by detractors of the day. This criticism was especially levelled at the stylish interior, which provided a proper setting for an international league of glamorous stars with its spacious layout imposing brass columns, and modern crystal chandelier.
International jet set
The international jet set of the late ’50s and early ’60s was among the Intercontinental Vienna’s clientele from the very beginning. Prominent figures from various walks of life frequented the “Vienna Intercontinental”, as it was called back then, including film stars like Omar Sharif, Ava Gardner, and Richard Burton, as well as legends such as Josephine Baker or Maime Eisenhower.
Icons like Princess Grace’a Petricia stayed here, as did the young -Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash and The Who. The hotel’s Star-studded guest List – particularly in later years – included the avant-garde of the fashion world such as Paul Gaultier, Paco Rabanne, Vivienne Westwood, and Donatella Versace, and, due to its proximity to the Wiener Konzerthaus, international music legends like Duke Ellington, Ella Fritzgerald, Fatty George, and Dave Brubeck.
Pioneer and trendsetter
Over the decades, the Intercontinental Vienna was considered a pioneer of new developments that were revolutionary at the time and have since become the standard in many cases. Whether it the introduction of the non-smoking floor, the free limousine transfer to the airport, a check-in counter for airline passengers in the hotel lobby, or the development of a customer loyalty programme for guests – the Intercontinental Vienna was always an innovator and trendsetter.
As a founding member of the Hofburg conference centre, the hotel has also made a name for itself in the marketing of Vienna as an international conference destination and made a significant contribution to the international positioning of the Austrian tourism destination thanks to its size, recitation, and international network.
The Intercontinental Vienna is luxury at its best, right in the heart of Vienna! Its warm hospitality, wonderful food, the club lounge and its location right in the heart of Vienna makes it an obvious choice for enjoying a comfy stay.
Arrival into Intercontinental Wien is very convenient. It is just a 25 minute cab ride or a 30 minute CAT ride away from the Vienna airport. It is also mighty close to the Vienna Central Station.
Once you reach the hotel, the check in really comfy. And even more comfortable if you book access to the famous Club Lounge. With access to the Club lounge, you are actually provided with priority check in and Checkout, hot and cold refreshments throughout the day and a relaxed atmosphere with a business center. It is recommended to book access to the club lounge, irrespective of the room you are staying in.
Hmm. Comfy and convenient so far. But what about the rooms?
No surprise here, the rooms are comfy too! Well. Great to take this out of the way quickly. The rooms are really cozy and comfortable. Special mention to the pillows. Hands down, the most comfortable pillows we have ever slept on. And the mattresses.. I have run out of words describing the comfort of the place. Everything was just perfect. The rooms were updated and well maintained. The bathroom was of a good size and equipped with a bath tub. As i said, just perfect!
What better way than to start your morning with a great breakfast. The InterContinental Vienna also ticks this box right. Wonderful breakfast. To begin with, the buffet breakfast has fresh fruits, fresh fruit juices, an assortment of 8 cereals , milks, pastries, beans, waffles, pancakes and what not. Well, this is just a summary. The breakfast includes a whole lot. As they say, this is exactly the breakfast of Kings.