Photo: Hilton Vienna Park

A musical postcard from Hilton Vienna Park

Wish you were hear

Just as the famous glass is half-full or half-empty, depending on your frame of mind, so there can always be music in the air if you choose to hear some.
22. August 2020 14:57

For us, this is always the case in Vienna, the world capital of classical music, and particularly so at the city’s Stadtpark, where our make-believe melodies are the ideal accompaniment along its winding paths as they pass numerous memorials to great Austro-Hungarian composers.

Immediately adjacent is Hilton Vienna Park, where a more modern trance-like music is playing in the lounge bar and a piano awaits its player. The two sorts of music may differ but in fact the hotel and the park are nicely in tune, for the Stadtpark is virtually the Hilton’s front garden.

This is especially evident from the top-floor windows of the 15-storey Hilton – Vienna’s largest hotel – which look directly down onto the near-impenetrable mass of trees and shrubs that fill the splendid park, allowing only occasional glimpses through the leaves onto the beautiful lawns and lake where the Viennese come to relax. From on high, just one white statue of a composer is visible through the blanket of greenery. (Subsequent ground-level investigation reveals this to be Austria’s own Franz Schubert, 1797-1828.)

Even better from our window, beyond the Stadtpark the whole of central Vienna is laid out in the August sunshine. This is the celebrated Innere Stadt, the old town encompassed by the celebrated Ringstrasse. Practically the entire historic area seems to be on view, and dominating everything and directly opposite the window are the 137-metre Gothic spire and glazed-tile roof of the grand Stephansdom cathedral, just half a kilometre away.

Near this centrepiece can be seen the imposing green-and-gold copper dome called the Michaelerkuppel over the Michaelertor gate into the sprawling Hofberg Palace, plus the long green patina roof of the State Opera House. Off to the side is the Karlskirche, the Baroque Church of St Charles, at Karlsplatz, with another fine dome and its two distinctive columns.

The panorama across Vienna from Hilton Vienna Park’s upper floors is magnificent, and the city is nicely framed by the distant hills with vineyards on their slopes. If it appears that there is too much out there to see in one lifetime, there probably is, a fact borne out by a quick glance through any guidebook.

If the Stadtpark was Vienna´s first communal park, having opened on August 21, 1862, the Hilton could be said to be the city’s “newest” hotel. Although it welcomed the first guest on June 6, 1975 and is thus celebrating 45 years, right now it is very near the end of a two-year renovation that has included 18 months of actual reconstruction.

The new concept was overseen by the Goddarf Littlefair architect studio in London, and with Vienna being regularly voted the “most liveable city in the world”, the British team understandably took inspiration from Austria’s thriving capital, arriving at a sophisticated look in the refurbished rooms, suites and communal areas. The contemporary style is inspired by Viennese Modernism, complete with graphic detailing and bold, natural colours.

There is no denying that Hilton Vienna Park is a guest’s dream at the moment, a hotel so clean and sparkling that it almost seems a shame for we visitors to intrude on the pristine surroundings. With tourism everywhere slowed by the coronavirus, guests could even be the first persons ever to use their room. After all, in the Hilton every cushion, curtain, chair, table, lamp, lift, towel, sheet, safe, running machine, bathroom, iron and all the rest have a virginal feel at present. The carpets in the corridors have a fresh smell.

Photo: Hilton Vienna Park

As said, the hotel is Vienna’s largest, its 663 guest rooms apparently eclipsing the next-biggest by a couple of hundred. The 663 include almost 80 suites. At the moment the glass is half-empty rather than half-full because of the fall-off in travel, and while for instance the Selleny’s Bar is up and running, the brand-new Lenz restaurant awaits its opening in September.

Selleny’s is named after the creator of the Stadtpark, Joseph Selleny, and, inspired by the location right beside the park, Selleny and his Austrian heritage are celebrated in a Viennese coffee house culture that offers freshly prepared coffee specialties and local cocktail trends paired with innovative signature drinks.

The bar promises a culinary journey from East to West, with an emphasis on Tatar cuisine in the seasonal and regional menu, all products being sourced locally, ideally within a 50-kilometre radius of Vienna. Up there on the Hilton rooftop they grow their own herbs and source their own honey, which is served at breakfast.

As with the ready-to-go Lenz, the revamped meeting rooms await their moment. The 3000 square metres of adaptable meeting space make the Hilton Europe’s largest downtown Meeting and Event hotel.

Also, the brand-new fitness centre is open and the wellness area is about to follow. Hiltons have a “Five Feet to Fitness” concept that offers health-conscious business travellers and exercise enthusiasts more than 11 different fitness equipment and accessory options inside their hotel room.

Understandably, there is an especially strong emphasis on health and cleanliness throughout Hilton Vienna Park’s 15 floors at the moment. The hotel team has daily temperature checks and weekly COVID tests. This is part of the “A Passion to Care” approach that covers both staff and guests, with rooms sealed with a “CleanStay” sticker until occupancy to show they’ve been thoroughly sanitised according to the hotel’s new procedures.

Hilton CleanStay has a Lysol protection program that is a collaboration between Hilton, RB (maker of Lysol (US)/Dettol (international)) and the Mayo Clinic Infection Prevention and Control team to provide a focus on staying healthy that is visible throughout a guest’s entire stay.

Sanitising stations have been set up throughout the hotel, including at all lifts and public areas. High-touch and high-traffic areas have received increased attention. Check-in and check-out are contact-free, and smartphones can download hotel menus and will soon replace plastic door and lift cards. Like “CleanStay”, “EventReady” offers the same standards in the meeting rooms.

Alongside these precautions, the hotel embraces Vienna’s commitment to sustainability, using 100% renewable energy and being awarded the Austrian Eco Label certification for the past decade.

Immediately outside Hilton Vienna Park is Wien Mitte The Mall, a multi-storey shopping centre. Here is the Landstrasse U-Bahn station where lines U3 and U4 meet, plus the CAT City Airport Train that gets to Vienna International Airport in just 15 minutes. The Budapest Times, noticing the frequent buses to the St Marx district, took a ride, knowing that this is home to the cemetery where Mozart is buried – exact spot unknown.

Returning to our 15th-floor eyrie, we omitted to mention that the room also looks immediately down on the mostly man-made channel of the River Wien, which flows almost apologetically alongside the Stadtpark (and even disappears underground for much of its time in the city). Some people apparently mistake it for the Danube and go home disappointed.

For the “real river” in its full glory visit the edge-of-the-city Hilton Vienna Danube Waterfront, a name that speaks for itself. Hilton’s third hotel in the Austrian capital is Hilton Vienna Plaza, on the Schottenring section of the Ringstrasse almost opposite the Bourse.

Before departure to Budapest it is time for a final visit to the Stadtpark, where the northern end faces the MAK (the Museum of Applied Arts) and the southern end is home to the Kursalon, an impressive Renaissance-style 19th-century building from 1867 that’s now a restaurant and venue for classical concerts.

We find memorials to Anton Bruckner (who inspired, for example, Mahler), Franz Lehár (composer of the “The Merry Widow” operetta) and Robert Stolz, the internationally fêted “Grand Old Man of Viennese Light Music”. Finally, one of the world’s most photographed monuments since its unveiling in 1921, the Johann Strauss Golden Statue.

Surrounded by dancing and floating figures, the Waltz King (1825 to 1899) is shown with his violin poised, ready to play. His 500 works included the “Blue Danube” and “Emperor” waltzes and the operetta “Die Fledermaus”, tunes as Viennese as coffee and Sachertorte.

Did someone say something about music in the air?

Hilton Vienna Park

Am Stadtpark 1
Vienna, A-1030
Phone: +43-1-71700


  • Photo: Hilton Vienna Park

  • Photo: Hilton Vienna Park

  • Photo: Hilton Vienna Park

  • Photo: Hilton Vienna Park

  • Photo: Hilton Vienna Park

  • Photo: Hilton Vienna Park

  • Photo: Hilton Vienna Park

  • Photo: Hilton Vienna Park

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