You know how people love to joke “I need a vacation from my vacation”?
It’s not actually funny if it happens to you.
I think post-vacation fatigue is most likely to occur when you travel to big, foreign cities — ones that are filled with loud noises. Crowded restaurants. Strange languages. Unfamiliar beds. About 48 hours into your vacation you find yourself thinking I’m ready to go home.
Well, I just returned home from Vienna and I keep thinking I’m ready to go back! I want to go back to the land of charming cafes, classical music, of dankeschön and plush beds. I want to go back to Hotel Topazz.
Sandwiched between the neoclassical buildings in the heart of vibrant Vienna is an ultra-modern, almost spaceship-like hotel. You can’t miss the pop-out oval windows and striped awning. But don’t let the sleek exterior of Hotel Topazz fool you. Inside you’ll find a warm and inviting refuge from the bustling city with every creature comfort you need.
As soon as we entered the lobby, I made note of the playful interior design — velvet, stripes, tassels, zig-zags. Part Manhattan penthouse, part Alice in Wonderland.
Meanwhile, my husband was making friends with a valet named Jospeh and getting the scoop on the neighborhood. The hotel lies around the corner from St. Stephan’s Cathedral, the Vienna State Opera House, the Hofburg Palace and many shops. This part of Vienna is closed only to pedestrians, which makes strolling around and sipping mulled wine the main activity. The central location was key for us to make the most of three days in Vienna, no taxis required.
Joseph also pointed us across the street from Topazz to the Merkur Markt, a.k.a. the most beautiful grocery store I’ve ever seen — so beautiful that we had dinner in the Merkur’s wine bar our first night. We tried local cheeses, charcuterie and of course, Austrian wine.
When we returned, a seriously heavenly bed awaited us.
(Don’t those lamps remind you of Alice playing croquet with the Red Queen?)
Surprisingly enough, the luxe, 32-room hotel was built with eco-friendly materials and is run as energy-efficiently as possible. The oval windows let in lots of natural light, but nothing else thanks to a triple-tint glaze. The curved, velvet window seats are perfect for curling up and watching the city activity below.
It’s so addicting in fact, that we didn’t turn on our tv once during our stay.
I have this thing about nice hotel toiletries — about tiny, high-end shampoos that I probably should just buy for my own shower but I never do — why is that? Well, Molton Brown is at the top of the list. Black peppercorn body wash goes swimmingly with a marble shower and a waterfall spout. Where I went wrong was trying on one of the bathrobes before dinner reservations on Saturday night; it was very hard to get out of it in time.
(By the way, do you follow my Instagram stories? I couldn’t stop showing off the bathroom during our stay. This hotel is very Instagramable if that is something you look for in lodging.)
I’ll admit I didn’t understand until recently why “breakfast included” is a big selling point for a hotel room, because visions of stale muffins and overcooked eggs sitting in chaffing dishes was what came to mind. And then there are places like Topazz’s Café Bar Bloom where you go to bed thinking about what you’re going to have for breakfast the next morning… will it be the scrambled eggs with goat cheese or the smoked salmon on toast? Pancakes perhaps?
We even had dinner in the hotel’s restaurant — something we rarely do in a city full of options. It was that good.
That said, no matter how many high-end amenities you stock a hotel with, the staff is what really sets apart an exceptional one from the rest. We once stayed in a five-star hotel where the concierge was so unpleasant that it’s the only thing we remember from our stay.
As for what I’ll remember from Hotel Topazz: The valet who showed us how to add sparkling water to our Riesling like the Viennese do, the concierge who brought us plates to eat our take-out dinner on and the waitress who asked us at breakfast “Do you have everything you need to be happy?”
It’s no coincidence that Hotel Topazz’s logo is this snappy little man.
I’m not sure when we’ll get the chance to return to Vienna. Perhaps when the weather turns warmer so we can enjoy the rooftop or next winter so we can peruse the Christmas markets, but we’ll definitely stay at Hotel Topazz again.
*This post was sponsored by Hotel Topazz Wien. All opinions are my own. Thank you to companies like Lenikus Design Hotels who keep Bakersfield Blonde traveling!