In a today's TripAdvisor-obsessed world, picking a hotel ranked in the top 10% of a city's accommodation options is a trick employed by many a traveller. Sometimes, you have the misfortune of stumbling on some random, new boutique hotel that emphasises style over substance and does not really deserve its lofty place. Fortunately, the Harmonie Hotel Vienna is not one of them. This hotel embodies the elegance of modern Vienna and, but for the slightly inconvenient location, I would recommend it without hesitation.
LOCATION (score: 3/5):
Located in the quiet, residential Alservorstadt district to the north west of the city centre, the Harmonie is outside of Vienna's famous Ringstrasse and a 20-25 minute walk from Stephensplatz, the dead centre of the city. The easiest way to get in and out (except for walking) is via Tram D, which comes every 5-10 minutes, and travels down to the ring, then around the ring in an anti-clockwise direction, before leaving the ring around Hauptbahnhof (the main station). So while the Harmonie is certainly not far from the city centre, the slightly out-of-the-way location is something to bear in mind if you expect to walk outside and find buzzing cafes and shops on the doorstep, or if you intend on coming back to the hotel during the day for a break between sightseeing.
DESIGN AND AESTHETICS (score: 5/5):
The Harmonie is immaculately decorated and furnished throughout in a vibrant yet restrained design. It's all very elegant. Glossy, light brown stone walls are accented with period-inspired - yet modern - furniture, along with dashes of red. The dining room features striking red/black striped banquettes and the lounge (don't miss the free afternoon tea there!) is perfect serenity with piped music, bookshelves and a cosy (if fake) fireplace. The guestrooms follow a similar train, only replacing the stone with (strangely comforting) striped wallpaper and distinctive headboard murals.
ROOMS (score: 4/5):
Our room was small and the view across suburban rooftops pretty drab, but the warmth and distinctive character of its design ensured this never bothered us. The bed gave us three peaceful nights' sleep and the bathroom, although small and unglamorous, was modern and functional with standalone shower (but no bath).
FOOD (score: 5/5):
Blissfully, this is one of those quintessential continental European hotels that throws in a free breakfast as part of every room package. Not only is the breakfast free, it is astonishingly good quality, especially considering the price of the hotel. There is a DIY cereal bar (featuring superfoods like chia seeds and flaxseed), freshly-squeezed juices and smoothies, pastries fresh out of the oven, too many types of bread to count, premium cold cuts (various smoked meats, cheeses and smoked fish), eggs whichever way you want, on top of a selection of hot options. In terms of sheer, no-corners-cut quality, the breakfast is genuinely better than the expensive buffets in many 5-star hotels. We didn't try room service or any other meals, so can't comment on that.
SERVICE (score: 4/5):
I shouldn't move on from the breakfast buffet without giving a mention to the maître d'. This dynamo of a woman was there every single morning, greeting every single guest with a brisk 'good morning' or 'guten morgen'. She could be clearing plates or taking an order from a far corner of the dining room, but whenever a new guest arrived, she'd be back at the entrance in a lightning flash! Unfortuately, the enthusiasm was a little too much sometimes. One time when a new party arrived looking for a table, our maître d' stomped across to the table next to ours and asked "Are you finished? I need this table." My jaw dropped! I have never heard a service person ask guests to clear off so bluntly! Another time, I approached the coffee machine and lifted a cup to make an espresso, only for maître d' to swoop in, literally grab the cup out of my hand and reprimand me: "We do that." I convey all of this more in a mood of amusement than complaint - I think that maître d' genuinely thought she was doing the best for her guests, but someone needs to convey to her that sometimes you can't be so direct!
Aside from this, service was professional and, at times, charming.
CONCLUSION (overall score: 21/25 => 4.2/5)
Overall, a happy stay at the Hotel Harmonie. We slept well, we ate well and we felt like we experienced the real Austria. What more could you ask for? less
Lydia S, Verkaufsleiter at BEST WESTERN PREMIER Harmonie Vienna, responded to this review
Dear valued guest, thanks a lot for your feedback, which is very detailed and gives a great overview of your stay with us. Thanks for your time! We are looking forward welcoming you soon again. Lydia S., Sales Manager, Best Western Premier Harmonie Vienna