Philadelphia Traveling Mom Sarah Ricks got a good deal at the luxurious Hotel Imperial in Vienna, Austria. But when she checked in, the hotel desk clerk played fairy godmother. The hotel upgraded the room, for free, by a huge amount. Oh thanks, said our Traveling Mom, not appreciating the enormity of the upgrade. When she arrived in the fabulous $2000 a night hotel room, she got a taste of how the other half lives.
In 1863, the Prince of Wurttemberg built an extravagant palace in the heart of Vienna. Since 1873, the palace has been a sumptuous luxury hotel, the Hotel Imperial. Queen Elizabeth, the Emperor of Japan, and Charlie Chaplin all have stayed at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna. And on a recent trip, my husband, daughter, and I also stayed there.
We took a spur of the moment trip to Vienna from Graz, Austria, where I am teaching for several weeks. Since we were looking for a hotel for the same night, and we are Starwood Preferred Guest members, my husband checked for same day, last minute deals. Fortunately, he found one. My husband was excited to tell me he’d scored a reasonably priced room at the famously luxurious Hotel Imperial in Vienna.
Our Fairy Godmother at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna
But fate had even more luck in store for us. When we checked into the Hotel Imperial in Vienna, the hotel clerk told us she was upgrading our room. Oh thanks, we said.
Immediately, the hotel clerk realized we didn’t appreciate the enormity of the upgrade. First she said, “Today is your lucky day.” Second, pointing with her pen, she showed us the level room we’d paid for. Then she told us that, for free, she was upgrading us several levels higher. Using her pen, she dramatically counted up the levels, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 levels higher, stopping at a $2000 a night room. Oh my goodness, we said.
So, what did we get in our $2000 a night hotel room?
I mean, really high ceilings. About 16 feet high. With windows almost as high, and floor-to-ceiling heavy drapes. And that ceiling! Beautiful plaster decorations, plus an enormous shimmering crystal chandelier.
A separate livingroom at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna
I’m not kidding, we had an enormous formal living room adjacent to our bedroom. Really, an entire living room, furnished with a chandelier, two couches, formal stuffed chairs, beautiful wooden side tables, an inviting writing desk. We even had a dining table where we could have sat down to dinner with another 4 people. If we’d known anyone in Vienna, which we don’t.
Oil paintings of royalty
What’s a formal livingroom without larger than life, full body portraits of royalty? One man, one woman. Each a full body portrait about 10 feet high. While I have no idea who either of these people were, they certainly knew how to dress.
Separate formal entrance to the livingroom
Who wants pesky guests coming into our bedroom? Naturally we appreciated that our living room had a separate, 12 foot high, double door entrance directly to the hall. With a doorbell. In case we had any guests, which of course we didn’t because we don’t know anyone in Vienna. Since I had to experience the fun of answering the formal door, my husband and daughter took turns ringing the hallway doorbell.
Bouquets of roses at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna
While it is hard to choose, my favorite part of how the other half lives probably was the roses. Our $2000 a night suite had bouquets of roses in the living room, on the coffee table, on the dining table, and in the bedroom. We even had a vase of roses in the bathroom. Because who doesn’t need roses while brushing your teeth? We topped out at 8 bouquets of roses on our overnight stay. Roses perfumed the air.
Heated bathroom floors
Never mind that the fabulous Hotel Imperial in Vienna supplies all guests with terrycloth slippers and a linen towel next to the bed to greet your feet in the morning. What else do we need to protect our delicate feet? Bathroom floor tiles heated from below, so nary a toe felt a chill at any time.
Biggest bed I’ve ever seen at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna
There are queen-sized beds, king-sized beds, and then I guess there’s Queen-for-a-Day-sized beds. My husband and I could have fit another two people in this bed with us. And a chandelier over our bed because – well, who doesn’t need a chandelier over the bed?
I loved feeling like Queen for a Day at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna. And the moral of the story is, it pays to join the Starwood Preferred Guest Loyalty Program (and it’s free to join). Plus, if I ever want to capture that Queen for a Day feeling in my own home, I’m putting bouquets of flowers in every room. Especially next to my toothbrush.