Michael Edwards discovers how a 17th-century military hero inspires Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere, a 21st-century hotel.
Hollywood should make a movie about Prince Eugene. His life is an inspirational tale of the underdog. If there had been beaches in Paris in the late 17th century, Prince Eugene would have been the teenage seven-stone weakling who got sand kicked in his face. No surprise then that the French army rejected his frail physique.
Fast forward a few years, after Austria had accepted Prince Eugene into their army, and Eugene had become an Austrian national hero. At the age of 20. His military nous had helped turn back marauding Ottoman forces besieging Vienna.
Keeping a lion as a pet enhanced Prince Eugene’s cult figure status. Having a second palace also helped.
Three centuries on and Prince Eugene is still so cool that the Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere Hotel runs his personality through the design of their 16-storey hotel. Hyatt updates the Prince Eugene legend by imagining how a mythical 21st-century Prince Eugene descendent, christened Eugen 21, would bring design chic to the hotel.
Prince Eugene and renowned architect Renzo Piano, he of Shard fame, is an unlikely combo. Piano has designed a hotel of towers, standing on 9-metre stills, connected by mid-air glass walkways, tall enough to provide spectacular rooftop views: giving sweeping panoramas over both Belvedere Palaces, their Versailles inspired gardens, and across to the grand imperial centre of Vienna. True to form, Piano picked up yet another design award when the hotel opened in 2021.
Immediately in reception, there is an abstract deconstructed sculpture, hanging on the wall. Eugene, with open hand, and hints of a spectral golden glow, welcomes guests.
Eugen the younger, follows the traditions of Prince Eugene. A great collector of art and books, as well as being a generous host. Eugen provides sumptuous coffee table books on art, architecture, automotive design, fashion, and travel. You could spend a lifetime reading in reception fuelled by complimentary coffee, tea, and cookies. Local contemporary art, hanging on the walls, is collated by two Viennese galleries.
Art flows into the r Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere rooms. Even the bathroom. A cartoon-style guide to Italy decorates the inside of the loo door: high-fashion shoes, pasta, pizza, Vespas and of course the architectural icons of the Colosseum and the Leaning Tour of Pisa.
Spacious rooms are double-height with floor-to-ceiling windows, casting light on the hanging art. Above the bed, a light grey impressionist wallpaper presents a collage of the classical world.
Developing the young Eugen theme, olive-waistcoated waiters serve light-touch Austrian cuisine in the stylish Eugen 21 restaurant. No surprise that a crispy Viennese schnitzel with potato salad, lingonberry sauce and lemon better is the signature dish.
Adjacent is the design-led cafe, Cyclists. Obviously, the menu is a Cyc-List. Throughout the cafe, design is inspired by the push bike. One wall is filled with saddles and handlebars mounted as if they are stags’ antlers whilst the cafe’s stools are fitted with pedals. More functionally, exercise bikes are found in the hotel’s 24-hour gym on the fourth floor. Again, tall windows give views out across Belvedere.
Belvedere is clearly an up-and-coming district. Combining the rail traffic from three Viennese mainline stations into the sleek new Vienna Hbf station at Belvedere, a two-minute walk from the Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere, has shifted Vienna’s transport hub east. No surprise, that there is a direct train from Vienna airport to Vienna Hbf. Whilst the mainline station also links with the U-Bahn taking travellers to the Stephansplatz metro station in the heart of the city.
The lifts in the Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere emphasise the Austrian capital’s sliding geography. A LED display keeps guests informed of train departures for the likes of Budapest, Bratislava, Munich and Prague. A new age is dawning for Belvedere, Prince Eugene and the Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere.
Tell Me More About Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere
Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere, Arsenalstrasse 10, 1100 Wien, Austria
E: email@example.com T: +43 1 20577441234
A double room, including breakfast, begins from €229.