Simply Emma has written a new blog about her latest trip to Vienna, have a read and see why her stay was “4 star service and 5 star charm”
I recently went on an adventure to Vienna, one of my favourite bucket list destinations, for an accessible city break. Being a city that I’ve wanted to visit for many years I was a little worried it wouldn’t live up to my expectations, but thankfully it didn’t disappoint for many reasons. One reason being our two night stay at the wheelchair accessible Boutique Hotel Donauwalzer in the heart of Vienna. With ‘4 star service and 5 star charm’ this hotel is now one of my favourite hotels I’ve stayed in.
BOUTIQUE HOTEL DONAUWALZER WIEN
Hotel Donauwalzer is located in Vienna’s 17th district on Hernalser Gürtel with the U-Bahn only a 3-minute walk away. If you take tram 44 you’ll reach the centre within 7 minutes, but if you choose to walk or roll into the centre it should only take you about 20 minutes. This makes Hotel Donauwalzer an ideal base for a stay in Vienna. We opted to walk so we could see more as we went along and we’re so happy we did. So many beautiful buildings, greenery and shops along the way.
During our stay, we had the pleasure of meeting the lovely owner of the hotel, Katharina Kluss. It was fascinating to speak with her and to learn about the history of the hotel, which dates back to 1901 when it was owned by a winemaker family. It was during the World War II that the hotel sustained devastating damage, but then Mrs Kluss family bought the hotel over 30 years ago and transformed it into the Art Deco gem that it is today. We also found out that our hotel room used to be where the family lived. That was pretty cool!
From the outside, the hotel’s striking blue exterior stands out from the surrounding buildings. It’s eye-catching and elegant appearance makes Boutique Hotel Donauwalzer a real focal point in its location on Hernalser Gürtel.
The main entrance to the hotel is via steps, but there is a wheelchair accessible door that the hotel staff happily open upon seeing you arrive and leave. As soon as you
step roll through the door, you are greeted by the stylish front desk and bar area, not to mention the extremely welcoming staff. In particular, Herr (pictured below) who made us feel at home upon arrival and kindly provided extra pillows to make me more comfortable in bed – more on the heavenly bed later.
There is a relaxing seating area in the lobby and various accessories, books, stationery and postcards for sale. Perfect if you’re looking for a souvenir from your stay at this stunning hotel.
The lovely Herr ensured check-in went smoothly and I was even able to fill in the necessary paperwork myself thanks to the lowered wheelchair accessible reception desk. A thoughtful touch. Before we knew it the room key was in our hand and we set off in search of our room.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE ROOM
Our wheelchair accessible room, #312 was on the third floor. However, before reaching our room we couldn’t help but admire the original parquet flooring throughout the hallway. Thankfully this beautiful feature continued into the bedrooms, which gave an authentic Viennese feel.
Each of the 73 rooms at Hotel Donauwalzer are unique and individually decorated, one of the reasons why I loved our accessible room so much. As soon as we entered the room I knew we were going to love our two-night stay. Everything from the interior décor, comfort, accessibility and feel of the room was ticking all the boxes.
The large chandelier is a main feature of the room and it’s difficult to capture its true size in a photo, but it is really impressive and authentic. Next up is the double bed and I can’t describe how comfortable this bed was. If you’ve read my other hotel reviews then you’ll know how much I hate hotel beds, but Hotel Donauwalzer has the most heavenly bed. So heavenly that I slept like an angel with absolutely zero aches and pains. I seriously wanted to bring that mattress home with me. Damn you, EasyJet for your 20kg baggage allowance.
The room was extremely spacious which allowed me to move around in my power wheelchair with ease. There was even plenty of space on both sides of the bed for wheelchair transfers and clearance underneath for the use of a portable hoist as well as power sockets and light switches at the bedside tables. Not only that, but look how cool the actual bed frame is. Its original and I love it.
After a busy day sight-seeing, the sofa was the perfect spot to relax with a few drinks from the mini-bar while watching the TV and planning the following day’s itinerary. Next to the sofa was the rooms original oven, which added to the rooms true original features and authenticity.
The traditional Viennese style continued throughout the whole room including the large wooden wardrobe, bureau and artwork. While the bureau was a little too low for me to fully roll underneath without skimming my knees, it didn’t cause me any major inconvenience as I was able to use the bathroom counter-top for getting ready in the morning.
The accessible bathroom has a simpler, minimalist design and provides a nice contrast from the traditional style of the bedroom. Like the bedroom, the bathroom has a lovely high ceiling and a beautiful reclaimed chandelier, which I believe was found at the Naschmarkt.
One of the first things to catch my eye was the Vienna city skyline scene on the window. This was a quirky feature to add to an otherwise standard window. I loved it. Below the window was the roll under sink, which was the perfect height for me and I was able to do everything I needed to do. There was even space on the counter-top to the left of the sink for doing my makeup etc. Perfect!
All the toiletries have the hotels own ‘Hotel Donauwalzer’ branding and there was even a Beethoven rubber duck (when in Vienna) waiting for us in the shower, which can be bought from reception to take home with you.
I was happy with the accessibility of the toilet such as the height, supporting grab bar and space on the left side for wheelchair transfers. There was also space for a portable hoist to move around in the bathroom.
The large accessible roll in shower was essentially open plan apart from one fixed glass panel. Although there was space to maneuverer my wheelchair, removing the glass panel would increase maneuverability and make the bathroom must larger. A stool was provided in the shower, but if you require a chair with a backrest then I’d suggest speaking with the hotel to see if there’s anything they can do to help. There is also the option of taking your own shower chair or hiring one when you are there.
After a long day of exploring this beautiful city all you want to do is retreat to your room (I know we did), but first, you may enjoy relaxing in the private spa. With a sauna, whirlpool, IR booths, steam shower and loungers, the private spa may be your new best friend during your stay at Hotel Donauwalzer. Unfortunately, due to space restrictions, the private spa area isn’t fully accessible to wheelchair users, but for people with limited mobility that are able to walk then you may find it’s suitable for your needs.
Another way to relax before or after a busy day exploring Vienna is to sit in the hotel’s tranquil green inner courtyard with food or a drink or even just to admire the beautiful plants. I’ve heard that you may even be lucky enough to be accompanied by the family’s friendly dog who enjoys relaxing in the garden. Sadly, during our stay the wheelchair ramp for the patio was out of action, but the owners are working on sorting that. I’m looking forward to sitting out in the garden the next time I visit.
Hotel Donauwalzer provides a lovely breakfast buffet serving a wide selection of fruit, cereals, yoghurt, meat, bread, house-made pastries, cakes and more. Everything was fresh and nicely laid out. A great way to set you up for a busy day of sightseeing in Vienna. If you happen to be there for breakfast on Sundays then you’ll be treated to sparkling wine, live classical music and occasionally even waltz classes. A real Viennese experience.
If the amazing breakfast isn’t enough for you, then there is also the café-bar which is open 24/7. We didn’t have a chance to get anything from the café-bar, but the staff were always so friendly and welcoming whenever we passed by.
THE OWNERS & TEAM
As I mentioned earlier it was lovely to meet Katharina. She was extremely engaging, helpful and spent considerable time giving us tips and suggestions on places to visit as well as showing us around the hotel. It was nice to see that she made time for each guest by speaking with them every morning at breakfast and offering advice. It was also a pleasure to meet Andreas who made us feel very welcome and offered great suggestions, directions and bus instructions. All the staff were the friendliest I’ve ever come across and they always looked so happy.
Would I stay at Boutique Hotel Donauwalzer again? The answer is “absolutely”. We had a fantastic stay and I can’t recommend this hotel enough. Our room was spacious, comfortable and accessible. I loved the art nouveau style and the friendly staff. The hotel is within walking distance of the centre and has great public transport links. Hotel Donauwalzer was the perfect hotel for our accessible trip to Vienna. I will definitely be back!
Would you like to visit Vienna or have you already been? Would you like to stay at Hotel Donauwalzer?
My trip to Vienna was organised by the Vienna Tourist Board. I was kindly welcomed as a guest by Boutique Hotel Donauwalzer. As always, all views and opinions expressed here are my own and have not been influenced or approved.