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October 08, 2008

Vienna: Ring Hotel

The Ring Lobby
The Ring Hotel's lobby.
Photo: Hotelchatter.com

Every May, Condé Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

This majestic 68-room hotel on the Ringstrasse offers a more casual air than neighboring grande dames. There's no pseudo-Hapsburg decadence, gold faucets, or red velvet behind the nineteenth-century facade: The decor throughout is uncluttered, with easy-on-the-eyes browns and creams, while color-coordinated prints hang instead of oil paintings, toning down the opulence. Rooms come with original moldings and a Nespresso machine. The seasonal food at At Eight, the restaurant, is inventive and mouthwatering, diminished only by a dining room with somewhat bland furnishings. Impeccable service adds the finishing touch of personal luxury, and the less formal look doesn't take away from the five-star quality of the residence, which is a welcome, less expensive alternative to the usual Imperial- or Art Deco-style hotel.

Address: 8 Kaerntner Ring, Vienna, Austria 1010
Tel: 43 1 22 1 22

When to go: May through September for coffeehouse culture and walks through Vienna's many parks, November through January for punch stands and romance.
Which room to book: An X-Ordinary room on the fifth floor with a view of the Ringstrasse and the Staatsoper, or the exclusive Ring Suite, which can be reached only by paternoster lift.

Further reading:
* The Ring Hotel's Web site
* Hot List 2008
* The Vienna Guide
* Hot List on the DT

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