Palais Coburg, Vienna $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
Built in the mid-19th century by Duke Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the neoclassical Palais Coburg is gorgeously grand. It sits on top of the Braunbastei (the 16th-century ramparts, parts of which still survive) and is nicknamed Asparagus Castle, thanks to its skinny central columns. It's been a hotel since 2003, when major, historically correct renovations were completed. The 34 suites have gilded chandeliers, sorbet-colored walls, and in some rooms, heavy silk drapery. What they lack in atmosphere they make up for in size and views—the hotel stands on the Ringstrasse. Suites are named after European rulers who were members of (or close to) that über-elite Saxe-Coburg and Gotha clan: Victoria, Ferdinand, Boris III, Maria da Gloria (aside from the four modern suites, with their glass and steel, spotlights, and sloping eaves). Guests of all the suites get to play in the third-floor spa (with pool and hammam) and to try the fancy, modern cuisine of chef Christian Petz at the Restaurant Coburg as well as the ambitious wine list in the Wine Bistro's pretty garden pavilion.
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