Carl says: Hotel Daniel is more than just a place to spend the night.

The beguiling sense of smart urbanity which pervades the award-winning Hotel Daniel in Graz can now be enjoyed at the Hotel Daniel in Vienna.

Bicycle hire instead of a limousine service, bees and apple trees on the roof, hammocks in hotel rooms and a trailer as a hotel room in the front garden. This all makes up the exciting world of Hotel Daniel in Vienna, which has the simple concept of ‘Urban Stay – Smart Luxury’. This is a concept that has gone down well with local city dwellers as well as travellers, making the hotel an urban meeting place that is a lot more than simply a good place to stay the night. The best proof of this is the Daniel Bakery, which has become a popular culinary hotspot in Vienna over the past year. In the relaxed design-mix of the ground floor of the hotel. visitors can enjoy good international cuisine from early in the morning until late at night, hold a business meeting or just chill out with friends.

At the end of 2011 the first export of the Weitzer Hotels was opened, with 116 rooms in a building steeped in history, set in a prime location, just next to Belvedere Palace. Hotel Daniel Vienna offers exceptional levels of comfort wherever it is sensible (sleeping, showering and eating well, for example) and simply does away with superfluous pomp and complicated frills – the kind of details which they think are only a burden on the shoulders of modern travellers. After all, today’s guests have a preference for swift and uncomplicated changes of location and want to keep their minds open to new impressions. The ‘Urban Stay – Smart Luxury’ concept was coined by Graz-based entrepreneur Florian Weitzer, who describes his concept as a reinterpreted luxury. Intrusiveness is out. Instead find exceptional details in furnishings and features which surprise and inspire his clientele.

The bakery on the ground floor

Restaurant? Bakery? Hotspot? Hotel lobby? Shop? It’s a bit of everything and altogether a place to visit – for a drink or a home-made pastry, for a business meeting or chilling out with friends.

The Bakery is a place where people like to meet for a drink, a bite to eat or for a good meal, simply to chill out or to get down to business without having to travel at all. This is how neighbours have quickly become regulars and friends. Starting early in the morning, the entire breakfast buffet is open to hotel guests and non-guests alike; here you can order à la carte or get a quick take-out.

The food served in the Bakery is as international as the kitchen staff (open from 6:30 until 13:00, food until 23:00). The mouth-watering compositions include starters and salads from all over the world, a choice of delicious sandwiches and special Bakery burgers, right through to steaks and innovative vegetarian dishes. A superb choice of Austrian drinks is complemented by the international delights of yoghurt-based ayran, Starobrno beer, Cava or Turkish coffee. Another outstanding thirst-quencher is cardamint lemonade, a drink that is based on syrup pepped up with water, soda or wine. It consists of 100% natural ingredients such as green cardamom, mint and lime. A further Bakery hit are the home-made sweet specialities such as cheesecake, pavlova, ginger shortbread, cookies and cupcakes.

hotel-daniel_DANIEL_vienna_01_bakery_lobby 1400x600

No lobby please

Well worth knowing: looking for a conventional lobby, reception desk and breakfast room is a waste of time in the loft-like area at the Hotel Daniel Vienna. Instead, the ‘urban stay’ concept creates smooth transitions that are a world away from conventional, uniformly styled designs. It’s not really a question of applying those well-worn vintage, retro and industrial look labels; the ideas come from Florian Weitzer himself. And Florian likes to blend and mix things up a bit. The result is a pleasant aesthetic crossover of classic furniture and modern design in combination with original self-made furnishings. You’ll find design pieces from the likes of a Donna Wilson as well as Katakana chairs juxtaposed with unpretentious kitchen chairs from the 1970s and sofa tables crafted from simple wooden pallets. Next door, the Jugendstil couch owned by the Weitzer family has been refashioned into a Hollywood swing.

In the entrance area you simply check in at a functional counter powerfully evocative of the 1960s. What’s more, this is precisely the place where you can buy all kinds of beautiful and useful things, from Mühlbauer hats and Brooks bags to white Daniel shirts and the special Daniel Soap. The bright and breezy area also features a number of other nice little details, including plants sprouting from suitcases and equally bizarre items, a sun deck, free WLAN and an ATM.

Veggies from the garden

hotel-daniel_DANIEL_trailer01 600x900A cult object – one which can even be used for sleeping overnight – is parked directly in front of the Daniel’s patio. Purely in visual terms, the polished aluminium exterior of the original 22ft Silver Streak Clipper Airstream trailer from the USA perfectly matches the curtain wall façade of the Hotel Daniel Vienna. But as a symbol of freedom, independence and easy mobility, it’s the perfect companion for the hotel concept which Florian never tires of developing. For it was Florian who imported the historic model straight from America. He went on to have it converted into a unique, comfortable hotel room by a Croatia-based expert in boat interiors. Under the direction of an interior fittings specialist, the Airstream was thermally insulated, sound-proofed and fitted out with air-conditioning, heating, a separate WC, hot water supply and a top bed.

Naturally, services such as a flat screen TV, phone and WLAN are also included, and due to the low ceiling height there’s even a standalone bathtub with a view instead of the usual shower. The result: 16m2 of top service and comfort from €112 per night (single or dual occupancy), combined with an extraordinary and completely new kind of home-from-home experience! They even throw in an urban gardening experience, with vines and vegetable beds around the trailer as a genuine outward extension of the hotel, and as a further symbol of true openness at Hotel Daniel Vienna.

Rooms with a hammock

hotel-daniel_DANIEL_vienna_Panorama 600x600The Hotel Daniel Vienna doesn’t need a conventional hotel classification – the 116 beautifully designed and brand new rooms on six floors come in four categories, and are superbly appointed with technical facilities. In fact they symbolise the principle of ‘smart luxury’ in practice. There are no unnecessary things there to get in your way. Raindance showers, a super flat TV and a room safe all enhance the relaxation factor.

There’s no doubt that the individual merits of each room type exemplify contemporary luxury. ‘Smart’ simply means smart, which also applies to the relaxed price structure starting at €95 per room. As you might have guessed from their names, ‘Hammock’ rooms feature hammocks and ‘Panorama’ rooms offer plenty of light and panoramic views. Each of them is available from €112 per room. The top category of room is the ‘Belvedere’, featuring fantastic views of Schloss Belvedere, with costs starting from €172 per room, regardless of whether you’re staying on your own or sharing.

The perfect spot in Vienna

One more thing: the new Hotel Daniel Vienna couldn’t enjoy a more central location. Its most famous neighbour is Schloss Belvedere; the Swiss Garden and the Botanical Garden of the University of Vienna are not far away either. The neighbourhoods surrounding the Hotel Daniel showcase just about everything that one of the most wonderful cities in the world has to offer in terms of art, culture and culinary delights. Places where revered history is juxtaposed with strident subversion, where the exquisite is happy to take its place alongside warm-hearted tradition! Not to be sneezed at, either, are the convenient transport links which spread out in all directions, from Vienna’s upcoming new central railway station, from the Südtirolerplatz underground station and from the Quartier Belvedere suburban railway station – all of them easily within striking distance of Hotel Daniel. It’s barely a 20-minute walk to the centre of the First District, and you can get there even faster by hiring a bike or Vespa scooter from the Daniel’s brilliant motor pool.

Website: Hotel Daniel