Vienna Trip – Hotel Bristol

Introduction

Edinburgh Airport & Aspire Lounge

Lufthansa Economy Edinburgh to Frankfurt

Austrian Airways Economy Frankfurt to Vienna

Hotel Bristol (Vienna)

Lufthansa Economy Vienna to Frankfurt

Lufthansa Economy Frankfurt to Edinburgh

Hotel Bristol (Vienna)

The Hotel Bristol is a five-star luxury hotel in Vienna opposite the Vienna State Opera House and is now one of the most exclusive hotels in Austria and arguably the world after being restructured by the famous hotelier Georg Hochfilzer. It has hosted many historical figures including Teddy Roosevelt. The Prince of Wales and Wallis Simpson sojourned here at the height of their affair, in 1936; the most sumptuous suite is named after him.

I booked this hotel using the American Express Fine Hotels & Resort (FHR) service that I have access to as an American Express Platinum Card holder. For this hotel it meant booking at the flexible rate rather than the lowest available rate other than that there is no premium to using the service.

By booking using FHR this entitled me to:

  • Noon Check-In
  • 4pm Check-Out
  • Upgraded Room
  • Daily Breakfast
  • 3 Course Dinner & Soft drink at the hotel’s restaurant

At check-in I was acknowledged as being a FHR user and a SPG Gold level member, this I selected High speed internet as my Gold level perk, however in addition to the free high speed internet I was given 250 points as well.

Room 167

Room 167

I was in assigned to room 167 which is on the first floor and the corner along from the Prince of Wales suite which is the hotel’s flagship suite.

The Prince of Wales Suite

The Prince of Wales Suite

Room 167 has a view of the State Opera house.

View from Room 167

View from Room 167

Room 167 was large, with an entrance hallway and a bathroom off that hallway.

Room's entrance hallway, with bathroom off to the right

Room’s entrance hallway, with bathroom off to the right

The room’s decor fitted with the hotel, that is to say old fashioned but was large and comfortable.

Room 167's windows & TV

Room 167′s windows & TV

Room 167's bed

Room 167′s bed

The hotel provided bottles of water every night along with some welcome chocolates.

The hotel also left a note to let you know what the weather was forecast to be the next day.

Weather forecast & welcome chocolate

Weather forecast & welcome chocolate

The room key was large but with the intention that you leave it at reception when you go out and pick it up when you return and this was explained to me, though apparently wasn’t explained to ‘Lucky‘ when he stayed at the more luxurious  sister hotel.

The bathroom was also large with twin sinks, a bath, and a shower.

Twin Sinks

Twin Sinks

The Shower, can you spot the fail ;) (1st world problem).

The Shower, can you spot the fail ;) (1st world problem).

Bath Tub

Bath Tub

The free breakfast that I got by booking through American Express Fine Hotels & Resort was the full breakfast, and was a good spread. The eggs were all freshly cooked to order from fried eggs, to poached, as well as scrambled eggs or omelettes, and were all well cooked.

Hot breakfast options

Hot breakfast options

Breakfast buffet

Breakfast buffet

Cereal

Cereal

Cold spread including Salmon, and cold meats

Cold spread including Salmon, and cold meats

In addition to the above spreads, there was also the option of juices and pastries.

Conclusion

If you like old fashioned hotels this is a great choice, with good hotel service and a great location. When I visit Vienna again I will be staying at the Hotel Bristol again.

Have you stayed at the Hotel Bristol what are your thoughts? What hotel would you recommend for staying in Vienna?

 

Upcoming Trip Report – Vienna

Scotland’s Flyer is pleased to announce that he will be taking an upcoming trip to Vienna.

I will be flying with Lufthansa from Edinburgh via Frankfurt to Vienna in Economy class (Business class within Europe is not worth the price premium in my opinion.)

And staying at Hotel Bristol (leveraging both the American Express Fine Hotels & Resort service and also my Gold level SPG status), I will let you know how that works out during the trip report.

The hotel was named after the British town Bristol. In Vienna it was disproved for the first time that the Bristol had been named after the fourth Earl of Bristol. The Earl lived some 100 years before the opening of Europe’s Bristol Hotels (Rome 1870, Warsaw 1901, Oslo 1920, Paris 1925 and some 50 more), his emblem was totally different from that of the town in Suffolk which has nothing to do with the Earl.

Bristol’s emblem depicts a castle and a ship. Bristol, after all, was the town from where many expeditions put out to sea. The original unicorns were displaced by lions in 1923. Later, in 1932 and 1975, the unicorns appeared again. Today, the emblem bears the lions once again. The motto Virtute et Industria, virtue and industriousness, can be read above our hotel’s entrance door; it is, in fact, the same motto that decorates the emblem of the town Bristol in England.

Have you been to Vienna?

Let me know in the comments section what hints & tips you have so that I and other readers can benefit from your knowledge.

Are you looking forward to my trip report or should I only review trips where I travel Business Class or above?

Let me know in the comments section.

Information about AVIOS / BA Exec Club

Introduction to Avios

Avios is a points scheme formed from Air Miles and BA Miles in 2011. Many mistake it for a frequent-flyer scheme. Actually it’s a points scheme like Nectar and Clubcard, earnable in Shell, Tesco and by spending on reward credit cards, though its rewards are travel-focused.

Just to confuse people the main Avios, BA Executive Club, and Iberia Plus points are all called Avios. Points are usually worth the same, regardless of the scheme.

Avios says the main Avios scheme’s better for irregular travellers while the BA Executive Club’s best for frequent flyers, offering benefits such as free airport lounge access for members in certain tiers. You can move or pool Avios and BA Executive Club points at any time, so if you change your mind later, it doesn’t matter.

As this is a travel blog, I shall concentrate on providing some information and tips about the BA Executive club.

You Pay Taxes when using Avios

Avios charges passengers taxes and fees on flights, wiping some of the gain. These can be up to £100 for British Airways return flights in Europe.

Yet under its Reward Flight Saver scheme, you pay a fixed £35 fee on most short-haul economy flights, as long as you earn at least one point during the year before you book.

Remember you don’t get Avios for Nothing

Don’t think Avios is giving you something for nothing. Loyalty points schemes are incorporated into pricing policies. So if you are flying with British Airways (or another Openworld airline), sign up to the BA Executive Club so that you can collect the Avios points that you are paying for!

Avios are not just for Flights – You pay no taxes if you use Avios for Eurostar

Swap Avios points for Eurostar return tickets and you don’t pay taxes or charges, which makes it an excellent value exchange. Plus it’s rare to find hefty discounts on Eurostar fares.

Return tickets to Paris, Lille or Brussels all start from 9,000 Avios points (redeem this way and 1,000 Avios points are worth £8ish). You need to book ahead for peak times, as Eurostar only releases a limited number of 9,000 returns for each day – once those have gone, the price in points goes up.

Collect Avios when buying Milk

When you convert Clubcard vouchers into Avios points, £10 becomes 2,400 Avios points. This means £37.50 of Tesco vouchers buys a Eurostar return to Paris. It could also get you to Prague or Milan (plus £35 fee).

But it occasionally boosts this to 4,000 Avios for every £10. So if you’ve no plans to use your points yet, hold your horses until Tesco runs one of these promotions

Using Avios for Business Class Flights is Relatively Good Value

Using your points for long-haul business flights gives you a better cash equivalent return than economy. Plus, while you pay taxes on long-haul flights, on pricey first class tickets these make up a smaller proportion of the overall ticket price.

Check Availability Using Multiple Sources

Confusingly flight availability sometimes varies between the main Avios site and the British Airways Executive Club’s. If you’re struggling to find the flight you want, check availability on both sites and move your points into the scheme with flights available.

You Don’t Need to Spend Avios on Flights or Eurostar

But think twice before you do! As spending Avios points on hotels or car hire. In my research, seemed to give poor value for points – you’re usually better off redeeming on other rewards.

You Don’t Need to Spend Avios on BA or OpenWorld Flights - Aer Lingus

The best British Airways Avios redemption remains for travel on Aer Lingus between Boston and Dublin. That’s because British Airways has a distance based award chart, and Boston to Dublin is just under 3,000 miles one-way, making it just 12,500 Avios in economy or 25,000 Avios in business class.

There’s no way to search award availability for Aer Lingus using Avios online, so you do have to call British Airways’ Executive Club call center, though they can pull up availability in a matter of seconds. Boston to Dublin using Avios is the cheapest transatlantic award redemption there is (with any airline) in both economy and business class.

Aer Lingus announced that they’ll be launching service to San Francisco and Toronto — their fifth and sixth North American destinations this April.

If booking using British Airways Avios, the service between Dublin and San Francisco will cost 25,000 Avios in coach or 50,000 Avios in business class one-way, while the service between Dublin and Toronto will cost 20,000 Avios in coach or 40,000 Avios in business class one-way. Given that American Express Membership Rewards frequently has transfer bonuses to British Airways, that can be quite a steal.

Aer Lingus North America Destinations

  • Toronto
  • Boston
  •  Chicago
  • Orlando
  • San Francisco

Summary

I believe that for the UK based traveller, that Avios & hence OpenWorld along with Aer Lingus offers is the best airline loyalty scheme to join.

I hope to be taking a trip to the USA this year and trying out the Aer Lingus product & service so please stay tuned!