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?

 

Vienna Trip – Austrian Airways Economy Frankfurt to Vienna

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

Austrian Airways Economy Frankfurt to Vienna

Flight Number: OS132

Departure: Edinburgh Airport

Destination: Frankfurt Airport

Class: Economy

The transfer at Frankfurt airport was relatively short, by the time I went through passport control and security again and transferred between the B & A gates, the flight to Vienna was already boarding so no time to try out an airport lounge this time!

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B to A Transfer Tunnel at Frankfurt

However I was able to do a spot of ‘plane spotting’ on my way and was able to capture a Lufthansa A380 and a Lufthansa 747.

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Lufthansa A380 in the background

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A new Lufthansa 747 (look at the engines)

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A SAS plane was our neighbour at Frankfurt

Boarding the Austrian plane was efficient sorry no pics but this was also an Airbus 321.

The crew were younger and friendlier than the Lufthansa crew, the seats were exactly the same as on the earlier Lufthansa flight but with an Austrian logo at the top, again the business class seats were identical to economy except with the middle seat blocked.

Service was efficient, the IFE was again my iPad ;) and as Lufthansa gave me a sandwich, Austrian kindly provided desert, with a choice between chocolate wafer and a non chocolate biscuit, I went for the chocolate option and diet coke.

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Desert :)

On both the Lufthansa flight and the Austrian flight, electronics were to be switched off during take off and landing, with Austrian still saying this was due to safety despite the recent official evidence to the contrary, and they enforced this.

The flight was enjoyable and pleasant, better than the Edinburgh to Frankfurt leg with Lufthansa but again nothing outstanding to make me stick with Star Alliance for my European destinations but also nothing to stop me flying with them again in future.

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Our neighbour for arrival was a fellow Austrian plane.

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A row of Austrian metal and a sister Lufthansa plane as well were awaiting our arrival at Vienna

What are your thoughts? Have you flown Austrian for intra-Europe flights? Would you use them again?

It should be noted that whilst everything was branded Austrian Airways this flight was technically operated by ‘Tryolean Airways’.

Vienna Trip – Lufthansa Economy Edinburgh to Frankfurt

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

Lufthansa Economy Edinburgh to Frankfurt

Flight Number: LH963

Departure: Edinburgh Airport

Destination: Frankfurt Airport

Class: Economy

This trip exposed ‘German Efficiency’ as a myth, the flight was late boarding (Due to a late inbound flight, although we were not told this until after we had boarded the flight), it wasn’t the delayed flight & boarding that prompted the ‘German Efficiency’ comment, but rather after boarding Elite & Business class they wanted to board the rear of the plane first, whilst they enforced this at the gate, they didn’t clear line of those people that didn’t qualify meaning that there were people ‘in line’ who shouldn’t have been.

This meant people who did qualify were joining the back of the long line, only to come forward when the exasparated gate staff called out the rows numbers they were looking for again.

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Line for Lufthansa Flight

The plane that would be flying us to Frankfurt was an Airbus 321 (D-AISK).

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Lufthansa Airbus 321

The seats were slimline and the business class seat were identical to economy except that the middle seats were blocked.

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Lufthansa Short Haul Economy Class seats

After boarding was completed the pilot informed us about the delay (even the screens in Edinburgh didn’t acknowledge a delay) and that this had been caused by the inbound flight being late. The flight crew were very good and kept us informed at key points throughout the flight.

The seat was comfortable enough and sufficient room or pitch between the seats, I wouldn’t want to be in the seats for too long but for short haul they were absolutely fine.

The IFE consisted of my iPad ;) and crew were pleasant enough but very business like (some German stereotypes are true) and certainly weren’t ‘hosts’ as Luftansa would like to make out. The food service consisted of a Tomato and Mozzarella sandwich (no alternatives were offered) and a complimentary beverage, I opted for diet coke.

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IFE & Meal service

This was served shortly after take off, and the crew gave us ample time to complete eating our ‘meal’ before collecting the rubbish.

Surely Lufthansa could stretch to offering a vegetarian option and a non-vegetatian option in economy?

Overall the flight was pleasant enough, nothing to scream out, always use Lufthansa for my short haul flights but nothing that would stop me using again in future.

 

What are your thoughts? Have you flown Lufthansa for intra-Europe flights? Would you use them again?

Vienna Trip – Edinburgh Airport & Aspire Lounge

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

Edinburgh Airport & Aspire Lounge

Parking

I used Secure Airparks to park my car, which is so close to the airport that you can see the plane taxiing from where you park your car. It is then a short bus ride to the terminal, all at the fraction of the price of parking at an airport run car park.

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Secure Airparks Car Park & BA Plane Taxiing

 

The Terminal

Edinburgh airport is no longer run than BAA (the main company that runs airports in the UK) and I believe the new owners do not own or operate any other UK airports so that means they can concentrate on improving Edinburgh.

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Edinburgh Airport with the distinctive control tower as the logo

Check-In & Security

No pictures for check-In or Security I am afraid, however as I checked in 2 hours before the flight was due to depart, there were no queues for the Economy bag drop (I had checked in) online.

The line for security was short and I was through in minutes.

Aspire Lounge (Run by Servisair)

As I was flying with Lufthansa (a Star Alliance airline), I could not use my Cathay Pacific status to get access to the British Airways Lounge, which I believe is the best lounge at Edinburgh (but still nothing special compared to most lounges).

The Aspire Lounge is currently being refurbished so it is not fair to judge it based on its current look & feel. However despite this I would say that this is still better than most (if not all) of the US airport lounges that I have been to (come on USA raise your game!).

The lounge is basic, no airside views, no showers, or staffed bar but does have free food & drink.

Aspire seating, it filled up later

Aspire seating, it filled up later

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Snack Selection

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Drink Selection

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Basic snack selection

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I had a Raspberry yoghurt & Diet coke, whilst I waited

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View from the Aspire Lounge

Next post will be about the flight.

Vienna Trip – Introduction

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

Introduction

I had not booked anything for Easter 2014 (Friday 18th April to Monday 21st April) so in late March, I decided to look around at ideas for a short break, in order to maximise my time at the destination and make it back for work on Tuesday, this essentially meant a short break in Europe.

I was originally thinking Rome, however the costs of flights due to the Easter break were too high for me.  I have already been to Amsterdam and Budapest within Europe, this left plenty of new cities for me to explore. After having a look around at available flights and the cost of those flights, Vienna looked like the best option for me.

This trip allowed me to try Lufthansa & Austrian Airways, and the American Express Fine Hotels & Resort service, which I used to book the Hotel Bristol in Vienna.