Business trip: Vienna
If you like sleek, minimalist hotel design, you will love the 156-room, five-star Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom, where rooms are decorated entirely in just three colours: white, grey or black. Most rooms and the top floor Le Loft Bar and Lounge offer some of the best views in the city from its location just across the Danube overlooking the historic old city inside the Ringstrasse.
To celebrate an important deal and enjoy modern Austrian cuisine at what is considered the best restaurant in town, consider Steirereck, located in the leafy, central Stadtpark. A recent tasting menu included such dishes as mountain trout served with white aubergine; pheasant with lentils; and venison with spiced lingonberries. You can enjoy a lighter (and less pricey) meal in the Meierei in Stadtpark cafe next door, which offers a nice selection of Viennese cakes, pastries and 120 varieties of cheese.
For a full-on Viennese feast, check out the Schwarze Kameel, a restaurant established in 1618 in the middle of the city and still going strong today. Start with a glass of Austria’s famous gruner veltliner or riesling, and enjoy classic dishes such as goose liver in a mandarin soy glaze; a traditional Tafelspitz (boiled beef served with roasted potatoes, creamed spinach and apple horseradish); and ice-cream dumplings in a butter crumble. Meat lovers should also consider Plachutta, a name that is almost synonymous with traditional Tafelspitz as well as Wiener Schnitzel (thinly sliced, breaded cuts of veal fried in clarified butter).
Peer out of the floor-to-ceiling windows over the tranquil Danube Canal or turn your eyes on the see-and-be-seen crowd at the uber-hot Motto Am Fluss, with a sleek design that feels more like a yacht than a restaurant. Its eclectic menu offers a range of dishes such as local organic beef tartare, risotto or grilled fish. It is located between the Mary and Sweden bridges on the Danube Canal.
Off the clock
If you spend most of your business trip holed up in offices or convention centres, take a few hours and enjoy the expansive views from the Wiener Riesenrad, Vienna’s giant 65m-high Ferris wheel. The wheel consists of 15 enclosed gondola cabins, which can be used for unique small-scale celebrations among friends or colleagues any time of the year.
Spend an afternoon soaking up the art and atmosphere at the Museums Quartier near the Imperial Palace. The Quartier is a complex of four museums (Leopold, Mumok, Kunstalle Wien and Architekturzentrum Wien) surrounded by a lively array of cafes, bars and restaurants. Check out the treasure trove of Viennese Art Nouveau (including pieces from painters Gustav Klimpt and Egon Schiele) at the popular Leopold Museum. At the Museum of Modern Art (also known as Mumok) you will find contemporary works by the likes of Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and even Yoko Ono. For unique souvenirs and an unconventional collection knick-knacks, do not miss the kitschy MQ Point store nearby.
Don’t do this!
When invited to coffee by a client or colleague, do not expect to gulp down a cup of hot coffee served in a paper cup. Instead, at Vienna’s famously ornate coffee houses, you can expect your coffee to be served in typical Viennese style: on a silver tray, in a porcelain cup and saucer, along with a glass of water with a demitasse spoon expertly balanced on the rim.