REVIEW: HILTON VIENNA PARK HOTEL, AUSTRIA
An 18-month-long multi-million-dollar hotel-wide renovation has seen the Hilton Vienna Park Hotel beautifully transformed to reflect the grandeur of the historic cityscape it resides in.
Located in the heart of Vienna’s city centre, a glittering cityscape made up of imperial palaces and baroque boulevards, an integral part of the redesign of Hilton Vienna Park Hotel was to create a greater sense of place and locality by highlighting the city’s understated elegance and adopting the style of the Secessionist movement to add a layer of historical reference throughout the interiors.
The extensive renovation project, which has seen all guest rooms, restaurants, bars and event spaces completely transformed by the incredibly talented design team at London-based design studio Goddard Littlefair, was completed at the end of 2020. As well as the refurbishment, 78 additional guest rooms and suites have been added on the 15th floor, bringing the total number of keys up from 579 to 663. All the newly added rooms feature panoramic views of the Wien River and historic city park, Stadtpark.
“The key to the project was to ground the overall design in the local design vernacular, so visitors and locals would feel its sense of place. Adding energy and animation to the public spaces transforms the experience of the hotel, which aims to draw in the Viennese and capture the international guest. The hotel rooms and suites follow the style of the Secession movement whilst at the same time creating a very residential feel with calm colours and textures. We are rightly proud of the work our studio has put into making a truly landmark Hilton hotel,” comments Martin Goddard, Co-Founder and Director of Goddard Littlefair.
The name ‘Vienna’ derives from the Dutch word ‘vedunia’, meaning ‘forest stream’ and this concept informed the studio’s approach to the restoration. When applied to the ground floor public areas, the journey starts from the Lenz restaurant as the ‘Source’ of the ‘forest stream’ and runs throughout the public areas finishing in Selleny’s cafe and bar concept.
The Studio devised a narrative using the four elements of Air, Water, Earth and Fire to illustrate the design, colour scheme and ambience for each area fulfilling and strengthening the link with nature. To create this flow between the hotel restaurant and bar areas, Goddard Littlefair developed a dynamic floor plan through means of axis and vistas, horizontally and vertically through double height spaces to successfully open up and link the restaurant, lounge, reception, bar areas and mezzanine floors together.
The vision for Lenz was driven by the desire to create a relaxed yet elevated space that could transition from day to night, from morning breakfast to upscale evening dining. Symbolic of ‘Air’ and influenced by the Vienna Secession, the style is modern with detailed historical references such as the striking lighting which nods to Josef Hoffmann’s art deco Glassware. Gilded Glass Screens evocative of Gustav Klimt’s flowing ornamentation create zones and cosy corners in the external facing dining room with an adjoining outdoor terrace. With furniture inspired by the revolutionary bentwood designs of Gebrüder Thonet, the flexible choice of seating throughout contributes to a social and vibrant atmosphere.
Meandering through to the Buffet restaurant, ethereal ornamentation meets geometric shapes under a dynamic ceiling inspired by Adolf Loos’ American Bar and illustrative of one of the four elements crucial to the overall design narrative, Water. The relaxed and flexible space appeals to groups and individuals, offering buffet style service and an open kitchen theatre. Private dining zones are created using elegantly positioned full- height screens with high and low tables nestled alongside royal blue banquettes and illuminated by the glow of lighting derived from the innovative metalwork of the Wiener Werkstätte.
Designed as the hub and the central focus of the ground floor, the new rotated geometry of the hotel Lounge drives the flow of the space, linking each area physically and connecting them visually. Bold patterns and elongated proportions have a playful feel, whilst comfort is created through patterned rug borders influenced by Gustav Klimt’s Secession Exhibition Posters. Created by the talented Ulster Carpets design team, the bespoke rugs and carpets depict a series of distressed patterns coupled with geometric designs across the lobby and executive lounges to create a signature style that is found throughout the hotel.
“Hilton Park Vienna is the result of a successful collaboration between Ulster Carpets, the interior designer Goddard Littlefair, and the contractor List Smart Results. We strive to build strong relationships with our customers, and this was evident in how we developed this project from conception to completion,” said Elaine Patterson, Contract Sales Director at Ulster Carpets. “This collaborative approach allowed us to develop custom carpets and rugs that not only captured the beauty of Viennese culture but also provided a sense of continuity throughout the Hilton Vienna Park.”
The angles and positioning of intricate geometric screens allow glimpses of intimate corners yet create an open, flowing space encouraging guests to experience all areas of the ground floor. With reference to the Earth element, warm colours and crafted textures can be seen in the Wiener Werkstätte patterned scatter cushions and the glow from lighting derived from Adolf Loos’ playful designs refracted by Josef Hoffmann style stained glass freizes.
Homely comfort is created through the bespoke furniture that takes inspiration from Otto Wagner’s innovative designs for Gebrüder Thonet. The intricate design details of the Lounge reference the Secessionist movement and reinforce the unification and harmony of the space. Niche seating panels create a warm and welcoming Reception Lobby under the glow of Wiener Werkstätte pendant lighting, offering the perfect vantage point to glimpse the tempting bustle of the Café Bar & Restaurants.
As guests flow from the Lounge into the Selleny’s, the impact of this space symbolising the last of the four elements crucial to the overall design concept, Fire, is focussed on the dual cocktail and food counters, providing an intriguing draw from both the exterior and the interior, with a choice of artisanal local products and ingredients. Supporting an informal breakfast service in the mornings and lounge service during the day, the bar becomes the theatrical focal point in the evening with eye-catching details and theatrical embellishments such as Otto Wagner styled bar stools with elegant curves and playful geometric mosaics and upholstery inspired by Josef Hoffmann.
The Mezzanine overlooking the ground floor takes the overall concept of the design and transfers it into the meeting rooms, conference rooms, the revitalised Business Centre Lounge and the interconnecting corridor areas. In addition to the public areas, dining spaces and bars, Goddard Littlefair transformed the existing Suites, Presidential Suites and guest rooms with new finishes and decorative elements that create a cohesive Secessionist style look and feel that brings together the revitalised ambience of the Hilton Vienna Park Hotel.
From standard rooms, which are cosy retreats that carry the overall ambience of the rest of the hotel, to the ‘Five feet to Fitness’ rooms, perfect for the exercise enthusiast who prefers to simply roll out of bed and straight onto gym equipment without the hassle of having to visit the gym, the guest rooms at Hilton Vienna Park Hotel cater for every kind of guest – and that’s before even looking at the super luxury suites. Suites come complete with exceptional views from the floor-to-ceiling windows that also help keep the interiors so light and airy, then there’s the exceptionally swish Presidential Penthouse Suite, which at a whopping 100 square metres is larger than most city-centre apartments. With glorious park views from its private balcony, this suite consists of generously proportioned bathroom, kitchenette and dining area, as well as living room, walk-in wardrobe and can be expanded to include three luxurious separate bedrooms.
The Hilton Vienna Park Hotel is an exemplary vision of modern comfort effortlessly linked to its surroundings and locale’s history, which has been achieved through vision, craftsmanship, and collaboration.
DESIGN: Goddard Littlefair
CONTRACTOR: List Smart Results
SUPPLIERS: Carpets and rugs: Ulster Carpets Artwork: Mizrahi Fine Arts Embroidery/upholstery: Keshte Design Mattresses: Serta Bluetooth speakers: Bang & Olufsen Televisions: Samsung Bathroom mirrors: Aliseo Bathroom amenities: Crabtree and Evelyn Guest room gym storage and suspension: Gym Rax Gym equipment: Precor Classic Brass switches: Jung