History Grand Hotel (Vienna) Present Grand Hotel (Vienna)

Grand Hotel (Vienna)

Together with the Hotels Sacher, Bristol and Imperial the Grand Hotel is one of the four most famous hotels in Vienna. Our book about its history sheds light on a long bygone era.

In 1870 Viennese hotelier Anton Schneider opened his Grand Hotel at the Ringstrasse, setting new standards in international hotel management. His house became the meeting place of nobility and aristocrats, businessmen and the world of diplomacy.
During the World Exposition of 1873, the King of Belgium made it his residence. Many famous artists made the hotel their home in Vienna. Johann Strauss celebrated his stage jubilee at the grand ballroom. At the suite of countess Larisch the dramatic love affair of crown prince Rudolf and Mary Vetsera took its course. Pietro Mascagni, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr, the three tenors Carreras, Pavarotti and Domingo – to name but a few – they all were and are regulars at this hotel.

P.S.: The Grand Hotel Vienna is of greatest historic importance, as it is historically seen the oldest of all remaining 5star luxury hotels in Vienna. This is of course only theoretically true - it wasn't a hotel bewteen 1958 and 1994, when it reopend, totally rebuilt. Its historic facade was the only part of the old building that had to remain intact. The hotel has a great story to tell about all these years between its official opening in 1870 and 1958, and from 1994 to date! It was - under disguise - the first purpose built hotel building of the Viennese Ring Street, and the first to be called "Grand Hotel" on the European continent. Most other hotels adopted this name only later. After years as "ANA Grand Hotel Vienna" the hotel is now again called "Grand Hotel Wien".

The legendary Grand Hotel on Vienna's Ringstrasse, was built in the 1860's according to the plans of Karl Tietz, one of the most celebrated architects of his time. The architectural style of this period takes its name from the famous boulevard "Ringstrasse" itself. The era was noted for the charm and elegance of the "K & K" (Imperial and Royal) Monarchy and by a city dancing to the music of the Strauss family. The Grand Hotel was not only the first luxury hotel in Vienna but also one of Europe's first Grand Hotels. It was situated in an exclusive location; very close to the Musikverein, the Wiener Konzerthaus and the Vienna State Opera.

The Grand Hotel was actually inaugurated on May 10th, 1870. At that time the hotel could accomodate up to five hundred guests and the hotel offered already two hundred bathrooms. The hotel also featured a steam elevator and soon, a telephone would be installed in each room and a beauty salon was opened on the ground floor where the ladies could have their hair coiffured and the gentlemen their moustaches groomed. The Grand Hotel also could boast a truly excellent restaurant. Royalty from all over Europe chose the Grand Hotel as their base for their Viennese sojourns, taking the habit of leaving part of their luggage in the hotel's depot permanently in order to find it there on successive visits. The banquet rooms of the hotel were frequently used for great events. In 1894 Johann Strauss was celebrating his fiftieth anniversary as an artist. But the Grand Hotel was not only a famous meeting place for the Viennese society but for artists from all over the world like Enrico Caruso, Pietro Mascagni, Johannes Brahms, Yvette Guilbert, Josephine Baker, or actors Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner. In the 1950's the Grand Hotel took over the prestigious role of providing quarters for one of the capital's first international agencies, the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency).

In 1979 the IAEA left the hotel for its new home in the International Centre on the Danube and the building was used as an office for the Austrian National Bank and the Bundesbaudirektion. Beginning in 1989 the Grand Hotel was given a major renovation. Japan's largest air carrier All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd., (ANA) had made the hotel its European flagship. While the historical facade of the Palais Corso was retained, the interior is of a completely new design. The emphasis, therefore, is upon tradition as a framework for state-of-the-art technology. Exquisite fabrics and rare antiques add to the Grand Hotel's unique splendour.

1 August 2002 - JJW Hotels & Resorts has acquired the five star deluxe ANA Grand Hotel in Vienna from All Nippon Airways Co, Ltd (ANA).

The hotel is again named "Grand Hotel Wien".

HRH Karim Aga Khan
Susanna Agnelli
Taro Akebono
Roberto Alagna
H.E. Kofi Anan
Pamela Anderson
Roberto Antinori Francisco Araiza Dr. Oscar Arias Joan Armatrading Vladimir Ashkenazy Prince Rahman Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia Christiaan Barnard Iris Berben Teresa Berganza H.R.H. Queen of Bhutan Akos Birkas Jacqueline Bisset Hanne Boel Franco Bonisolli Angelo Branduardi Sir Richard Branson Semyon Bychkov Claudia Cardinale José Carreras Mathieu Carrière Seymour Cassel Sandro Chia Arthur Cohn Michelle Crider James Cromwell José Cura Dennis Russell Davies Frederik Willem de Klerk
DJ Ötzi Placido Domingo Faye Dunaway Frank Elstner Prof. August Everding Giora Feidman David Fincher Giancarlo Fisichella F. K. Flick Juan-Diego Florez Eileen Ford Dr. Michel Friedmann Barbara Frittoli H. D. Genscher Valerj Gergiev H.E. Boutros Boutros Ghali Angela Gheorghiu Michail Gorbatschow Thomas Gottschalk Herbert Grönemeyer Friedrich Gulda Jerry Hall Thomas Hampson Lionel Hampton Heinrich Harrer Stephen Hawking Johannes Heesters Hansi Hinterseer Christiane Hörbiger Enrique Iglesias Junichi Ishida Yoshiko Ishida Hiroyuki Iwaki Bianca Jagger Emil Jannings Günther Jauch Harald Juhnke Claudia Jung Vesselina Kasarova Kid Rock Franz Klammer Yasokichi Konishiki Cindy Crawford André Kostolany Gidon Kremer Uwe Kröger Hardy Krüger Paul Kuhn Katia & Marielle Labeque Christian Lacroix Dalai Lama Dieter Laser Maestro James Levine Hera Lind Ouliana Lopatkina
Helmut Lotti
Christa Ludwig
Lorin Maazel
Sir Paul McCartney
Teiko Maehashi Valdimir Malakhov
Sir Malcolm McDonald
André Maylunas
Lord Yehudi Menuhin
Maestro Riccardo Muti
John Neumeier
Inga Nielsen
Jessye Norman
Sir Roger Norrington Kenzaburo Oe Norio Oga Luciano Pavarotti Juan Pons Ruggero Raimondi Bhichai Rattakul Edzard Reuter Herb Ritts Andrea Rost Mstislaw Rostropowitsch Jennifer Rush Gabriela Sabatini Gunter Sachs Rolf Sachs HRH Prince Faisal Turki Al Saud Bärbel Schäfer András Schiff Claudia Schiffer Margarete Schreinemakers Martin Scorsese Neil Shicoff Laura del Sol Stefan Soltesz The Spice Girls Maestro Horst Stein Dr. Rita Süssmuth H.R.H. Prince Takamado of Japan Koji Takanohana Horst Tappert Bryn Terfel Christian Thielemann Michael Tilson Thomas Chantal Thomass U2 Ramén Vargas Makhar Vasiev George Vassiliou Antonello Venditti Maestro Marcello Viotti Deborah Voigt Gila von Weitershausen Konstantin Wecker Heidelinde Weis Raquel Welch Franz Welser-Möst Roger Whittaker Kai Wiesinger Eberhard Witt Klaus Jürgen Wussow Eikichi Yazawa Simone Young Carlos Santana


The First Grand Hotel The Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina was actually founded in 1851, but only changed its name to ‘Grand’ Hotel in 1890. The same applies to the Grand Hotel in Stresa, Italy, founded during the 1860s. The Grand Hotel Pupp in Carlovivary, Czech Republic, prides itself in a history dating back to 1701, but as a matter of fact, it was took the name ‘Grand’ Hotel only in 1913. The Grand at Trieste opened in 1873, the Grand Hotels Oslo and Stockholm in 1874, the Grand Hotel Vesuvio in Naples in 1882.


The hotel stands on 27.000 m2. 20,000 m2 is used area. 15,000 m2 marbled floors were laid, 800.000tons of concrete were used, which equals 100 lorry loads per day for one year.

For its re-opening in 1994 there were more than 1,200 workers employed on site. 4.000 fire sprinklers were installed. Two watertanks for the fire extinguishing system span over three floors and hold 900.000 l of water. Power: 4.000 kW electricity/ 2.500 kW cooling/ 5.000 kW heating. In 2000 the hotel had an average energy consumption of Euro 36,500,- per month. Various consumption figures: 150.000 l of water per day, 480.000 m3 air per hour And some more clever features: * automatic stand-by function of light and air-condition / heating in all rooms * automatic opening and closing - in accordance to the season - of the blinds of the windows upon check-in/out. * automatic timer for air-conditioning of the function rooms.. automatic recognition of the room key. When somebody from housekeeping enters the rooms, the light is dimmed, when a guest key is recognised, the light is much brighter.


1888-9 The Hapsburgs and the Grand Hotel

How could the history of the Grand Hotel influence the fate of the future emperor of the country? First of all the hotel, was the Viennese headquarters of Countess Maria von Larisch and her husband. The countess was the niece of Empress Elizabeth. Rudolf had a very amicable and trusting relationship with her. As Rudolf did not get along with his own father very well, he was most likely grateful for every friend he could make. One day, the Countess introduced Baroness Mary Vetsera to Rudolf. The two fell in love and fate took its course. The Grand Hotel becomes the revolving point for the two lovers. Rudolf is married and everything must take place in secret. The countess Larisch becomes a "messenger of the heart". Bratfisch, Rudolf's loyal servant, picks up Mary more than 20 times from the rear entrance of the Grand Hotel to take her to Rudolf. We know this today from notes taken by the secret police, which observed the young couple's every move. In November, 1888 the emperor asks Rudolf to end this affair. At this time Mary Vetsera is in her second month of pregnancy. Mary’s mother decides to send Mary to a nunnery. When she learns of the pregnancy, she changes her plans and sends her daughter to England. But Mary escapes and seeks refuge in the suite of Countess Larisch at the Grand Hotel In Vienna. On 27 January 1889, Rudolf makes two visits to the Countess at the Grand Hotel:once in the morning and the second time after lunch. That time, he used the rear entrance, but he went in the wrong door. Suddenly, he found himself in the hotel bar, an inexpensive place where the fiaker-drivers had their meals and a cold beer. They recognised him immediately, stood up and saluted. The Crown Prince made a quick retreat, completely embarrassed. On these two visits he begs Countess Larisch - according to her- to take Mary with her to the Riviera. But the story was to have another end. On 28 January, Rudolf sends Mary Vetsera to his hunting lodge at Mayerling. He himself arrives in the evening. The next morning, on 29 January 1889, at 7.10 hours, his servant Bratfisch and a colleague hear two shots, according to reports, from Rudolf's bedroom. To the best of our knowledge, Crown Prince Rudolf has shot Mary Vetsera first, then himself.

Mayerling and Hollywood - the Crown Prince Rudolf Affair
This material has fascinated generations of authors, historians and storytellers. Some Hapsburgs even talk about murder. In 1936, Anatol Lidvak produced the French version of the drama (he was later a guest at the Grand Hotel during the shooting of ‘The Journey’  England produced its version of the story in 1968, with Omar Sharif as the Prince, and James Mason, Ava Gardner and James Robertson Justice in other roles. Catherine Deneuve played the young Mary. It is aboout a certain Maria, Countess Larisch and Mary Vetsera, who were close friends. Countess Larisch and her husband Count Georg Larisch were regulars at the Grand Hotel. They lived at the corner suite 21,23 and 28, overlooking the Maximilianstrasse, today’s Mahlerstrasse.

1994, 15 June: the Grand Hotel reopens as ANA Grand Hotel Wien, managed by José de Gros and Michael Andreewitch.
1996: Hans Turnovszky becomes the new general manager.
1999 Austrian Franz P. Donhauser takes over from Turnovszky.
Hans Turnovszky returns and hands over to
Georg Weinlaender (until 2006)

175 Rooms
30 Suites

Unkai-Japanese Restaurant Le-Ciel-Gourmet Restaurant Grand Cafe- coffeeshop Kavaliersbar

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Grand Hotel (Vienna)
Country: Austria
City: Vienna
Opening date: 1870 / 1994

Note from the Host

General Manager

Carl Peter Echtermeijer

Hotel Manager: Mrs. Wafaa Moawad (regional sales & marketing)


Kaerntnering 7-9
1010 Austria, Vienna

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