Hilton Vienna Waterfront

During our high-velocity trip to Europe, we spent three nights at the Hilton Vienna Waterfront. All in all, a lovely hotel with a few drawbacks future guests should be aware of.

The hotel is located on the banks of the Danube, about five kilometers from the Innere Stadt of Vienna, which is home to many popular sites, including Stephensdom Cathedral. Fortunately it’s only a half-dozen U-Bahn stops from the tourist area, making it pretty accessible despite its “out-of-the-action” location.

Stephensdom Cathedral

Which is exactly what we prefer: easy access to the action but not actually staying IN the crazy.

The people at the hotel were great, offering suggestions and recommendations for our travels, both within Vienna and when traveling to Bratislava for a day tour.

Upon arrival, we were checked in early and settled into our room.

Our guest room on the Danube

Our room was quite generous, even by American standards. The main area was 22.5 feet by 13 feet for almost 300 square feet, and ceilings of more than 8 feet made the room feel even bigger. It was equipped with a comfy king bed, a couch, desk, mini-fridge which could be stocked upon request, a safe for our passports and other valuables, and windows that actually opened! There was a warning sticker advising parents to mind their children if they chose to open the windows. Nothing was said about minding husbands intent on getting that perfect photo which, in my opinion, entails the greater risk!

Very cozy King bed

The bath was fine, equipped with a shower (though no bath tub), toiletries in those (awful) bulk bottles that have become the industry standard, a hairdryer and plenty of towels. Everything we needed.

We got a bite of lunch at the hotel's OXBO bar before heading out to explore. The hotel is situated in a neighborhood that is something of a residential area, with few restaurants within easy walking distance.

Once fortified, we walked the 700 meters to the Stadion U-Bahn station and headed toward the Innere Stadt. When we arrived at the main train station, a helpful Deutsche Bahn employee helped us get day passes for the term of our stay, so we could come and go without wondering whether we had purchased the right ticket.

The hotel was convenient, though not so close that we could just pop back and leave our coats because we’d misjudged and the weather was warmer than we thought. But that was fine.

One of the few drawbacks was that the hotel caters to conventions and to families. That means the main breakfast room is often chaotic, and not just because of the excited children running around. The room does not have an established “flow” and Austrians apparently don’t know how to queue, so guests who pause a moment too long before getting to the steam table with the scrambled eggs risk having another guest barge in front of them. Not the fault of the hotel…

Fortunately, we had access to the Executive Lounge, which offered a smaller breakfast but one which was ample nonetheless, with better views from the 5th floor, and few (if any) active children.

Hilton Vienna Waterfront (photo © 2024 Hilton)

The hotel is in the process of rebuilding the deck that faces the Danube, which will be lovely come summer but right now renders it unusable. A small thing, really.

The hotel has a 24-hour pantry on the lobby level and an automated kiosk lets guests charge their purchases directly to their room. Very convenient!

I had only one minor complaint. I asked the front desk about getting to the Vienna Erdberg Flixbus station where we would catch the bus for our day trip to Bratislava. It is about four kilometers from the hotel, and the clerk commented that it “would mean three different trains, so I’d suggest a taxi.” Fair enough, except that changing trains on Vienna’s U-Bahn system is easy-peasy, and the bus stop was immediately across the street from the Erdberg Station on the U-3 line. When we returned, we took the U-Bahn back to the hotel.

Well, not directly back. As I mentioned, the hotel is in a bit of a desert when it comes to outside restaurants. However, the next stop after ours was at a marina on the Danube, so I reasoned there must be restaurants close by. I was right.

We found a charming little Italian restaurant called L’Arte at the Donaumarina stop and enjoyed it so much, we would end up eating there two nights in a row. As I’ve said frequently, when traveling don’t be afraid to explore. You never know what hidden gems you'll unearth.

While the hotel was not as convenient to the action as others closer in, it wasn’t a difficult or lengthy process to get into town, the room rate was substantially better than hotels in the heart of the action and, hey, we were right on the Danube! How great is that?

The view from our room

If you’re going to Vienna, I recommend you consider the Hilton Vienna Waterfront.

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Photos by Carl Dombek unless otherwise noted
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