Investor grabs Vienna Intercontinental

One of Vienna’s most prestigious hotels has a new owner.

Austrian businessman Michael Tojner forked out 50 million Euros to snatch up the Vienna Intercontinental, business newspapers disclosed today (Fri). The deal will be finalised in May, according to Die Presse which reports that Tojner – a Vienna-based investor – has not yet decided about a possible expansion of the five-star hotel.

The Vienna Intercontinental is located at the Stadtpark which has a magnetic function thanks to the gilded statue of waltz composer Johann Strauss. Renowned cultural institutions such as the Konzerthaus, the MAK (Museum für angewandte Kunst, Museum for the Applied Arts) and the Akademietheater – where acclaimed plays like “Stallerhof” and “Der ideale Mann” are currently on – are in walking distance of the Vienna Intercontinental.

The Vienna Intercontinental is one of the biggest names among Vienna’s hundreds of hotels. It is competing with the Hotel Sacher, the Grand Hotel, the Hotel Imperial and a few other five-star hotels for upper class vacationers and business travellers. The city’s established luxury hotels recently welcomed another rival in the ring. The Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom Hotel is situated in Leopoldstadt district. French architect Jean Nouvel designed the 18-storey building which features a restaurant and a bar on its top floor.

Another five-star hotel will open its doors later this year. Managers of the Sans Souci Hotel said earlier this week that their five-star location would include not only rooms and suites of varying price categories but also 15 exclusive apartments – of which eight are already sold to Austrian and foreign individuals.

Hotel price comparison platform Trivago reports that a standard double room in Vienna costs 124 Euros at the moment, 20 Euros more than last month. Holidaymakers had to pay 133 Euros per room and night in October 2011, according to the Trivago Hotel Price Index (THPI) which checks price developments in Europe’s most popular holiday destinations.

The THPI shows that hotels in the Swiss city of Geneva are most expensive these days with 259 Euros, up sharply from February (239 Euros). Hotels in London, Great Britain, come second (183 Euros; February 2012: 172 Euros) while hotels in Italian fashion hotspot Milan are in third place among Europe’s top tourism destinations at 180 Euros (February 2012: 152 Euros).

The Viennese tourism industry and other sectors of the city’s economy are hoping for an extra boost by this year’s 150th anniversary of the birthday of painter Gustav Klimt. Several galleries and museums – including the Leopold Museum and the Museum of Art (Kunsthistorisches Museum, KHM) – are holding special exhibitions featuring the works of the Fin de Siecle luminary who died in 1918.