We stayed at the Hotel Das Capri for a week whilst researching our city guide to Vienna and found it a perfect resting place for creative, food loving photographers like us. The analogue photography that decorates each room and hallway makes for an impressive collection and if you’re into ethical eating then we think that the breakfast will be one of the highlights of your Vienna experience.
Here are a few photos and observations that we made during our stay; at the bottom of this review is a video that’ll give you a further idea of the hotel.
Location – The hotel is located in Vienna’s 2nd district, Leopoldstadt, on tree-lined Praterstrasse. The underground station “Nestroyplatz” (U1) is right outside the front door and will take you into the city centre in minutes. To walk to the Ring, St. Stephens Cathedral, the Spanish Riding School and all the fantastic city museums takes about twenty minutes whilst if you want to visit the outdoors amusement park of Prater, where part of The Third Man was filmed on the big wheel, you can walk ten minutes to the end of Praterstrasse and you’re there.
We found the area that the hotel’s located in, which used to be known as Mazzes Island and was home to Vienna’s Jewish population before WWII, to be an affluent, safe place with lots of interesting places to eat.
We arrived in Vienna from Venice by train. There’s a subway station right outside the train station but since it was about 9am and we were way too early for check in we decided to walk to the hotel instead. It took about forty five minutes and luckily the staff at the hotel were happy to let us have an early check in.
For a map to help direct you to the hotel, please see http://www.dascapri.at and click ‘Location’.
Reception – Reception is open twenty four hours. We found the staff to be genuinely friendly and helpful without being overbearing or intrusive. They also all speak perfect English. There’s plenty of tourist information available here, comfortable seating and also a twenty-four hour bar service.
There’s also free umbrellas to use, a public-use computer and also a printer. This was very handy for us as we had to print our flight boarding passes before we left. Here’s how the computer station looks.
Because it was December the reception area was decorated and complimentary mulled wine was available in the evening that you helped yourself to. During the day there were also oranges and walnuts available on the same table.
Here are some more images of reception.
As I’ve mentioned we were checked in early as luckily there was a room available. If there hadn’t been there’s a free, secure luggage storage room behind reception that we could’ve used whilst we spent the morning in the city; you can also use this facility when you check out. Check in and check out has set times but the Capri is a family run hotel and they’re very friendly, if you’ve got a special request we think they’d be happy to accommodate if at all possible.
The hotel also sells it’s own hand-made chocolate! We ate two bars during our stay and can attest to it’s quality.
The Stairs and Corridors – The artwork covering the walls of each of the seventy-one rooms, corridors and stairwells are all photographs taken by a local artist, Christine Wurnig, illustrating unconventional views of Vienna, it’s history and culture. It’s a huge body of work and even more impressive is that in this age of digital photography Christine worked mainly with analogue film using a Hasselblad camera. Not only does this mean she had to be very good technically – you’ve got to know your photography to use such a camera – she also had to be confident. Each film exposure has to be perfect first time or there’s a very expensive price to pay when you’re using this type of camera and film!
Each floor has a different theme and each corridor is decorated with an impressive, beautiful, large scale image. If you’re searching for inspiration for your own Viennese photographs you might just find it on the Capri’s walls. Here’s a pictorial run-down of the different floors.
Each room was named, and themed, after a subject relevant to the floor it was on. For instance, on the floor devoted to ‘Very Important Viennese’ you’d find…
If you took the stairs instead of the lift you’d see portraits of the entire hotel staff, together with images of their favourite places to visit in the city. As photographers we could understand the technical and creative skill on display, and the fact that this was a very substantial body of work that would’ve taken great determination to complete.
Our Room – The first thing we felt as we walked into our room was a sense of space. Each room at the Capri is at least 25 square metres, it’s a very comfortable size indeed and never once during our week-long stay did we feel cooped up.
Our room had five photographs in it, as every room does (except the family rooms, which have more as they’ve an extra room). Each room has a different theme – a famous Viennese person, landscape, buildings, etc – which in our case was the Belvedere Palace. What a huge photographic project this was, to produce five top class photographs for each of the seventy one rooms!
The second thing that took our eye was the empty water jug sat on the glass coffee table. A sign hung over the neck of the jug explained all.
Basically it said that Vienna’s tap water came straight from the springs in the nearby Austrian Alps and since it was so great to drink there was no need to supply bottled spring water. So we filled up at our sink and found the claims to be true; it tasted great, no hint of chlorine.
Ok, now down to some basic room facts.
- There is free, fast wifi available throughout the hotel.
- There’s no ironing board in the rooms but you can iron your clothes yourself on the ground floor, where there is a board and iron.
- There’s free tea and coffee in the room, renewed daily, and the carpets that cover all the room except the bathroom are cleaned every day.
- There are over 100 TV channels, including over 25 that we found in English.
- More than once we returned to our room to find little gift bags resting on our pillows that contained nuts and chocolates.
- There’s adjustable heating on the radiator that includes an ‘Eco’ setting and outside we had a small balcony, with this view.
We had a peek into other rooms (photos of these rooms are further down this article) and the views from those rooms were like this;
The windows are thick and the rooms are soundproofed well so we were never disturbed by any noise at all.
Now to the bathroom. The hotel has been awarded the Austrian Ecolabel (which certifies that the hotel uses it’s resources in an environmentally friendly way) and we were certainly impressed with the complimentary toiletries on offer. Also impressive was the sparkling cleanliness of the bathroom and the fact that it had two well lit mirrors which made it easy for both of us to get ready at the same time. Lamia also commented that the lighting was excellently designed for putting on makeup.
Other Rooms - We looked at several other rooms during our stay, here are some images. First, there’s a family suite that had two bedrooms.
And here we have a regular room.
And another room…
Breakfast – The breakfast at Hotel das Capri is something to talk about in detail. It’s a self-service buffet and if you’re interested in eating locally produced, high quality, flavourful and at times organic food, then you’ll have a ball here.
The fruit juices – of which there are always a choice of six different varieties – are from farmer Rogner who lives on the outskirts of Vienna. There are photos of him, and the other local producers plus some of the staff who work the breakfast room, on the noticeboard as you walk into the room.
The teas are organic and fair trade, by Sonnentor, whilst the coffee is sourced from the renowned Viennese roasting house Meinl.
The eggs are free range and are served soft or hard boiled.
The Wiener Wurstel, sausages and hams are supplied by the meat manufacturer Kollecker, from the outskirts of Vienna and the cheeses (semi hard or soft), are from the Austrian Alps and served with a choice of walnuts or honey.
The fresh breads and rolls offer a choice of seeded, rye, full grain and poppy seed rolls from the Viennese baker Felber.
Then there was fresh fruit salad and also yoghurt that was made in house…
…that went nicely with the range of crunchy granola and dried fruit and nuts.
There was organic honey from the family Stich near Vienna, home made jam from another local farmer, Mrs Hertl, and a variety of Viennese pastries including poppy seed cakes, nut strudel and croissant.
Here are some other photos of our plates at breakfast time.
And here are some final photographs we took of the breakfast rooms (there are three separate rooms leading off from the main buffet).
Here’s a short video that we made during our stay. It’s not meant to be a glossy promo film, more an honest look at what you might experience yourself if you stayed at the hotel.
In Summary – The Hotel das Capri is a superb place to stay, in our opinion. It’s comfortable, friendly, well located and it’s making a real effort to support local Viennese farmers and artisans by using their food in the breakfast buffet. The food on offer is thoughtfully sourced and combined and is of an exceptionally high quality, as is the quality of service and the photography that lines the walls in the public spaces as well as the rooms. We’d stay there again in an instant and we’d recommend the hotel to our friends and family without hesitation.
To discover more, please visit http://www.dascapri.at/en/