The sales pitch on booking.com who we use for all our hotel bookings:

This historic Vienna hotel features a health club with gym, indoor pool with sunbathing lawn, sauna and steam room. Guests reside in a 19th century Imperial Riding School in Vienna’s diplomatic district, while enjoying the lush 2,000 m² private garden.

The boutique style Imperial Club offers uniquely designed rooms and suites with elegant furnishings. Standard features include flat — screen TVs, high — speed Internet access, safes and air conditioning.

Organic Austrian cuisine can be enjoyed at the hotel’s Borromäus Restaurant with a winter garden or on the beautiful summer terrace. The Arsenal Beer and Wine Pub proposes typical Austrian dishes and seasonal specialties of highest quality.

Guests may discover hidden gems only a local would know with Renaissance’s In-The-Know recommendations, personally curated weekly by the hotel’s Navigator.

The Ringstrasse and the city center, the opera, concert halls, theaters and museums are within easy walking distance. The Rennweg Train Station is right behind the hotel and provides a fast and direct connection to the airport (22 minutes). Various tram stops are only a few steps away.

We paid in advance last year and got an exceptionally good room rate — around 75 euros a night.

Checking in was a nightmare — even though I had all my paperwork, booking details, receipt, confirmation, etc no trace could be found of our booking. It had been a long hard day on the road driving, it was hot, late in the day and very tired — not ideal.

After half an hour and by a process of elimination we were eventually given our room which they or booking.com had booked in another name — some poor gentleman from the USA.  I wonder if he ever turned up looking for his room — or if there had been a massive clerical error.

Whilst all this was going on I managed to put my camera on the desk and eventually walk off without it in our hurry to get to our room, dump our cases and get something to eat before the restaurant shut. I have to say that the reception staff worked extremely hard to sort out the problem.

As it was so late we decided to try out the hotel restaurant. We ordered simply — Mozzarella cheese and tomato salad followed by the famous Austrian Schnitzel — veal coated in breadcrumbs and pan fried. Not the most politically correct meal to have but one I was keen to try once especially as my mother had cooked it for us as a family before all the issues concerning transport of live calves had been raised — we also ordered a glass of wine each.

Twenty minutes later our waiter returns to tell us that unfortunately he forgot to give our order to the kitchen — would we like a glass of wine on the house whilst we waited. Another 20 minutes pass before her returns to tell us that our cheese salad is no longer available — can he offer us an alternative.

Looking at the menus again, we both asked for simple smoked salmon — not the triple of smoked salmons on offer — just the plain and simple as I do not eat chili and Mr P did not eat one of the ingredients in the other. Ten minutes later he returns with the multi-plate of smoked salmons which we promptly sent back. Eventually we get our plates with our requested smoked salmon and nothing else… so we ask for bread and butter… turn away David… this will bring tears to your eyes.

This has to be the only time I have ever been served bread and butter, where there has been as much butter as bread– if not more.

Our main course arrives in due time — sadly I suspect it had been cooked in time to be served after the first (wrong) order of salmon and was dry and had no accompaniments.

Did we want pudding, coffee, disgestif… no we just needed our beds and to put this evening behind us.  We signed the chit and went to bed .

10 Comments

  1. Love the bread shot! It’s good there was finally enough butter to cover the bread. SMILE!

    What a start to your trip! I’d love to know how you booked became messed up. That’s not good on any level. It sounds like the hotel workers were just as tired as you were!

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  2. I just looked at the bread and thought what would David do – looked at Mr P and we just both collapsed in giggles. I think we would have cried otherwise.

    I would love to know how the bookings got messed up ……… we had a pretty specific room request as it included a bath and shower and not just a shower – we also requested a smoking room as well – and no money was handed over until the availability of both was confirmed. Needless to say I have written to the booking agency and have also given them a real pasting on their feedback survey this time.

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    1. Ha! I think the bread was the best part of your service!

      After everything was set with the online agent, did you happen to also contact the hotel to confirm everything was received in your name on their side?

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  3. It probably was apart from the poor girls on reception. Having worked in hospitality we always had certain clients that had problems – this time the roles were reversed they must have been sick of the sight of us by the end of the week!

    No I did not – the agents send you a letter confirming everything and say there is no need to contact your hotel to confirm. I will be in future though. I may even go back to booking direct with the hotel if I can.

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    1. Yes, I don’t think I would’ve contacted the hotel either, especially if you’ve used the service before. Now, however, I will certainly never presume the meme has been completely understood, and accepted on both ends! SMILE!

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  4. I thought the pads of butter in the photo were (not sure if you are familiar with these but…) small boxes of milk, like the ones you give to a child…. Wow, That was a lot of butter. Glad you were able to finally get a little chuckle though – I was actually going to ask at what point did you just have to start laughing to keep from crying?
    The bed sure looks very comfy, but not worth all that I’m sure – or maybe it was.

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    1. That was the point …….. we had to contain ourselves from having hysterics ……….

      The bed in the end kept our sanity – it allowed us to sleep well in spite of everything – also the air conditioning in the room which was a haven in the searing heat.

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