Joining the Circus at 25hours Hotel Vienna
As I approached the modern structure, adjacent to the MuseumQuartier complex I saw the words “we are all mad here” in giant letters in front of the entrance. If I had to describe the vibe at the 25Hours Hotel in Vienna using pop-culture references, I’d say it’s a PG-version of American Horror Story mixed with the Mad Hatter’s tea party from Alice in Wonderland. Turns out, that’s exactly how the architect intended it to look. I was zealously welcomed into the reception by Roland, 25Hours’ marketing manager.
We entered “the Mermaid’s Cave”, a room that managed to look minimal and extravagant at the same time. Designed by a young, innovative team known as Dreimeta, the walls are covered in mosaic tiles, with a larger-than-life mermaid in aquamarine. Roland told me he saw the design as being reminiscent of the Grand Budapest Hotel. Of course it was built before the movie was made and the look is inspired by Vienna’s Prater amusement park, as it looked way-back-when in 1808, a time of freak-show attractions and overall bizarreness, where diorama sets and funhouse mirrors surrounded me. The Mermaid’s Cave, also known as the sauna and chill zone was incredibly soothing. It made me want to sit back, relax, and be entertained by the quirkiness of it all.
I also was surprised to learn that the hotel in Vienna is the largest 25Hours Hotel ever built, with 217 rooms with kitchenettes, despite 25Hours having hotels in cities like Berlin and Hamburg. Due to popular demand, the rooftop bar is being refurbished and additional rooms are being added. Each 25Hours hotel has a different theme, from sailor-diver décor in Hamburg, to a Rock ‘n’ Roll flair in Frankfurt. Also, pricing is very humane for what you get, rooms range from €100 to €200 per night.
Right outside the hotel a delicious surprise laid in ambush: Burger de Ville, a cute food truck that’s open in the summertime and dedicated to fine art of burger making. With options like the “BBQ burger” – a beefy, succulent contender with crunchy bacon, caramelized onions and some healthy lollo bianco to top it off – The meat-lovers are covered. And with the Greek-style “veggie burger” with grilled Portobello mushrooms, halloumi cheese, grilled paprika, sundried tomato aioli and arugula the vegetarians stay happy. It’s a welcome pit stop on your way to from your room. But for those who prefer staying indoors, their pizza is a popular choice with their naughty motto, “Fuck it. Eat Pizza” engraved into the knives. Choose from Pizza Red or Pizza White, a color-coded combo of red ingredients such as salami and white ingredients like lightly roasted mushrooms respectively.
I stayed in the “M” room, as they are categorized into S, M, L, XL sizes. For guests staying longer and favoring a fancier abode, the L and XL rooms boast a built-in kitchen and even have a bathtub on the balcony, perfect for soothing suds after a wild night of partying. 25Hours thrives on witty tongue-in-cheek slogans, the traditional “Do Not Disturb” sign gives guests 25 alternative reasons for housekeeping to clean or leave them alone: “Imagine if The Rolling Stones stayed in the room”, or “It’s the 25h hotel. I need the extra hour.”
Waiting for me on the bed was Schlaffant, the elephant, literally translated to “sleep-ephant”, an adorable hand-sewn plush toy to keep me company. The bed was slightly raised and made for the ultimate lazy, peaceful night on sleep. With the wind blowing outside, my elevated cocoon cradled me to a deep sweet slumber.
Breakfast time is a noticeable switch from the intense, busy-bee environment of the restaurant area during the evening. Gentle jazz classics set a calm mood as guests groggily sip their coffee and orange juice. I binged on fresh fruit and blueberry yogurt before switching to an egg salad sandwich and nutmeg ginger croissants. To complete my decadent overnight I grabbed a coffee-to-go on my way out. I had felt so at home in the house that sports the title “we are all mad here”, guess I’m not the only one.
The Verdict: A distinctive experience for circus enthusiasts and closet eccentrics, 25hours plays on hipster culture in such an oddly creative way that their rare missteps are totally forgivable.
25hours Hotel Vienna – Click here
Lerchenfelder Straße 1-3,