At the Hotel InterContinental Vienna, concierge Thomas Crampton offers advice on what visitors should do and see in this stunning capital city. Here are some of his top tips for business travelers.
Q: What are your top restaurant recommendations for a business lunch or dinner?
A: Steirereck (Am Heumarkt 2A, im Stadtpark, A-1030 Wien; Ph: +43 (1) 713 31 68), a five-minute walk from our hotel, is located in a beautiful park. The atmosphere is professional and customer-oriented, and the top-quality food is praised by restaurant critics. Plachutta, with three locations in the city, serves the traditional Austrian dish Tafelspitz, tender slices of beef that melt in your mouth.
Q: What’s something that surprises guests about your hotel?
A: The knowledge of our staff; most of our employees have worked at the Hotel InterContinental Vienna for more than 10 years. Another fun fact is that we’re the hotel of choice for many Hollywood A-listers visiting our city.
Q: If business travelers only have a few hours for leisure, what must they see?
A: Vienna was the capital of the Habsburg empire and our grand and unique buildings reflect that history. Visitors short on time should tour the Ring Road, a street that circles the city center. It was constructed in the 1850s to replace walls that once fortified the city. The Ring Road passes several magnificent structures, such as the Parliament Building, Hofburg Palace and the towering St. Stephen’s Cathedral, with its mix of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. If you have a few hours, visit Schönbrunn Palace, an enormous complex that dates back to the Middle Ages. The palace and grounds were rebuilt in the 1700s and largely retain that style. The palace’s furnishings date to that era and make visitors feel like they’ve stepped back in time to the days of the Habsburg empire.
Q: What’s the best option for outdoor exercise?
A: Danube Island, only 20 minutes by subway from our hotel, offers numerous options for exercise: walking, jogging, mountain biking, tennis, soccer and swimming in the Old Danube, a large lake that once was a part of the Danube River. When you’re surrounded by nature on Danube Island, it doesn’t feel like you’re in a capital city.
Concierge Thomas Crampton’ s top tips for getting business right Vienna:
Tip 1: Introductions and greetings are formal. Greet your customers or colleagues by their full titles and last names.
Tip 2: When entering a room where people already are gathered, it is very important to acknowledge everyone. Make eye contact and greet people formally.
Tip 3: Austrians prize punctuality. It’s considered very impolite to be late for an appointment. And it’s best to arrive early.