Day 1 - Checking In!
It’s not everyday that you hop on a first class flight from Newark to Vienna to explore the sights and culture of one of Europe’s most beloved cities. We picked Le Meridien for a variety of reasons, but foremost among them was that it was in the heart of the city and walking distance to absolutely everything. We arrived via Uber in the early afternoon on Thursday and check in was a breeze. We were even an hour early and we still were whisked briskly to our room and our luggage was shuttled upstairs while we enjoyed a cocktail at the in-hotel resultant YouVienna. When we got to our room, we were honestly shocked at how incredible it was. From very tall wall to wall windows looking out over the streets and park, to the clawfoot tub, shower, and insanely comfortable bed…we felt instantly at home. That room became our home base from a busy day of sightseeing and shooting film/photography.
Day 2 - City Wanderings
The next day we decided to skip breakfast at the hotel and to simply explore the city a bit more. Because Le Meridien is centrally located to all of the best restaurants and cafe’s in town, it took less than 10 minutes to walk to what was soon to be our favorite, Cafe Mozart. From there we wandered the city, rode scooters, pet the carriage horses, ate schnitzel and came upon sight after sight of buildings and ruins thousands of years old. We were very much overwhelmed with the grandeur of the city, how quiet it was in the evenings, how walkable everything was, and how badly we needed public transportation like that in the States…but I digress. We came back to Lè Meridien to find our beds turned down and small wrapped chocolates, fresh soap, and a pillow with my printed name on it! It really made Erin and I feel special and welcomed. We met the staff numerous times during our stay and they were always kind and helpful (especially when refilling the mini-bar!). Erin and I were so exhausted after a long day of walking, we decided to skip out on dinner entirely and go straight to bed, after grabbing a beer and soda from the mini-bar in our room!
Day 3 - Train to Graz!
Our third day was completely different from the first two. We decided to try our luck at booking a train ticket from Vienna to Graz, Austria’s second largest city. We booked our first class ticket online and then walked into breakfast. We were instantly saddened we hadn’t taken advantage of it the previous morning. Chefs prepared eggs in 4 different ways, incredibly delightful different tasting sausages, cappuccino maker, a variety of juices, pastries, crepes, and way more. It was by far and away the best hotel breakfast we have ever had, full stop. After a short stop upstairs to get changed, we decided to walk from the hotel to the central train station. Of course, you can easily take the trollers, rent a scooter or bike, but that walk to the train station was one of the most special parts of the trip for me. Graz was incredible, the views from the clock tower were breathtaking and when we hopped back on the train after hiking up multiple steps and steep paths, we were needless to say, very tired. So tired in fact, we decided to order our three course dinner, provided by YouVienna directly to the room. The meal itself was incredible and couldn’t have come at a better time. Erin is both gluten free and a vegetarian and they were easily able to accommodate her. We fell asleep to the sounds of the city.
All good things must come to an end, and we left Le Meridien for the countryside of Hallstat and Bad Ischl on Sunday morning. As always, the breakfast was just what the doctor ordered for a long day of driving and hiking. We sincerely appreciate Le Meridien and their staff for making my first three days in Europe absolutely magical. To wake up every morning to a view of the city, a comfy bed, and incredible breakfast…matched with their friendliness and cleanliness, I wouldn’t stay anywhere else!