Two historic European buildings are being reborn as luxury hotels. Which becomes a legend most?
Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna
Auspicious Origins: A hotel built for the 1873 World Exhibition.
Humdrum Later Tenants: Police HQ (1875 to 1945) and Health Department (1941 to 1997).
Surprise Visitors: Ladies of the evening, who frequented the Health Department for checkups.
Design Flourishes: New custom bird’s-eye-maple furniture gives the neo-Renaissance building some Art Deco flair.
Best View: Roomy third-floor balconies overlook the chestnut trees on the Ringstrasse.
Ask the Concierge To... Arrange a tour of hidden vineyards within the city.
Vital Statistics: 152 rooms; opened March 2013. $$$