Cozy, quirky, hip define Vienna's Das Triest


VIENNA -- At Das Triest, the modernist design is based on the philosophy that "less is more," and the aim is to differentiate the small property from better-known hotel chains.

Management likes to boast that Das Triest recently made a list of the 10 hippest hotels in the world and is eager to note that celebrities such as Diana Ross, David Bowie and actor Johnny Depp stayed here.

The lounge of the Das Triest hotel in Vienna features wooden dividers with windowpanes. Stars aside (or perhaps included), business travelers account for 80% of the hotel's sales, said general manager Manfred Stallmajer.

Daily rates range from $152 for a single room to as high as $429 for the top suite. Breakfast is included.

The building now occupied by Das Triest originally was used as the main station and stable for horses pulling stagecoaches between Vienna and Triest.

It later became the Stadt Triest Hotel, but was redesigned and reopened as the Das Triest in December 1995, featuring an interior designed by British architect Terence Conran.

Specially commissioned pieces of minimalist modern furniture and art give the place a flavor that the hotel itself describes as "quirky," but it still tries to be somewhat cozy.

Walk through the hall, for example, and you'll discover coves with a single chair, lamp and small table nestled by the window.

The hotel is intimate in another way: There are only 72 rooms. Eleven of them are suites. Be aware that three of the rooms are not air conditioned.

Das Triest is located on Weidner Haupstrasse, an extension of Vienna's main shopping street, Karntner Strasse. That puts it at about a five- to 15-minute walk to some of the city's most famous sites, but there are also trams and buses close by.

To make bookings from the U.S., agents should call Design Hotels at (800) 337-4685.

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