For many of us, Vienna is known as much for its favorite sons -- Beethoven, Mozart, Klimt and Freud, just to name a few -- as for its imperial architecture. But in recent years, favorite daughters have begun to make a splash in just about every sector, from art and music to hospitality and cuisine.
In fact, there are so many high-profile, women-owned and led businesses in the city now, joining the ranks of what we like to call "sheroes", that there isn't enough space here to name them all. Here are a few:
In the hotel segment, for example, Michaela Reitterer is the owner of Boutiquehotel Stadthalle, billed as the first city hotel in the world with a zero-energy balance. The 79-room property, which is located in city center, also boasts a largely female management team.
Sonja Wimmer won Hotelier of the Year in 2016 by a public vote for her role as general manager of the four-star Harmonie Vienna. The 66-room boutique hotel, also in city center, caters to business as well as leisure clients. (The award was awarded by the Austrian trade magazine OGZ and the hospitality association of the Austrian Economic Chambers.)
Andrea Fuchs Photo Credit: Fotostudio Floyd
Andrea Fuchs is the general manager of the Sans Souci, a 65-room luxury property next to the city's Museums Quarter. Standout features include the Sans Souci Spa, a nearly 66-foot swimming pool and veranda dining.
Barbara Ludwig is the general manager of the family-owned Hotel Beethoven, not far from the Vienna State Opera. The first floor of the 47-room, four-star property features a traditional Viennese coffee house, and weekly cello and piano concerts are held in the Papageno Lounge.
Katharina Kluss is the general manager of the family-owned, four-star Boutique Hotel Donauwalzer, within walking distance of city center. The 74-room, pet-friendly property offers a private spa that can be booked in its entirety and is wheelchair-accessible.
Simone Dulies Photo Credit: Marcel Gonzalez-Ortiz
Simone Dulies is the general manager of the Hotel Bristol, a Luxury Collection Hotel located in city center. The Art Deco property, situated directly across from the Vienna State Opera, features 150 rooms and 24 suites and has been operating as a hotel since the 1800s.
Of course, female empowerment in Vienna's hotel sector isn't entirely new. The Hotel Sacher, arguably Vienna's most famous hotel, was owned and managed by Elisabeth Gurtler from the late 1990s to 2014, when her daughter Alexandra Winkler, son-in-law Matthias Winkler and son Georg Gurtler, took over. Incidentally, Elisabeth is also the former director of the famous Spanish Riding School, one of Vienna's most famous tourist attractions. Her directorship marked the first time in the school's 430-year history that a woman held the post.
Women also make up an increasing number of Viennese chefs, including Stefanie Herkner of Zur Herknerin and Sohyi Kim of her eponymous Korean restaurant, vintners like Jutta Ambrositsch and pastry chefs like Viola Bachmayr, who owns and operates the patisserie Viola.
Women also make up a significant number of directors of cultural venues, such as Stella Rollig, artistic director and CEO of Belvedere Palace; Lili Hollein, director and co-founder of Vienna Design Week; and
Elke Hesse, director of MuTh, the concert hall of the Vienna Boys' Choir.
And, in June, a female artist collective from Zagreb, Croatia, will take over the Kunsthalle, one of the most important art exhibition spaces in Vienna, which is located in the Museums Quarter.
Unfortunately, I've left out as many women business leaders as I've included, but this collection of so-called girl power is just one more proof that Vienna, for all of its Old World charm, is anything but old hat.