Monday 1 June 2015

Stadtnest B&B, Vienna: a Review

[Image description: the writer enjoying Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee & cake) in
the gemütlich & traditional Café Jelinek, a few minutes' stroll from Stadtnest]


There is a little plaque outside the entrance on Stumpergasse advising that Stadtnest B&B is nestled inside the hundred-and-twenty-odd-year-old edifice. Heaving open the outer-door - strong enough for a small fortress - one trundles along the cool, stoney corridor to the next set of doors. These are not opened just yet, for one needs to turn to one’s right and locate the intercom to connect with the landlady. Barbara Lenz, proprietrix, instantly greeted me by name and advised us to go through the aforementioned second door to the lift (elevator).

Through the door and across a small courtyard cum bicycle-store, one approaches a modern steel and glass lift-shaft. The door to the lift opened and Barbara was there to assist us with our luggage and demonstrate how the electronic key calls and operates the lift. The lift has been deftly retro-fitted to call at mezzanine levels between floors, what were previously just landings on the stone staircase. Inevitably this means a short flight of steps down- or upwards (so not suitable for wheelchair-users nor those who have difficulty with steps).

Next Barbara apprised us as to which conventional key opened the front-door to the B&B (and not her apartment which is just next-door - so she is on hand if needed).

One enters a brightly lit, modern furnished, bijou dining-room cum library cum office. The shelves, and for that matter anywhere there is space, are crowded with tomes, books, pamphlets, leaflets and maps, every last one on some subject or other to do with Vienna. The gate-leg table expands to become a breakfast-/dining-table as required, but can also be used as a work-station. In the corner is a large computer and telephone for use by guests, along with a pad of maps - to which one is at liberty to help oneself.

Off this room are four doors other than the entrance: two to guests’ rooms; one to a communal wc; and, the final one to a fully-fitted, compact kitchen with all one needs to prepare, cook and clear up after a small meal. There is another table situated here too. Also, this is where the white-board command-centre is located. (We never once needed to visit a tourist information office!) Barbara keeps it up to date with the latest events in Vienna as well as notes to enquiries from current guests. We took our breakfast (one selects a time between 08.00 and 09.30 - although earlier can be arranged for early-morning departures) each day here. Barbara offers an extensive menu, including her own freshly baked breads and home-made jams (jellies). For coffee-holics, like myself, she is always happy to make more of the brown nectar!

Our room was at the front of the building, with views over Stumpergasse. I am a fresh-air fiend, so appreciated that all the windows opened fully. The street itself is rarely busy or noisy; but one needs to take into account that noise travels further at night-time. However, the fan in the room works perfectly - we tried it even though we never actually needed it on.

[Image description: aspect of our room, courtesy & © Stadtnest]

There are three chairs, a sofa, a double bed, a desk cum dressing-table, a wardrobe, a large chest of drawers, two bedside tables each with two deep drawers, a side table and various lighting options. There are also a flat-screen television-set with a fantastically crisp picture, a radio-alarm-clock and chocolates every day on the pillows!

The en suite is only large enough for one person at a time; but recall there is a communal toilet if needed. The shower was amply large and the water, once heated after a few moments, emits at a satisfying speed and strength. Toiletries [organic] are provided if one does not wish to use one’s own. We used a small tube of gentle shower-gel to clean our spectacles and sun-glasses each day, so cannot comment on the products’ interactions with human skin/hair [although I am reliably informed that no reaction on a child's skin]. The type of wc was new to both my companion and myself, but as long as one follows the clearly printed rules, one cannot go wrong. The wash-hand basin was large and enabled one to shave, clean one’s teeth, wash, etc. without hindrance. The bathroom was cleaned every day, so we came back each late afternoon to a fresh and tidy appearance.

Stadnest is perfectly located between three of the Viennese underground, U-Bahn, lines, the U3, U4 and U6 as well as Westbahnof, one of the main city train-stations. All approximately a ten-minute walk from the front-door [recall I have a limp!]. Walking to the Innere Stadt (Old City) [within the famous Ringstaße], where many of the most famous tourist attractions are to be found takes approximately forty-five minutes [29 mins. per googlemaps] - depending how many shops, cafés, cake-shops (Konditorei), etc. one calls at! One is also within very short walking distances of many good eateries. For example see my review of the recently opened Zum Wohl which is just up the street.

[Image description: inside Zum Wohl]

My companion stated at the end of our seven-night stay that we would not have received such wonderful service in a five-star hotel (and he travels a lot). Barbara treats her guests as members of the family and made us feel totally chez nous (at home).

I have visited Vienna many times, but this was my chum’s first visit. He wants to return soon. And when we do, we shall be staying again at Stadtnest.


1 comment:

  1. Updated 8th June 2015: all comments in square brackets [ … ] and corrected the spelling of 'distances'. CRH