Wall-mounted televisions amid antique paintings, electric chandeliers, heavy wooden furniture, high ceilings and polished floors make 7Heaven apartments feel like the perfect mix of historical glamour and modern luxury.
Where living areas are opulent and beautiful, the functional kitchens and bathrooms are streamlined, clean, and extremely well-stocked. White goods are from reliable brands like Bosch or Siemens, and include full-size fridge-freezers, washing machines, and dishwashers. The little things matter too, including milk in the fridge and ice cubes in the freezer for when you arrive, and plenty of dishwasher tablets and washing powder in the cleaning cupboard. Pots of cereals, coffee, sugar, and teabags mean you're set up for breakfast, which makes for a relaxed start to a break. With a Spar shop only a few moments away, it's easy to restock.
From the moment you step inside the building, you feel like you're stepping back in time. Known as the Rondellhaus, in the seventh district of Vienna (hence the property title) this is a nineteenth-century building demolished in 1896 but rebuilt in keeping with the original design. The encaustic tiled floor is smart and mesmerising, carefully restored with tiles from a historical tile-maker. Each floor has hand-coloured copper engravings o the wall, giving a history of Vienna, and the building itself. Apartments are named after famous Viennese inhabitants, such as Mozart, or Sissi (Kaiserin Elisabeth).
While you might want to spend all your time lounging around in such a glorious apartment, Vienna is a stunning city, and you're given ample help to explore. Each apartment comes with a thick folder of carefully organised information pages. This includes restaurants, cultural pursuits, parks, drinking holes, places to meet practical needs, and even a history of the building. Maps show you precisely how to get there, with comments about the time it takes to walk, or what to expect in terms of budget and atmosphere. It's a great aid in orientating yourself in an unfamiliar city.
In practical terms, these are great apartments too. There's a clothes airer, ladder, iron, and ironing board for those boring chores that sometimes need to be done. Down in the basement, where you find the recycling bins, you can see hoards of other useful items and beautiful furniture ready to be brought up when needed.
For hot summers, there is a mobile air conditioning unit which plugs into vents in the windows. Given the cold winters, however, you might also appreciate the log burners to give a homely warmth to your apartment.
Log burner - cosy in winter, useful storage in summer
The apartments are situated in a great part of town. In the immediate vicinity are lots of trendy places to eat, and when you realise it's on the edge of the Museums Quartier and experimental art district, you start to appreciate why this is so.
There is the magnificence of the old museums (Art, or Natural History) and the Volkstheater itself, as well as the modern spaces made available for the Museums Quartier. Just a short walk away is the Rathaus, and Volksgarten, with its Grecian temple building in the middle and long rows of roses.
If you want to head out further, the Volksgarten U-Bahn stop is only five minutes from the apartment, and there are tram and bus stops just a little further than that. It only takes around ten minutes to reach the city centre this way.
There is no lift, which means you need to be ready to climb a lot of stairs to reach upper levels (there are four floors), even if your climb is made more interesting by the Roman busts in alcoves, but staff are kind about helping with bags on arrival. In fact, staff are helpful about everything, both in person and by correspondence, which is another reason to recommend this property.
Spotlessly clean, this is a glorious place to stay. With comfortable beds, excellent large showers, good cooking facilities, and a DVD collection supplied, it's an amazing place to relax after a busy time in the city. Located on a side street, it misses the worst of the main road traffic, with just a little noise from the two restaurants below.