Six of the best: Vienna hotels

DO & CO HOTEL

Eyeballing the Gothic glory of St Stephen's Cathedral across the way, this hotel occupies a striking, angular glass and steel building in the old town's pedestrian zone and is known as Haas Haus after its creator, leading postmodern Viennese architect Hans Hollein. The ultra stylish fit-out is extravagant in teak, suede wall panelling, luxe fabrics and natural stone. Do & Co made its name as a restaurant and catering company and the restaurant is a winner, combining traditional Viennese food with superb sushi and sashimi. The sleek Onyx bar, with its white banquettes and cathedral views, is a great place for a cocktail.

Guestrooms for two from $269 a night. See doco.com/hotel.

ALTSTADT VIENNA

Famed Italian architect Matteo Thun is responsible for this hotel, a chic designer haunt carved out of a 19th-century townhouse in the 7th District. None of the rooms are the same but they're all effortlessly stylish, with high ceilings, gorgeous parquet floors and artworks from Austrian painters. The whole hotel is crammed with quality modern art (there's even some Warhol) and artists and musicians stay here; owner Otto Wiesenthal, who lives in the building, is a noted modern art connoisseur. For affordable luxury - and complimentary afternoon tea by the fire, a nice, unexpected touch - it's a top spot.

Guestrooms for two from $190 a night. See altstadt.at.

SOFITEL VIENNA STEPHANSDOM

One of the newer additions to Vienna's skyline, this sloping glass tower sits just beyond the old town on the Danube Canal and was designed by avant-garde French architect Jean Nouvel. Traditionalists be warned: though luxurious - count on Nespresso machines, Bose sound systems, Hermes toiletries and rain showers - guestrooms are minimalist grey, unless you go for disconcerting (but amazing) all-black or all-white rooms. The jewel is Le Loft restaurant, where video installations in the ceiling by Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist, which include blinking eyeballs, forest scenes and goldfish swimming by, are as mesmerising as the light-twinkled view over all Vienna.

Guestrooms for two from $317 a night. See sofitel-vienna.com.

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25 HOURS HOTEL

The circus comes to town at this quirky hotel, where raw concrete is softened by bold clown and acrobat paintings, big-top memorabilia and seductive velvet curtains. The decor teeters on the edge of the surreal, but is lots of fun, as are the juggling balls in guestrooms. The best views are from Panorama Suites. Vienna's splendid domes also unfold from the lounge and rooftop terrace, where DJs spin evening music for the prosecco crowd. The hotel's location in the trendy 7th District will suit lovers of museums and fashion stores alike and the hotel's complimentary bicycles are a nice way to get around.

Guestrooms for two from $170 a night. See 25hours-hotels.com/wien.

HOTEL TOPAZZ

It might be a quick shuffle from the cathedral but this eco-conscious hotel makes no concessions to old-town architecture: its cylindrical, port-holed facade is resolutely modern. Compact rooms are rich in textiles and evoke luxury with an Art Nouveau edge, especially the chrome and marble bathrooms. Lamps with duck legs make you smile, divans slotted into the oval windows allow you to curl up and peer at passing pedestrians - room 23 has the best outlook. Don't miss scrumptious organic breakfasts in the black and white salon with its plush lavender chairs, where you'd expect Freud to sit surrounded by repressed admirers in bustles.

Guestrooms for two from $189 a night. See hoteltopazz.com.

HOLLMANN BELETAGE

This bijoux treasure in the old town has only 25 rooms but given the location in a grand 19th-century building, they're surprisingly large and all have sitting areas. Simple, minimalist lines paired with classic furniture and the odd designer element - like bright orange lampshades and rugs - make for clean, contemporary style. A spacious shared lounge will suit the sociable. Local fashion designers often showcase work here, and a small in-house cinema screens Austrian movies and documentaries. You'll have to walk around the corner to eat at the Hollmann Salon, a well-regarded restaurant with outdoor seating in a tranquil baroque courtyard.

Guestrooms for two for $206 a night, including breakfast. See hollmann-beletage.at.

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