Grand Ferdinand

Vienna / Austria / 2015

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The Weitzer family has been in the hotel business for over 100 years. Since 2003 Florian Weitzer has given the four owner-run hotels his highly personal stamp. Once the new line of approach for the Weitzer, Wiesler and Daniel in Graz had been decided upon, the opening of the Hotel Daniel in 2011 saw us enter the Austrian capital. To date, the crowning point of this expansion was the opening of the Grand Ferdinand on the Vienna Ringstrasse in autumn 2015. Florian Weitzer has an intuitive grasp of the latest trends, so instead of relying on mellow concepts and a “copy & paste” approach, he has chosen to create a completely autonomous and internally consistent hotel environment for each establishment. He’s constantly thinking across boundaries about this environment and readjusting accordingly. What they all have in common is the desire to do away with absurd structures and hotel star ratings, as well as the courage to implement unconventional ideas. So no matter whether Ringstrasse elegance, Jugendstil, urban chic or a blend of old and new defines the external framework – all of the Weitzer hotels offer guests inspiring “sustenance for the soul”. Naturally, this doesn’t mean that culinary delights are left by the wayside. On the contrary: innovative catering concepts are one of the most important cornerstones of the Weitzer city hotels


The significance of hisToric building fabric
Florian Weitzer loves reinterpreting beautifully designed and highly atmospheric old buildings in a contemporary way, which is why new developments take the historic building fabric into particular consideration. The opening of the Grand Ferdinand means that a building – which was a palace of the ringstrasse until its destruction in the second World War – is gleaming with a new “old” brilliance. The restored listed façade, made from sandstone and granite, is evocative of the way in which it was rebuilt as a modest office building in the 1950s. The numerous small details which make up the interior decoration from the shower panels made from glass blocks to the ceramic light switches, add to this effect. opened at the end of 2011, the hotel daniel in vienna is also a magnificent example of architecture. With its juxtaposition of classic furniture, modern design and self-made furnishings the building with the fascinating listed curtain wall façade has finally regained the positioning it merits. The same can be said for the hotel daniel in Graz, which shines once more as a prime example of 1950’s architecture after its reconstruction in 2005. But since for Florian Weitzer, “standing still means the beginning of the end”, there has been a new highlight here since autumn 2014: a habitable and fully glazed loftcube on the rooftop enriches the hotel and delights guests with a 360-degree-view of Graz. The Wiesler in Graz has once again become a special blend of Jugendstil and soul, an exciting place where contemporary street art happily co-exists with mosaic techniques that are steeped in history. The Weitzer is also a good example of a hotel where timehonoured traditions happily accompany new features, from the long-established kaffeehaus to the Weitzer suite, opened in 2013, with a free standing bathtub, an open fireplace and its own viewing platform over the roofs of Graz. all in all, each of the five Weitzer hotels has its own distinctive identity. What they have in common is the way in which they treat history and tradition, which Florian Weitzer doesn’t want to think about as being the past, but something which should be celebrated in the present day.


Creating distinctive details
Guests want to keep their minds open to new impressions, so it would be quite wrong to impose pre-conceived notions on them. But what new experiences do they justifiably expect? What do they still want to explore during a routine hotel stay? These questions are at the back of Florian Weitzer‘s mind when he develops new ideas for his hotels. You need more than outstanding inner city locations, beautiful buildings and an attractive atmosphere to ensure success. Whether it’s smart luxury at the two daniels, or whether guests are able to relive the legendary viennese elegance of the ringstrasse era at the Grand Ferdinand, the key is to ensure that each concept is based on a holistic approach and implemented with style. a spin on the hotel’s vespa, hammocks in the room, bees, a unique loftcube and contemporary art on the roof or vines and vegetable patches right on the doorstep – such individual details are what surprise Weitzer hotel guests with prior experience of conventional hotel chains. Being pampered by the hotel’s in-home barber or spending the night in a converted Us-american trailer in front of the hotel – there seems no end to the possibilities. The Grand Ferdinand also endeavours to emanate a harmonious overall design, which here led to “austrianness” coming to the fore. This ranges from lobmeyr chandeliers and Thonet chairs in the establishment to the specific cutlery and china on which old austrian delicacies are served. extravagant details, such as an oasis in the inner courtyard, a rooftop pool with a view over vienna and a fleet of cars with a maserati round off the overall experience à la Weitzer. never rest on your laurels, think outside the box and constantly move ahead with new messages – that is the path which the Weitzer hotels have enthusiastically taken. after Graz came vienna, and the next Weitzer hotel may well be in an international metropolis. The result: places where you not only stay in comfort but can also have a really good time. and that doesn’t just apply to the hotel guests – city-dwellers, too, contribute greatly to the special atmosphere which distinguishes the Weitzer locations. in the process, mere hotel buildings in prime locations turn into urban meeting places which open up to the city and its inhabitants and thus have a striking impact on the makeup of its districts.


The inner life of conTemporary cuisine
The idea of having open ground floor zones in the Weitzer hotels creates the space required for smooth transitions between check-in, business talk or pleasant meetings with friends. “if a guest at the bar asks for reception then we know we’ve got everything right,” says a convinced Florian. open to hotel guests and outside visitors, the hotels’ enthusiastically run restaurants and cafés have proved to be a great draw and the centrepiece of the Weitzer philosophy. leasing to third-party companies is out of the question – the hotel’s gastronomic outlets are not a “necessary evil” as is so often the case at many other comparable establishments. rather, they constitute a fixed element in the particular design right from the outset. it’s no longer possible to imagine the bar, café and restaurant scene in Graz or vienna without the sub-brands “der steirer”, “speisesaal” or the “Bakery”. moreover, the “Grand Ferdinand restaurant” and “Gulasch & champagne”, opened in october 2015, enrich the culinary scene of the austrian capital. While some spend time in the unique atmosphere of the spacious ground floor in the Grand Ferdinand, indulging in forgotten delights of the famous austrian cuisine and its former crown lands, others enjoy “fast” viennese food in “Gulasch & champagne”. and don’t forget about the third culinary hot spot that the Grand Ferdinand offers: the Grand Étage, high above vienna’s roofs, which is exclusively open to hotel guests, their visitors and external guests with special club membership. all in all, the philosophy of each location is reflected in the choice of food and drinks it offers. From succulent styrian, to delightfully austrian, to colourful international delicacies – high quality, done relaxed.

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    The Weitzer family has been in the hotel business for over 100 years. Since 2003 Florian Weitzer has given the four owner-run hotels his highly personal stamp. Once the new line of approach for the Weitzer, Wiesler and Daniel in Graz had been decided upon, the opening of the Hotel Daniel in 2011 saw us enter the Austrian capital. To date, the crowning point of this expansion was the opening of the Grand Ferdinand on the Vienna Ringstrasse in autumn 2015. Florian Weitzer has an intuitive grasp...

    Project details
    • Year 2015
    • Work finished in 2015
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Hotel/Resorts / Building Recovery and Renewal
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