Get involved in Vienna's cultural life with Urbanauts' offbeat hotel alternative...

The chief attraction of a city break is usually the city itself; while the choice of hotel is an important one, the most memorable parts of such a trip happen when out and about, soaking up the atmosphere and sniffing out the places off the tourist trails that the locals like to frequent. In Vienna, Urbanauts promises just such an authentic experience. Tapping into unused city centre real estate in the form of vacant retail space, the company offers characterful loft accommodation right in the heart of the action, while performing some civic-minded urban regeneration at the same time.

It’s not a hotel in the traditional sense, however. There’s no lobby, bar or restaurant – at least not directly connected to the rooms. Instead, Urbanauts has teamed up with the businesses of Vienna to provide the extra services normally found at a hotel. Why, for example, have your breakfast in a blah hotel dining room, when you could pop around the corner from your loft room to the sumptuous Café Goldenegg, which has been serving up traditional Viennese brekkies in style for over 100 years? There are Urbanauts partners, or “fellows”, for everything from eating and drinking to health and beauty, shopping and contemporary art, organised in helpful walking- or bicycle-friendly clusters. Get amongst it!


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Photography, Julian Mullan