(This is part of a summer trip report using miles and points to fly first class on Emirates from JFK to Dubai/Paris, costing $41 and 100K Alaska miles; the cost of these flights would have been $23,914! I pinch myself to think I got such an unbelievable value for my miles!)
We used our Eurail pass to travel to Vienna and stayed at the Park Hyatt Vienna, using points, and it was fabulous (my favorite)! The hotel overlooks Am Hof Square and this excellent location is within walking distance of all the sights. The Hyatt was renovated from a 100 year old bank building and opened last year. It’s definitely better than the Hyatt Paris Vendome, in my opinion. As you can see from the photos, it’s an absolutely gorgeous property!
Strolling around one beautiful afternoon, here are some of the sights…
We used our railpass to take a day trip to Melk. We then took a boat ride on the Danube River through the Wachau Valley. We stopped at the little town of Durnstein, where Richard the Lionhearted was imprisoned in 1192 in the medieval castle that hovers high on the rocky hill above the village. Then it was a bus to Krem, and a train back to Vienna. WHEW! It was a great trip and actually ended up being quite relaxing. Fortunately there is lots of information on the internet about how to arrange all that transportation!
Every night we ate in the hotel at “The Bank,” the old cashier hall of the building. The food was exquisite and the restaurant had such lovely ambience. One night at the restaurant, we noticed security and found out John Kerry was eating in a back room. We didn’t see him, but I did visit with one of his security men!
And every morning, we enjoyed the fantastic breakfast buffet!
And of course, when in Vienna, you must have music. Since the opera wasn’t performing in July, we went to the Kursalon for a stringed instrument concert. It was wonderful!
One rainy day we went to Belvedere and Schonbrunn Palaces to see the gardens, and then took the bus to ride the oldest operating ferris wheel, built in 1897. You can even reserve a luxury cabin, complete with a candlelit dinner!
Stadtpark and the famous Johann Strauss statute are a must in Vienna, along with other statuary of famous Viennese artists.
I loved Vienna! (:
Next up, Estonia…