A historic hotel in Vienna was re-designed and re-opened some time back as the Hotel Motto. What’s the connection with Strauss? The luxury hotel is known as the birthplace of Josef Strauss, son of the famous composer Johann Strauss Senior (and therefore brother of Johann Junior). He called the hotel home in 1827. Josef was a noted composer in his own right, but suffered poor health and eventually died after falling from a stage in Warsaw.
The same building has housed hotels for over three centuries. The first property, The Golden Cross, opened in 1665 and much later became known as the prestigious Hotel Kummer in 1872. The stylish building quickly became a social hub for artists, painters, sculptors, writers, actors and musicians. They gathered for coffee, wine and the inevitable Austrian delicacies in the hotel’s public spaces. In 1904 the building was again refurbished, this time by Ludwig Schwarz.
The décor of the upper floors was especially elaborate and some of the interiors have been preserved, despite the damage cause by the allied occupation of post-World War II Vienna. The hotel was taken over by the French from 1945 until 1955. The architecture is infused with Renaissance and Baroque references layered with elements of the Gothic and byzantine styles. The towers and domes as well as the configuration of the façade were originally constructed by the top artisans of the Vienna Artisan Craft movement. They have been preserved and play a pivotal role in the layout of the property. The signature roof has been re-designed while keeping the distinctive original form.
At the time it was still Hotel Kummer, Hotel Motto was also the setting of John Irving’s celebrated novel The Hotel New Hampshire. The subsequent movie was not shot there, however.