Vienna is the exemplar of the middle path in Mitteleuropa. Just the right balance of tradition and the best of new trends. Tallinn Arts was in town for the European Beat Studies Network conference at the Vienna Poetry School, which goaded us into thinking about the avant-garde amidst the imperial splendor of this great city.
Where to stay? We had heard good things about Ruby Marie hotel just off of the big pedestrian walking street Mariahilferstrasse in the centre. This is the new Vienna; hip, stylish and fun.
Rolling into Ruby Marie is a seamless effort at the self-check-in kiosk. Then you can appreciate the ambiance of the bar, restaurant and the patio. But first you have to get to your room.
We were blessed with a pad that had a view and a terrace to unwind on. The weather was fantastic in Vienna, even in the middle of autumn, warm, 25 degrees, with light wispy clouds. The smell and light of fall was perfect for relaxing outside.
Rooms at Ruby Marie are classy and functional. Beds are comfortable. Things get a little crazy too as you can ask for an electric guitar, available from staff, to plug into the mini Marshall amplifier in the room. Just one of Ruby Marie’s eclectic and thoughtful additions.
For readers, there is a library in the hotel, where you also can get a cup of tea. There are movie and yoga rooms as well.
A big plus for Ruby Marie are the terraces with the rooms and the spacious patio off of the restaurant and bar. There are good views of the centre of Vienna and beyond and you can enjoy a coffee in the morning and unwind in local fashion with a newspaper.
But only after you have had breakfast. The Ruby Marie buffet is very good and as healthful or decadent as you wish to make it. Either way, the ingredients and quality are top notch and all organic. It is among the best hotel breakfasts that Tallinn Arts has sampled in its many travels.
In the evening slip down to the bar where you can get an Ottakringer, the local brew, and a delicious pizza. Then there is the patio to enjoy with food, drinks and new friends. Ruby Marie is highly recommended for helpful staff, attention to detail, comfort, dining, quality modern furniture, location and many unexpected perks like the free mobile phone in your room.
Leaving Ruby Marie we headed to the Diamond Country Club for a round of golf. The course is easily reached by train from the centre of Vienna. Make sure you change trains at Tullnerfeld Bahnhof for the S-40 St.Pölten and get off at Moosbierbaum-Heiligeneich. From here it is a reasonable walk or you can hitch a ride. Twice we have hitchhiked to the club with ease.
Arriving, the clubhouse personal was genial and welcoming and a staff member generously provided us with golf clubs for the round, as Tallinn Arts didn’t bring their own sticks and all other clubs were rented out to a retinue of Japanese.
Anyway, the Diamond Club course was in superb condition. The day was sunny, warm and autumnal. Indian Summer in Austria is wonderful even if the golf score isn’t perfect. The Diamond Club is one of the best courses in central Europe and has hosted a number of European Tour events over the years. It is a classic parkland style golf course with plenty of mature tree and water hazards. We thank club manager Christian Hieke for a wonderful time and great golf experience.
Back at the clubhouse it was time for Wienerschnitzel and a cold Stiegl lager. The Diamond Club is a friendly, convivial place and worth a few days of your time if you are on a golfing holiday.
At the course there are several bungalows for golfers staying over night with appealing, modern amenities, comfortable beds, flat screen TVs and a mini bar in the fridge. Ask the club for stay and play opportunities. Good deals are to be had in the bucolic Austrian countryside, very near the beautiful, blue Danube.