All the rooms have been renovated differently. Which room is your favorite?
The "Bertha Zuckerkandl" room.
Perhaps I can quickly first explain the concept of the refurbishment. The Beethoven is a hotel for Viennese enthusiasts. Each of the 6 floors will be decorated in a theme reflecting a chapter in Viennese history. From coffeehouse intellects to the Beethoven era and onto the Secession, every room will tell a story from the fabrics we have chosen to the interior architecture; each room reflecting the life of an important historical figure. One room on the floor featuring strong women at the turn of the century is the Bertha Zuckerkandl room, a free spirited woman with a big heart. Because of their similar character - compassionate and at times impulsive , it also reminds me of my mother. Anecdotes exist for both women--their joy of life, spontaneity and their unconstitutional approach.
For the past 6 years this hotel has been under the ownership of your family, this year you have set some goals of change. Why such a big change?
You should have asked why NOW. The outside of our building doesn't reflect our most beautiful asset. Our building has developed from inside out. Only now have we been able to better define our ideas and thus our future. I have discovered something in Gregor Eichinger which helped me interpret the soul of this structure. The unique feature in this building is its contradictions. In the 1950's the ground floor and the mezzanine was opened up and a lot of brass styled elements of the time were used. We don't want to be either classical or vintage in our style, we respect the building.
You have most likely researched the history of this house, is there a personality you wish to reflect in the history of your business?
The grandmother of the previous owner was Helene Jungreuthmayr, She was a single mother of 2 and in 1953 she remodeled the apartment building, originally built in 1902, into a hotel. The building was erected in the grunderzeit style and she resided in room 204 and worked from there up until the age of 92. She was a dedicated hostess and that is how I see myself. Many inherited pieces from my family are integrated throughout the hotel. For example: the Börsendorfer piano of my mother and the library from my parents. On Sundays our chamber music concert takes place in the Beethoven lounge and our library is an additional room for relaxation. The ground floor and mezzanine is open to all of our guests.
Do you have a nickname?
Yes, I am Ludwig 'from' Beethoven. Ludwig coincidentally is my last name and the hotel has been named Beethoven long before we purchased it.
Have you ever thought about changing the name of the hotel? Do you mean because the name can be interpreted incorrectly or because Beethoven was actually from Bonn and not Vienna?
Doesn't matter, it was named that way and my family greatly appreciates classical music and playing music has always been an important part of my life.
If my piano enthusiast mother had gotten her way, I would have today most likely been a concert pianist. I have been learning since the age of 5 and at 10 years old I was accepted into a prep course for piano at the Music Academy for 8 years. That is why we like the reference to classical music and therefore kept the name.