A complete refurbishment - all the rooms have been renovated in different styles. Which room is your favorite?
I do have a favorite, it´s on the 6th floor, dedicated to Berta Zuckerkandl-Szeps.
I would briefly like to explain the concept of our refurbishment. The Beethoven is a hotel for Viennese enthusiasts. Each of the 6 floors has been decorated on a theme, reflecting an aspect of Viennese life. From the turn of the century writers of coffeehouses to the Beethoven era onto the Secession, every room tells a different story. Original fabrics in high-end reproductions and so many hand picked details make up the interior design. Each room reflects the life of an important historical figure.
On the floor featuring the strong women of the turn of the century is the room dedicated to Berta Zuckerkandl, famous salonniere, a free spirited woman with a big heart. Because of their similar character – compassionate and at times impulsive, she reminds me of my mother. So many anecdotes exist for both women – their joy of life, spontaneity and their unconventional approach to situations.
For the past 10 years this hotel has been in your family, only a few years ago you set some change on the exterior. Why change it?
The question could also be, why not immediately? The facade of the building doesn't reflect our most beautiful asset. This building has developed from the inside towards the outside. Only now we are able to define our ideas and vision for the future. Gregor Eichinger has helped with the interpretation of this structure. A unique feature in this building are its contradictions. In the 1950's the ground floor and the mezzanine were opened up, and a lot of brass elements were introduced. Nowadays we don't want to go for classical or vintage, we respect the soul of the building.
You have most likely researched the history of this house – is there a personality to reflect the spirit of your hotel?
The grandmother of the previous owner was Helene Jungreuthmayr. She was a single mother of 2. In 1953 she remodeled the historistic apartment building, originally built in 1902, into a hotel. 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 pieces from my family are integrated throughout the hotel, for example, the Bösendorfer grand piano of my mother and the library of my parents. On weekends chamber music concerts take place in the Papageno lounge; our library offers additional room for relaxation. The ground floor and mezzanine are open to all of our guests.
Do you have a nickname?
Yes, I am Ludwig of Beethoven. Ludwig is my last name, the hotel was named Beethoven long before we purchased it.
Have you ever thought about changing the name of the hotel?
Do you mean because the name is almost a cliché, or because Beethoven was actually from Bonn and not Vienna? We sticked with the name, that was it´s name when we acquired it and my family greatly appreciates classical music.
Performing music has always been an important part of my life. If my piano enthusiast mother had gotten her way, I might have become a concert pianist. That is why we like the reference to the famous composer and we kept the name.