There are so many stories about the Hotel Orient, sometimes it seems the entire house is just a myth,
rumor, a legend, somewhere in between Atlantis and Shangri-La, lost in the Bermuda Triangle. Yet it still
stands solidly at Tiefer Graben 30, at the same spot for
The writer Marcel Proust described men as beings that, compared to their very restricted place in space, take
up a significantly larger place in time. The older the people, the longer their invisible stilts, reaching down
to the past, spanning distant epochs.
IIn this perspective, the visible four levels of the
Hotel Orient seem to be the crown to an immense skyscraper, growing for centuries, with thousands
of levels and hundreds of thousands of faces.
Some of them more famous than others: Even Franz
Josef I, emperor of Austria, is thought to have been a part of the illustrious guests of the house and it’s probably
not a coincidence that parts of the enigmatic movie
»The Third Man« have been shot in the Hotel Orient.
Cabinet of Curiosities
It is very well possible that Graham Greene, the author of the screenplay, recommended Vienna’s most unique love hotel to John Irving. »The Hotel New Hampshire« from the same-titled novel is in many ways similar to the Hotel Orient at that time: While the invented hotel was a »cabinet of curiosities with bears, whores and anarchists«, the Hotel Orient, up to the 1990s, accommodated regular tourists by night, couples by the hour, as well as artists and dancers from the Moulin Rouge by the month. Knife throwers, poets, musicians and hedonists held nightly meetings at the hotel bar with professors, diplomats, and barons.
German author Wolf Wondratschek wrote poems here, among them one titled »Hotel Orient«. In 1990, Ernst Molden wrote his novel »Die Krokodilsdame / The crocodile lady« inside the walls of the hotel. German punk band »Die Ärzte« threw infamous parties here, and so did Udo Lindenberg, Udo Jürgens and, it is rumored, flamboyant businessman, playboy, and convicted murderer, Udo Proksch as well.
Arrived in the Present
Now and then, the Orient makes an exemption to the strictly enforced no-photographs-policy: For intimate Schnitzler presentations, some Tatort-movies, or exclusive photo shoots.
One of the most recent entries in the guestbook gives testament that the Hotel Orient has arrived in the present without losing its past: Joseph Corré, co-founder of the lingerie label Agent Provocateur, gives thanks for his stay in the »best hotel in the world«.