So much for statistics.
Hotels here use a star system similar to that found the world over. A hotel applies in writing to the local Chamber of Commerce for a star classification. Then a chamber commission visits and classifies the location (a mystery guest evaluation is also taken into account).
This commission also revisits an establishment to renew or alter the original classification. If, however, the authorities receive enough complaints about a particular place, then the commission visits earlier!
The only exception to the above system is the five star classification, which is awarded by a national committee. There are just over 20 five star hotels in the city.
Since the hotels bring in hundreds of millions in revenue, they’re clearly a vital part of Vienna’s business community and big tax contributors to the city treasury. Hence it’s very much in Vienna’s interest to ensure standards are maintained. Thus you shouldn’t expect any problems with the tourist class hotels.
Given the high level of education in the country, plus the many vocational schools specializing in tourism, hotel staff should be well-qualified and pretty conversant in English.
Tip: One thing to watch for when booking a hotel is location. Vienna is a relatively compact city. So hotels can get away with describing their location as “central” or “city center”. Don’t take their word for it and check on a map.
As always with planning a visit, you need to book early. Vienna is pretty full with visitors throughout the year, with the exception of January, February, March and November. In busy months, occupancy rates in four star hotels can peak at over 95%.
December gets particularly busy thanks to the growing popularity of Vienna as a holiday destination for visiting Christmas markets and enjoying New Year celebrations.
Some weeks can be very, very busy, as Vienna often hosts huge international events, such as big medical conferences attracting up to 30,000 visitors. If you want to avoid the big events, when rooms are scarce, check this congress calendar or the events search at the official tourist site for information.
As far as booking your room goes, there are hundreds of tour operators, agencies and websites who’ll sell their grandmother for the opportunity to organize your accommodation, so I’ll leave it up to you to find the one for you.