The lowdown The minute I arrived at Munich’s Bayerischer Hof hotel, I knew I’d arrived somewhere special. Admittedly, there was a police convoy lined up outside the hotel entrance, a gentle reminder that I’d be in good company staying here: Nicholas Sarkozy had just taken over half of the hotel for the night.
Famous clientele aside, the Bayerishcher Hof has a distinctly special aura about it. Located a stone’s throw from Munich’s famous Maximillianstrasse- a mecca of luxe boutiques and the home of a brand new Louis Vuitton maison- it’s a Munich landmark, having established itself as a royal hotel back in 1841 and enjoying an impressive reputation ever since.
As luxe and majestic as Bayerischer Hof is, it is not intimidatingly so. The lobby is stunning, yet full of happy-to-be-attentive staff and the glass- domed atrium is breathtaking, yet with a buzzing atmosphere that gives it away as being one of the best places in Munich to rendezvous.
It’s little wonder then that Michael Jackson chose to make this hotel his home for a long stint (hence the permanent giant shrine to him on the street outside) and why it came as no surprise that as I checked out, Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr were just checking in.
The rooms There are six different room styles- each as stylish and plush as the next. Choose between the sexy ‘R&B’ with its dark wood, red walls and super-luxe finishes; the elegant and stylish ‘Graf Pilati’; the English heritage style of ‘Laura Ashley’; and the warm and cosy, yet equally luxe, ‘Colonial’ and ‘country house’ styles. All bedrooms are designed and decorated to the highest spec, with huge marble bathrooms and sprawling dressing areas. Expect five star extra touches daily- chocolate covered pretzels and truffles at turn-down.
For the high-rollers (which included Brad Pitt and George Clooney, when they stayed over) there are suites, set over two floors with several bedrooms and bathrooms and their own private terraces.
The food Breakfast is a pretty momentous occasion at the Bayerischer Hof: I can honestly say I have never eaten breakfast somewhere that encourages the consumption of champagne with the first meal of the day. I’m not talking a diluted concoction of bubbles and orange juice, but full on champers. I was sold. For anyone of a lesser constitution, the unbelievable omelettes, freshly baked pretzels and huge continental buffet spread more than make up. Taking in the outstanding views of Munich (the restaurant is at the top of the building with a wraparound terrace and wall to wall views of the city) it became easy to see why this place is a favourite with locals, who come to the hotel simply for its famous brunches.
For lunch and dinner you have the option of five different restaurants. Trader Vics is the perfect Friday night spot, full of glam city types doing post-work Mai-Thais and is the perfect pitch for some Eastern food and cocktails in a low-lit sexy booth. For a totally different dining experience, the Palais Keller is a true Bavarian restaurant, hidden in the depths of the hotel’s cellar. The Wiener Schnitzel with sauerkraut was to die for. For something more classic, the Michelin starred Atelier restaurant and the conservatory Garden restaurant are both exquisite. I’ve never been one for eating in the same hotel every single night, but the restaurants are so diverse and all so uniquely special, you really do have to. Another must- do? Finish the night with a glass of bubbly in the prestigious Falk’s bar. A seriously stunning bar that’s a serious contender in the high-end of the Munich nightlife scene,
The spa After trying all the amazing restaurants you may be itching to burn a few calories and luckily the hotel gym has wall-to-wall city views to take the pain out of a treadmill session. If that still feels like a little too much effort then there’s always the option to take a dip in the stunning glass-roofed swimming pool.
The Blue Spa has the most incredible choice of beauty treatments to choose from and every kind of massage imaginable. You can also sign up for a course in shiatsu or yoga should you wish. Following up a day of pampering with a herbal tea and slice of fresh cake in the conservatory Blue Spa café, is the most indulgent way to finish the day. With it’s panoramic city views and delicious offerings it’s a huge hit with the Munich set.
The details Double rooms start from 350 euros per room per night based on two people sharing on a room only basis. For more information visit www.bayerischerhof.de or call + 49 89 21 20 0
Monarch, the scheduled leisure airline, operates flights to Munich from Leeds Bradford, Manchester and London Luton airports with fares, including taxes, starting from £36.99 one way (£82.98 return).For further information or to book Monarch flights, Monarch Holidays or Monarch Hotels, please visit www.monarch.co.uk
By Sarah Statman