This five-star 19th-century hotel, commissioned by King Ludwig I, commands an imposing position on Munich’s grandiose Promenadeplatz. With its seven bars and five restaurants (including one with a Michelin star), fitness studio, and private cinema, plus rooftop spa, pool, and lounge bar, it’s a veritable royal palace—and in fact does offer suites in the adjacent Palais Montgelas. Little wonder Michael Jackson chose to stay here.
The hotel has commissioned an array of designers throughout the hotel’s history, and there are subsequently a variety of rooms available, from African-themed to art deco, as well as private suites whose glass-walled bedrooms create natural panoramic views. The designer flamboyance doesn’t stop there, either: Axel Vervoordt worked on the in-house cinema and Garden restaurant, and Andrée Putman designed the swimming pool and rooftop bar.
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Located right at the former salt market and just a few steps from Marienplatz, the hotel is convenient for everything from sightseeing to shopping. Despite being in the center of town, the surroundings are very calm, thanks to the largely pedestrianized streets. The upscale department store Lodenfrey is just opposite the hotel, and nearby Maximilian Street is home to designer boutiques from Hermès to Bulgari. For a spot of high culture, Munich’s iconic Grand Opera House is a short walk away.
Need to Know
Rooms: 350 rooms, from $290. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: There’s a seemingly endless amount of dining and drinking opportunities here, from the seasonal, regional cooking at Michelin-starred Atelier to the contemporary European cuisine at Garden. Meat and cheese lovers will enjoy the Bavarian staples served at Palais Keller. Up on the roof, the Putman-designed Blue Spa Bar & Lounge offers well-mixed drinks and views of the tiled rooftops of Munich and, on a clear day, the snow-capped Alps. The Falk’s Bar is a surprisingly funky twist on the classic champagne bar. And an outpost of the tiki-themed nightclub Trader Vic’s serves Far East and South Seas fare in the basement. Spa and gym details: The rooftop spa features a mosaic-tiled pool (with a retractable roof for summer) and an extensive range of treatments. If there’s time for only one, try the Blue Spa Signature Massage, a holistic combination of Thai, Swiss, and Shiatsu techniques. The spa’s glass-walled café serves smoothies and guilt-free food, as well as gin and tonics.
Who it’s for: Well-heeled travelers seeking luxurious pampering and fine cuisine. Our favorite rooms: Choose one of the recently refurbished rooms designed by Siegward Graf Pilati. Characterized by rich mahogany furnishings, they come with muted color schemes and marble-clad en-suite bathrooms with Villeroy & Boch sinks. Party at the spa: The spa isn’t just for pampering; in the summer months it hosts barbecues, and in the winter months its Ice Bar is known for fiery mai tais.