Man­darin Ori­en­tal, Mu­nich

Business Traveler (USA) - - CONTENTS - Becky Am­bury

BACK­GROUND Dat­ing back to 1880, this Neo-Re­nais­sance prop­erty orig­i­nally housed the city’s ball­room. It’s been a ho­tel since 1990 and was taken over by the Man­darin Ori­en­tal Ho­tel Group in 2000. The en­tire ground floor and first floor were re­fur­bished two years ago.

WHERE IS IT? In the heart of Mu­nich’s old town (alt­stadt), con­ve­niently lo­cated for shop­ping with the boutiques and de­signer stores of Max­i­m­il­ianstrasse a cou­ple of min­utes to the north. Marien­platz (the cen­tral square) is a five-minute walk, while Mu­nich In­ter­na­tional air­port is a 30-minute drive.

W H AT ’ S IT LIKE? The ho­tel’s cor­ner lo­ca­tion lends it­self to some ex­trav­a­gant ar­chi­tec­ture, with a wed­ding cake-like tur­ret bring­ing a sense of grandeur. Heavy doors lead into a light, open lobby with plush gold­flecked car­pet, white walls and a dra­matic sweep­ing stair­case. Dé­cor ref­er­ences Mu­nich’s ver­nac­u­lar style, but there are Far East­ern flour­ishes.

The concierge desk can of­fer as­sis­tance with any­thing from sort­ing out tours of the city to charg­ing phones (they have charg­ers for ev­ery make) and help­ing with flight can­cel­la­tions. And staffers have an un­canny knack of some­how mak­ing guests feel spe­cial yet at home.

ROOMS There are 48 guest rooms and 25 suites on a theme of East-meets-West. Ac­com­mo­da­tion varies in size from the Su­pe­rior Rooms to the 3,500-square foot Grand Pres­i­den­tial Suite. I was in a Man­darin Room. This bed­room has par­quet floor­ing and ori­en­tal rugs in warm neu­trals, with cher­ry­wood Neo-Bie­der­meier-style fur­ni­ture. The king-size bed is volup­tuously com­fort­able and bed­side ta­bles fea­ture a drawer with con­trols for the light­ing and room ser­vice.

A sofa and cof­fee ta­ble sit op­po­site a side­board with Bang & Olufsen flatscreen TV and a Ne­spresso ma­chine on top. The com­pli­men­tary mini­bar of­fers beers and wa­ter, with snacks in the ad­ja­cent cup­board.

My only com­plaint is that a ket­tle and tea are con­spic­u­ous by their ab­sence. Stor­age, mean­while, is no­table in its gen­eros­ity, with a ca­pa­cious walk-in closet of­fer­ing a place for ev­ery­thing. The large work desk has plugs, a uni­ver­sal plug con­verter and a tablet. Wifi is fast and each room has a por­ta­ble phone.

The mar­ble-clad bath­room fea­tures a heated floor, van­ity unit, walk-in shower, bath with hand shower, and sep­a­rate toi­let and bidet. There are Shanghai Tang toi­letries and cot­ton bathrobes. A turn­down ser­vice is also of­fered.

FOOD AND DRINK Of the four food and drink op­tions, the high­light is Mat­suhisa from chef Nobuyuki Mat­suhisa (of Nobu fame), which serves ex­cel­lent Ja­panese-Peru­vian fu­sion in a sleek in­te­rior. Although the at­mos­phere in the evening is buzzing, ta­bles are well spaced, en­sur­ing pri­vacy in con­ver­sa­tion. This is also where the ex­ten­sive break­fast buf­fet is served.

The main bar in win­ter is Bar 31 on the ground floor. It’s open in the evenings with snacks served and good cock­tails – as they should be at these top prices. The Lounge in the lobby also serves food and drinks through­out the day. In sum­mer, the rooftop bar opens. Guests can dine al fresco or sip a cock­tail while drink­ing in the 360-de­gree views.

MEET­INGS Three meet­ing rooms of­fer space for up to 150 guests. Events can be catered and a com­plete of­fice set-up is avail­able. There is also a busi­ness cen­ter in the lobby, with com­puter, printer and fax.

LEISURE In the sum­mer months the rooftop pool (for in-house guests) is open. There is a small fit­ness cen­ter with a steam bath and sauna.

VER­DICT Fa­cil­i­ties are good, dé­cor is el­e­gant yet invit­ing and the en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence is one of com­fort and ease. Ex­cel­lent bar and restau­rant of­fer­ings add to the im­pres­sion that it would be easy to ig­nore the charms of Mu­nich and sim­ply en­joy the brief respite from not hav­ing to worry about any­thing at all.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.