Hotel Bayerischer Hof, Munich

Munich’s grande dame has stood proud proud in the city centre since 1841. But this historic hotel has kept up with the times. Boasting a cutting edge 3 Michelin star restaurant, a state of the art spa, and numerous modern amenities and facilities, The Bayerischer Hof is its own luxurious metropolis.

Munich, the capital of the southern German state of Bavaria, is steeped in history. From its origins as a medieval settlement of Benedictine monks, through to its joyous Oktoberfest celebrations, the city has a wealth of culture and tradition to be discovered. Thanks to Munich’s position as the third largest city in the world’s fourth biggest economy means that cultural history is excellently funded, and Munich is home to some of the most brilliant museums in Europe. Ideal for weekends awayat any time of year, Munich is particularly magical in winter when the streets come alive with Christmas festivities.

There are few better hotels from which to explore the city’s offerings than the Hotel Bayerischer Hof. Not only does it enjoy a location just a stones throw from Marienplatz (the central square) and Munich’s shopping quarters, but it is also one of the oldest, and most quintessentially Bavarian establishments in the city. For old school grandeur, there is no where superior.

Hotel Bayerischer Hof’s amenities are mind boggling. There are no less than ten different restaurants and bars, including the phenomenal three Michelin starred Atelier, the Garden Restaurant, Palais Keller, a Trader Vic’s outpost, the glamorous Falk’s Bar, a Jazz club, piano bar, and pop up Polar Bar (for the winter season).

Elsewhere guests can let the hours drift by in the hotel’s rooftop Blue Spa, take advantage of the gymnasium-standard fitness facilities, relax in one of the countless lounges, or shop in the hotel’s own promenade of boutiques before retiring to one of 340 individually designed rooms and suites.

Eat

The Bayerischer Hof’s restaurant offering is second to none in Munich. A favourite of well heeled locals and the visiting A-list, the hotel turns more covers than any other establishment in the city. For stylish lunches visit the Axel Vervoordt designed Garden Restaurant, a light, airy space adorned with plants underneath a glass ceiling. Palais Keller on the other hand provides traditional, rustic Bavarian dishes in its cosy basement setting. For something really special though, it has to be Atelier.

Another dining room designed by Vervoordt, Atelier’s industrial-warehouse-meets-contemporary-art-collector aesthetic is almost certainly the chicest space in the entire hotel. But it’s the food that truly takes your breath away. In the course of our travel writing we have eaten our way through many a Michelin starred meal, but few have ever reached the dizzying heights of perfection that Hartwig and his team have reached at Atelier.

Menus are split into five or seven courses. We opted for five, and with all the additional dishes offered by the kitchen, there were no fewer than 11 plates presented to us. The food is too complex to justly describe, each course resembling a lovingly tendered miniature garden.

The meal began with an accomplished bread basket that offered an onion whirl, some substantial wholemeal, and a soft and fluffy white farmhouse loaf. To accompany was perfectly softened Bavarian butter, a sweetcorn flavoured butter, a pureed tomato paste, and sea salt. Following this were a number of delicate amuse bouche, and several fish based starters, all expertly rendered.

Between starters and main courses were a couple of palate fresheners, one of them a citrus-y granita of bavarian beer. Then came a saddle of lamb – the main event – cooked with oriental spices. This was the lamb of the gods. I have never seen a more impeccable shade of pink.

Puddings were balanced in flavour. Mixing the tart sweetness of traditionaal Black Forest berries with rich Bavarian dairy. Herbs and savoury elements were used to keep interest in the dessert courses. Those with an unabashed sweet tooth are provided for at the end with plates of macarons, cream puffs, and white chocolate delicacies.

Atelier is overwhelmingly good, and thoroughly deserving of its three stars and 18 Gault Millau points. It is almost certainly the paramount reason to visit the Bayerischer Hof.

Sleep

The Bayerischer Hof’s 340 guest rooms and suites are split into a wide array of categories and, being all individually designed, varying decorative palettes. The best rooms are in more traditional Bavarian and Colonial styles, while some of the more modern rooms can be a touch overbearing in their masculine colour palettes. We recommend requesting a traditionally styled room at the time of booking. All bedrooms come with large marble bathrooms, plenty of storage space, and free WIFI.

Relax

The hotel’s Blue Spa is situated on the top floor of the hotel, and provides lounging spots from which to enjoy the incredible city views. The is an elegant pool with a glass roof that in warmer months can be retracted, a range of saunas and steam baths, an immersion pool, relaxation areas, and a spa bar. Signature and Ayurvedic massages and treatments are offered from several treatment rooms. Next door to the wellness facilities is the fitness centre, kitted out with enough equipment to fill an expensive London fitness centre.

www.bayerischerhof.de

Flights from London to Munich are extremely affordable, and can be found for as little as £70 at quieter times. We flew on Lufthansa and our flights cost £120 and took just under two hours.

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