On a recent trip to Munich, The Sybarite had the great pleasure to stay in one of the Bayerischer Hof’s 340 luxuriously appointed rooms. With the hotel’s proximity being smack in the centre of the city as well as being a historical piece of the past, this five-star hotel – as we have witnessed – lives up to its high expectations.
Bayerischer Hof has everything one can ask for – style, high-speed wifi, fine dining options, an outdoor sky pool, sky roof and bar with literally the best views of Munich and perhaps the only hotel that offers such expansive picture-perfect views, attention to detail and above all, hospitable staff who are at the ready when attending to a guests needs.
Staying at the Bayerischer Hof is like being a part of history that dates back to the 1800’s. It was during that time when the hotel, which belonged to Anton Von Maffei, a revered railway pioneer of Bavaria at the time, commissioned the architect, Friedrich von Gärtner, to build the hotel. When Maffei passed away, a man known as Herrmann Volkhardt bought the hotel and further expanded the property. Perhaps the most interesting fact and what makes the Bayerischer Hof a true historical landmark is that when the hotel was almost completely destroyed during the war in 1944, only the hall of the mirrors was left unharmed (you can still find the original mirrors in the hall of the hotel today).
After almost four generations, the Volkhardt family continue to manage the hotel and they have since modernised a good majority of the building’s parts which include: an extra storey being added onto the hotel in 2005, a completion of the Blue Spa in 2009, a redesign of the Garden restaurant by Axel Vervoordt, the completion of its Michelin-starred restaurant, Atelier, its own cinema followed by its panoramic roof garden in 2013. With 340 rooms (of which 65 are suites) it is no doubt that the hotel continues in its plan to innovate the space whilst staying true to the story that is the Bayerischer Hof.
We stayed in one of the recently revamped junior suites, called the ‘Pilati Style’ – a title that pays tribute to its architect, Count Siegward Pilati. The room can accommodate up to two adults and two children. Aesthetically speaking, the rooms are very pleasing to the eye, incorporating clay tones, giving it that understated luxury and comfort feel. The furniture and other elements are all of a high quality and finish, seen from the marble finishings of the spacious bathrooms, which come with double sinks, separate shower and bath and two entry ways – one from the bedroom and the other from the walk-in wardrobe.
What we thoroughly enjoyed about the suite, besides the space, is the separate study area with its own flat screen TV, coffee table, comfortable seating area and desk – perfect should you want to get some work done (you can also close this area off with the set of doors that separate the bedroom from the study). The walk-in wardrobe is another treat, decked out with the usual amenities such as slippers (medium and large), a mini bar replete with drinks and snacks, laundry bag, hangers, safe and of course plenty of wardrobe space. Each area of the room has a set of switches so that one needn’t pace back and forth to grab the light.
In terms of bedding, one has a choice between the king-sized or twin bed. What was especially comfortable is that although we were sharing a bed, we each had our own duvets. The bedding is plush and we are certain that if you have a specific type of preference for mattress or pillow, the hotel can accommodate. The bedroom comes with its own flat screen TV with a wide-ranging choice of channels to choose from. On the main menu of the TV screen, one can also view dining options and menus of each restaurant, providing the guest with easy navigation. We would recommend their turndown service, where slippers are placed at each side of the bed, duvets comfortably prepared for a good tuck in and a small chocolate offering laid atop the breakfast menu on your pillow.
We mustn’t forget in this review that we travelled with our 6-month old son, and this is another aspect that makes the Bayerischer Hof accommodating – not only for business travelers and couples, but for families as well. Upon arrival to our room, the crib was placed at the foot of our bed, complete with baby mattress, pillow and toy lion for the little one.
The Suite is a comfortable choice if you are traveling with children, or just want more space and a bit more luxury. Depending on your style, there are four styles of junior suites you can choose from, which range from 45 to 55 sq. meters in size and located from the 1st to the 7th floor. These are: Colonial style, Pilati Style (the one we had), Cosmopolitan R&B style, and the Laura Ashley style. We would recommend either the Pilati or the Laura Ashley style for the more classic person. Should one prefer a smaller type of room, the hotel also offers double deluxe rooms and superior double rooms, which also come in the same themes aforementioned and are just as luxurious. Other rooms the hotel has on offer are the presidential and panorama suites boasting approximately 94sq. meters and above, giving one plenty of space. There are also the deluxe suites, which are comparatively larger to the junior suites, each boasting different themes.
We realize that it can be quite overwhelming to choose one room out of 340 rooms at the Bayerischer Hof, and so in order to keep it simple; we would recommend a room based on your occupancy. If you are traveling solo, it is best to go with the deluxe or superior room, or, if you are traveling with one child, perhaps a junior suite would be more suitable. Whether you are traveling with more children or a bigger group, a deluxe suite might be a good choice. If, on the other hand, your occasion is for say, a honeymoon and you are willing to spend a bit more, one of the standard or deluxe suites will have you reveling in luxury (one of the rooms has its own direct access to the spa). Should you opt for the penthouse, prices are upon request to the hotel.
It is incredible that the Bayerischer Hof offers its plethora of rooms, each with a different theme. And, as the saying goes ‘it’s the thought that counts’. The Bayerischer Hof is one of those hotels that although grand in scale, still pay attention to the minutest details, only because, each guest is different and with the Bayerischer Hof, there are no exceptions to that. An easy testament to this is the details of each room and the service level of staff in whichever part of the hotel you seem to be at.
There is much to see around the hotel as well, and we highly recommend a dip in the 6.50 x 14.50 m pool (children are allowed at anytime) located high above Munich’s skyline. To get an idea: “in case you’re wondering why you feel so light: don’t forget that you’re swimming 570 meters above sea level” – Max Knauer, Spa Manager. When the weather is good, the pool turns into an open-air area and is the perfect place to take a deep breath and just relax.
We thoroughly enjoyed the pool area and cannot recommend it enough, there is that ‘members-only’ feel to it with uniformed waitresses going around to take orders. If there is bad weather, the pool’s sliding glass roof can be closed. It is thanks to architect Andrée Putman, who has created this four-storey wellness retreat that has ultimately turned the little oasis into quite a popular hangout area. Within the area of the rooftop is the hotel’s Blue Spa lounge and winter garden where one can indulge in some light delicacies whilst gazing out at Munich’s beautiful skyline together with friends or family. On the terrace, one can further enjoy a barbeque offered every evening.
When it comes to dining, the Bayerischer Hof offers plenty. With seven restaurants and six bars to choose from, spending one evening at the hotel would not be enough to indulge in it all. We tried out the Garden restaurant for dinner and ordered the white asparagus (a seasonal dish in Bavaria and a definite must-try), which usually comes with potatoes and hollandaise sauce. Our waiter noticed that we couldn’t decide between the trout or the asparagus and finally recommended that we combine the asparagus with the trout. It was a delicious decision to say the least.
Located on the ground floor, The Garden restaurant serves up classic and contemporary cuisine and for dinner, one can choose their ‘menu’ or go a la carte. The style? Industrial mixed with a garden-esque touch, making for a modern and refreshing atmosphere.
For breakfast (which commences between 6AM – 11AM daily), we headed up to the roof terrace and lounge where they offer a champagne buffet breakfast. One can choose to sit indoors or on the terrace. With the perfect weather, a good amount of sunlight filtered throughout the restaurant and we decided to sit indoors where we were able to enjoy breakfast at our own table. The buffet offered up what one would expect for breakfast – varied types of cold cuts, cheeses, pastries, bread, jams, condiments, an egg station, fruits, oatmeal’s as well as your typical Bavarian breakfast hotplates – or else, lots of sausages. And of course, there is the champagne!
The Bayerischer Hof really is an experience in itself. It is far from what your typical hotel experience would be, where you would normally just leave your belongings and head out. Rather, it is a hotel that offers a rich cultural heritage in a luxurious setting with a multitude of leisure and entertainment options to choose from. Whether it is your first time visiting Bavaria – even if only for a night – the hotel really does give one a taste of what the city is about. It is also a place one would want to return to when making their trip to Munich, simply owing to the comfortable, luxurious rooms.
It’s the little things that count (what we liked):
- Turndown service – slippers laid out at the side of your bed, with a chocolate and breakfast menu on your pillow so you are ready for the next day ahead
- The info guide provided, which gives great tips on what to do, see and know about Munich
- The cinema – although we didn’t have time to try it out, the cinema’s selection of films looked very attractive
- The little things – baby amenities in the bathroom, lots of towels, complimentary water and fruits
- Service – friendly and helpful staff all around, uninterrupted service even for a hotel that large
- Air con in the rooms which one can directly control
- High-speed internet
- No cash on hand? The hotel is happy to lend cash and bill this to your room making for convenience and efficiency
- Endless TV channel options – perfect for the international traveller