Lenbach Gärten

Horrmann’s Hotel Test - where showers and wardrobes won’t trip you up

Heinz Horrmann has tested around 2,000 top hotels and written 35 books about hotels. He regularly reviews hotels in the German newspaper “Die Welt” – this time it is the successful Charles Hotel in Munich.
By Heinz Horrmann

The knighted British hotelier Sir Rocco Forte doesn’t have a lot of luck with German hotels. In Berlin (Link: http://www.welt.de/themen/berlin-staedtereise/) the lease he has to pay is too high, in Frankfurt the location is not ideal. But in Munich (Link: http://www.welt.de/themen/muenchen-staedtereise/), everything is right. This is why it is no wonder that the Charles Hotel http://www.charleshotel.de is so successful.

Despite the hard competition from the Kempinski Four Seasons (Hotel of the Year), the Bayerischen Hof and the Königshof, fellow members of the “The Leading Hotels of the World” group, and the Mandarin Oriental http://www.welt.de/themen/deutschland-reisen/ market leader in Germany, the manager of the Charles, Frank Heller, has found his clientele and the hotel is in the black.

In this elegant modern hotel a love of detail can be found everywhere. The interior is decorated with original paintings by Franz von Lenbach. The spa area and indoor swimming pool are outstanding.

Rooms and suites
For me luxury also means having plenty of space. The 160 rooms have a minimum size of 40 m2 (from €280) and the suites range from 67 to 200m2.

I found the walk-in closet outstanding and I particularly enjoyed the modern bathroom with walk-in shower completely free of anything that could trip you up. The only thing that did not work perfectly was the blackout in the bedroom.

The little “greeting from the kitchen” was delicious and the sweet delicacies were beautifully presented. The view from the window of the Botanic Gardens and the historical old town was wonderful. Internet access is free.

Food and drink
The elegant but not over-done Restaurant Davvero is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is one of Munich’s best Italian restaurants and the service under the guidance of Frank Heller is first class. When the weather is good the terrace invites you to relax with its magnificent view of Lehnbach Gardens. Room service for breakfast also gets top marks, with service taking just 20 minutes.

The service
The feel-good factor is mainly achieved by attentive but not intrusive service. From the first greeting by the doorman to the final farewell the guest is served with respect. The service at the bar is also outstanding.

The verdict
Munich, often seen as the secret capital of Germany, has the most attractive range of hotels after Berlin. The Charles, which was opened in 2007, is a top class hotel both visually and as regards service. When it comes to F&B (food and drink) the management goes against the muesli philosophy of their boss Rocco Forte, who is an ascetic tri-athlete. Five well earned stars.

4 January 2014