MUNICH: The Hotel München Palace

Over the years, I have enjoyed stays in many hotels that had beautiful facilities and provided excellent service. It is, however, extremely rare when I can describe a stay as "flawless" and say that I never wanted to leave. The Hotel München Palace delivered just such an experience.

Exterior of Hotel München Palace

Even before I saw the hotel itself, I got a sense of why it is so well regarded. Located one street off Ismaninger Straβe, the main street where the trams run, then around a corner and a bit south, strategically placed signs left no doubt that I was at the right intersection as I alighted from the tram. Less than a five-minute walk later, I was greeted warmly by the valet as I approached the front door, then welcomed by the desk clerk as though I was their most frequent guest. Talk about making me feel at home!

Although I arrived well before the normal check-in time of 15:00 (3:00 p.m.) they had a room ready for me and a bellman to carry my bags and help get me settled.

Guest room 608

The room, a Classic Single, was almost exactly the same size and shape as one I had stayed in the previous night at a humble hotel in the city’s Marienplaz/Altstadt area. Size and shape, however, are where the similarities ended. The room at the Hotel München Palace was appointed in a refined but unstuffy manner, with hardwood floors covering the 8 by 15 foot living area, crown molding next to the ceiling, and trim molding on walls that were painted a restful, neutral color. The single bed occupied an alcove to the side of the main living area, a small desk provided a workspace, and the room was equipped with an iron and ironing board, bathrobe and slippers, high-end Molton Brown amenities, and an in-room safe.

The best rate quoted on the hotel's website for a Classic Single room for a weekend in January, after the holidays have passed, is €216. Rooms can also be booked through services include, and others, so guests may wish to check around for the best rate.

Bathrobe and heated towel rack

Guests are treated to free WiFi and a free mini-bar containing two beers, two Coca Colas (one regular and one Coke Light – called “Diet Coke” in the U.S.) – an orange juice and an apple juice, and two bottles of mineral water – one sparkling and one still.

Harking back to a more elegant time, the München Palace provides actual keys on large, shiny key fobs as opposed to key cards. Guests must use the keys to lock the room when they are inside, so leaving the key in the lock when in the room is a good idea in case one has to leave quickly. Guests must also take care to lock the door behind them when they leave, as the doors do not lock automatically.

Like many hotels in Germany, lights in the halls are not left on constantly but, as an energy-saving measure, only come on when guests are present. Some hotels have wall switches guests use as needed; the Hotel München Palace has gone other properties one better and installed motion sensors which switch the lights on automatically when someone is in the hall.

Regardless of the appearance or charm of the physical property, however, service can make a guest’s stay a five-star affair, or can make them wish they were staying somewhere else.

High-end bath amenities

Befitting of the name, service at the München Palace made me feel like royalty. Every staff member I encountered greeted me warmly when we passed in the halls, in the lobby, in the breakfast room, at the front desk, and at the front door. When it came to special requests, all were fulfilled quickly and with a smile, and when it came time to leave, I was given a bottle of Evian water for the journey ahead.

Its location makes the München Palace convenient to many of the city’s sights and activities. It is a short tram ride to the Altstadt, an easy bus ride to the Odeonsplatz with its sites and attractions, and a convenient connection to the U-Bahn that goes to the Olympiazentrum and BMW complex of BMW Welt (World), Museum, and Factory.

Despite being close to the action, the München Palace is on the quiet Trogerstraβe, which enables the hotel to provide an oasis from the craziness when the day’s meetings or sight-seeing are over.

Breakfast room and buffet

The München Palace has an on-site fitness center, including a steam room (which is especially welcome after spending time outdoors in the winter), and a variety of three types of showers for post-steam or post-workout bathing. One option is a hand-held shower wand, while a second is a “rain” showerhead that dumps water, rain-like, from a ceiling panel about 12x18 inches. The third option is a waterfall type of shower, where the water cascades from a ceiling-high outlet in a heavy stream that in meant to be evocative of standing under a (small) waterfall.

Room rates include a complimentary breakfast, with a broad selection of typically European breakfast items on a buffet, and fresh items including eggs, omelets and other hot items made to each guest’s order. Business lunch, tea, and dinner are also served. The hotel is located just a few steps from highly rated restaurants for guests who prefer to get off-property.

While there are no doubt other fine hotels in town, I will be looking no further. I have found my home in Munich.

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Photos by Carl Dombek
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