Listen up, if you’re a foodie, beer fan, Christmas fanatic, or all of the above, then boy, do I have the hotel for you. The NH Collection Munchen Bavaria, a resplendent hotel boasting outstanding transport links and sweeping views of Munich, needs to go right to the top of your list of “must stay” hotels for 2020. The only skyscraper in the centre of Munich (craftily constructed before height restrictions were applied to the rest of the city), the NH Collection Munchen Bavaria features 219 rooms and suites overlooking the city and mountains beyond. The rooms are modern, the decor upscale, the wi-fi is free and, for a small fee, you can even bring your pet along.
A stylish, modern retreat, the hotel is only 35 minutes drive from the airport or a 30 second walk from Hauptbahnhof Nord (public transport station) located directly opposite. Each room is tastefully furnished and decorated in soothing shades of gold, grey and bronze, the perfect place to relax after a day pounding the pavements at the legendary Christmas markets over at Marienplatz, or staggering back to your bed after a little too much enjoyment at the world famous Oktoberfest. Although the hotel is located within a minutes walk of the train station and main shopping district, the rooms are quiet and peaceful, a world away from the bustling streets below. Each room contains a flat screen television, mini bar, tea and coffee facilities, and luxuriously large showers. The ridiculously comfortable beds are so deliciously cosy, you might want to opt for breakfast in bed, just hang your breakfast option tag on the door handle the night before and the staff will do the rest. If you’re staying for more than one night though, I do urge you not to eat in your room every morning or else you’ll miss out on the outstanding breakfast buffet in Arnulf’s restaurant downstairs. Featuring an extensive range of hot and cold dishes, omelette station, fresh honeycomb and free flowing prosecco, the breakfast offerings are beyond what you would need to get you through a busy day of shopping and enjoying the city.
Of an evening, Arnulf’s whips up delicious international and regional dishes with a strong focus on local produce. Ask any member of staff what their “must try” dish is and they’ll enthuse over the weinerschnitzel to such an extent that you’ll no doubt find yourself with a plate of it and a tankard of the good stuff before you can say “kostlich”. If you’re staying for several nights and fancy dining out once in a while, Augustiner-Keller is a short walk away and serves delicious bar food. You can also find outstanding street food over at Marienplatz during the winter market season.
Aesthetics aside, the warm Bavarian welcome is, for me, what gives the NH Collection Munchen Bavaria the edge. The 24 hour front desk means you’re never without assistance, whatever you may need. The staff are helpful and warm, with a genuine love for their city. Their passion for the city they call home is evident, everyone you speak to here wants to ensure you’re enjoying Munich and getting to experience it like a local (and getting a great night’s sleep thereafter). If you’re so drawn in by the hospitality that you don’t want to venture out, the hotel also has a 24 hour gym, stylish lobby bar, business centre, and function rooms that can accommodate up to 300 people.
The Munich lowdown:
Things to do:
Oktoberfest: This year the famous festival runs from the 19th September to the 4th October. NH Collection Munchen Bavaria is located close enough to get their easily but far enough to not be in the thick of it. Rooms will no doubt fill up fast for these dates so make sure you book early.
Shopping: Maximilianstrasse can only be described as the 5th Avenue of Munich. Designer stores and high end restaurants aplenty, this is the perfect area for those wanting to spend some serious euros. For those looking for a less expensive experience, there are high street stores galore and traditional German outlets in and around the Marienplatz area.
Christmas Markets: The Munich Christmas markets will run from the 23rd November to the 24th December this year. Not to be missed, the markets are a multisensory experience with street food, live music, and plenty of shopping to be enjoyed. Just don’t go too mad on the gluhwein or you may find yourself heading back to the UK with a few bottles of the stuff (not that I would know…)
Culture: Munich is home to a vast number of museums, art galleries, science and tech centres, so much so that you would struggle to fit them all in to a week’s stay. As a starting point, the Bavarian National Museum and Kunsthalle Art Galleries can be visited over a weekend. For something a little different, check out Munchner Manufaktur, where they make traditional German garments by hand.
Views: Whilst the best views of Munich can be found from your hotel room, Hi-Sky, the Bavarian version of the London Eye, offers alternative views from the other side of the city. Tickets cost 15 Euros per adult and 10 Euros per child. On a side note, the area around Hi-Sky is covered in some incredible grafitti art. Definitely worth checking out if you have the time.
Getting there: Flights from the UK are frequent and well priced with Easyjet, Lufthansa, and British Airways offering flights from various regional airports.
Staying here: You can book direct at www.nh-hotels.com, although to remember to book early if you’re looking at visiting Oktoberfest or the Christmas markets.