Overlooking the peaceful Old Botanical Gardens, The Charles Hotel is an elegant hotel conveniently located within walking distance from Munich’s Central train station and the Kunstareal, the museum quarter that showcases some of Bavaria’s most prestigious cultural attractions, as well as the designer boutiques that line Maximilianstrasse, one of the city’s royal avenues. Built in 2007, on the site of a former university library, The Charles Hotel has a total of 160 rooms, of which 24 are suites including the Royal Suite Monforte. While most of the Rocco Forte Hotels are situated in historical old buildings, The Charles Hotel is a completely newly built hotel and one of Munich’s most captivating buildings and has been awarded the prize for Best Architectural Hotel. The interior design tells three different stories: one of the Forte Family, one of the Old Botanical Gardens, and one of Munich and its art heritage. The hotel is named after Lord Charles Forte, the father of Sir Rocco Forte.
“Our guests have meetings in generous rooms with daylight and state of the art technique, sleep in the largest rooms and swim in the city’s longest hotel indoor pool, and enjoy healthy coffee breaks and modern international cuisine in Sophia’s Restaurant and Bar with a terrace surrounded by trees,” according to Frank Heller, director of The Charles Hotel.
Munich is in fact a burgeoning art world to discover and offers the city’s best art institutes to uncover a creative industry that’s sure to intrigue and inspire. From historical collections at leading museums to modern works at the city’s best contemporary art galleries, follow this essential guide to the Munich art scene. Located right in the museum quarter, The Charles Hotel is the perfect location to start your tour. Lenbachhaus is one of the most important art museums in Munich and is located just behind The Charles Hotel. It is a leading space for local and visiting art history enthusiasts. Curators put together insightful exhibitions focusing on key artworks from the 19th century, including pieces from The New Objectivity movement (a style of Expressionism developed in Germany in the 1920s), and works by artists from the acclaimed Der Blaue Reiter group of the 1910s, as well as historical artworks, and showcases contemporary art by international artists to encourage a dynamic dialogue between the past and the present.
For attractions and destinations further afield, a broad range of underground and tram services are also available nearby. Guests can reach museums, the lively art scene and the English Garden, one of the world’s largest city parks, by foot in only a few minutes. The English Garden rivals London’s Hyde Park and New York’s Central Park in size and is a popular playground for locals and visitors alike. Home to Bavaria’s Wittelsbach rulers from 1508 until World World I, the Residenz is Munich’s number-one attraction. The amazing treasures, as well as all the trappings of Wittelsbach’s lifestyle over the centuries, are on display at the Residenz museum, which takes up around half of the palace. The Main Station or the suburban train and underground connections is only 300 meters away from the hotel and the International Airport can be reached within 40 minutes by car or by the suburban train.
With spacious, contemporary rooms featuring artwork and warm décor that comes with free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, delicious modern European cuisine at Sophia’s restaurant, modern meeting spaces and a state-of-the-art spa with the city’s longest indoor pool, The Charles Hotel undoubtedly presents remarkable facilities. Furthermore, upgraded rooms add views of the botanical gardens and suites add separate living areas and/or extras, such as complimentary breakfast and minibars.
The hotel’s rooms are considered among the most spacious in the city; bedrooms are plainly but pleasingly finished in taupe, moss green, and creams. Some rooms offer views of the adjacent Old Botanical Gardens from French balconies, while all feature liberally sized limestone bathrooms with heated flooring. In the rooms, large art photographs of Hubertus von Hohenlohe are also an eye-catching. The pictures show the artist against a background of Munich scenery. A further connection to Munich is the wall decoration in each bathroom—the architect Sattler had this especially made for the hotel in the Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory. With Adam or Eve as theme, this also tells the story of creation.
The Rocco Forte Hotels is the only European 5-Star hotel chain, which is family-managed since four generations. The comfort and the wellbeing of the guests are part of the family tradition. Suites stand out too, with most categories provide guests with complimentary minibars and airport transport. The most impressive abode of all is the Monforte Presidential Suite, which can be combined with three connecting suites to occupy an entire floor.
The programme especially developed for the suite guests, gives the guests a maximum of comfort and time to enjoy their suite, the city and their life to the full. “Nowadays, for many people time is the biggest luxury. We give our guests the time by dealing with certain things or think along with them,” explains Heller, adding, “the Suite Experience Programme, for example, makes packing and unpacking of suitcases or ironing needless for our guests.”
Set in an inviting, light-filled room, the newly established restaurant Sophia’s at The Charles puts vegetables and fruits centre stage and promises a refreshingly light substitute to the heavy dishes most commonly associated with this region. The upscale restaurant with part outdoor seating is unique in the sense that it provides uncommonly generous breakfasts offering Middle Eastern cuisine for those that desire a distinctive culinary journey. Chef Michael Hüsken that heads up the kitchen was in fact trained in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and mentioned that the, “Middle Eastern cuisine is the most popular ethnic cuisine now and has won the hearts of food lovers from all over the world. Talk about, hummus, falafel, and tahini and you would find people asking for more.”
The hotel’s buffet breakfast, is abundant, varied, and exceptionally generous: it is in fact available until 2:00 pm on weekends and public holidays, which makes it different than what is usually offered.
The former Michelin starred chef, has experience in some of Germany’s most well-regarded restaurants, including Lafer’s Stromburg, Käfer’s, Acquarello, Schloss Elmau, Geisels Werneckhof, and Reisers am Stein. His menu for Sophia’s stresses the importance of regional and seasonal products, with some guest appearances for more exotic flavours and ingredients. Though the highest quality meats and freshest fish are also available from his specialist butcher, and fishermen, vegetables, fruits, spices, and herbs take centre stage. Guests will find dishes like beetroot, ricotta, cumin with iced pumpernickel; char with soubise and sweet and sour onions; and duck breast, with carrot ginger puree, wild broccoli and tamarind jus.
Hüsken said, “I try to cook food which is spontaneous, individual and personal. I want my guests to enjoy surprising and gastronomic food, presented simply and delivered with warm and easy hospitality. We cook with our usual high standards, but do not only serve our guests the filet that is found on many menus, but also other often tastier pieces of the meat as a shoulder, neck or belly. And of course, fresh herbs and vegetables will play a significant role.”
One cannot overlook the civil, calm, and courteous, staff that are always welcoming, helpful, pleasant, and professional. Not to forget, given Munich’s economic importance, the hotel offers plentiful business facilities including on-site tailoring service, but more enticing amenities are the upscale spa, with sauna and steam rooms, and a munificently sized indoor swimming pool—a lovely space, in which to while away a day during severe autumn or winter visits. The pool, measuring 15×8 metres, is actually the longest indoor pool in Munich. The Charles Spa, the wellness area of the 5-star Superior hotel induces the innovative concept of ‘Wellness for Myself’ :The idea behind the concept is based on the term ‘Selfness’ and is a continuation of the idea of ‘wellness,’ explains Johanna Schneider, the Spa Manager at The Charles Spa. “It is about a holistic, sustainable concept of wellbeing which not only restores energy but also sustainably which optimises personal lifestyle,” summarises Johanna.
World’s largest travel site, TripAdvisor featured a recent review by a visitor which stated, “the staff was friendly and quite accommodating. The concierge had great recommendations and was helpful in finding us transportation. The food at the restaurant was quite good and the service was wonderful.”
The Charles is also considered as a very family-friendly hotel and the hotel is mindful of making it a memorable stay for families, such that a special ladder is available at check-in, whereby little guests can reach the reception desk. Among the ample range of special services and amenities, children will also receive a teddy bear, colouring books, and cookies at turndown, while babies are provided with complimentary meals and 24-hour babysitting services. One visitor was extremely impressed who reviewed it online and expressed, “I can’t begin to say enough about this hotel. We stayed in July 2018 with our three kids. We had adjoining rooms—in the children’s room, they had children’s sized robes/slippers, a PlayStation, coloured pencils, and colouring books, special children’s shampoo/conditioner/body wash, etc. It was so very thoughtful.”
An elegant and cosmopolitan 5-star hotel, The Charles is certainly one of the landmarks of luxury accommodations in Munich with a unique and wholesome disposition. The consistent service alone is impressive and is accompanied with a clean and safe hotel design in a convenient location. The Charles Hotel is one of those places that will not have a hard time converting first timers into repeat guests.