Novotel Munich Airport Hotel Review
It’s always interesting to be among the first guests at a hotel, especially during a “soft” opening. The last pieces of equipment are being delivered to the fitness center, the shrubs are still being planted, and the staff is getting acquainted with the hotel and with each other.
When you enter the Novotel München Airport hotel, you immediately understand why this is the brand’s flagship property. Guests are greeted by an ultra modern lobby and reception area, attractive and comfortable Ligne Roset furniture, and an experienced and accommodating staff.
There’s a very cool bar adjacent to the lobby and it was quite popular in the evenings. Both venues are comfortable places to sit, chat,, and enjoy a drink. The word “hip” comes to mind, but there’s no attitude here.
WHERE IS IT
The Novotel München Airport hotel is on the grounds of the Flughafen München Franz Josef Strauß (Munich Airport). It’s not, however, within walking distance from the terminals, although it is still a short bus or cab ride away. To get to the hotel (if you are not driving), you can take a public bus or a taxi or the S-1 or S-8 S-Bahn lines and walk from the nearby S-Bahn station “Besucherpark” (it’s a 10-minute walk).
The rooms were modern, decorated in warm colors, and brand new. There’s a flatscreen television on the wall and the toilet is separate from the shower and sink area. The rooms also have a hot water maker for coffee and tea as well as a mini-bar. My room had a great runway view.
Once in bed, however, I wondered about the foam rubber mattress’ unusual almost eggcrate-like feel, but drifted off to sleep assuming it was a new-fangled, high-tech innovation. When I enquired about the mattress design the next morning, I was told that my mattress had apparently been placed upside down. Since my back felt great the next morning, I considered asking the hotel to place my mattress upside down for my return visit a week later but decided against it.
I was disappointed to find out that there are no in-room safes, although the hotel does offer a safe deposit box at the front desk. For business travelers who regularly place passport(s), wallets, keys, and other valuable items in a safe, even when going down to breakfast, this is not just an inconvenience.
The hotel has a nicely-equipped fitness center and sauna but they weren’t open during my first stay and I was too rushed the second time around to take advantage of them.
ROAD WARRIOR SUPPORT
Desk and chair were very comfortable and the rooms were very well lighted and benefited from natural light during the day. The cleverly-designed desk swings out to create a generously-sized work area when needed. Internet service was fast and very inexpensive at €9 for 24 hours of Wi-Fi service.
The hotel has six conference rooms, each with splendid views of the runway, and an executive lounge on the fourth floor.
Junior road warriors stay for free and the hotel has placed a video game area, a children’s library, and an indoor playground at their disposal. These road warriors-in-training also receive a free breakfast.
The lobby has flight departure information screens and Apple computers for guest use.
Given my travel schedule for both of my visits, I was only able to eat breakfast at the hotel. While there were many good points (the croissants were light and airy, the pastries were wonderful), the breakfast still needs some attention. The hot items on the buffet (including the eggs, sausages, and bacon) were lukewarm at best although, when I complained, the chef immediately prepared a delicious omelette. Service was excellent and this more than made up for the cold food.
Start-up issues aside, the Novotel Munich Airport is a wonderful place to enjoy a layover or prepare for an early departure. The staff was super professional and an outsider would never have guessed that the hotel had just opened its doors. That having been said, given its location on the grounds of the airport but somewhat distant from the terminals, the hotel should consider offering some form of shuttle service to the terminal area.
–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.