The Charles Hotel, Munich, Germany – Review

By Jonathan Spira on 7 September 2013
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One of the most rewarding experiences in travel is discovering a secret, tranquil place in the midst of a large city.  DSC_3287Munich’s secret place is the Alter Botanischer Garten (Old Botanical Garden), minutes from the hustle and bustle of the city center including major museums such as the Alte Pinakothek, the Neue Pinakothek, the Pinakothek der Moderne, and the newly-reopened Lenbachhaus, home to the German Expressionists.  A nearby secret is the Charles Hotel overlooking the gardens, a hotel I first discovered four years ago  and recently stayed at twice within a short period of time.

My trip to the Charles this time was far less hectic than what ended up being a 48-hour trip from New York during a blizzard.  This time, I pulled up in our brand-new BMW ActiveHybrid 5, having just taken delivery of the car through the automaker’s European Delivery program.  Despite Munich being a city full of BMWs, this car created a bit of a buzz at the entrance and the welcome received from the doorman and porter was sincere and heartfelt.


My Classic King, which is the hotel’s entry-level room, was quietly luxurious with a DSC_2047French balcony providing views of the Botanical Garden.  The muted colors and subdued lighting immediately instilled a feeling of relaxation.  While this may be the hotel’s most basic room it was far from basic.

A small sofa by the window offered a comfortable place to relax and allowed me to host a few friends for an enjoyable evening watching a Champion’s League FC Bayern football match.  The flat-screen television was a bit too small for the room but, given that it’s rare that I even turn the TV on in a hotel, except for this one time it wouldn’t have been noticed. On the bookshelves next to the desk were a few books to peruse, a thoughtful touch.

The bed was extremely comfortable and I woke up refreshed the next morning ready for the challenges of the day.  The drapes fully darkened the room, still a rarity even at the best hotels.

For guests afflicted by a sweet tooth, a small box of complimentary sweets awaited on a table by the sofa.

The bath area, finished in Bavarian limestone had a full-sized tub as well as a separate generously-sized shower.  A bidet and toilet were located in a separate stall.

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