Mandarin Oriental, Munich, Germany Review

By Jonathan Spira on 1 March 2008
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The Mandarin Oriental Munich is found on a quiet and unassuming side street near the Maximilianstraße, one of Munich’s main shopping streets.  The unpretentious entrance is quite a contrast from the elegance one finds once inside its portals.  The hotel’s 53 rooms and 20 suites are perhaps the most luxurious in the city.  Guests are always addressed by name and cosseted.PA180383 (Medium)

When I arrived, my room wasn’t ready yet so I was invited to enjoy a glass of Sekt in the lobby lounge.  The club sandwich I ordered in the lounge (I had just driven in from Vienna) was perhaps the best sandwich I ever had.  Halfway through the sandwich, I was told my room was ready but I shouldn’t rush my meal.


The MO (as regulars refer to it) is so close to everything in the Altstadt (old city) that deciding where to go in the evening was never easy. Formerly the Hotel Rafael, the hotel occupies an 1875 building that now features a rooftop pool and deck with super views of the city (there’s a bar up there as well).  The hotel opened as the Mandarin Oriental in 2000.PA180379 (Medium)


I was escorted up to my room by one of the front desk clerks.  The check-in formalities were handled in the room, not at the front desk, which was a nice touch.  “How would I like my mini-bar customized?” I was asked.  The clerk offered to remove whatever I didn’t want and replace it with what I did want.  (The mini-bar is complimentary, I should add.)PA180374 (Medium)

The rooms and suites all feature superb Bang and Olufsen TV and entertainment systems that put almost any other hotel room to shame.

My suite had a separate living room, dining area, work area, and bedroom, making it ideal for holding meetings and entertainments friends and clients.    The bathroom features a heated tile floor and the walk-in closet had shoe trees.


Super fast Internet connectivity was available at the generously-sized desk.  The chair was acceptable for work; I would have preferred a chair that less matched the decor and more matched the desk.  Lighting was good all around.PA180386


Despite the fact that Mark’s Restaurant does not have anyone named Mark in the kitchen (the chef is Tobias Jochim; Mark was the name of the son of the hotel’s original developer, George Rafael), the impeccably trained staff serves fresh produce brought in from Brittany, Normandy and other regions in France.  The meal begins with a three-part amuse bouche where each offers a heightened taste of individual ingredients compared to the previous, and entrées such as Gauthier pigeon, chestnut puree, Barolo flavored shallots, glazed radish roast almond sauce, and Szechuan paper.  The tables in the dining room are quite distant from one another, making this a favorite of those holding business dinners.


The only thing that prevented me from working productively was the Bang and Olufsen entertainment system but that wouldn’t stop me from coming back perhaps once or twice a year.

Mandarin Oriental Munich, Neuturmstraße 1, 80331 Munich, Germany, +49 (89) 290 98

–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.

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