the contents of a minibar distil the essence of a hotel
stay? It’s not often we think so, but in this effortlessly chic
Munich hotel, the maths just adds up. Inside the canvas-covered
cabinet of our sharply designed suite, we found the distinctive
brown bottles of Tegernseer helles bier (a local pale lager), a
dinky bottle of Bavarian Grauburgunder (the good stuff they don’t
export), a selection of Ritter Sport chocolate bars and a packet of
Haribo. Read “refined, elegant and a little bit fun”. Munich takes
most of its cues from neighbouring Italy, pairing dolce vita
cosmopolitanism with German efficiency – and this city-centre hotel
follows suit. On our first night, we dine on chilled white wine and
There are copious hotels that claim to encapsulate a city’s
character, but Munich’s Louis Hotel might be one of the first we’ve
visited that hits the mark so precisely. Tucked into a 100-year old
building beside the city’s historic Viktualienmarkt (food market),
its clean lines, slick design and understated elegance echo the
Bavarian capital’s refined cool. This is Milan, but less pretentious; Berlin, but much chicer.
The 72-key stay pairs its historic architecture with a touch of
modernism in its stylish interiors – despite having been open since
2009, its appearance remains smart; its aesthetic, timeless.
Andreas Hild and Dionys Ottl of Hild und K Architekten have used
warm, oiled wood throughout, pairing the natural finish with
simple, crisp lines, warm hues and a soft, silky tranquillity.
In typical German fashion, Louis feels
precision-engineered.There’s a lift in the hotel’s entrance passage
that will whisk you straight to your room; the lobby leads
effortlessly onto the fire-warmed cocktail bar; and your room feels
suitably spacious without ever feeling empty – or tumbling into
pretentiousness. If hotels had attitudes, we’d pin this one as an
older sibling’s hot, but approachable, friend. Who offers you
Serene, with white panelled walls that curve up to meet the
ceiling and a warm, welcoming colour palette. Think elegant and
enticing. We loved the mid-century-inspired furnishings upholstered
in moss-green velvet and lichen-toned linens, the oiled oak
floorboards and the soft kilim rugs underfoot.
Everything has been carefully thought out, from quirky twist
switches for the lights to soft leather pulls replacing cabinet
handles. Metro-tiled bathrooms are opulent, with underfloor
heating, vast baths, generous shower heads and rattan-shuttered
windows that look out into the bedroom (don’t worry, a shower
curtain protects your modesty). Each evening, you’ll find elegant
glass bottles of Vöslauer water offered and, come morning, forget
Nespresso – you’ll be enjoying Sjostrand coffee pods as you peruse
the market comings and goings from your French balcony.
The beds are worthy of a paragraph in themselves. These
scientifically calibrated sleeping contraptions see conventional
springs replaced with natural rubber to help the mattress adapt to
your sleeping body (it works), while linens are 100 per cent
unbleached cotton, with – in the traditional German style – single
duvets provided to help regulate temperature even when sharing the
bed. Pillows provide the perfect sleeping position for your spine
(don’t discredit the firm, thin slabs without trying them first) –
but if they’re not to your liking, you can order a camel or horse
hair-stuffed alternative from the pillow menu. We’ve never headed
into the land of nod so quickly.
What’s for breakfast?
Perfected classics made with produce from the Viktualienmarkt
are served from 7am. A hefty flat rate of £27 seems steep, until
you consider what it includes: a packed-out table of – deep breath
– fresh breads, croissants, whipped butter, jams and honey, coffee
and tea, juices and a selection of made-to-order menus. You can
pick from a seafood plate (salmon, smoked fish, horseradish cream
and prawn cocktail), avocado on toast with a beetroot salad and
mango lassi, classic eggs benedict and florentine, Bircher muesli,
fruit salad, acai bowls, open sandwiches and more.
How about lunch and dinner?
The ground-floor Louis Grillhouse is suave, but pricey. Save
your cents by heading out for lunch to Caspar Plautz in the
Viktualienmarkt, a potato-selling stall offering crazy concoctions
with all things spuds. Checking in late? Scurry down to Gute Nacht
Wurst, a grungy student favourite 10 minutes’ walk away that plates
up moreish portions of spicy currywurst, with local beers on tap.
Is there a bar?
The handsome Louis Sparkling Bar sits just off reception and
offers the same subdued sophistication as the lobby. Cocktails are
well balanced and playful. Our tipple of the day – a cherry-infused
concoction from the bartender – was smooth, light and refreshing.
There’s a rooftop bar, which opens in summer, and a small gym
and sauna, although we weren’t able to access either, due to grey
skies and continuing Covid regulations.
Rooms are equipped with a hairdryer, TV, plush robes and
slippers and a Bose speaker. The florally perfumed toiletries are
from Parisian brand La Biosthétique.
How about their green credentials?
Don’t expect to see any single-use plastics in rooms. Coffee
capsules are biodegradable and bathroom toiletries are full-size
and refillable. The wonderful mattresses are made from natural
latex and bedding is carefully sourced and produced by a local
enterprise. Produce in the restaurant is sourced from local farms
and the nearby market.
What about accessibility?
Access for disabled guests is required by law, so no worries
What’s the crowd like?
Suited and booted. We heard whispers of Swedish and Italian over
breakfast, and spied Hugo Boss-outfitted businessmen, plus
well-heeled European couples on city breaks. Kids are welcome
(although, note, the few we saw were extremely well behaved).
Things I should know
Don’t be afraid to order the Bavarian breakfast selection. The
weisswurst veal sausages are a source of state pride. The tender
meat is poached in a light cooking liquid and served with sweet
mustard, a pretzel and – if you can handle it – a hoppy morning
weissbier (wheat beer).
Within a short walk I can find…
You’re right in the middle of the old town, encircled by the
gothic spires of the city Rathaus, the green-onion domes of the
Frauenkirche church and history-soaked streets. Right outside are
the blue-and-white-maypole stalls of the traditional
Viktualienmarkt, with the city’s famous beer halls just beyond. Our
favourite bar, Garçon, is a three-minute walk away.
Hop on the U-Bähn and you’re within easy reach (or a 30-minute
walk) of the city’s numerous museums, plus the rolling undulations
of the bucolic Englisch Garten, one of Europe’s largest city-centre
Rooms cost from £209 a night.
This article contains affiliate links, which means SUITCASE
may earn a small commission if you click through and book.