Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Le Meridien Munich

20 May 2008 by Tom Otley

WHAT'S IT LIKE? A modern five-star hotel which takes up much of a city block in central Munich. Staff are multilingual and extremely helpful, from the liveried doormen to the concierge who, on request, detailed the best jogging route in the morning, offered to obtain tickets for local attractions and advised on the length of journeys by S-Bahn. The hotel is built around a courtyard, with the reception to your right and the bar to your left.

WHERE IS IT? On Bayerstrasse, opposite the Sofitel hotel and the Hauptbahnhof, from where you can get the S-Bahn to Munich airport in around 40 minutes. It's a ten-minute walk to the main shopping area around Marienplatz; or, if you are travelling at the time of the famous Oktoberfest, only a ten-minute stagger to the Theresienwiese, where the event is held (from September 20 to October 5 this year).

HOW MANY ROOMS? 381, including 29 Executive rooms and 29 suites.

ROOM FACILITIES The rooms all have plasma screen TVs with a good choice of English channels, high-speed internet access, good-size workdesks with a couple of European plug sockets, while the marble bathrooms have separate bathtubs and powerful showers. There's a choice of inward or outward-facing rooms, although the sound-proofing is extremely effective, as you realise when you open the windows.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS The main restaurant is long and thin, with views into the central courtyard, and can get very busy at breakfast, although it is more relaxed in the evening. (Restaurant staff remain calm even when very busy, and all staff make eye contact and greet you as you walk around the hotel.) I was impressed by the free newspapers (including the International Herald Tribune and the Financial Times) and the omelette-making station next to the breakfast buffet. In the evening, the restaurant becomes the French Le Potager (it has a website, but only in German at present). Adjacent is private dining in banquet room La Table Gourmande, which seats up to 12 Asian-style on cushioned barstools. La Traction Bar is a dark and stylish area, with a full list of drinks and snacks including bento boxes (this is the only thing listed on the menu, but if you ask they will prepare anything from the room-service menu).

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES There are ten meeting rooms in total, including the ballroom, which seats 150 banquet-style. The central courtyard can be used for open-air break-outs, as well as dining in the summer.

LEISURE FACILITIES There's a small and rather disappointing gym in the basement, but next door is an excellent pool.

VERDICT A good choice and good value compared with other five-star hotels. It is also well located for transport.

PRICES Fully flexible internet rates for a midweek stay in June started from €364 for a Deluxe room.

CONTACT Le Meridien Munich, Bayerstrasse 41; tel +49 89 24 220; lemeridien.com.

Report by Tom Otley

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