My husband and I were lucky enough to stay at The Charles Hotel in Munich when we were over a couple of weeks ago. We loved this place. It is part of the exclusive Rocco Forte Collection, a group of luxury hotels and resorts, established by Sir Rocco Forte and his sister Olga Polizzi. Rocco Forte are known for their timeless, contemporary hotels of which The Charles Hotel is no exception – it is beautifully designed with excellent facilities and spa, attracting business and private travellers alike. Set on the edge of the Old Botanical Garden it is a tranquil urban sanctuary in a central location with the attractions of Munich’s Old Town within walking distance. Service at The Charles Hotel is impeccable, from the charming doorman, attentive receptionist to the friendly service at Sophia’s restaurant and bar.
The Charles Hotel is the ideal hotel if you’re looking for a quiet yet central spot in Munich. The main train station is just a five-minute walk from the hotel and the airport can be reached within 40 minutes. We were surprised how quickly we left the hustle and bustle of the main train station behind when we walked to the hotel which is set in a leafy part of Maxvorstadt, renowned for its museums and art galleries.
You might also like: Best Things to do in Munich
We were surprised and happy to learn that the standard rooms at the hotel are the largest in town with views of either the Old Botanical Garden or the historical streets of Munich. The suites on the upper levels offer beautiful bird eye views of the Old Botanical Garden underneath with the best views from the roof terrace at Monteforte Suite (picture above) at the very top. On clear days you can even see the snow covered Alps in the background!
We were very fortunate to be well looked after by Martin Hanke, the Personal Assitant to the General Manager, who showed us around the hotel and to be able to have a look at this stunning open plan suite. It features antique paintings, a grand piano, study, dining room, spacious bathroom (including a steam room) and even its own kitchen with separate staff entrance!
The smaller suites are gorgeous as well, offering separate sleeping and living areas, each individually designed. Olga Polizzi, Director of Design used natural colours throughout with artworks from local artists. What I found most impressive was the hotel’s large collection of original paintings by Franz von Lenbach, a famous 19th-century painter who lived nearby, his previous home is now an art museum, the Lenbachhaus, most renowned for its collection of paintings by the Blaue Reiter.
All rooms in the hotel have large bathrooms with light natural stone tiles, walk-in shower, bathtub, separate toilet and underfloor heating. The toiletries are from their own exclusive organic line, Forte Organics, which uses natural Sicilian ingredients and are free of parabens, paraffin and allergens.
We stayed in a spacious and light deluxe room, equipped with work desk as well as a separate seating area with a small sofa and armchair and additional touches, like a selection of books, added a homely feel to it. The in-room bar is well stocked and can be filled with healthy options on request.
We had a lovely fruit bowl as well as a plate of chocolates in the room wich we very much enjoyed!
The spa in the basement of the hotel features Munich’s longest hotel indoor pool, Finish sauna, steam room as well as a gym. Massages and other beauty treatments are available as well for some extra relaxation!
Another great feature of The Charles Hotel is their on-site Restaurant & Bar, Sophia’s, so you don’t even need to leave the hotel for an excellent meal or refreshing cocktails! Sophia’s restaurant (image above), popular with locals as well, is a beautiful, light & airy space with large floor to ceiling windows, wooden floors and two large fig trees, reflecting the botanical theme of the restaurant. Led by the former Michelin-starred chef, Michael Hüsken, the focus is on fresh, regional produce.
Diners also have the option of an al-fresco meal on their outside terrace, opposite the Old Botanical Garden where you can also just enjoy a pre-dinner drink from the bar’s menu which includes herb-based cocktails from which we chose Sophia’s cocktail (image above left), a mix of thyme, Gin Mare, lemon, sugar & champagne and a Green Gimlet, a combination of sage, rosemary, lemongrass, basil, Gin Mare, lime & eggwhite.
After our cocktails on Sophia’s nice terrace, we had lunch inside the restaurant, starting with fried scallops, fennel, saffron & purslane, followed by Tuna with a spiced crust, pak choi, lemongrass & green tomatoes as well as Spring Chicken with parsley, spinach, artichokes and salted lemon. For dessert, we had Strawberries with lime, basil & sorbet a chocolate cake with rhubarb and yoghurt and finally a plate of delicious chocolates! The service was outstanding at Sophia’s and we loved the live Jazz music in the background during our meal.
Breakfast is also served at Sophia’s with a long buffet that includes local specialities like Bavarian weisswurst, traditionally served with sweet mustard.
There is also a lovely a la carte menu to choose from with options of hot dishes from omelettes to delicious pancakes. It is also the ideal spot to enjoy brunch on weekends regularly accompanied by live Jazz music.
Above are a few photos of the beautiful surroundings – Lenbachplatz and the Old Botanical Gardens which is also home to a beer garden that has been recommended to us. If you would like to read more about Munich just click here!
Sophienstraße 28, Munich, 80333, Germany
We have been guests at The Charles Hotel, opinions as always are my own!