This was our second visit to a Rocco Forte property (the first being the Balmoral in Edinburgh a few years ago). In our limited experience, it’s hard to pin down just what is missing from these properties: they seem to have all of the requisite touches like good locations, fine furnishings and good service, but they don’t add up. It’s as if there is something holding them back from offering a fully-luxurious experience. We think it’s their stated ethos of “simple luxury.” To us, it’s more like mid-market luxury: it just doesn’t quite make it.
Our first impression may have had something to do with this feeling: we were surprised to see a table, TV monitor and tacky signage wedged into the front lobby between the door and concierge desk when we entered the hotel for the first time. Apparently, a global direct sales consumer products company had booked a large number of rooms for a multi-day meeting in the hotel.
We were given a room on the second floor on the front of the building. The room was warm and comfortable with pleasant furnishings and modern conveniences, but it seemed good rather than great. Again, simple luxury was perhaps too simple for us.
The bathroom was fine, but it suffered in comparison to the better one we had just left at the Kempinski River Park Hotel in Bratislava. It had more than enough room and all the modern conveniences, but it was not as memorable as others we’ve had recently (even the paint in the room - a bland beige - seemed plain).
Fortunately, service at The Charles Hotel was good: the front desk staff were polite and helpful. Sabrina in the Spa was lovely: warm, friendly and professional. And our dinner waitress for the night we ate at Daverro was terrific: she took the time to talk with us, talked with the chef about making a gluten free, vegetarian risotto for one of us, and provided the kind of service that makes you want to return to a restaurant. Too bad that the breakfast service wasn’t of similar quality: we had to ask repeatedly for coffee, we waited an inordinate amount of time for a bowl of yogurt with fruit (ordered from the menu), and we had to correct a mistake on the bill.
The Charles Hotel is a very good choice in Munich, but it’s not exceptional. But maybe that’s us: perhaps “simple luxury” isn’t our thing. Our stay was fine, but we probably wouldn’t return to this hotel on our next stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The hotel is situated near the Old Botanical Garden, close to exclusive shopping areas,such as Theatinerstrasse and Maximilianstrasse. All 160 rooms and suites are bright and appointed with a large bathroom decorated with original Nymphenburg porcelain. Enjoy modern botanical bistronomy in the Sophia's Restaurant & Bar with sun terrace. Our The Charles Spa with pool, sauna, steam bath and fitness room is another highlight for your well-being. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Forte Munich
- Munich Forte