Bayerischer Hof

Review of Bayerischer Hof review by Varun Sharma

The Bayerischer Hof Munich is a Bavarian powerhouse of a grande dame, constantly evolving and one of the world’s legendary historic hotels. Originally conceived by no less a figure than King Ludwig I in 1839, this evergreen property offers 263 guest rooms and 74 suites designed in a variety of styles by a clutch of famous architects and designers. With the 350 square metre Penthouse Garden Suite encompassing the entire eighth floor, the hotel is also home to its own nightclub, astor@Cinema Lounge, five restaurants including the three-Michelin starred jewel Atelier, six bars and a theatre – Komödie im Bayerischen Hof.

The hotel’s crowning glory, the 1,300 square metre rooftop Blue Spa designed by Andrée Putman, stretches over three floors and offers panoramic views over the city. Features include a swimming pool with retractable roof, saunas, steam bath, a hair salon, a sun deck and a fitness centre. The property also offers a shopping and art gallery arcade and owns its own parking garage, complete with car washing service.

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Located on Promenadeplatz Square in the heart of Munich, the Bayerischer Hof is just a short walk from the opera house, the Cathedral Church of Our Lady and several museums. Exclusive boutiques and cafés are also a stroll away at Marienplatz as are the natural surroundings of the Hofgarten Park and no less than eleven Michelin-starred restaurants.

Airport wise, Franz Josef Strasse Airport is around 35 kilometres away with Munich’s main train station, Muenchen Hauptbahnhof just over a kilometre distance. If arriving by private jet at Oberpfaffenhofen, it is around 35 minutes’ drive away. If arriving by helicopter at the Drivers & Business Club Munich, it is around a 25 minutes’ drive. Allianz Arena football stadium is about 10 kilometres away.

The nearest S-Bahn stop is Marienplatz, the nearest U-Bahn stations are either Marienplatz or Odeonsplatz, both a 10-minute walk away and the nearest tram stop is Theatinerstrasse.



As Stefanie Hurkmans, Senior Housekeeper at the hotel has been heard to say, “No two rooms are alike at Hotel Bayerischer Hof because no two guests are alike either” and no truer word has ever been spoken.

The hotel management has engaged a number of designers to refresh and recreate their accommodation. These range from the understated luxury of the famous architect, Siegward Graf Pilati to the warm colours and florals of British design house Laura Ashley and the Cosmopolitan R&B style of French designer Philippe Hurel with luxury materials by Manuel Canovas and the colonial style of Renato Rabbiolo inspired by the savannah colours of Africa.

There are classically elegant rooms too alongside those designed by Axel Vervoordt whose style in the new south and north wings of the hotel is characterised by a subtle and restrained design with curated pieces adding interest. Lamps are by the Japanese ceramic artist Kosi Hidama whilst other unique pieces were produced in Vervoordt’s workshop in Gravenwezel near Antwerp. All have marble bathrooms with separate baths and dual vanities.

Room amenities include water and fresh fruit on arrival, toiletries by Molton Brown, flat screen televisions with 400 satellite channels, iPod docking stations, minibars and safes and a range of services from babysitting and room service to dog packages, ironing and additional cushions and rugs as required. Suite amenities also include sound systems, DVD players, Nespresso machines and walk in wardrobes. Some also offer kitchens, open fireplaces, whirlpools and terraces with panoramic views.

Moving upwards to the suites, again there is a wide choice of designer and style. Suite 043 for example by Siegward Graf Pilati features valuable antiquities, exquisite fabrics and choice materials alongside a spiral staircase leading from the living room to a small gallery whilst the Bavarian Suite 328 is a vision of regal opulence, complete with country-style wood panelling, views onto Promenadeplatz Square, a modern four poster bed and a spacious bathroom equipped with a bathtub designed by Philippe Starck.

There are four themed suites including the Trauminsel Suite 535 inspired by Hawaii and designed by Oscar winner Rolf Zehetbauer to the Gottschalk Suite 672 with its rock n’roll vibe, reserved for him when he is in Munich but available when he is travelling. There is also the Paris Suites 415 and 416 offering Gallic décor from the late 19th century designed by Zehetbauer once again and the New York style of the 5th Avenue Suite 525.

The four Panorama Suites in the hotel’s roof space have again been designed by Siegward Graft Pilati in a penthouse style with luxury materials such as mahogany, marble from Siena and Brazilian granite used alongside exquisite fabrics. In the two bedroomed Panorama Suite 705, the open marble fireplace dominates the 4.4 metre / 15-foot-high living room with seating and dining areas with kitchenette. A spiral staircase leads to a galleried bedroom with the suite also offering a 78 square metre / 840 square foot roof terrace with fountain, sun loungers and a dining area.

Pilati has also designed the Presidential Suites situated in the historic Palais Montgelas, a separate annex built in the classical style of 1811. These rooms offer a more traditional European elegance, awash with priceless antiques and luxury fabrics and other choice materials. There are three Presidential suites on the third and fourth floors and all can be combined with other rooms and suites to take over the entire third and fourth floors. On the fourth floor, known as the Presidential Floor, this creates one of the largest suites in Europe.

The Penthouse Garden Suite, one of the newest hotel offerings, has been designed by Axel Vervoordt. The 350 square metre / 3,767 square foot space encompasses the entire eighth floor and is surrounded by a wraparound terrace with spectacular views over Munich. 

Designed with a discreet and understated style in neutral tones, every piece of furniture, made from reclaimed wood, is unique with the ceramic lamps designed by Kosi Hidama. All the exterior walls are panoramic windows which fills the space with natural light. When combined to make the Penthouse Garden Ensemble, the space offers nine rooms, two luxury bedrooms at the Penthouse Garden Suite as well as five deluxe double rooms and two deluxe junior suites on the Seventh Floor. Suite goodies include champagne, chocolates, fruit, complimentary minibars, afternoon tea and champagne breakfasts served in-suite, massages either in-suite or in the Blue Spa and a private driver and butler on hand.

Service & Facilities


Situated high above the Munich streets, the hotel’s Blue Spa is a four-storey crowning glory – a veritable palace of wellness. Designed by Andrée Putnam as a retreat par excellence for body and soul, the total area covers 1,300 square metres / 14,000 square feet and comes complete with a retractable glass roof under which, the 6.5-metre / 21 feet x 14.5-metre / 48 feet swimming pool temptingly sits. There is even an outdoor fireplace to keep the chill away. 

Inside, the space offers a fully equipped fitness studio, personal trainers, yoga, pilates and a range of saunas from the ladies extra gentle organic sauna to the mixed Finnish sauna with infusions through to the classic aroma steam bath. An immersion bath, plunge pool and a separate quiet area allows guests to fully relax. There is also a tanning bed for those looking to bronze and a beauty centre for anything from a facial to classic manicures and pedicures to anti-ageing treatments with collagen and caviar extracts. To look good for those Munich nights, head to Arnoldy and Team Hairdressers to make hair look chic and luscious. 

Alongside the multitude of high-end wellness treatments, the Blue Spa also offers tailor-made medical rehabilitation treatments based on a five-point programme all overseen by Ulrich Barth whose clientele includes top athletes and private patients including FC Bayern and the German national football team. The Blue Spa offers an extensive range of beneficial treatments alongside classic massages with hand-picked therapists fluent with global therapies. 

For those wanting a light bite, the spa kitchen serves light fare with fresh ingredients and a wide range of drinks and unusual cocktails. During the summer months, there is even a barbeque to enjoy whilst watching Munich life carrying on from the rooftops. 

On the entertainment side, the Bayerischer Hof Munich has an unbeatable range of facilities. The astor@CinemaLounge offers 38 comfortable armchair seating to enjoy the latest films whilst the Komödie at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof offers a 560-seat theatre with a diverse range of productions each season. For live music, there is the seductive setting of the hotel’s night club offering a glamorous venue for international jazz and blues musicians such as Marcus Miller, George Benson and Al Jarreau. The popular Piano Bar meanwhile features a series of renowned pianists to entertain guests every Friday night.



When historians talk about the past, it is often the case that from the 19th century onwards, history has been made in the grand and impressive rooms of a handful of luxurious hotels around the world.

The Bayerischer Hof is one of those proud properties. Built at the suggestion of royalty and opening in 1841, the hotel was subsequently purchased by Mark Hermann Volkhardt in 1897 and has been operated by the same family since that time, Innegrit Volkhardt being the fourth generation to lead the property.

This family has forged a tight bond with the city of Munich. Once the largest hotel in Europe where the Empress Elisabeth of Austria stayed and where Caruso sang, the Bayerischer Hof of today is a vibrant and evergreen hotel, sitting somewhere between the traditions of the 19th century and the flamboyance and diversity of today’s world. Thank goodness the Volkhardt family has been in charge over the past 100 years for they raised the hotel up when substantially damaged in the Second World War and they have been responsible for extending its facilities into one of the most comprehensive venues in the world – rooftop spas, expansive suites, famous designers, Michelin starred restaurants, cinemas, night clubs and theatres – the list is endless and an incredible achievement for an independent property. 

Happy is the guest who stays here under the kind ministrations of the Volkhardt family - long may they remain in charge and flourish - for who knows what further delights might be in store in the future.

Restaurants & Bars


The Bayerischer Hof Munich offers guests a veritable cornucopia of restaurants and bars to choose from.

Dining options start with Atelier, a three Michelin starred restaurant with seasonal creations of the highest order created by masterchef Anton Gschwendtner. The Blue Spa Lounge with Winter Garden and terrace offers light and healthy cuisine and barbecues overlooking the rooftops of Munich. There is also the Roof Garden and roof garden lounge with sun terrace for a champagne breakfast buffet and à la carte breakfast area whilst the Restaurant Garden – complete with summer terrace - serves proven classics and brasserie dishes with a modern twist. Palais Keller meanwhile conjures up Bavarian classics – set beneath an historic vaulted ceiling and even has its own bakery - with Trader Vic’s offering Polynesian specialities from a beech oven, cooked according to the original recipes. 

Bar wise, there are five bars to choose from including the Blue Spa Bar offering cool drinks with a view; the modern Falk’s Bar in the listed hall of mirrors, serving up its own award-winning creations as well as true classics; the Night Club and Piano Bar offering classic cocktails and snacks to live music; the Polar Bar offering host snacks and drinks during the winter season whilst Trader Vic’s and Menehune Bar serves legendary cocktails from the South Pacific in an exotic atmosphere. 


The Bayerischer Hof only works with designers that possess strong eco-credentials - including a longstanding collaboration with the Belgian architect Axel Vervoordt. He is renowned for his sensitive and sustainable approach to historic buildings.

The hotel is moving away from plastics and switching to alternatives. It places cards in the rooms inviting guests to not change bed linen every day and to reuse towels – allowing the hotel to use less energy. Every area of the hotel is temperature controlled and all light bulbs have been switched to LED.

What We Love

  • History: There are so few luxury hotels around the world that can place their provenance back to the early 19th century. The fact that Bayerischer Hof Munich has been family owned since 1897 is remarkable. That it survived World War 2 is equally impressive. 
  • Atelier: Anton Gschwendtner is a highly talented German chef. He has created stars in some of the country’s most highly acclaimed restaurants. Diners can expect “puristic and elegant French cuisine enhanced with Asian flavours and ingredients.” Atelier is one of Europe's finest restaurants. 
  • Staff: You would expect the service in a luxury hotel like the Bayerischer Hof to be flawless but you get something a little extra here. The staff know what you want even before you think it. It comes from having passionate owners who do not have to stick to a group corporate handbook. Truly great.  

    Varun Sharma

What They Love

  • Falk’s Bar: Miraculously, my father Falk Volkhardt found the famous Hall of Mirrors which was the only room at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof which wasn’t destroyed after the Second World War. He opened Munich's first restaurant here in autumn 1945. In 2002, I decided to create the hotel's new bar in this magnificent room and to commemorate my father with the name Falk's Bar. 
  • Penthouse Garden Suite: I feel at home everywhere in the hotel. Everything is familiar. But I would love staying in the Penthouse Garden Suite, because it is so quiet there - that you can even hear the birds chirping in the middle of the city. 
  • Bird’s Nest: I especially like the Blue Spa. I love my hometown and sitting up there on a beautiful summer evening with views of the Munich and her Cathedral which are, on the one hand, enlightening and within your reach, and on the other hand, radiating a great calm but also power which is something very special.

    Innegrit Volkhardt
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About the author
Varun Sharma
With over 25 years of experience in luxury travel journalism, Varun is responsible for all the content you see on He works closely with all the hotel and airline brands that appear on the website. BBC-trained, Varun has appeared in print, on radio, television, and now online media - having worked for outlets including the BBC, Telegraph (UK), MSNBC, Travel Channel and Cond...
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