This hotel, located in a turn-of-the-20th-century neo-Gothic mansion, has personality and history in spades. Just check out the opening line of its website: "Do not expect flat screen TVs, luscious carpeting or even an elevator. As if these should be standard in a protected Belle Époque hotel built over 100 years ago!" This might not endear some people to Hotel Mariandl; for us, we loved it. Guests check in at the mahogany bar of the cafe, and follow an ancient winding stone and oak staircase up to their rooms, which are similarly full of antiques and individuality, and not so much with the soft furnishings or mod-cons. The Oktoberfest grounds and the main railway station are both a 10-minute walk away--accordingly, and in line with all of Munich's hotels, prices during Oktoberfest increase substantially.
This hotel has a history: The American armed forces commandeered it in in May 1945 and established Munich's first postwar nightclub, the Femina, on the ground floor.
Most rooms are spacious, with high ceilings and large windows overlooking a leafy avenue. There's a spattering of trundle beds, wooden antiques, maps, and chandeliers, but the overall feel is run-down palace or dormitory rather than anything luxurious--or indeed much like most hotels you come across.
YOU SHOULD KNOW As the website (and the cheery welcoming staff) warn, there's no lift.
Almost all of the rooms have their own private toilet and bathroom, and some have bath tubs. Those with shared facilities are cheaper.
There's no lobby. Check in at the mahogany bar in the gorgeous Cafe am Beethovenplatz below the hotel.
(You're kidding, right?)
Breakfast is served downstairs in the truly lovely Café am Beethovenplatz, which also has free Wi-Fi. This traditionally bohemian spot has a popular daily menu and buzzes all day, with seating inside, below a high red and white coffer ceiling, on the street, or in the shady garden. Musicians play daily.
Guests can also get drinks, from coffee to champagne, in the Café am Beethovenplatz.
The hotel is a sprightly walk away from the main sights, or between a few U-bahn stations. It's well-located for Oktoberfest.
Go old-school at Cafe Mozart (13-minute walk), with its huge schnitzel and 1960s Austrian vibe. Or there's great falafel available at the brilliantly-named Make Falafel Not War (9-minute walk).
Go straight to source for the freshest beer at the Paulaner Bräuhaus (10-minute walk). Or try brilliant cocktail bar, Zum Wolf (15-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
It's unusual for a reviewer to say they like a hotel because it's a bit shabby, but, there you go. Hotel Mariandl is unique and interesting, pretty rough round the edges (and proud of it), and that authentic personality and heritage has won us over, as well as the fantastic old-school on-site cafe, which feels like bohemian Munich through the ages come to life.