No other hotel in Munich manages to combine the subdued elegance of a design hotel, first-rate service, and perhaps the best Old Town location, overlooking Viktualienmarkt, that the Louis offers. You can experience the bustle of the market and the Biergarten below, but once you're in the hotel, all is calm, with uniquely designed interiors and well-thought-out rooms, many with French balconies. Opened in 2009, this former bank continues to appeal to well-heeled clients, though some room prices are competitive.
Look for the tiny, enticing chocolate store below the hotel.
Rooms are a reasonable size by Munich standards, and come with views of the market or the courtyard and nearby 'Old Peter' church. Colours are subdued - whites, beiges, greys - and soothing, and the handmade furniture is classy. Beds, with natural rubber mattresses, are comfortable. All rooms have air-conditioning.
Bathrooms come with some lovely touches - heated floors and mirrors, plus a wicker-covered window into the room beyond (with a curtain for privacy). Standard class rooms have showers.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Some travellers have warned that the design trumps function in the bathrooms, with too-small shower curtains letting water onto the floor.
The hotel lobby is as chic as you'd expect from a hotel with design chops, with a Japanese feel that continues throughout the hotel (its restaurant is Japanese too). Staff are fabulously helpful.
The hotel has a small gym and sauna overlooking the Munich rooftops.
In its culinary offer, the Louis has a secret weapon: a fabulous and buzzing Japanese restaurant called Emiko, which offers delectable sushi and great, delicate choices, including a dish with a whole leek that is a work of cooking wizardry. In summer, diners eat on the small rooftop terrace overlooking the church. Breakfast is great too, with vegan options, and eaten with a view of the market below.
Louis' bar is as cool as you'd expect and continues the Asian theme, with plum wine, sake, and lemongrass all in the mix.
Access is super easy - many of the sights are on your doorstep, and otherwise, you are close to the Marienplatz S-bahn station with trains that can take you futher afield, including directly to the airport.
For traditional Bavarian that manages to avoid the kitsch and the lederhosen, head for Wirtshaus Maximilian (16-minute walk). The menu has all the classics but the atmosphere is light and modern, with plenty of beers on tap. Or Brenner (10-minute walk), the former royal stables, is now a trendy brasserie-style joint.
Bar Garcon (3-minute walk) continues the cool, stripped back feel of the Louis itself, with good classic cocktails. Or dive in to the proper Munich beer experience at Ratzkeller (6-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
Cool but not pretentious, with a great, unusual Japanese restaurant and a real sense of calm despite its location slap-bang in the middle of Munich's touristic heart, the Louis is a top design hotel in the center of the city. Worth the extra pennies you might have to spend to stay here.