The welcoming Torbräu has been looking after guests in one form or another since 1490, making it the oldest hotel in Munich, and it has been run by the same family for more than a century. It's next to one of the ancient city gates—Isartor, originating in the 14th century—and the location is perfect for an amble up to Marienplatz, or to the River Isar, then on to the Deutsches Museum.
The rooms are modestly decorated in a comfortable, slightly dated style, with pine furniture and panels and some bright chairs and carpets. Many are about to be renovated, though, and all have air-con, mini-bars and soundproof windows.
For lovers of proper hotel keys, the Torbrau does not disappoint, handing out heavy keys in tribute to its centuries of hosting guests.
Blue and white bathrooms are large and with showers or baths. Some have windows, which is unusual, and pleasant. Keep an eye out for the Bavarian rubber ducks.
The lobby is of a reasonable size and has a good sense of the past, with historic photos on the walls. You enter through an old-school gold revolving door, which is another nice nod to the hotel's heritage. Staff are extremely friendly and competent.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The Torbräu shows that centuries of practice makes perfect, but the lovely personal service and great location don't always come cheap.
Breakfast is a great, traditional spread with good coffee, served in a lovely room with a view over to Marienplatz. The hotel's Schapeau restaurant is a buzzy spot, with streetside seating and international food. It also hosts a brunch with piano music.
Guests can drink in Schapeau until 1 am, too.
Almost all of Munich's major attractions are within walking distance, and the hotel is close to the Isartor stop for journeys further afield, including a direct link to the airport.
If you need a break from Bavarian sausage and meats, try Siggis (2-minute walk), a delicious vegan restaurant. Or find delicious Italian cooking at Albarone (6-minute walk).
Schumann's Bar (15-minute walk) is a classy, and classic, bar with a bartender (76-year-old Charles Schumann) who is famous across Germany. Get there early. Or for some traditional Bavarian rabble rousing, head for Hofbräuhaus (4-minute walk), a 16th century, three-story beer hall.
WHY WE LIKE IT
A quiet stay, impeccable service, and a top location all combine to make the Torbräu's present-day offer as rewarding as learning about its 500-plus years of hospitality. It's not the slickest hotel in the world, but it has charm and heritage to spare.