Review: Mandarin Oriental Munich

Introduction: 20,000+ Kilometers In Three Days
Virgin Atlantic 787 Premium Economy Hong Kong to London Heathrow
How Is It Like Staying At An Imperial College Dormitory?
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse London Heathrow Airport
Virgin Atlantic 787 Premium Economy London Heathrow to Hong Kong
Qatar Airways 787 Business Class Hong Kong to Doha
Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Lounge Doha Airport
Qatar Airways A350 Business Class Doha to Munich
Hotel Bayerischer Hof Lindau
Hotel Kempinski Berchtesgaden
Mandarin Oriental Munich
British Airways Galleries Lounge Munich Airport
Qatar Airways A350 Business Class Munich to Doha
Al Maha Lounge Doha Airport
Qatar Airways 787 Business Class Doha to Hong Kong


The Mandarin Oriental Munich is housed inside a building that served as the city’s opera house in 1880. In 1990 it was taken down, and was purchased by a hotelier that converted the building into the Hotel Rafael. The building was acquired by Mandarin Oriental in 2000, who has managed the hotel since then, with a minor refurbish completed in 2015.

I’ve stayed at the Mandarin Oriental Taipei before, though as far as I can remember that was the first Mandarin Oriental I’ve stayed at. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay, though it certainly wasn’t the most memorable stay I’ve had in my life (which is fine – the price point wasn’t high at the time). The Mandarin Oriental Munich admittedly is part of a much more highly priced hotel market (the Kempinski was going at ~HK$3000, and the Westin was going at ~HK$2500 for our dates), though it was 600 EUR (~HK$5,520) per room per night, so I was interested to see how the hotel measured up. Personally, I was skeptical if an entry level room here was really worth that much, though due to how the cost of our other hotel stays during this trip worked out, we were able to get our stay under our final budget, so I was happy to try out the property as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Entrance

As you’d expect for a hotel housed in a historical building, the exterior of the Mandarin Oriental was charming.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Exterior

The hotel featured a small entrance area supervised by 4-5 bellmen, who were always incredibly courteous and addressed us by “sir”, “madam”, etc.. The weather was almost consistently terrible throughout our time in Munich, so this was the area where we could grab hotel-branded umbrellas, etc..

Mandarin Oriental Munich Entrance

Mandarin Oriental Munich Entrance

Past this area was the lobby, which housed the concierge, as well as a lobby bar of sorts.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Lobby

Mandarin Oriental Munich Lobby

The lobby also housed a beautiful sweeping staircase up to the first floor, which featured the hotel’s restaurant, Matsuhisa (which I’ll talk about later).

Mandarin Oriental Munich Lobby

The receptionist quickly checked us in, and confirmed that we had booked two Deluxe King rooms. We had actually booked a Deluxe King room and a Deluxe Twin room, so she advised that one of our two rooms would eventually be converted into a Twin room, though the separated beds wouldn’t be ready immediately upon our arrival.

While she was processing our rooms, she invited us down for welcome drinks. My parents had champagne, I had an orange juice, and Hailey had a mango juice. First we were served some bar snacks, which were tasty.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Lobby Lounge Welcome Snacks

The orange juice was presented in beautiful glassware, and I loved the berry touch on top. It was freshly squeezed, as you’d expect from a lobby bar of a 600+ EUR hotel.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Lobby Lounge Welcome Drink

We were assigned rooms 501 and 502, and were escorted to our rooms. First we were brought to the fifth floor (the hotel has seven floors, though the seventh floor is only accessible by stairs), and passed the lavish lift lobby.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Lift Lobby

The hotel itself is arranged in somewhat of a “V” shape, and fits into a group of buildings like the cap to a puzzle piece. This means that each room faces the outside of the group of buildings, so no one would be stuck with a view of a back alley.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Floorplan

The hallways themselves are dressed with opulent gold touches, though the decor did seem slightly old, presumably since they only renovated the public areas in 2015.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Hallways

Mandarin Oriental Munich Hallways

Our rooms were located nearest to the lift lobby on the right side, and were adjacent to each other, as they were interconnecting rooms.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room Entrance

The associate bringing us to our room was thorough in her room tour – she told us how to swipe our key cards, etc..

Mandarin Oriental Munich
Check-in: Monday, July 24, 2017
Room Type: Deluxe Twin
Room Number: 501
Stay duration: 3 nights
Check-out: Thursday, July 27, 2017

While the decor was classic and some may even consider it slightly dated, I thought the room was gorgeous. It featured a sumptuous and extremely comfortable king bed (soon to become two twin beds), a separate sitting area featuring an L-shaped couch, a desk and chair, a massive flatscreen TV, as well as a multitude of small touches that I’ll go through one by one.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe King Room

The room itself was a great size, especially for Europe. I also found it nicely furnished, and particularly loved the wooden tiles on the floor.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room

My dad told the associates separating our beds that “my son will tell you what to do”, which certainly came out the wrong way, as the associates looked horrified (you can imagine what they sometimes have to go through, particularly from snobbish kids that believe they rule the world). I wasn’t having any of that, so just asked nicely if they could separate our beds, and even offered to help. They kept helping me profusely simply for moving the nightstand, which speaks a lot for the service culture at this hotel.

As mentioned, the beds were amazingly plush and the sheets were puffy, so they made for three amazing nights of sleep.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room Beds

Aside from the L-shaped couch that I’d mentioned earlier (which I believe was a great touch to the room – I always love a couch where I can put my feet up), the sitting area also featured another chair, both of which surrounded a table.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room Seating Area

The desk itself was a great size, though the chair wasn’t most comfortable for working, so I usually just relocated to the L-shaped couch.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room Desk and Chair

The desk housed a writing kit, which featured a variety of Mandarin Oriental-branded items.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room Writing Kit

The best thing about the TV is that it featured a soundbar, so you bet there was great sound coming out of the TV all the time. Unfortunately it was playing cheesy music every time the cleaners came to our room or did turndown service – I get that it’s a luxury touch, but the music choice simply wasn’t for me.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room Flatscreen TV

The room also featured a walk-in closet, which housed my luggage for the few days that we were there.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room Walk-in Closet

I was excited that the room featured a Bose SoundLink III speaker. I didn’t use it much as I was never alone in the room, though I’d imagine it would be great for alarms, etc.. The sound quality was great, and it’s a shame that I didn’t find much use of it.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room Bose SoundLink III Speakers

The only non-glamorous feature of our room was the view, which faced a parking lot, Then again, I can’t exactly blame such a centrally located hotel for not having a beautiful view of Munich.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room View

The bathroom was large, featuring a sink, a toilet and bidet, and a separate shower and tub. The bathroom itself featured ostentatious marble finishes, so it was stunning in and of itself.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room Bathroom

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room Bathroom

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room Bathroom Tub

The shower featured both a handheld and a rainforest showerhead, though unfortunately the latter had rather crappy water pressure. I’d be fine with that, but considering how much the hotel room retailed for, I’d be expecting perfection in every element of the room’s design, down to the water pressure in the showers.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room Bathroom Shower

On the plus side, the bathroom featured Shanghai Tang toiletries, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room Bathroom Toiletries

One of the best things about this hotel is that the minibar is completely free (or rather, included in your steep 600 EUR per night price). The shelf featured chips, granola bars, and various candies – my sister went to town on those gummy bears.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room Minibar

The fridge was stored with local beer, as well as apple juice, orange juice, bottled coffee and a variety of soft drinks (though I was devastated to see that there wasn’t Fanta). 😉

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room Minibar

Regarding the beers, my father pretty much wet himself when he realised that each bottle of beer came with its own respective branded beer glass. It’s yet another indication of the attention to detail that was put into setting up this room.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room Beer for Dad

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room Beer for Dad

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room Beer for Dad

Every day the hotel provided us with large cookies wrapped like sweets. I thought that these were huge caramels when I first saw them, but apparently not – regardless, they were really tasty.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room Snacks

There was also a partially handwritten note for us, which I found a cute touch – particularly how it knew that we were here for our first stay. Once again, a touch that requires minimal effort, but is greatly appreciated.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room Welcome Note

In addition to that, the weather forecast was placed by our beds each night. Unfortunately they weren’t really accurate due to how much German weather can fluctuate, though that’s not a fault of the hotel.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Deluxe Twin Room Weather Forecast

Overall I found the room very well appointed, and everything was incredibly high quality. Was it worth the price premium? Objectively I’d say no, as it wasn’t that much bigger than other hotels out there, though other hotels were also commanding a price premium due to the fact that it was peak season. Keep in mind that 600 EUR is the Mandarin Oriental’s lowest rate, though, since these rooms can go upwards of 700 EUR (~HK$6440).

WiFi at the hotel was free and high-speed. I’m not sure if it was free because I have a profile (I’d emailed the hotel prior, and they said they’d “add” free internet to our profile), though it worked flawlessly for us.

Breakfast was served each morning at the hotel’s restaurant, Matsuhisa, located on the first floor. The restaurant itself has extravagant wooden finishes, though is rather subtle compared to the rooms and hallways.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Matsuhisa Restaurant 

Overall I found the breakfast spread to be rather high quality, though I found the variety to be slightly underwhelming – it was decidedly a “continental” spread, and not anything more.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Matsuhisa Restaurant Breakfast Spread

Mandarin Oriental Munich Matsuhisa Restaurant Breakfast Spread

Mandarin Oriental Munich Matsuhisa Restaurant Breakfast Spread

Mandarin Oriental Munich Matsuhisa Restaurant Breakfast Spread

Mandarin Oriental Munich Matsuhisa Restaurant Breakfast Spread

Mandarin Oriental Munich Matsuhisa Restaurant Breakfast Spread

Mandarin Oriental Munich Matsuhisa Restaurant Breakfast Spread

Mandarin Oriental Munich Matsuhisa Restaurant Breakfast Spread

Mandarin Oriental Munich Matsuhisa Restaurant Breakfast Spread

My parents were much more critical of the spread, though their expectations have been heightened by lavish Asian breakfast buffets, so I’ll stick to my own verdict on this one. Fortunately, the Mandarin Oriental also features a separate menu for different dishes (they normally charge 44 EUR – ~HK$400 – for this breakfast buffet? Wow…).

Mandarin Oriental Munich Matsuhisa Restaurant Breakfast Menu

The quality of the a la carte items more than made up for the (comparatively) lackluster breakfast spread. On the first and second day I had waffles, which were fluffy, and came with chocolate sauce, syrup and cream. Mmmm…

Mandarin Oriental Munich Matsuhisa Restaurant Breakfast Waffles

On the last day I elected to have pancakes with the same condiments. The pancake was probably singlehandedly the best pancake I’ve had anywhere – it was so fluffy.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Matsuhisa Restaurant Breakfast Pancakes

My father had the omelet one day, which he enjoyed.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Matsuhisa Restaurant Breakfast Omelet

My mother also really liked her eggs benedict.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Matsuhisa Restaurant Breakfast Eggs Benedict

After all that chocolate syrup and cream (and around 20 Eiskaffees a day – holy crap, those are amazing!) I needed a workout every night, and the gym featured a range of equipment. I was expecting a lot from their gym, though unfortunately it didn’t impress – there were weights, cardio machines and other fitness items, though resistance machines were noticeably absent. It’s also worth noting that the heaviest dumbbell is 10 kg – they have “smart dumbbells”, but I wasn’t sure how to use those, so I stuck to lighter resistance training at this gym.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Gym

Mandarin Oriental Munich Gym

I will say, though, that this gym was constantly replenished with fresh towels on all equipment, a full bottle of water in each bottle holder, etc.. While there was a lack of attention towards the machines themselves, they were definitely focused on your well-being in this gym.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Gym

Mandarin Oriental Munich Gym

Mandarin Oriental Munich Gym

Mandarin Oriental Munich Gym Equipment

There was a fridge containing vitamin water, as well as pure water, which I appreciated.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Gym Free Water and Vitamin Beverage

On the first night I broke my earphones, but fortunately the hotel had me covered with their own – a great stroke of luck, as that’s the first time I’ve seen a hotel gym provided free earphones. Admittedly the earphones were really low quality, though they were much better than nothing.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Gym Earphones

The adjacent bathroom is also well-equipped, with more free water, a shower with an even better rainforest shower, as well as a steam room and sauna.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Gym Free Water

Mandarin Oriental Munich Gym Bathroom

Mandarin Oriental Munich Gym Bathroom Toiletries

Mandarin Oriental Munich Gym Sauna

One thing the associate bringing us to our room had said was that there was a terrace open on a “good day”, and a pool that was always open. On the last day I decided to venture up to the terrace to have a look for myself. First I walked up to the seventh floor (the hotel’s lifts only go to the sixth floor, even though there are rooms on all eight floors of the hotel, including the 0th floor), and found this remarkably Hong Kong-styled hallway.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Terrace Entrance

The terrace itself was behind a door that I believe was meant to be locked, but wasn’t. It was furnished with furniture that didn’t seem so comfortable.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Terrace

Mandarin Oriental Munich Terrace

Mandarin Oriental Munich Terrace

It was also more cluttered than I’d expected for such a hotel, seeming more like a storage area than anything else.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Terrace

Mandarin Oriental Munich Terrace

This was also where the pool was located, though it was deserted on the morning of my visit. I felt like I was in a completely different hotel, due to how “unplanned” this area seemed to be.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Terrace Pool

Fortunately the one thing that captivated me was the views that this place offered, which was more than enough for me to be willing to spend 20-25 minutes on the terrace. They’re not the best views you’ll get over Munich (I’ll cover that along with my installment carrying my thoughts on the city in general), though you could see all the building tops, as well as the Frauenkirche in the background.

Mandarin Oriental Munich Terrace Views

Mandarin Oriental Munich Terrace Views

Mandarin Oriental Munich Terrace Views

Mandarin Oriental Munich Terrace Views

This is also a good time to note that the hotel itself is rather close to anywhere you’d want to go in the old city of Munich. It’s around a 5-minute walk to Marienplatz, and is located at the east end of Altstadt, which is the old city of Munich (which basically houses everything that’s interesting to see).

On the day we left, the bellmen were happy to take all of our eight (!) pieces of luggage to Henry’s car, and thanked us every time we tried to help them. While the good service culture at our previous hotels reflected the city in general, I didn’t find people in Munich to be as nice as they were at this hotel. They were also warm, too – when we checked out, the receptionist made us promise that we’d book with them upon our next return to Munich.

Bottom Line: Mandarin Oriental Munich

The Mandarin Oriental Munich is definitely one of the best hotels in the area – not only is it centrally located, but everything that we experienced in the hotel, bar the slightly lackluster breakfast spread and the cluttered terrace, was simply divine.

It was also interesting to see how this property compared to their Taipei property. The Taipei property seemed like a newly-minted luxury hotel in training, while this slightly older hotel ran like a well-oiled machine.

I’m almost tempted to say that it is worth the 600 EUR price tag, especially since neither Starwood or Hyatt have other particularly great options around the area, though I’d be happy to give some of those mid-tier properties a try. If I was able to afford it, though, I’d certainly stay here again.

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