The Louis is a romantic, Bavarian-designed hotel with sun-drenched rooms, divine breakfasts, a small outdoor terrace and a Finnish sauna. It’s great for couples in all seasons but especially in December if you are in town for the famous Munich Christmas markets.
The hotel is right in the heart of the city. It faces the Viktualienmarkt, the famous permanent market selling vegetables, flowers, bread, cheese, plants, wine and beer, almost all of which come from the surrounding countryside. It’s a short walk to the main Marienplatz square, the stylish Munich shopping streets and the tranquil English Garden.
Best room for two
The Courtyard Superior rooms are quieter but the Market View rooms are the most romantic. They offer a panorama from the magnificent Heilig Geist (Holy Ghost) church, over the whole of the Viktualienmarkt to the De Pschorr beer hall. Higher-floor rooms—especially the top-floor lofts—have views right out over Munich’s southern suburbs.
Our Market View room was a perfect blend of modern European style and traditional, Bavarian, rustic chic. What looked at first like a very expensive travelling chest tilted up on its end was in fact the TV and mini-bar cabinet. It had an oak frame, a soft, padded grey-wool façade and handmade black leather handles. It was a work of art, as were the cute three-legged tables and the minimalist chaise longue. These and other items were designed based on traditional Alpine hut furniture, reflecting Munich’s proximity to the mountains.
Carnivores and vegans are both excellently catered for at The Louis, thanks to the innovative Grillroom restaurant. Meat-lovers can start the day with traditional Bavarian weisswurst (white sausages) and finish it with a delicious steak, while vegetarians and vegans can enjoy a wide range of meat-free delights.
The Grillroom hand-picks a different butcher each month, mainly from Europe but also further afield. When we stayed, there was a tempting 180-day dry-aged rib eye on offer from a butcher in the Campania region of Italy. We chose to stay local however, and shared a fabulous fillet from the lush Bavarian meadows, along with a vegetarian Louis Waldorf salad (with truffles as a seasonal winter treat) and a cauliflower steak with apple sauce. A steak-shaped cauliflower may sound like an odd idea but it tastes incredible.
Next morning for breakfast, we went for the vegan option, with two dishes that sounded more like spa treatments than food: an Acai-Strawberry bowl and a Warm-Ayurveda bowl. They were fragrant, light and ridiculously healthy.
The hotel has gone all out to embrace vegan food wherever possible. As well as the menu dishes, there was a wide selection of vegan dishes in the buffet too. We’re not vegans but a few days of Louis breakfasts had us doing a tonne of research on new meat-free recipes.
We had missed cocktail hour before supper—full disclosure: we were drinking beer tapped straight from the barrel in the nearby De Pschorr beer hall—so we hit the hotel’s lobby bar after we had eaten, for liquid desserts. My Smoky Bloody Mary was a hit; it was infused with mezcal and smoked salt and worked much better as a digestif than an aperitif. My wife’s Cucumber Gimlet, however, was the real surprise: a fragrant riot of cucumber, lime and pear. Better than desserts; even Louis Grillroom desserts.