Sunday, July 29, 2012

Summer of Travel 2012: Germany (Part 3 - Le Meridien Munich)

(Don't forget to check out Part 1, Getting to Hamburg here and Part 2, Hamburg here)

Upon arriving in Munich, I hopped in a taxi and made my way to the Meridien Munich. It was the closest hotel to where I needed to be for work, and fortunately enough, also happened to be in a great location for exploring the city during my downtime!

I checked in, and was upgraded to a Junior Suite. It was a nice room, but I always get a chuckle out of the use of the term "suite" in these cases. In my experience, "junior suite" is more accurately translated as "over-sized regular hotel room".

Junior "suite" at the Meridien Munich...
...aka "over-sized regular hotel room"
It had a view of what looked to be a very nice interior courtyard, though I didn't spend enough time at the hotel to have an opportunity to check it out:

View from the room

The bathroom was nice enough, but it didn't have the personality of the Royal Meridien in Hamburg - and the shower was MUCH smaller.

Bathroom - note the small shower stall in the corner
Bathroom again
I'm a big guy, so a small shower is more of an annoyance to me than most other people. Really not that big of a deal though.

The other things I found annoying were the fact that the only way to get wifi access was to request a user name and password from the front desk (although from other reports, it sounds like wifi access is a pretty recent addition at this hotel), and the dual single-bed bedding on my king size bed. I may never understand why this is so commonplace in Europe. Can anyone enlighten me?

While I spent most of my time in Munich away from the hotel, I did want to make sure to check out the hotel restaurant at some point during the stay. Le Potager offers "innovative cuisines with Mediterranean flair" and so provided a nice change-up from what had been a lot of traditional German fare up to that point (more on that in the next post). I ordered a grilled octopus appetizer, and it was fantastic way to start the meal, both in terms of taste and presentation:

Grilled octopus with olives, garlic cress, roasted tomatoes, and mint pesto

For my main course, I had the grilled salmon - very simply prepared, but very flavorful at the same time.

For dessert, I ordered the warm apple tart, served with peach liqueur and vanilla bean ice cream. Despite the restaurant being quite empty at lunch, it took a while for the dessert to come out, but the waitress indicated that that was because my apple tart was being prepared à la minute - right down to the slicing of the apples! A pleasant surprise, to say the least - and the final product was well worth the wait, with a soft, sweet apple center and a crispy, flaky golden crust that was just perfect.

Overall, the meal was fantastic, and easily exceeded my expectations. If you find yourself staying at the Meridien Munich, I'd strongly encourage you to venture downstairs to Le Potager, rather than relying on room service.

For that matter, I'd strongly encourage you to get out of the hotel and explore Munich a bit! More on my adventures traipsing around the Bavarian capital in the next post...

(Coming soon: Part 4 - Exploring Munich)

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