The old vision of a Munich that’s all beer halls and lederhosen is due for an update. The hardworking stereotype is still alive, and its heritage as an industrial city is not in question. But more and more visible these days is a certain respect for the finer things — there’s an emphasis on quality of life that could almost be considered Mediterranean. And it’s against this backdrop that Munich’s newer hotels — hotels like La Maison — must be understood.
Not at all a dull, drab business hotel, and still less a traditional Bavarian inn, La Maison is a stylish, sexy, luxurious boutique hotel of the new breed. The name is no accident; while you clearly wouldn’t mistake it for an apartment-share or a crash pad, La Maison aims for the sort of convivial atmosphere one finds in a private home. Passing in hotel corridors with eyes averted is out; meeting and socializing in the hotel’s public spaces is in.
Rewarding details abound: heated hardwood floors, whimsically papered walls, and private balconies in many cases. They’re chic and contemporary, more neo-baroque than minimal, and more than a bit romantic (small R), if that’s what you’re in the mood for. But even trysting couples will be tempted down to the bar, an interface between the hotel and the hip, gentrifying Altschwabing district, whose street life is less Oktoberfest and more frankly Italianesque than most of us probably imagine.