The Alpen Hotel, Munich has been providing hospitality for more than 120 years, and rather remarkably, even before the trend for a green and healthy lifestyle, the hotel had Munich’s first vegetarian restaurant!
Now owned and operated by the fourth generation of the Bauer family, the hotel has been brought right up-to-date to cater to the needs of a modern guest.
The hotel still prides itself on its eco-friendly credentials, with the green range of bathroom toiletries, towel changes only on request, an extensive bio-food range on the breakfast buffet along with other touches such as low energy lighting and under-floor heating.
Located on Adolf Kolping Strasse in the Ludwigsvorstadt district, the hotel is very central to all amenities, including the main station, the Hauptbanhof, the underground at Karlsplatz Stachus, both of which are within a five-minute walk from the hotel’s front door. The Theresienwiese Oktoberfest grounds can be reached in 12 minutes on foot.
Despite its central location, Adolf Kolping Strasse is a quiet side street, mainly with residential flats on one side, and a large multi-storey car park on the opposite side. Guests who are driving can obtain a discount to park their vehicles here while staying at the hotel.
We flew to Munich with EasyJet from Edinburgh airport and had no trouble with the flight which was on time. With a pre-booked taxi transfer from the airport – named Franz Josef Strauß, it was just a short walk to find our driver. Be aware the airport is huge. Anyway, taxi located, off we set for the hotel. Apparently, German employees finish their working week on a Friday at 12 noon and we invariably managed to get caught up in the rush-hour traffic.
And that wasn’t the only delays we encountered during what felt like a tour of Munich and its side streets. Due to the huge amount of building work that is being undertaken in the city at present, our taxi journey of 30 minutes took longer than was expected at just over one hour.
Eventually, however, we made it. The hotel is a four-story substantial stone building located just off Sonnenstrasse – one of the main routes in Munich.
Disabled friendly – the hotel’s main doors are automatic and taxis can park directly outside to drop off. Reception is manned 24/7 and all the staff, as one might expect are bilingual and speak excellent English. Check-in was smooth and we were simply asked to sign one sheet of paper before being given our room keys.
All bedrooms are a mix of single, twin, double and executive doubles along with their single suite and are to be found over four floors – all serviced by a four-person lift, or, three with luggage.
We were accommodated in the executive double rooms (approx 300 square feet), formerly advertised on the hotel’s website and other booking agencies as being junior suites. The hotel changed the description of these in 2019 to executive double rooms.
Room 455 was on the fourth floor in the attic area of the hotel but still retained ample headspace with no concerns for bruised and bumped heads. The interior hallway leading to the main bedroom area has hanging space for jackets, shirts and the like and a wardrobe which also contained a safe, spare blanket and a bag should you decide to have your laundry done while on holiday.
There’s also a full-length mirror, luggage storage space and a coffee bar with a Nespresso machine, complimentary coffee pods and a selection of loose tea. The only thing missing was milk, but as we didn’t use any of the tea/coffee making facilities, we had no reason to request any from reception. I’m sure it wouldn’t have been a problem.
In the room itself, there was a set of drawers for clothes storage, a writing desk unit which contained the minibar along with USB charging points, a room telephone and plenty of soft lighting. Free bottled water is provided in-room as were complimentary magazines. My only problem is – I don’t read German!
The seating area had two comfy armchairs, a coffee table and a footstool for guests use.
The bed was a king-size and fitted with a memory foam mattress along with four pillows which could be changed for a different type should you wish from a pillow menu. We had duck feather and non-allergenic as our options. The bed had two separate duvets, which is quite common in Europe – and the plus side is your other half isn’t going to pull it off you during the evening! The mattress was extremely comfortable and having had a back injury previously it’s always a worry sleeping in a different bed, however, this mattress was absolutely perfect for me.
The room appeared to have been updated in terms of both fittings and furnishings, which were all in good repair and worked as they should. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve checked into a hotel bedroom, only to find a hanging door, a broken mirror, a window that won’t open, to name but a few of the problems I’ve come across.
The ensuite was a very modern unit with a pebble floor shower unit which had been fitted with a rainfall showerhead and a secondary handheld rinsing unit. The room is heated by underfloor heating controlled by a sensor in the bathroom which was adjustable. There were plenty of towels provided along with a selection of eco-friendly toiletries. In keeping with the hotel’s well-advertised green credentials, towels are only changed on request by leaving on the floor signifying a change. In our case, it didn’t seem to make much of a difference because event when we hung our towels up to dry, we received fresh ones every day! A hairdryer is also supplied.
The room is fitted with an air-conditioning unit and also provides free Wi-Fi for guests which provided good stable connections. And the obligatory flat-screen TV with multi-channels.
The two windows, which overlook the residential flats on the opposite side of the road, are fitted with electrically operated exterior shutters and internal concertina blinds.
The hotel has a small bar area on the ground floor adjacent to the lounge located within the restaurant section of the building.
It’s a small area, and I imagine it could get very busy at times, however, given we were visiting for the Christmas markets and were out during the evening it didn’t pose a problem.
There is also a restaurant within the hotel – Stefan’s Restaurant – but we didn’t use it so I’m unable to provide comment on the food, level of service and quality.
Breakfast is a buffet arrangement and provides an excellent choice of foods. Waitresses will take tea and coffee orders at the table along with orders for fried eggs.
It’s worth noting the hotel has a small courtyard area in which guests can choose to have breakfast – although you’ll be restricted to summertime usage only!
Breakfast consists of a choice of cereals and muesli, fresh fruit including grapefruit, melon, grapes, pineapple, kiwifruit, apples and oranges as well as bananas. Then there’s a selection of various types of bread, pastries and pretzels supported by several different jams and preserves choices of butter and spreads. Guests can also choose from a selection of yoghurts, cold meats, cheeses, smoked salmon, boiled eggs, and for hot options scrambled eggs, bacon and sausages.
Now don’t be expecting a UK pork sausage, think hot dogs instead. And the bacon isn’t back bacon. Think streaky bacon this time.
You can also choose from a selection of fruit juices, which at the time of our visit included orange, multivitamin, sparkling water, different milk options, and iced tea.
There is also an option for bio-organic and gluten-free selections of breakfast items.
In fact, the breakfast choices are so extensive we managed to fill up quite well at breakfast and really didn’t need to buy lunch when we were out. What was very noticeable is how the hotel trades on these eco-friendly and green credentials. A leaflet on the table tells you where they obtain their free-range organic eggs and milk from.
Service was smooth and efficient by three female waitresses, who, although had little English, were very friendly indeed.
During the time of our stay, the hotel was not full and therefore finding a table each morning was easy. Breakfast is served from 7am to 10am seven days a week.
So, the all-important question, was it value for money? Would I recommend it? The Alpen Hotel is certainly not the cheapest hotel in Munich, but then it’s also nowhere near the top level price of many others either. And on reflection, yes, I would recommend it on the basis of both price, quality and location.
For further information and booking rates – see here.
With thanks to the Munich Tourist Board for facilitating transport facilities within the city. Visit them here.
Holders of both the Munich Card as well as of the Munich City Pass can use public transport provided by the Munich Transport and Tarif Association (MVV) free of charge. With both types of card, you can choose to have one which is valid for either the whole network in the wider city or just the city centre. If you book a card to cover the whole of the Munich public transport area, S-Bahn suburban railway travel to and from Munich Airport is included in the price. You can choose to have a ticket which is valid for one, two, three, four or five days to suit your own personal needs.
We were visiting for the Munich Christmas markets. You can find my review here: Travel – Munich Christmas markets: How to inject a festive flavour to December.