Hotel Cortiina, Munich $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
Friendly minimalism: The Cortiina is the choice for the budget-conscious aesthete. Situated on a busy back street a few blocks from Marienplatz, the city's commercial and nightlife center, the hotel features a pared-down design scheme that's heavy on stone and wood. Staff is young and friendly, but don't expect porters to come running for your luggage. The 39 rooms are exercises in selective luxury: rain showers and Kiehl's products in the bathrooms, while bedrooms feature flat-screen TVs and little else. However, the look is both chic and soothing, with parquet floors and taupe fabric-covered walls. A few niggles are built into the design, including a hinged partition between shower and bedroom (a glass shower wall stays in place) that is hard to open or shut. There's also a definite absence of inspiring views. But the breakfast is well selected, with quality bread, yogurt, cold meat, and cheese, helping the hotel live up to the boutique ideal of stylish, comfortable accommodation on a budget.