Kempinski Hotel Taschenbergpalais, Dresden $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
This five-story former palace was built by Augustus the Strong to house his favorite mistress, the Countess Cosel. Like the Zwinger galleries across the street from the hotel, the building was designed by M.D. Poppelman in eye-popping style: It's a big, grand place with no subtlety about it. Destroyed by the Allied firebombing of 1945, it was left in ruin until the 1990s, when the Kempinski chain reconstructed the building as its Dresden residence. The location is impeccable, with a superb outlook on baroque Dresden from the front; however, with 182 rooms, including the side wings and the back, not everybody gets the million-dollar view. The lobby is a tad corporate-feeling for this exalted place, but furnishings both here and in guest rooms are top-notch, with dark wood veneers, tasteful blue-and-gold-dominated color schemes, and fancy linens. The expensive Intermezzo restaurant is worth a stop, with its mix of modern takes on Saxon dishes and Northern Italian alternatives. It's also got the best wine list in town, including many Saxon favorites.