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Bayerischer Hof, Munich 

2-6 Promenadeplatz
Germany 80333
Tel: 49 89 212 00
view web site ›'s insider take:

Okay, so the Vier Jahreszeiten has pulled in some royals in its time, but the even more venerable Bayerischer Hof wins the celeb face-off hands down. Built by architect Friedrich von Gärtner in 1841 so that King Ludwig I (not the mad one) had somewhere nice for his guests to stay, it was bought 56 years later by the Volkhardt family, whose fourth generation still owns and runs it today (after rebuilding it post–World War II and adding the historic Palais Montgelas next door). Now it has 395 rooms, interior-designed to photo-shoot readiness in five distinct styles. Some are the handiwork of architects (subtle textural ones by Siegward Graf Pilati and more opulent South Beach-y ones by Hans Minarik); others are interpretations of African Colonial or romantic country house themes; yet others, by Laura Ashley designs, are rather hysterically Anglophile, with clashing florals, plaids, and saturated color. There are also fabulous suites for the aforementioned celebs (a random sampling: Cher, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Dalai Lama, Alfred Hitchcock, Ingrid Bergman, Muhammad Ali, Luciano Pavarotti, Franz Kafka, Christian Dior, Sigmund Freud, Sophia Loren, and the Beatles). Throw in three restaurants and the rooftop Blue Spa and it is clear this place can't miss.

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