I Was Going To Complain About My Free 5-Star Hotel — Then I Found Out It's Only $400 A Night

Bayerischer Hof hotel promenade

Photo: Henry Blodget, Business Insider

The folks who run the excellent DLD conference in Munich were kind enough to ask me to speak again this year.And they took great care of me.

They flew me over business class, put me up at a five-star hotel, and then chauffered me to Davos. That was extremely classy of them. Who doesn’t love to be treated like George Clooney?

I’ve told you about my flight (there was only one lousy part of it).

So now I’ll tell you about my hotel.

The Bayerischer Hof is smack-dab in the centre of Munich. You can walk to everything–even the Apple Store.

The hotel is on Promenade Platz. There are statues of famous Bavarians outside.

Because those babies barrel along silently, out of nowhere.

The statue of a famous Bavarian just in front of the hotel has an odd feature...

Walk across the Promenade and 'achtung tram' again, and then you reach the entrance of the Bayerischer Hof.

Just start talking, and the staff will respond in whatever language you speak. They won't make you feel like an idiot American who only speaks one language.

There are complimentary dog bowls in the lobby, by the way, in case you brought your pooch.

Classic touches on the elevators...

And a heavy brass key with a remote control on the end. Press that red button, and you're in.

The DLD folks were putting me up, so I wasn't worried about the bill. And that was nice. Because Business Insider doesn't spring for 5-sterne hotels.

I used to stay at 5-sterne hotels a lot, back when I was an investment banker. So I got pretty particular about them. The Bayerischer kind-of sort-of held its own.

My room faced the courtyard. Not a bad thing to look at.

Soft, fluffy bedding--top-notch.


A full walkthrough wardrobe area.

And the standard marble bathroom.

The bathroom, by the way, contains one of the best features of the Bayerischer Hof room experience: The shower.

Some hotels have lousy water pressure. Not the Bayerischer Hof. It's like a waterfall.

And there's a TOWEL WARMER. Water flows through those pipes and warms your towels 24/7. I felt guilty about having water warming my towels 24/7. So I turned it off.

OK, time for the quibbles. And bear in mind that, as I was noticing these things, I was imagining that the Bayerischer Hof cost ~$700 a night--the going rate for a 5-star hotel in New York. At ~$700 a night, you can be seriously particular. So it seemed to me that it was time for the BH to re-polish their floors.

And replace the rug, which was heavily worn.

The bathroom had a strange aroma coming from it. mould, perhaps. Whatever it was, it was strong enough that I opened a window.

The befuddling light switches weren't the Bayerischer Hof's fault--I assume they're a German thing--but there wasn't much discernible rhyme or reason to them.

Press one, and all the lights would go off. Press another and nothing would happen. Press the third and some lights would come on. Press another one somewhere else and a couple of outlets would go off. I never did figure them out.

And here is something I would have found really irritating (if I had been paying for the room). The Bayerischer Hof is a 5-sterne hotel. It costs gazillions of dollars a night. So they're really going to nickel and dime me for some wasser?

And not just nickel and dime me. That bottle of water was about $12!

I didn't even want to know how much the stuff in the mini-bar cost.

And it didn't seem like a particularly great selection.

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