Munich is two hours away from the Bavarian Alps but Cocoon Hotel, a five-minute walk from the city’s train station, feels like an incredibly sneaky shortcut to the slopes.
Panoramic mountain murals stretch across walls, whilst an old metal chairlift awaits an Instagram snap. Around the corner, hanging basket-chairs and comfy couches beg to be curled up in with a Hermann Hesse or Thomas Mann from the library, ideally in front of a lit fireplace.
In the mornings, guests meet around a full country breakfast (not included in the room rate) at casual group tables that invite friendly conversation. The concept, which combines eco-friendly comfort with a sense of humour about nature and nostalgia, was born in 2006 when a young hotelier opened his first Cocoon Hotel elsewhere in Munich. This Hauptbahnhof location, a renovated building in the middle of a city block, is the third and newest addition to the family.
Situated on a surprisingly quiet side-street in the Ludwigsvorstadt borough, strike out just minutes in any direction for some of Munich’s highlights. This Cocoon is nestled serenely between a bustling “Little Istanbul” district of Turkish restaurants, the Gothic spires of medieval churches, and the HQ of the Oktoberfest beer festival.
Back inside, the Alpine illusion continues upstairs via the elevator’s screens, into stylish rooms with wood-panelled walls. Shelves made of glass-enclosed hay and a photo of a smiling cow on the wall may sound over-the-top, but paired with modern rain showers, courtyard city views and free beer from the downstairs lodge in exchange for the eco-friendly act of reusing bath towels, it feels like home-grown luxury. The hotel even welcomes pets – although a local Bavarian cow may be pushing things.
From US$83 per night / Cocoon Hotel
FROM THE CONCIERGE
Get in the Alpine mood at the 200-year-old open market as it dresses for Christmas. Shop for holiday treats, enjoy the lights and Nativity scene, or simply cradle a warm mug of mulled wine, glühwein, while enjoying Germany’s legendary Christmas market tradition.
For a classic Bavarian beer hall experience in a bathing house built in 1894, this is the place. Today, the little guesthouse is owned by Augustiner, one of the oldest and most respected of the city’s historic breweries.
Every December, riders of all ages can escape the cold while enjoying an Advent tour around the city aboard the Christmas Tram, a 1957-model streetcar with wooden benches. Reserve tickets online, then find the tram at Sendlinger Tor.