Frankfurt, Germany

 

Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch, 15 minutes from downtown Frankfurt, has its own lake and private park.

 

During its recent trip to Frankfurt, fondly called the “Mainhattan” of Europe, Luxury Travel Advisor went scouting for luxury hotels in the financial capital on the banks of the river Main. The high-rise skyline certainly conjures up its namesake—New York’s Manhattan—but we also found the vineyards in the surrounding countryside, dating from Roman times, to be a pleasant diversion for clients who may be in Frankfurt on business. In the town of Bodenheim, the winery, Kühling-Gillot, has a new cutting-edge tasting room that serves elegant meals. Notably, Frankfurt prides itself on its annual art spending, and the museums lining the verdant riverside pathway are also worth a look. Recommend a meal at Holbein’s, a chic insider’s spot in the Städel Museum, where we lunched in a glass-enclosed contemporary courtyard after a date with the Old Masters.

From the Main’s south bank, it’s just a quick hop to the posh, embassy neighborhood and the Villa Kennedy: the conference setting of choice for companies like the Financial Times, which was holding meetings when we visited. Though consistently ranked as one of Europe’s top business hotels, Villa Kennedy is a quiet oasis. And the dazzling fine art on display—an enormous chandelier designed by English artist Patrice Butler, a Calder-like mobile by Gabor Török—clearly distinguishes the hotel as a member of the Rocco Forte Collection. In the library, we were drawn to shelves stuffed with original volumes by Goethe, Frankfurt’s native son.

Housed in the neo-Gothic Villa Speyer, a stately chateau built as a home for an influential banking family in 1904, the hotel is marked by a stylish design and excellent service. Three new buildings were constructed adjacent to the original villa, forming an enclosure around a beautiful inner courtyard, and Villa Kennedy—named after the Kennedyallee on which it is situated—opened in 2006.

Needless to say, Villa Kennedy is the place to stay for visiting celebs and showbiz stars. Since Liza Minnelli first tried out the sprawling Presidential Suite—a sumptuous private apartment with a turreted dining room—music stars Lionel Richie, Robbie Williams and Pink have followed in her footsteps. Conveniently, there are two standard rooms neighboring the bullet-proofed suite for a VIP’s entourage.

Insiders tell us that Sir Rocco Forte’s favorite room is No. 252, a Deluxe Suite with a balcony overlooking the courtyard. All of the 163 guest rooms—designed by Martin Brudnizki, in consultation with Forte’s sister and Director of Design Olga Polizzi—have timber floors and dedicated work stations with state-of-the-art technology. Suites boast mosaic-floored bathrooms and walk-in closets. VIPs will be in good hands with The Rocco Forte Suite Experience, which boasts an array of complimentary services: packing and unpacking, dry cleaning, cell phone for local use, in-suite check-in and breakfast. A fleet of private luxury cars is available outside to transport guests to any destination in the city. Head Concierge Stig Arnberg ([email protected]; 011-49-69-7171-20) can assist with specific arrangements. For room bookings, contact Director of Sales and Marketing Jennifer McLaughlin (tion.com[email protected]; 011-49-69-7171-20).tion.com

 

Villa Kennedy is just off the south bank of the Main River; its 163 rooms and suites are described as “minimalist deluxe.”

 

In the evening, the JFK Bar and Lounge is the place to be. We recommend a M.V.C. (Most Valuable Cocktail) concocted by the master mixologists behind the bar. Feeling extravagant? Try the JFK Martini, made from Louis XIII cognac and 40-year-old port, and priced at $121. We hear it’s the most expensive martini in Germany. In the summer months, your clients can partake in Grill Out Season in the courtyard terrace, sampling grilled delicacies paired with a glass of Domaine Ott Rosé, the wine served at all the finest hotels on the Côte d’Azur. The Villa Kennedy is also home to the city’s most exclusive urban spa. Because Sir Rocco Forte is an avid sportsman, competing in triathlons, marathons and Iron Man events, the spa takes on added significance in the hotel collection. Split over three levels, the gorgeous spa comprises an indoor pool, gym, yoga studio, sauna, steam room and eight treatment rooms.

Your clients passing through Frankfurt airport—one of the most important and busiest hubs worldwide—will appreciate the conveniences of Lufthansa’s new luxury lounges and first-class terminal, packed with amenities for the airline’s elite customers. (Think personal assistants and chauffeured cars to flights.) But for those on long-haul flights who wish to recuperate on a stopover, book a room at the nearby Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch. The five-star hotel will pick up your clients at the airport, just 12 minutes away. Front Office Manager and Chief Concierge Michele Schinella ([email protected]; 011-49-693-898-8805) can help with transportation requests.

Nestled in a 36-acre private park with its own lake, the former hunting lodge is a stress-free retreat 15 minutes from downtown Frankfurt. Guests arriving from long flights can freshen up with a massage in the wellness center and a dip in one of the two pools before checking into their room. The more active can hit the tennis courts. In fact, the Kempinski Gravenbruch is the hotel of choice for professional sports teams (portraits of star athletes can be found throughout the grounds), and was the official hotel for the referees during the FIFA World Championship
2006 in Germany. For businesses, its tranquil environment is a haven for conferences.

The hotel is a historic landmark, too, with a lengthy history, first mentioned in the written record in 1402. Now the oldest part of the lodge—built by a knight in 1586—houses Torschänke Restaurant, serving German cuisine and regional specialties behind whitewashed walls and under a traditional red-tile roof. Other dining outlets include Forsthaus Restaurant, for fine international flavors, the rustic L’Olivo Restaurant, serving Mediterranean specialties and pasta, and the Wintergarden, overlooking the park through a wall of windows, for breakfast. Your clients can also eat outside under the park’s ancient trees.

Rooms are spaced over three floors, and the corridors connecting them are filled with daylight from landscaped atriums. Rooms on the ground floor, like No. 121 in the Comfort category, face the lake. Along with the Presidential Suite, the two Lake Suites are the top accommodations. We liked the hand-painted antique cupboard in the foyer in Lake Suite No. 112, which can also connect to Room No. 115. With a bar and Molton Brown bath amenities, the two-room suites have direct access to the park and private outside terrace seating. Contact Reservation and Revenue Manager Florian Glaubrecht ([email protected]; 011-49-693-898-8745) for special assistance with your VIPs.

In the city center, the august  Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof has a reputation of being the city’s most famous hotel; the formal grande dame welcomes visiting heads of state. The flagship for Germany’s Steigenberger chain is traditional in style. Behind the baroque stone façade, there are 280 rooms, 41 suites, a wellness center and an excellent French restaurant. Top Digs: The 4000-square-foot Presidential Suite, with all the latest security standards (think bullet-proof windows, steel plates in the ceiling and floor and dual reserve supplies of water and electricity). Contact Revenue Manager Nadine Werner ([email protected]; 011-49-69-215-930) for assistance with VIP bookings. Note: The hotel has a special arrangement with the opera house, so your clients can dine at the Michelin-starred restaurant on-site before hitting a performance at the Frankfurt Opera or English Theater. Prominent literati descend on the hotel’s Autorenbar, or Author’s Bar, during Frankfurt’s annual Book Fair.

For panoramic views of the city skyline and Taunus hills, suggest a drink at the rooftop bar and grill at Fleming’s Deluxe, a new five-star hotel in the city center. From the seventh floor—reached by a paternoster-style elevator (an open, conveyer lift that’s unique in Europe)—your clients can take in the view of the twinkling city lights and an authentic castle next door.

The hotel is housed in a 1970s office building not far from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The 106 soundproofed rooms are suited to business travelers, outfitted with amenities like pant presses, work spaces, iPod docking stations, flat-screen TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi. Keep in mind that all rooms have open glass showers which may appeal to solo travelers (who can watch TV while they scrub down), but not necessarily other clients traveling in pairs. Note: Because of limited space on the ground floor, guests make use of a small “lobby” lounge on the seventh floor. Luxury travel advisors can contact Sales Account Manager Anne Rupp ([email protected]; 011-49-693-700-3250) with any questions.

Coming Soon: Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts has announced it will debut a luxury hotel in the Palais Quartier development in downtown Frankfurt for 2010. The 209-room, 25-floor property will be the first hotel in Germany for Jumeirah. Expect the signature Talise spa and a contemporary restaurant designed by Japanese superstar Takashi Sugimoto.

 

 

A Studio Suite at Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof has a unique skyline view and antique furnishings.

 

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