- Best Historic Hotel: Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski München (tel. 089/2125-0; www.kempinski-vierjahreszeiten.de) is one of the most famous hotels in the world -- the lineage of this hostelry stretches back to 1858. Maximilian II himself took a personal interest in the hotel's establishment, even going so far as to aid its founder financially. The Walterspiel family brought it to worldwide prominence, and over the years it has entertained the greats and near-greats.
- Best for Business Travelers: The Hilton Munich Park (tel. 800/445-8667 in the U.S. and Canada, or 089/3-84-50; www.hilton.com) is a modern 15-story structure geared to business travelers, with the necessary business amenities. It is close to many corporate headquarters and has the best conference facilities of any hotel in the city. Actually, the hotel was an office block until pressed into service as a hotel for the 1972 Olympics. After business is concluded, you can unwind at the hotel's health club.
- Best for a Romantic Getaway: Romantik Hotel Insel Mühle (tel. 089/8-10-10; www.insel-muehle.com), built around a 16th-century mill, has a romantic, antique decor and rooms with sloping, garretlike ceilings. It is known for its old-world restaurant with massive beams and a wine cellar. Though far removed from the hustle and bustle, it's only 9.5km (6 miles) west of Munich's Marienplatz.
- Best Trendy Hotel: The Mandarin Oriental (tel. 089/290-980; www.mandarinoriental.com/munich) is the choice of visiting celebrities, including fashion models, dress designers, and the media elite. Its discreet style and formal elegance appeal to those who don't want to be "too obvious" by staying at one of the lavish, bigger hotels.
- Best Lobby for Pretending You're Rich: Bayerischer Hof & Palais Montgelas (tel. 089/21-20-0; www.bayerischerhof.de) is an old-fashioned European formal hotel with a deluxe lobby filled with English and French furniture and Oriental rugs. It's been called the "living room" of Munich. "Meet you in the lounge of the Bayerischer Hof" is often heard. As hotels go, there's no more impressive place to meet for a drink.
- Best for Families: Four Points Hotel by Sheraton München Olympiapark (tel. 800/368-7764 in the U.S. and Canada, or 089/357510; www.starwoodhotels.com) is right at Europe's biggest sports and recreation center and rents many triple rooms that are ideal for families. It's among the most modern and best-kept places in the city, and your child may meet some of the sports heroes who often stay here. At Olympiapark, the entire family can use the sports facilities, including a large Olympic-size swimming pool.
- Best B&B: Gästehaus Englischer Garten (tel. 089/3-83-94-10; www.hotelenglischergarten.de), close to the Englischer Garten and its summer nudes, is an oasis of charm and tranquillity in fashionable Schwabing. It offers attractively furnished rooms; those in the annex are really small apartments with tiny kitchenettes. When the weather's right, breakfast is served in the rear garden.
- Best Service: Eden Hotel Wolff (tel. 089/55-11-5-0; www.ehw.de) employs some of the most thoughtful staff in Munich. The attentive, efficient, unhurried, yet down-to-earth English-speaking staff here gets the job done, anticipating all your needs.
- Best Location: An der Oper (tel. 089/290-02-70; www.hotelanderoper.com) is in the heart of Munich, steps away from the central Marienplatz. Stay here and in moments, you're shopping along the Maximilianstrasse or exploring the traffic-free malls near the Bavarian Nationaltheater.
- Best Health Club: München Marriott Hotel (tel. 800/228-9290 in the U.S. and Canada, or 089/36-00-20; www.marriott.com) has a well-equipped fitness center that includes a swimming pool almost 14m (46 ft.) long, whirlpools, hydrojets, a solarium, and state-of-the-art exercise equipment. There's also a Kosmetik-Kabine for beauty treatments and massages, plus separate saunas for men and women.
- Best Hotel Pool: The state-of-the-art indoor pool at the Westin Grand München Arabellapark (tel. 800/325-3535 in the U.S. and Canada, or 089/9-26-40; www.westingrandmunich.com) is on the 22nd floor, offering its own waterfall to go with the city views. Although many hotels in Munich have pools, none competes with this choice. And that's not all -- the hotel also has five whirlpools, two mixed saunas (open to both men and women), and a trio of steam rooms inspired by ancient Rome, each ideal for après-swim (after your swim).
- Best Spa Hotel: The curative spa of Bad Reichenhall is the finest and best equipped in the Bavarian Alps. The best hotel here is Radisson Blu Axelmannstein Resort (tel. 08651/77-70; www.axelmannsteinresort.com.), which is set in lovely gardens of 3 hectares (7 1/2 acres). Its spa equipment is always kept in the finest condition, and its bedrooms, cuisine, and on-site entertainment make it one of the great discoveries of Bavaria.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.