Five-Star Tour Continued
#4 . Frankfurt
Why: Frankfurt serves as the financial hub to Europe, but the city dates back more than 2,000 years and offers a bath in German culture.
What to see: Feel Frankfurt’s economic heartbeat at Borse, one of the world’s largest stock exchanges. The Cathedral of St. Bartholomew was rebuilt twice since a fire in 1867 and WWII air strikes. Take a tour of the imperial cathedral where kings were once elected. Frankfurt is also the birthplace of cider, or apfelwein as it’s known in Germany (but a bit more tart that American counterparts.) Embark down the cobblestone streets and visit a cider tavern for a refreshing glass of apple wine! Take in panoramic views from Frankfurt’s highest building, The Main Tower.
Where to stay: Rocco Forte’s Villa Kennedy was once an opulent family home built in 1904. Today, the hotel has an extension of three wings that enclose the courtyard to the original footprint, but so much attention to detail was paid that only an architect could tell that there was ever any expansion.
The primary villa’s rooms have been restored to their original brilliance, while the three new wings present the epitome of modern excellence. The Villa Spa, with its private elevator from your floor, is the perfect place for pampering. After, enjoy a dip in the pool, detox in the steam room or catch some rays in the spa’s private garden.
After a long day exploring Frankfurt, you’ll be sure to work up an appetite. At Gusto in Villa Kennedy, enjoy sumptuously refined Italian dishes paired with refreshments and tunes flowing from the JFK Bar. We recommend Chef Fulvio Pierangelini’s Ravioli Grune Sose or the fish of the day cooked on a Himalayan Salt Stone. Pair your meal with a Woiquri, a Villa Kennedy signature libation composed of rum, the city’s own apple wine, caramel and lime gromme.
Where to go: Berlin, Germany
Why: Germany’s capital city, once divided by two oppositions, embraces its history and offers a flourishing cultural scene.
What to see: The Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall and Check Point Charlie Museum all extend a history lesson in the days prior to the fall of the wall and the freedom of East Berlin from Soviet oppression. Spend the day on Museum Island or pack a picnic and board the S-train to Grunewald Forest, where you can float in freshwater lakes or take a horseback ride through the woods.
Where to stay: Rocco Forte’s Hotel de Rome was originally the headquarters to the Dresdner Bank built in 1889. Now, the bank’s executive suites serve the same purpose, only as divine executive hotel suites adorned with the original rich wood walls. A careful eye can find holes left from the wartime devastation. The bank’s vault now hosts the hotel’s swanky spa. The jewel vault is now a golden swimming pool and the bank’s cashier hall has been transformed into an exquisite ballroom. The hotel offers the perfect location, just a short walk to the Brandenburg Gate and other local attractions.
What to see: Enjoy the buzzing biergarten located around the Chinese Tower in Munich’s English Garden, which is larger than New York’s Central Park. Pack a picnic or grab a bratwurst and a pretzel to go along with your liter of cold brew, an essential accessory in Bavaria. Sit down with German strangers at extended wooden tables and prepare for a bicep workout from all the heavy lifting of beer in huge glass steins. Board a log flume and float down the Isar, while sloshing on beer, and sway to the melodies of a traditional German oompah band.
Where to stay: Mandarin Oriental Munich offers some of the largest accommodations in Munich and is located just aside Hofbräuhaus, Munich’s most popular brewery, and is a short walk to Marienplatz, the city’s central square. The Mandarin is a must for your Munich nesting needs. Once you settle in, borrow one of the complimentary Mercedes- Benz bicycles and take a ride to the English Garden, grab a pint of suds and take in all that Bavaria has to offer. Paired with the Mandarin’s expertise in impeccable service, their traditional Oriental polish and the perfect mix of German enchantment, and even a rooftop pool, Mandarin Oriental always exceeds expectations.