„In 2020, many people celebrated travelling to the countryside in their own country and at the same time avoided the big cities. What a pity! Because the city business leisure trips are as safe as they are exciting, and the hotels are often a cut above. Visits in Frankfurt and other major German cities.” Sylvie Konzack
“More at-home feeling with more service feeling,” wrote Bleisure Traveller Kai Böcking in the summer after his visit to Frankfurt and the Sofitel Frankfurt Opera. He was flabbergasted by the whimsical conversation with the “masked” waiter about the wine he would like to have in his wine spritzer. By the service-hungry team, which is now even more flexible with check-out times, housekeeping and room service. And about the new extras for business travellers, such as the “queue-free” visit to the Schirn Kunsthalle outside opening hours or the exclusive excursions to surrounding wineries. His favourite places to work and do nothing have become the hotel’s safe and sunny terraces on Opernplatz and on the roof, which is also a magnet for locals (photo above). And if he had wanted to have breakfast in his room at 3 p.m., which he did not, the team would have said “Sure”, if only because they wanted to avoid crowds at breakfast rush hours.
Sabine Galas, the Business Traveller editor-in-chief, also returned from Frankfurt in October 2020 completely thrilled. At the Hilton Frankfurt City Centre, she felt like she was at après-business in New York City in the new “Hudson Yards” bar. “With the nice feeling of having escaped the limits set by Corona for an evening and dreaming relaxed into the night,” as she describes it. The extremely relaxed hotel team has simply celebrated the metamorphosis into an “urban business hotel with leisure factor” here and in the entire completely renovated hotel. Because that is exactly what business and leisure travellers, who today are often a person in the here and now, want.
Pop-up restaurants shoot up from the ground
Since this year, Frankfurt has been cooperating even more with the Rhine-Main regions in and around Offenbach, Hanau, Groß-Gerau and Wetterau. Nearby Kronberg is also spreading its arms once more: The Tudor-style Schlosshotel Kronberg (photo above) opened its castle park in 2020 and initiated a “Cottage Biergarten” to also bring locals and travellers together with distance and sun. A “wine drive-in” was also docked to the new beer garden in the summer, where people could stock up on bottles from the hotel’s own Prinz von Hessen winery in the Rheingau. A pop-up restaurant followed in August. And the hotel just celebrated the 180th birthday of the castle’s founder, Victoria Kaiserin Friedrich, with virtual castle tours and a wine birthday edition.
The old town of Marburg to the north also offers numerous bleisure trip options. The Vila Vita Rosenpark here, for example, is a 360-meeting time-out world with its own additional Hofgut Dagobertshausen and again other houses in Lower Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Hofgut Dagobertshausen will open four winter igloos as a pop-up restaurant for up to eight people as soon as it is permitted (photo left).
And in the direction of Nuremberg there are new highlights such as the Floating Village Brombachsee: 19 water villas permanently installed on the jetty, guaranteeing seclusion and tranquillity all year round with zero communal spaces. For remote work from project work in Frankfurt, a distance-proof client meeting or simply enjoying nothing but your own floe.
Culture to kite surfing in and near Berlin
In Berlin, exciting new hotels like the KPM Hotel & Residences have kept the flag flying and stayed open throughout 2020 (photo left). “We have been able to attract regular guests through this, such as consultants or simply city travellers, and try out new offers with them,” says Managing Director Tobias Berghäuser. These include bike rental services as well as the hotel’s own cultural and musical events such as the Jazz Club Dinner in a small setting. The hotel itself is located near the Großer Tiergarten and directly next to the Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin (Royal Porcelain Manufactory Berlin) and offers a high level of design sophistication as well as fully equipped pantry kitchens in all rooms and flats.
And for those who are typically drawn to Berlin “far out”: The Precise Hotels operate, among others, the Moxy Berlin at the Humboldthain and at the same time have the “pack your swimming trunks time-out card” in their luggage: with the Precise Resort Marina Wolfsbruch in the Mecklenburg lake district or the Precise Resort Schwielowsee near Potsdam. Both have their own marina and invite you to go kayaking, surfing, kiting, cycling, wellness or simply “do nothing”.
Munich wants to stay a Bleisure hot spot
The proud city was rather empty in the summer of 2020. No trade fairs and conferences, no Oktoberfest, few Middle East guests in Munich.
At the same time, classics like the Mandarin Oriental, Munich have been ready again since autumn with brand new 73 rooms and suites (photo above and left). “We are very small compared to other luxury hotels and thus attract many guests who want to retreat here,” says director Dominik G. Reiner. With the new champagne service knocking at the door every afternoon or their own cocktail set in the room, the view of the old town from the panoramic windows can be enjoyed in seclusion.
The same applies to the Parkhotel Rothof in Bogenhausen near Arabellapark. A real insider tip for all those who long for a city hotel that feels like a holiday hotel. No empty phrase, but a real “yes exactly” that happens to you there – through the Austrian hostess, the magic pavilion rooms or the body-and-mind packages. Surprise in the City – even more so after 2020.
Sylvie Konzack …
is excited about how multifaceted the topics of home office, remote work and bleisure can currently be played out in the metropolises without having to worry about safety. The cities and hotels, she thinks, deserve to be experienced more again after the crazy year 2020.
Photos: © Sofitel Frankfurt Opera / Peter Krausgrill, Schlosshotel Kronberg, Vila Vita Marburg, KPM Hotel & Residences/WhiteKitchen, Konzack