By Susan McKee
Photos courtesy of Jumeirah Frankfurt
60313 Frankfurt am Main
From the original oil paintings on the wall to the selection of different coffees in the guest rooms, every detail has been carefully crafted at the new Jumeirah hotel in Frankfurt.
You’ll notice the difference right away: the bellmen at the front door are charmingly efficient (not to mention impressively tall and handsome), the check-in staff friendly and competent. A credenza across from reception holds glasses and two pitchers of water: one with lemon slices added and the other with fresh mint leaves. Moist towels (cloth, not paper) also are offered for refreshment.
Opened in August, the new kid on the block certainly commands attention. It’s the first hotel with the Jumeirah brand in Germany, and, in fact, the first Jumeirah in continental Europe (there are two in London).
This Dubai-owned chain aims for the top of the market, and if this property is any indication, it achieves that lofty goal. Broadband and wireless internet access is complementary in the guest rooms.
Because it’s so new, the hotel has all the latest electronic whistles and bells. Instead of call buttons for the elevators, there are computer screens. You key in your room floor number, and the display responds with the number of the elevator to board. Once inside, there are no floor buttons to press – you’re whisked automatically to your destination.
Key cards aren’t inserted, but held up to card readers to unlock the doors. Inside the room itself, everything’s controlled by touch – from the lights and lamps to the curtains and fan speed. Even the “do not disturb” sign is electronic.
After the bling of the lobby (with more sparkling crystals hanging from ceiling light fixtures than it’s possible to count) the dÚcor of the guest room is surprisingly subdued: hues of ivory, beige and white. Instead of the ubiquitous strip of a bedspread, a soft throw covers the foot of the bed. A pop of color comes from the original work of art on the wall.
Lisa Carusone, public relations manager for the Jumeirah Frankfurt told me that each hotel in the chain is decorated differently, with a nod to local culture. Therefore, all of the paintings in the hotel – in both public areas and guest rooms – are by the contemporary German painter Hartwig Ebersbach.
All the expected amenities are in place, plus some that are unusual in Europe (such as the Nespresso coffee makers in the rooms). There’s an in-room safe, make-up mirror, bathroom scale, bidet and separate shower plus over-sized bathtub. (Did I mention the free internet connection?)
Rooms at the grand deluxe category and above have a television screen imbedded in the bathroom mirror.
There’s an on-site spa if you’re in need of time in the sauna or a massage, and hotel guests complete access to the neighboring Premium Fitness First Health Club (complete with pool) across a skywalk to an adjoining building.
Needless to say, the breakfast buffet in the first-floor restaurant offers everything you could possibly want to eat, from assemble-it-yourself muesli to eggs cooked to order. A highlight is the honeycomb next to the usual jams and jellies. Yes, a honeycomb just as it comes from the beehive -- because the hotel contracts with a beekeeper to maintain its rooftop hives. The bees are said to sup nectar from the flowers at the nearby botanical garden.
I also enjoyed dinner at the hotel's Max on One when I stayed at the Jumeirah in early November. From the tasty “amuse bouche” starter to the rum-flamed plum pancake dessert, everything was well prepared and elegantly plated.
Location is as important for hotels as it is for other businesses, and the placement of the Jumeirah Frankfurt can’t be beat. On part of the site once occupied by the Thurn-und-Taxis Palais (residence of historic German princes), it’s about two blocks down a pedestrian shopping street from the historic market square, and on the edge of the financial center. Business customers can walk to their appointments, and leisure travelers have the city at their feet.
Because the hotel is so new, it’s not running anywhere near full capacity. Those of us who book one of its 218 rooms and suites now are enjoying room prices that are steeply discounted from the rack rate. Once word gets out, the bargains will be gone.
© December 2011 LuxuryWeb Magazine. All rights reserved.