Last month we spent a weekend in Frankfurt, a German city mostly known for its smart business centre and being home to the European Central Bank. With its half timbered houses and beer gardens, the city has always had a strong traditional side but now (with the help of a fresh collection of swish bars and Michelin-starred restaurants springing up all over place) it’s slowly emerging as quite the trendy travel destination! The juxtaposition of the old and the new follows throughout the city and there’s no place that fits in more perfectly with this theme than the traditionally luxurious Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof Hotel and its new ultra trendy Pan-Asian restaurant Breeze – the first in the lebua chain to open in Europe.
Located in the heart of Frankfurt’s shiny business district, the classically beautiful sandstone building (which was built nearly 140 years ago) stands proud, flanked by a couple of smartly dressed doormen and the odd black limousine. We entered and scoped out our new surroundings for the weekend. The hotel interiors are traditional but achingly grand with long scarlet carpeted corridors, gilded mirrors, sparkling chandelier adorned ceilings and pleasant staff who ooze that typical German efficiency. No one in our group was surprised to learn it’s attracted a good handful of celebrities to stay over the years including A-listers such as Elton John and the Rolling Stones.
The spacious newly renovated rooms are equally as extravagant, and come with an elegantly stylish grey and mahogany design and a huge bathroom. They also offer all the services, facilities and mod cons you’d expect from a five star hotel (complimentary WiFi, flat-screen TV, top-end toiletries, complimentary access to the Spa etc.) and even few extras you might not expect – the Nespresso coffee machine, the digital setting in the bathroom which allows you to choose your exact desired water temperature and a second flat screen TV which can be viewed and controlled from the bath tub are some very nice touches!
The rest of the hotel features more opulent facilities including a Michelin-starred Restaurant Francais (which has its own attractive conservatory and terrace), the Hofgarten restaurant which offers spectacular courtyard views and a sumptuous a la carte menu, an elegant cigar room, a charming old-school bistro (Oscars), a modern spa, a fully equipped gym, a limousine service and even a butler service. In true celebrity style they also offer themed suites, a presidential suite and pets are even allowed to stay for a fee!
We took a quick peek at the sprawling 10,000-square-foot spa. The place was seriously stunning and seemed to go for miles with a gentleman’s barber, an extraordinarily decorated hammam and relaxing rooms which came with colour therapy lights – all very zen!
Even if you don’t stay overnight at the hotel, handily you can still visit one of its bars or restaurants. One of the highlights is the newly opened Breeze restaurant where we dined for the evening. The trendy Pan-Asian restaurant is the luxury brand lebua’s first bar and restaurant in Europe. Already a huge success in Bangkok, India and New Zealand it’s a brand who like to do things a little differently and at the core of their ethos is the aim to create an ’emotional connection’ with the customer. Their establishments have won many awards and accolades over the years, and their Bangkok Sky Bar has even featured in the popular movie Hangover 2.
Located in the basement of the Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof, the new Breeze bar and restaurant is definitely unlike any other place we’ve ever visited! The basement has been beautifully transformed into an oasis of calm and wow-inducing decor cleverly designed by the renowned architectural firm Eight Inc. Inspired by both nature and Asia, the unique space combines water features, sleek dark stone walls and a liberal use of timber. They combine excellent food (with a la carte tasting menus choreographed by award-winning Culinary Creative Director Sam Leong), expertly crafted innovative cocktails mixed by a dedicated team, an achingly cool design and an extra special ambience to create a very unique dining experience indeed. For reservations head to lebua Breeze Frankfurt.
All words and images by Becky Padmore, we were invited by guests of lebua but all our opinions are our own.