The Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof‘s Mercedes glides around Willy Brandt Platz and I gaze up at the six-floor building’s Ehrenhof terrace and stone gargoyles. At Bethmannstrasse, the door is opened by an ambassador type in a full morning suit and top hat. I tread around a gold floor plaque marked 1876, the hotel’s birth year, and ascend eight red-carpet steps to the lobby. Room keys now have a floral pattern, replicated on the Bucherer-sponsored folder around them.
I am in the 300-square-metre Royal Suite, designed by Markus Diedenhofen. All 10 windows in the main salon have deep gold decorative drapes with black and gold swags, sage working curtains and pale coffee sheers, all easily pulled. The Bembé black walnut floor has a sizeable beige carpet. Sitting on a low caramel stool in the centre of the room, I can rotate 360 degrees to note walls of deep gold lacquer or padded leather or matching marble and a log-look fire that emits red steam. The dining room has eight mottled cream chairs around an oval table. The kitchen is mainly Siemens kitchen. The bedroom has an alluring mirrored ceiling panel.
Now for the 48-square-metre bathroom, nearly all marbled, and birds that seem to sing non-stop accompanying a classical pianist (how do I turn it off?). Later, I have one of the best showers ever, thanks to simple Grohe controls which require setting the temperature and then merely pushing a button to turn it on and off. Ambience colours seem to change at will. And – bliss – for the first time ever I have several piles of snow-white towels, from fairly soft to really rough, the ones that really really dry. Why don’t more people realise what luxury such a choice is?
Being still just warm enough, we sit outside on the terrace under shady umbrellas that match the tables light burgundy cloths. Laurent-Perrier is brought already poured, with nuts in little preserving jars and the evening proceeded from there. All too soon it was my favourite meal of any day: breakfast. I had the smoothie of the day (mixed berries), quark, eggs as requested and good coffee at lightning speed. A concierge was waiting with my boarding card a mere minutes after I had emailed it to him. The same Mercedes and the same driver waited, plus today’s copies of both of the same international newspapers. Yes, I made the flight.
Mary Gostelow’s daily travelogue is www.girlahead.com