Like haute couture, the term “haute hôtellerie” is used to refer to the very top end of the market. One establishment that certainly fits into this category is the Sofitel Frankfurt Opera, a five-star Superior Hotel located at the heart of Frankfurt am Main. Containing 150 rooms and suites, the Frankfurt Opera is the flagship of the Sofitel brand and offers a number of outstanding facilities. Lili’s Hotel Bar and the Schönemann Restaurant are both named after Lili Schönemann, the great love of Frankfurt’s best-known son Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Guests also enjoy the use of Sofitel SPA & Sofitel Fitness, health and beauty and gym area. The furnishings, decoration and design of the luxury hotel bear the signature of the French interior architect Nicolas Adnet, who works in conjunction with his Paris-based studio MHNA.
Rooms at the Sofitel Frankfurt Opera boast a minimum size of 36 square metres. This makes them some of the largest anywhere in the city. The level of service the hotel provides also sets it apart from the competition.
Architecture, design and artwork
Nicolas Adnet began his professional career in the luxury fashion business, where one of his great role models was Yves Saint Laurent. His work is strongly aligned to the French tradition and reflects this genre’s emphasis on classicism and elegance as well as exuding a certain form of liberty and poetry. Despite being contemporary, the style he adopts never betrays his roots. When designing the Sofitel Frankfurt Opera, Nicolas Adnet sought inspiration from the French “hôtel particulier” type of architecture. His focus is on bringing the past back to life without recreating anything. The characteristics of the “hôtel particulier”, such as the chandelier, the lavish winding staircase, the salons, the mezzanine and the gallery, have all been seamlessly introduced to 21st century Frankfurt. These features represent the epitome of a French “art de vivre” and are places in which hedonism has found its expression in comfort, quality of service, gastronomy, art and culture.
Clear reminiscences of the time Adnet spent in the world of couture are in evidence in the Schönemann Restaurant, a connection between the topics of art and fashion. However, attention to detail, artisanal precision, the aesthetic sense of balance that is inherent in haute couture and an ability to see the big picture are also discernible in Adnet’s design for the Sofitel Frankfurt Opera. Interiors and illumination were specially developed for the hotel by his studio, and Adnet himself has assembled a unique collection of works of art from different epochs, genres and styles. The intention is that this collection should hark back to the glory days of the hôtel particulier, when the well-travelled master of the house would return from adventurous excursions around the world bringing exotic souvenirs home with him. The result is that the Sofitel Frankfurt Opera is home to an entertaining mix of art and curiosities which always provide a minor journey of discovery for
anyone staying here.
Rooms and suites
In his interior design concept, Nicolas Adnet combines timeless classical décor with modern luxury. The round walls of the hotel’s Superior Rooms create a cosy “cocoon”. The closed-in nature of this principle is broken up by large windows which offer views of the Old Opera, the adjoining City Park or the Atrium. Goethe maintains a constant discreet presence. The young Faust is depicted on modern wall graphics, and the author also features on diptych-like panels which cleverly conceal television sets.
The rooms and suites are sub-divided into six categories. The minimum size of the hotel’s 55 Classic/Superior Rooms and 64 Luxury Rooms is 36 and 40 square metres respectively. All are equipped with the Sofitel MyBed®, bathrooms with a rain forest shower system or bathtub and separate WC, Hermès Amenities, a Bose Sound System, a large-screen Samsung television, an Illy espresso machine, a kettle and free Wi-Fi.
The 31 suites comprise 15 Junior Suites of 50 square metres each, 13 Prestige Suites of 60 square metres, two Opera Suites of 90 square metres and a Presidential Suite which extends over an area of 120 square metres. All suites have the same facilities as the rooms with the addition of separate bathrooms, a butler service and a Bose 321 System.
Next to the Presidential Suite is a large 130-square metre private roof terrace which provides breathtaking views over the city of Frankfurt by both day and night and can also double as an exclusive events location. To the right, the terrace looks out onto the Old Opera, originally designed by the Berlin architect Richard Lucae in Renaissance Revival style. The skyline of the Banking Quarter rises up immediately in front of the observer to provide a charming and contrasting aspect. The city is quite literally at the guest’s feet, and he or she is able to take in the hustle and bustle of one of the world’s major banking metropolises without being exposed to prying eyes.
A Frankfurt-style gourmet experience with a French touch – Lili’s Bar and the Schönemann Restaurant
“Schönemann” has its origins in a famous Frankfurt society family of the same name who were closely associated with the history of the city and with the life of Goethe. The Schönemanns were wealthy 18th century bankers. For many years, they operated a popular cultural salon which greatly appealed to Frankfurt’s bourgeoisie. At a house concert staged there in 1775, a young Johann Wolfgang von Goethe met Anna Elisabeth Schönemann, known as “Lili”, the 16-year old daughter of the house. He fell in love with her immediately, and an engagement soon followed. Although the liaison lasted merely for a single summer, the young Lili Schönemann was the only woman to whom Goethe was ever engaged, and she remained the great love of his life.
At the Sofitel Frankfurt Opera, “Lili’s Bar” and the “Schönemann Restaurant” represent a continuation of Frankfurt’s tradition of generosity and hospitality. Executive Chef Miguel Aagner and Bar Manager Yenifer ‘Jay’ Jureit primarily see themselves as hosts whose role it is to provide guests with highly enjoyable moments in the city.
The Schönemann Restaurant at the Sofitel Frankfurt Opera enhances the local gastronomic scene by adding a unique Franco-Frankfurt facet. Execuitve Chef Miguel Wagner is a devotee of a high-end but straightforward style of cooking which uses top quality regional fare and handpicked fresh produce. He reinterprets classic French dishes by giving them a typical Frankfurt twist. A twinkle in the eye and a dash of local cider from the Frankfurt district of Sachsenhausen are, for example, all that is required to turn the French staple of “Coq au vin” into “Coq au Apfelwein” and create Schönemann’s signature dish. “Coq au Apfelwein” is prepared in the traditional French way in a cast-iron stew pot and can be served as a single dish or as a multiple portion which guests are actively invited to share.
The restaurant’s extensive wine menu also creates a bridge between France and Germany. The focus is on the best vintners from the neighbouring wine-growing areas – the Rhine District, Rhine Hessen and the Palatinate. Guests are also able to enjoy a local rarity in the form of a special Goethe Wine produced by the Allendorf Estate in the Rhine District which is only available to selected outlets with a special connection with Goethe. The Schönemann Restaurant has an entrance on the side of the hotel which faces out onto the Opera Square. Its stylish interior is able to accommodate around 60 guests and, like the whole of the Sofitel Frankfurt Opera, was designed by Nicolas Adnet. For the inside of the restaurant, Adnet has chosen to use slightly fractured colour shades and high-end opulent fabrics with different structures to produce clear linear forms. Whimsical details such as cushions by Jean-Paul Gaultier and photographic works of art by André Rival serve to mellow this overall clarity. A Private Dining Room seating up to 20 persons is available to parties who wish to avoid the public glare. If weather conditions are favourable, the glass facade of the Schönemann can be opened up to extend the restaurant out onto the sophisticated surroundings of the Opera Square. As soon as the spring sun makes an appearance, the terrace’s blossoming trees and views of the Old Opera make this a particularly pleasant place to sit for just under 50 people.
Lili’s Hotel Bar is also intended as a homage to the great love of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Goethe never quite forgot Lili. He dedicated a poem to her and used her as a role model for various female figures that feature in his works. Even on his death bed, he still
remembered her as “the first woman and maybe also the last woman whom I deeply and truly loved”.
The bar contains subtle allusions to pay due respect to someone who left such a lasting impression on the most famous personality the city produced. Contemporary artist portraits on the wall, an interpretation of the young Goethe and Lili by Erwin Olaf, fragments of love letters on the inside of lampshades and the signature drinks served up by Bar Manager Yenifer “Jay” Jureit all form part of the tribute. In the warm and modern atmosphere of Lili’s Bar, the discreet presence of its namesake remains tangible. The bar follows a “lounge-cocktail” concept. This means that Lili’s is a lounge during the day and a bar in the evenings. In addition to serving up traditional hotel bar offerings such as champagne cocktails and classic Manhattans and Negronis.
French gourmet ritual come to Frankfurt – Apéro Chic
The apéritif, referred to in abbreviated form as an “apéro”, is a popular ritual and an integral part of everyday life in France. It usually takes the form of an alcoholic drink served with a hearty savoury snack to round off the working day with friends and colleagues in a relaxed manner or to act as the prelude to an enjoyable evening ahead. The business world has also embraced such an informal culinary event as a good opportunity to network and chat over a drink and a tasty bite to eat once the working day is done. This enjoyable ritual is now available as a special “Apéro Chic” package in Lili’s Bar at the Sofitel Frankfurt Opera. Selected wines and champagnes, all accompanied by canapés prepared by Chef Miguel Wagner. The “Apéro Chic” event is celebrated each evening between 3pm and 6pm.
Spa and gym facilities
Our Sofitel Spa & Fitness facility extends over an area of 400 square metres and is available for use by all hotel guests wishing to relax or keep fit. A separate pedicure and manicure area provides four treatment rooms. In Sofitel Fitness, guests are able to train on Technogym equipment. For an additional charge, they can also enjoy access to the neighbouring Fitness First Black Label facility, which offers state-of-the-art devices and personal trainers. All guests at the Sofitel Frankfurt Opera are able to use the hotel’s 25-metre long indoor pool free of charge. The gym is located in an annex linked to the hotel proper via an underground passageway. This enables guests to return to their rooms discreetly once they have finished their fitness sessions.
The Inspired Meetings™ experts at the Sofitel Frankfurt Opera are not merely on hand to secure the smooth running of events. They also create experiences. The backdrop for this contemporary conferencing venue is formed of a Board Room, three meetings rooms at
mezzanine level with views out onto the adjoining City Park, a Ballroom offering plenty of natural daylight and a gallery. Up to 200 persons can be accommodated for special events, meetings and congresses. Nicolas Adnet has also taken the Parisian hôtel particulier as his inspiration for the design of the rooms. These are all named after well-known quarters of Paris and are fitted out in the style of a townhouse library. They are spaces in which functionality meets exquisite style. Hermès brocade wallpapers and small objets d’art are just two of the many details which also transform these modern and elegant meetings rooms into just the right setting for private celebrations and occasions.
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