Frankfurt, known for its postwar skyline, is not a town associated with intimacy and old inns on placid riverbanks. The Gerbermuehle, however, is just that: a centrally located hotel in a historical site that offers both classicism and modern design on the banks of the Main river. A flour mill since 1520, the structure was rebuilt in the following century by a wealthy banker. Goethe met his Mariane there in the summer of 1814, the beginning of one of the great romances of the literary world. This history is respected in Gerbermuehle's present structure, which also takes a leap into modernity with the latest design and technology.
The lobby features exposed beams and mezzanines that suggest a stylized version of the innards of a massive skyscraper, while the bar features old stone walls and riveted leather furniture. The house’s old postbeam construction is never hidden, but is painted to match various rooms’ colour schemes, in a nod to sleek contemporaneity. The 13 rooms and 5 suites of Gerbermuehle all feature parquet floors and flat-screen TVs. But in summertime the action is outside, in a 500-seat summer garden with elaborate tents that provides an idyllic outdoor gathering spot to while away a Frankfurt day.