Tel: 49 40 855 070
Living Divani daybeds, Brionvega TVs, and special-edition 1960s-influenced lamps by Flos are all here, but room service, minibars, and toiletries are not. The curved walls of the mirrored reception flow between the Day/Night bar and a multifunctional "entertaining space" with an open fire. The 89 bedrooms and three studios have funky string curtains and bespoke white bedroom and bathroom furniture, while the patterned, 1970s-style wallpaper, paired with matching cushions and throws in pale blues and greens, provides a minimal splash of color.
Tel: 49 40 309 930
Tucked away just behind the Reeperbahn's bawdiness, East sits on a quiet street with bland new hotels as neighbors. Inside, though, it's a fully realized fantasy of Swinging London as seen by Stanley Kubrick: There's nary a straight line in sight, and "organic" forms are everywhere, especially in the dramatic East Bar and Asian-fusion restaurant. East may be trying a mite too hard in the public spaces, but the 125 guestrooms—ranging in size from 215 to 970 square feet—are more low-key, yet still feature bold color contrasts and a smattering of designer-freak furnishings, such as a see-through divider between the bedroom and the shower. Satellite TV and Wi-Fi connections are in all rooms.
914 Neuer Jungfernstieg
Tel: 49 40 349 40
Fax: 49 40 349 44 2600
This impeccably maintained hotel, until recently a Raffles, dates from 1897 and offers stunning public areas full of marble, tapestries, and chandeliers. The individually furnished rooms are traditional without feeling too musty. In total, there are 156 rooms and suites on five floors. The in-house restaurants include the Michelin–starred Restaurant Haerlin, the Art Deco Jahreszeiten Grill, the Euro-Asian Doc Cheng's, and the elegant Café Condi. The spa offers European and Asian treatments, including body scrubs, facials, and hot-stone massage.
Tel: 49 40 2800 300
It's not easy to impress the old monied and well-traveled set of Hamburg, but the city's younger generation is clearly pleased by this energetic new design hotel in the neighborhood of St. George, a ten-minute walk from the city center and the main train station. You'll find this sophisticated set lounging in the hotel's fashionable bar and upscale Italian restaurant or clutching cocktails on the dramatic rooftop terrace. The friendly staff are as attractive as the clientele. The hotel's interiors are more trendy than boho-chic, with shaggy wall-to-wall carpeting and brightly printed wallpaper in the bedrooms and colored crystal chandeliers in the elevator. Although the Size S rooms are too small (just big enough to fit the large bed), the next-step-up Size M rooms are almost 300 square feet, supremely comfortable, and an excellent deal at $235.
Tel: 49 40 442 905
Located in the Harvestehude section, this refurbished Grunderzeit late-19th-century villa has a grand staircase, smoky mirrors, candelabra, paintings, and grandfather clocks. There are 11 rooms and suites, all with tub/shower combinations, most with terraces, and some with four-poster beds. The locally renowned 22-seat Prinz Frederik restaurant serves nouvelle cuisine, while the breakfast venue is the basement café in the cooler months and the hotel's pretty garden during the summertime.
7279 An der Alster
Tel: 49 40 288 80
This Hamburg grande dame is a white-pillared pile overlooking Lake Alster. The high-ceilinged lobby, complete with mammoth fireplace, makes for a classy entrance, but the 252 rooms and suites are uneven. Make sure you book one of the larger deluxe or junior suites renovated in 2003 (the standard and superior rooms are slated for renovation in 2008), as some courtyard-facing bedrooms' decor seems to date from a few decades earlier. That aside, the romance of the place is inescapable—you could drive a truck through the sconce-lit hallways, and the bar is a dark-wood international watering hole with a menu full of obscure Champagne cocktails, such as a Prince of Wales (invented in 1936, it combines Courvoisier, Cointreau, and a dash of Angostura, then is filled up with Champagne, garnished with fresh fruit, and served in a silver cup). Hamburg's rising foodie status is reflected in the kitchen, where chef Sven Büttner, a founding member of the "Young Furioso" movement in Germany, serves up a radical, internationally inspired take on the classics, such as lobster bisque Atlantic: Half lobster with sugar beans, fried mushrooms, and a terrine of bisque on the side.
5256 An der Alster
Tel: 49 40 210 00
The glass-and-steel facade sets the tone for this contemporary business hotel, with high-speed Internet access in every room. There are 265 bright, color-coordinated rooms (blue, pink, green, or red) and 19 suites on eight floors. Most of them have panoramic views of the Alsterbut be sure to request one, because some of them don't. The work of 50 local artists that decorates the rooms and public spaces is the biggest private modern-art collection in Hamburg. The restaurant Le Ciel on the ninth floor has a Mediterranean menu and great views but otherwise lacks atmosphere.
Tel: 49 40 333 212 34
The Park Hyatt, which takes up the top seven floors of an Art Deco warehouse, is a business hotel with a leisurely vibe. There's an excellent cocktail bar (which perhaps explains its loyal following among media types), in-room PlayStations, and Hamburg's biggest swimming pool. Decor throughout relies heavily on cherrywood, there seems to be acres of it no matter where you are. There are 252 rooms and suites, as well as 30 apartments, all with luxurious furnishings, but blandness comes as standard (well, it is primarily a business hotel). On-site eateries include Apples Restaurant & Bar, serving Mediterranean fare, and the Park Lounge, which offers traditional high tea.
Tel: 49 40 309 990
This 12-story, glass-fronted hotel was designed by architect Jan Störmer. Inside, its clean-lined framework is perfectly complemented by the minimalist interiors created by Matteo Thun. The 178 bedrooms are pure modern classic, with dark wood floors, crisp, white linen sheets, and high upholstered headboards. The brightly colored spa area comprises a swimming pool, sauna, aromatherapy steam room, gym, solarium, and massage room. SIDE's Fusion bar has established itself as one of Hamburg's cool hangouts and is usually packed on weekends.