The Fontenay Hamburg
What We Love
- The inside-outside infinity pool that practically merges with Alster Lake
- The dazzling light sculpture in the atrium, made of 140 LEDs fitted to curved steel branches
- Floor-to-ceiling windows in all guest rooms
- Innovative cocktails concocted from local fruit brandy by resident mixologist Sebastian Schneider
What To Know
- There’s not a straight wall to be found anywhere, thanks to the hotel’s flowing architecture
- The beer in your mini-bar is complimentary
- Look forward to a personal check-in experience: staff and guests sit together in one of three cushy lobby lounge areas
- Each of the 17 suites here is furnished with a spacious walk-in wardrobe
- Parking On Site
Architectural marvel by local icon Jan Störmer on the banks of Lake Alster, with a La Mer spa and a destination restaurant
It’s been nearly two decades since Hamburg welcomed a five-star sleep, so it’s only appropriate that the German port city’s newest resort, affectionately dubbed ‘hotel in the park,’ comes in the form of a lavish lakeside expanse standing among a thicket of oaks and sycamores. The curvy white-tiled façade—a set of three intertwining circular structures purposely designed to reflect the lake waters—even evokes the surrounding treetops (despite its leafy setting, rest assured you’re just a ten-minute walk from the city center); the woods also take center stage in all 130 guest rooms, painted in arboreal greens and beiges. Even the parquet flooring was sourced from the forest of the Abbey of Fontenay, in Burgundy, France. The hotel’s unique wave-like exterior means nearly all the furniture here is bespoke, from supersize beds by local outfit, Schramm Werkstätten, to carpets for the unusually shaped corridors, which were woven-to-order in Hong Kong. The pomp is also on full display at Lakeside, the hotel’s sun-drenched rooftop restaurant, which marries contemporary Nordic-influenced plates by 31-year-old whiz kid Cornelius Speinle, with enchanting 320-degree Hamburg vistas.
In the Area
Once upon a time, Lake Alster, Hamburg’s heart, was a medieval reservoir, built to power the many mills on its banks. Today, it’s the ultimate picnic backdrop, dotted with canoes and kayaks in the summer months; when the lake freezes over, it’s an ice-kiting arena. But the watery playground truly shines in August, when Alstervergnügen, a four-day festival brings nightly fireworks and acrobatic performances. Though you’re already staying in an architectural masterpiece, for a look at another creative—and recently unveiled—area icon, visit the Elbphilharmonie, a former brick warehouse turned concert hall bordering Hamburg’s bustling harbor, with hopes to revitalize the city’s classical music scene.
How to Get There
Really a top of the line hotel with a great location, staff that give you the feeling that they care and take time for you. A short walk to the city. The spa area is relaxing and a good intro to the day.
A great choice
Wonderful weekend break - visited the 6th floor bar for a super chicken Caesar salad in sunshine. Great views across the lake with all the yachts busy on the Saturday. Can see the fountain from here as well - good first place to orientate from.
We have stayed at The Fontenay for a weekend visit to Hamburg. We have been extremely impressed by the professional staff and smooth operations in spite of the hotel being almost brand new. The room was beautiful and equipped with modern technology (even the shower is controlled electronically). All the staff was very friendly and helpful. The concierge organised excellent dinner for two evenings on short notice.
A minor hassle was the front desk experience. We arrived in the afternoon and immediately asked if we could have dinner in the hotel, preferably in their own Michelin star restaurant. Unfortunately we were told, that both restaurants are booked out and we should resort to room service, without any further recommendations. That's when we simply went to the concierge on our own, who made all our requests possible.
Another minor critique was the unclear pricing in the spa area. Treatments are pretty expensive and some confusion may have arose due to the current reorganisation of the spa offerings at that time. Still, the beautiful spa really lived up to the high expectations they create. Not sure how many opportunities Hamburg offers to visit a sauna with a panorama view of the Alster.
As mentioned initially, minor issues like these couldn't disturb our near perfect impression of the facility. If you want to stay in a luxurious hotel with professional and yet very friendly staff, you can't go wrong with The Fontenay.