Probably best known for its nautical history as Germany’s largest port and, perhaps as a result, its red light district (the Reeperbahn – only the brave should enter at night), Germany’s second largest city is also very pretty.
With over 2400 bridges (more than Amsterdam and Venice combined), you are never far from a stream, canal or river, which makes it a very pleasant city to see on foot.
The Sofitel Hamburg Alter Wall is on the edge of one such canal, an eight-story modern building that looks rather uninspiring from the outside, but comes into its own inside with clean, geometric lines and a light, contemporary design.
The use of large windows (floor to ceiling on the ground floor) maximises the light and views of the canal.
Bedrooms (there are 241, although the hotel feels more intimate than that number might imply) are rather simple in design but very stylish – muted grey walls and white furniture in the bedrooms and gorgeous grey and white blended marble in the bathrooms.
Lanvin bath products nod to the group’s French heritage (other Sofitels have had Hermes bath products), which also explains why you are greeted with ‘bonjour’ on arrival despite being in Germany.
Head downstairs to the spa with sauna, steam room and mosaic-tiled indoor pool, or visit the bar with its terrace overlooking the canal. It’s a nice touch that every guest receives a gift of a complimentary drink on the day of arrival.
While it might be seen as one of the city’s best business hotels, the sleek design, spa and very comfortable beds, make the Sofitel Hamburg a good option for leisure stays, and a good base from which to explore the city’s many bridges and waterways.
Here is our pick of the best restaurants in Hamburg for your stay:
Brian’s Steak and Lobster
The restaurant’s motto is “lobster, Champagne and flip-flops”, but you’d be equally at home at Brian’s Steak and Lobster in your finest Saturday night outfit. A cool, ski-chalet style interior with excellent steaks, burgers and wine list. Fabulous service as well.
A vast restaurant in the basement of the East design hotel with exposed brickwork and leather banquettes. A large sushi selection is mixed in with German classics.
Coast by East
Coast is an Asian restaurant from the East hotel specialising in seafood, this time in the harbour with direct river views – a beautiful place to be when the sun is sunshine.
Located in a former livestock hall, it’s no surprise that Bullerei specialises in meat. The large space, designed with exposed bricks and pipes, is owned by celebrity chef Tim Mälzer (apparently an old colleague and friend of Jamie Oliver’s).
Other restaurants that come recommended are Die Bank and Tarantella.
If you would like Bon Vivant Travel to book your next trip to Hamburg (or anywhere else!) contact us now for your bespoke travel planning services.
We stayed as a guest of the Sofitel Hamburg – read our editorial policy here.