When my brother and I decided to drive up to Hamburg for a weekend, there were many considerations that shaped our travel plans. Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city, is a nice change of pace from Frankfurt and it was a city I had only briefly seen on a business trip earlier in the year—my brother had never been. Hamburg boasts Binnenalster, Michel, and the famous Reeperbahn. But I would be lying if I did not say what primarily drove me to Hamburg was a desire to try out the Park Hyatt Hamburg. Turns out the hotel alone was reason enough for the five hour journey—I had a superb stay.
We attended a wedding in Marburg earlier in the day so we got a late start to Hamburg and did not arrive until dusk (which happens pretty late during the summer). We were warmly welcomed, at the concierge desk just inside the door, and once again at the check-in desk located one floor up. In fact, the agent was radiant and extremely well polished, seamlessly switching from German to English (while still complimenting my German) when I must have got a verb ending wrong. She also made a number of dinner recommendations for us, though we ended up eating at Apples, the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant that night.
The room was on the club floor (more on that in just a moment) and quite spacious. Warm colors, a lot of natural wood, and plenty of open space made for a great room. As always, I had a number of clients I was working with on award travel and the internet in the room was lightning-fast, allowing me to quickly make a couple of phone calls before dinner. The bathroom was also large and featured a rain shower and separate bath tub.
Hamburg is full of great restaurants, but I had heard many positive reviews about the Park Hyatt’s own restaurant, Apples, so we elected to have dinner there. Although it was 9:30p by the time we sat down to dinner, the restaurant was still full and it looked like there were a lot of locals enjoying the food. We had a wonderful meal, enhanced by great service from the hotel staff. Warm bread and salads to start, followed by château briand with a number of tantalizing side dishes like cheesy potatoes au gratin, mushrooms, mixed vegetables, and a great béarnaise sauce. The beef was perfectly cooked and succulent and the portion generous enough for us to ultimately turn down dessert because we were so full. Hamburg is better known for its fish and seafood than its red meat, but I highly recommend this dish if you dine at Apples.
Before going to sleep, I ordered tea and cofee for the morning–I did not want to oversleep! It was promptly delievered at 8am, helping me to start my day a bit earlier than I would have liked.
I am just speculating here, but it seems like the older Park Hyatt properties have lounges while the newer ones do not. I do not know why Hyatt seems to have abandoned the lounge concept at its Park Hyatt chain, but the Park Hyatt Hamburg was one of the early Park Hyatt hotels and does have a great lounge offering continental breakfast in the morning and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages throughout the day. Breakfast was very “Continental” in the capital C sense—no American grub like you usually find at western hotel chains, but do not consider that a drawback—the breakfast (and the breakfast setting) was wonderful. Cold cuts, cheeses, breads, various mueslis, fresh juices, yogurts, and fruit made for a very satisfying breakfast.
Although there was a lot to see in Hamburg, my brother and I wanted to maximize our use of the hotel before checking out, so we worked out in the hotel’s basement gym and went for a swim in the hotel’s indoor pool. On a quiet Sunday morning, it was great having both the gym and pool to ourselves. Stocked with all the latest equipment, the gym is more than adequate to meet your physical fitness needs and features a spacious locker room with sauna and steam room for therapeutic relaxation before or after a swim.
The pool is also below ground in a room with no windows, but you would never know it—the lighting and artist’s rendition of the sea give it a very warm and bright feel. The water was nicely heated and we also soaked in the jacuzzi for awhile after the swim.
Parking is typically either problematic or unreasonably expensive at finer hotels, but neither was the case at the Park Hyatt Hamburg. Arriving Saturday evening we found a parking space directly in front of the hotel with no meter or time limit (free parking on weekends). The hotel has two entrances—one coming from the street and the other from the shopping mall connected to the hotel. The whole structure is a former warehouse built in 1912 “the Levantehaus”, which was completely transformed when the hotel opened in 1997. The Park Hyatt occupies the top eight floors of the building. As you can see from the pictures below, the hotel is located in the thriving heart of the city—a perfect location for your stay in Hamburg. Everything is within walking distance of the hotel and although there were thousands of people out walking below, you will find tranquility inside the hotel.
I always try to provide some constructive criticism in my hotel reviews because no hotel is perfect, but I did not find any flaws in my stay at the Park Hyatt Hamburg. Great service, a great room, great food, great amenities, and a great location—am I missing anything? Price, I suppose. Inexpensive it is not (think $400+/night) but I believe I derived more satisfaction from this hotel then I would at any half-priced four star hotel in the city. I was there during high-season, but the rate is much lower during this time of year. I highly recommend this property and highly recommend a visit to Hamburg.