It hasn’t been many weeks since the crown juvel of Hamburg’s hotel scene, The Fontenay, first opened its doors to the public. The interest for the grand luxury hotel has been overwhelming, which is why I was very happy to stay there as one of the first members of the press. Here’s a recap – and what you as a guest can expect.
Sponsored by The Fontenay
Hamburg continues to expand: more people settling, more businesses launching – and more hotels opening as well. The Northern German city is popular like never before and it’s not hard to see why; the glistening lake, the impressive architecture and the urban yet very approachable vibe. Having visited the city nearly once a year with my family since I was a child, I’ve always been fascinated by the city. As a child I was probably most fond of the toy store on the corner of Esplanade and Neuer Jungfernstieg, which is unfortunately closed by now, but Hamburg truly offers something for all age ranges. And now also: The Fontenay.
Last-mentioned is an ambitious hotel project and the heart child of German enterprise billionaire and investor Klaus-Michael Kühne. And it’s only fair to say that it’s the new pride and joy of Hamburg’s hotel scene. Mostly consisting of glass and with an environmentally friendly approach, The Fontenay is what I’d like to call “the future of luxury hotels”. Six floors, 130 bright rooms and suites and a 1.000 m2 rooftop spa with a view of the Alster; the hotel is located in a prominent neighborhood surrounded by embassies and parks. On a warm summer day in Hamburg – this is the place to be!
So how is The Fontenay different than other luxury hotels of today? First and foremost, I would never compare it, but without saying too much, I felt The Fontenay just as much as I saw it. In other words: it’s a lifestyle. The local star architect Jan Störmer was in charge of designing the hotel, which he right from the beginning called ‘timelessly modern and classic’. Enough said.
Due to its amorphous shape, there’s no backside, and the 14.000 m2 of glass floods every corner of the hotel with light. This also means that not two walls are parallel and only the rooms are separated by straight walls.
Also the interior of The Fontenay oozes of minimalistic, sophisticated luxury. Forget about gold and diamonds; this place brings luxury to another dimension, where comfort and peace is paramount. Subtle, golden nuances and delicate references to the ocean – all wrapped up in quality workmanship. As I remember thinking when entering our room; “I feel like walking carefree and barefoot everywhere.”
Amongst the four different categories of rooms ranging from contemporary guest rooms to impressive two-bedroom suites with two balconies, we checked in to a Fontenay Deluxe Room over-looking the lush, green neighborhood. No lakeside view, but you don’t mind when you can reach the rooftop spa in no time. And speaking of which; that has to be my favorite part of the hotel.
Dressed all in white with a sparkling turquoise pool in the middle, I caught myself in thinking that this could’ve been Greece and not Hamburg. If you get that feeling from staying in a Northern European luxury hotel, then I think the job is done, at least if it’s holiday vibes you’re aiming for. I was swimming from the inside pool to the heated outdoor pool in one take, overlooking the rooftops of Hamburg. At some point, it seemed like the two were merging together (another architectural feat from Jan Störmer!). The Fontenay obviously accommodates all the spa features that one can think of including sauna, a stunning relaxation area, steam room etc. And non-hotel guests are also allowed entrance in combination with a treatment (beauty or massage).
With 19 restaurants listed in the Guide Michelin, Hamburg’s gastronomical scene is certainly worth traveling for, but if you’re staying at The Fontenay, you’d probably want to dine in. Here are two restaurants; the laid-back garden restaurant Parkview, where breakfast, lunch and dinner is served, and Lakeside – a fine dining restaurant aiming for the stars. Litterally speaking. Here, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Hamburg while enjoying the creations of the Swiss Chef, Cornelius Speinle. Lastly, you can enjoy afternoon tea and cake in the impressive Atrium Lounge or grab a drink at the stylish Fontenay Bar. For those who love to read, there’s a very inviting library next to the Atrium showcasing a wide range of famous titles. Unfortunately, my first visit was too brief for me to indulge in all the activities, but I know what i’ll be doing next time 🙂
Located only 15 minutes by foot from Hamburg’s city center, The Fontenay is the perfect urban escape. While I’m sure especially couples will find it intriguing, I was surprised to see how well-catered we were having our 3 month-old son with us. And isn’t that what true hospitality is about? Feeling like you’re completely escaping the outside world outside, enjoying not to worry about a thing in the universe. For a brief moment, at least. The Fontenay doesn’t have to reflect a corporate identity since it’s not a part of a global hotel chain (and hopefully will never be). It’s something quite unique, not only in Hamburg’s hospitality scene, but the international one as well.
Come see it for yourself. Start by clicking here.