The best Hamburg hotels
With a superb riverside location on the oh-so lovely and leafy Elbchaussee, the Louis C. Jacob combines classic Hanseatic hospitality with contemporary luxury. There’s no hip concept here, simply understated elegance, utmost comfort and outstanding dining in the hotel’s chandeliered, Michelin-starred Jacob Restaurant. The rooms—from superior doubles to the extravagant ballroom suite—are all spacious and light, with pristine beds, wooden flooring, natural stone bathrooms and either an Elbe or garden view. For extra cultural cache, book ahead for the Max Liebermann room, where the famous German modernist painter stayed and painted the hotel’s picturesque lime tree terrace. Part of the hotel’s exclusivity is its peaceful location beyond the city centre, but you’re only a 20-minute ride into town by bus, with car hire and limousine services also available.
Time Out tip: Don’t miss the binoculars in the riverside rooms!
Neatly located for the Altstadt, Inner Alster lake and Hamburg’s central station, Henri channels top modern traveler standards with retro homely flair. Its rooms, ranging in size from a medium studio to large suite, offer a certain bachelor-pad aesthetic, textured by cozy blankets, colorful accents and lots of light through the building’s generous old townhouse windows. Henri’s ethos is very much a ‘home away from home’ with the spacious downstairs lobby serving as a common lounge, library and breakfast area, and the communal fridge stocked with drinks, soups and snacks which guests can help themselves to around the clock. There’s a small sauna and gym on the top floor.
Time Out tip: Bon appétit! Two of the town’s best French restaurants, Le Plat du Jour and Café de Paris, are a short walk away.
If you love a bit of midcentury-modern kitsch like everyone else who fell head over heels for Mad Men back in the day, then you'll fit right in at Fritz im Pyjama. This stylish boutique hotel is small, but beautiful. From the moment you walk in you're met with dark woods, jungle print wallpaper and gold flourishes. The narrow lounge follows in a similar vein with royal blue tones taking centre stage. And you'll be pleased to know the rooms are just as well thought out, with a different flare in each room. Given the diminutive size, there's no restaurant at Fritz im Pyjama, however you have the option of having breakfast in bed, where you can also access the free wifi and Sky TV channels. Plus, the hotel is situated in the popular Schanzenviertel district, so there are plenty of restaurants and things to do within walking distance.
Time Out tip: Fritz is on a fairly busy road, so ask for a room at the back if you’re a light sleeper.
Prices start at just EUR 65 at Superbude, a bold and bright hotel on the St Pauli scene. Its 89 colourful rooms range from doubles to the six-person “Rock Star Suite”, each featuring a flat screen TV, private bathroom with rain shower, super-fast wifi, as well as plenty of playful, upcycled furniture. The Superbude prides itself on local connections and creative exchange and is a great source of intel on what to see, do or hear during your Hamburg stay. With a run of cocktails at the bar and breakfast served until noon, it also caters particularly kindly to those in town to party.
Time Out tip: Check out the Superbude’s house packages, offering various add-ons including city travel-card, welcome drinks, walking maps and bespoke playlists.
If there’s one Hamburg hotel that’s had long-standing international renown, it’s the five-star Atlantic Kempinksi. With its lakeside location and run in celebrity guests, including long-term resident Udo Lindenberg, it’s the kind of hotel that tourist buses pass by for a glimpse of glamour and fame. The place was built for first-class passengers about to board Atlantic liners and though some of its color and texture combinations are a little cumbersome by today’s aesthetics, the Atlantic still exudes upper-cut refinement, from its sweeping central staircase to Italian marble bathrooms. The buffet breakfast includes champagne, while the Atlantic Restaurant specializes in Mediterranean dishes and seafood, with staples including lobster soup, sole meunière and steak tartar.
Time Out tip: The Art Deco Atlantic Bar is a legendary locale with live piano music every evening save Monday.
This funky installment from the 25 Hours chain is situated towards HafenCity, Hamburg’s recently redeveloped harbor district and proud home to the new Elbphilharmonie. With the waterfront and warehouse district in walking distance, it’s a great neighborhood in which to get a sense of Hamburg’s seafaring identity, though relatively quiet by night. Each of the hotel’s “cabins” combine compact style with maritime touches, whether lit globes or rope ladders. After a sweet night’s sleep, enjoy the breakfast buffet at the Heimat Küche and Bar, which also has snack, set and à la carte dinner menus. 25 Hours has a meeting room, fitness area, sauna and reception will happily sort you out with bikes or Minis to ride about town.
Time Out tip: Check out the in-house Mare Kiosk for funky souvenirs.
SIDE enjoys a great central location near the Inner Alster lake, particularly convenient for the city’s upmarket shopping streets, and walking distance from both the Altstadt and HafenCity. Behind the hotel’s box-like facade lie 178 minimalist-chic bedrooms kitted out by Milanese designer Mattheo Thun, combining dark wood, soothing touches of blue and green and lots of crisp white bed linen. The hotel’s top line in facilities includes a pristine sauna and jacuzzi, decent-sized pool, spa treatments, a gym and nine conference rooms for business travelers. The eighth-floor sky lounge with adjoining roof terrace and great views is particularly suited for larger meetings and events while the [m]eatery (yep, that’s what it’s called) evening bar and restaurant is a carnivore’s wonderland.
Time Out tip: For a dose of history to your contemporary luxury, stroll 20 minutes down to the canal-fronted Deichstraße, where you’ll find some of the oldest surviving houses in Hamburg.
Perfect for those seeking a low-key, tucked-away lodging, Hadley’s B&B offers single, double and triple rooms as well as a family Salon, all in a B&B that feels more like a stylish private apartment. Each room is light-filled and tastefully decorated with vintage lamps, interesting fabrics, great books and fresh flowers. Six have a mezzanine bed, allowing for a comfortable living or working area below. Note that all rooms share bathrooms. Breakfast is not included in the overnight price, but you can book in advance to have it brought to your room, or head to the elegant Hadley’s café downstairs, open from 10am. Hadley’s is a little distance from the harbor or St Pauli districts, but an easy walk to the cafes and bars of Sternschanze.
Time Out tip: Avoid the noisier rooms next to the bathrooms.
As its name suggests, the architectural ‘wow’ that is Gastwerk stands in a meticulously renovated 19th century gas plant in the Western Hamburg district of Altona. The city’s first design hotel, it boasts a vast, light-filled atrium–complete with water feature–and 141 rooms, lofts and suites, each combining raw industrial aesthetics with soft lighting, warm woods and luxurious linen and fabrics. The round-the-clock staff is particularly helpful and friendly, and the on-site Mangold restaurant and L. Bar–including a line-up of live sets–will serve you well in an otherwise slightly sleepier neighborhood. There’s also an in-house spa.
Time Out tip: Note that the Atrium rooms have windows onto the atrium, rather than outdoors.
If you’d prefer to save your Euros and the planet, look no further than Green Haven, Hamburg’s best budget and eco-friendly B&B, located to the west of the Outer Alster lake. With just five rooms ranging from a single bedroom to apartment, it’s a cozy, convivial kind of place for like-minded travellers, with a communal dining/living room and kitchen, and shared bathrooms for the smaller rooms. In good Hamburg style, it’s got a loosely nautical theme to its décor, but the foremost concern is environmental; under the tender care of owner Christiane, almost all the Green Haven furnishings are upcycled, the linen is organic and fair-trade and the fridge is stocked with vegan breakfast options.
Time Out tip: If you want to make the most of the kitchen and cook for yourself, there’s an organic supermarket just five minutes’ walk away.