There are more billionaires and millionaires living in Hamburg than in any other German metropolis. As the richest metropolitan centre in one of the world’s wealthiest countries, Hamburg understandably oozes a sense of confidence and success. To say that Hamburg is having “a moment’ would not do justice to its impressive past as one of Europe’s most successful cities for more than a millennium. However, Hamburg is very much having a moment, and 2017 has been an exciting year for Germany’s second largest city.
The January opening of the Herzog & de Meuron-designed Elbphilharmonie concert hall drew the world’s attention to the German port city’s latest design renaissance, a maritime-meets-modern juxtaposition of centuries-old warehouses and sleek steel and glass.
Hamburg’s latest visually appealing addition doubles as the city’s first luxury hotel in decades. The Fontenay, set to open in January 2018, is the realised vision of renowned local architect Jan Störmer, who has created the sinuous building’s rippling facade by covering it in white porcelain tiles that echo the surface of adjacent Lake Alster. Unsurprisingly, the hotel has been making waves, with its bold contemporary design and idyllic lakeside location, ever since it started coming out of the ground. Built as a reflection of modern Hamburg, the hotel promises to seamlessly combine urban nature with a cosmopolitan way of life, and sculptural architecture that ensures every space is flooded with natural light.
The wow factor continues inside, where guests enter a spacious 27-meter-high glass atrium before retreating to one of 131 curve-walled guest rooms; the quirky dimensions and near absence of straight lines meaning that literally every piece of furniture had to be custom made.
The ambitious property also features an inner courtyard planted with trees, a garden restaurant, a panoramic sixth-floor Fontenay Bar boasting 320-degree lake views, a gourmet rooftop restaurant and a 10,000ft2 spa incorporating an indoor-outdoor pool – all evidence (if any were needed) that Germany is poised to welcome one of its most sophisticated hotels yet, The Fontenay is sure to capture the attention of luxury travellers around the world, and Hamburg’s status as a tourist destination will be elevated yet further, as the city rounds off one of its most historic years ever.