Hotel Insider: A Luxurious Getaway in Europe’s Hidden Gem


A property so delightful, you won’t want to leave. (Photo: Curio)

When discussing where to go in Europe, travelers often share about the history of Berlin, Oktoberfest in Munich, the music of Vienna, the romance of Paris, or the culinary delights of Italy.

None of those are to be missed, but if you’re on the hunt for a real hidden gem, head to Hamburg.

Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and the eighth largest city in the European Union. This city on the Elbe, one of the largest ports in Europe, has more bridges than Amsterdam, London, and Venice combined, providing both beautiful scenery and luxuriously long walkways. It’s no wonder that Hamburg is often referred to as the “Venice of the North.”

If you are searching for great museums, music, food, or the newest UNESCO site in Europe, choose Hamburg for your next journey and book yourself a stay at the incredible Reichshof Hamburg.

Location: The Reichshof Hamburg is just steps away from world-class shopping, restaurants, museums, public transportation, and the city’s main railway station. It is also a 10-minute walk to the beautiful Aussenalster (Alster Lake), where you can have a picnic, sail a boat, or just feed the geese and ponder the universe.

First impressions: Entering the Art Deco lobby feels like being welcomed into a friend’s very well-appointed home, with nooks to sit down, relax, enjoy afternoon tea, or even play a record. Yes, a record. How quaint is that? The pink chandeliers immediately demand your attention, while the white Italian marble columns (constructed in 1910) add light, openness, and a touch of opulence.

The property: Reichshof Hamburg has 278 guest rooms, including junior and one-bedroom suites. The hotel was completely renovated and reopened in July 2015 as part of Curio — A Collection by Hilton.

The backstory: Established in 1910, the hotel is much beloved by the local community and remains a draw for locals as well as visitors to Hamburg. Recent renovations have made the rooms lovely and modern but retained historic elements in the hotel’s public areas — including the original restaurant flatware and wood paneling.

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The decor is modern mixed with Old-World charm. (Photo: Curio)

Where to hang: Bar 1910 serves up some of the best Moscow Mules and Dark & Stormys in town, both featuring homemade ginger beer.

The rooms: My medium-size room (about 200 square feet) was simply perfect. Having a desk and chair provided me a very comfortable workspace. Every size of room has a flat-screen TV, Wi-Fi, a coffeemaker, a hair dryer, a safe, and rainfall shower heads.

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The rooms are charming with all of the conveniences of home. (Photo: Curio)

What I loved: I absolutely adored the way the hotel incorporated its history with modern facilities. I was welcome to investigate its storied past as I participated in its vibrant future. The central location made it easy to experience the many top spots of Hamburg.

What I didn’t love: In a European hotel room, I always wonder where to put my suitcase. There was plenty of room for just me, but the room would have been too small for two people.

Where to eat: Locally renowned chef Frank Bertram is the property’s singing chef on Saturday nights with his unique “Cook and Rock” menu at the hotel restaurant Slowman.

Make sure to indulge in Frank’s sushi, Hokkaido pumpkin ravioli, and Eidersteder beef with turnip two ways. I also enjoyed Frank’s Gramophone dessert — complete with wine pears and plums with vanilla ice cream and homemade caramel ice cream with a pastry. Guests can also get a backstage pass to visit the kitchen to get up close and personal with your meal as it is being prepared.

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What not to miss: Make sure to visit the local fish market (Fischmarkt) and the Landungsbrücken, or floating docks, where you need to pop into a local fish restaurant to try out the bread rolls with fish and curry wurst. Landungsbrücken is the place to hop on a harbor cruise of the Elbe, one of the very best ways to see the city. It’s one of those cities, like Chicago or Amsterdam, that gain a whole new perspective from the water.

Swing by Hamburg’s answer to SoHo in the Schanzenviertel neighborhood to luxuriate in the coffee shops, street art, and shopping. Stay for dinner in one of the many trendy restaurants before heading back to the hotel for a nightcap.

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